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How Often Do You Need To Replace Your Pillows?

How Often Do You Need To Replace Your Pillows?

Woman Side sleeping

We understand that you probably love the pillow you’ve been using. Maybe you’ve had it for a while and have become accustomed to it. However, you can’t keep the same pillow forever. You probably are due for an upgrade if you can’t remember when you last changed your pillows. While some pillows endure wear and tear more than others, all pillows encounter wear and tear over time. A pillow will sometimes give you a few tells about whether its time has ended.


5 Signs You Need To Replace Your Old Pillow

  1. Its Dirty – Your pillow looks dirty stained, dingy and beat-up. If you have a feather or down pillow, its full of lumps and bumps.
  2. You’re Neck’s Sore – The very first thing you notice in the morning is that your neck is stiff and sore.
  3. Morning Headaches – Your head hurts every morning as you wake up with a throbbing headache.
  4. Its Flat – If your pillow feels flat like you’re sleeping flat on your mattress your pillow is getting old. This is because you’re pillow is not providing getting enough support.
  5. Allergies – Your pillow is making you sneeze or congested, and you feel you may be allergic to it.

It can be difficult to say goodbye to your favourite pillow or bed sheets, but regularly replacing the pillow you sleep on can help you sleep better. The best pillow is one that maintains its structural integrity during sleep and helps you get better sleep. Try folding a pillow that isn’t foam in half and trying to see if it reverts to its original flat shape. It’s likely that your pillow will be on the way out if that doesn’t happen.

The pillow is important – don’t spend hours picking out a great mattress just to overlook the pillow. You need to have it replaced regularly, or it may start interfering with your sleep. Unfortunately, we tend to hang on to pillows and bedding for way too long.

Why You Should Replace Your Pillows

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave you in peace to enjoy your favourite pillow? It would be kind of gross to remain on the same pillow indefinitely. Do you have any idea what’s in there? You probably don’t because, otherwise, you wouldn’t rest your head on it. The stuff you leave behind on your pillow after many nights in your bed is pretty horrific. It includes sweat, dead skin, dust and dust mites, saliva, makeup and other cosmetic products, hair, and nearly all other allergens.

Your pillow absorbs it all. No, unfortunately, you won’t be able to completely prevent the unwanted materials from lingering around in your pillow. That may explain the stains. It is possible to develop rashes and skin allergies over time. Studies have shown that pillows with dirt can actually cause acne. Therefore, by replacing your pillow on a regular basis, you can breathe in cleaner air each night instead of inhaling dirt and germs.


Pillow Allergens

Dust mites may be a leading cause of allergy and asthma issues throughout the year. Many allergies caused by microorganisms can remain on and in your pillow even after you wash it regularly. If you have problems with indoor allergies, you should choose a pillow material that is prevents the growth of microorganisms.

In addition to your mattress, pillows play a critical role in supporting the head, neck, and spine. When your spine is in perfect alignment, this guarantees you will get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling rejuvenated. You probably don’t know how heavy your head really is. The average head weight for an adult human is a incredible 8 kilograms. As time goes by, those 8 kilos 8 hours a night will start to flatten out your pillow and stop providing proper support. With new pillows, you can get a good night’s rest from the greatest level of support and comfort by keeping your spine aligned.

A new pillow can go a long way toward improving your night’s sleep if you’re going through headaches, neck pain, chronic snoring, or sleep apnea. The shape and integrity of your pillow determines how comfortable your pillow is. Comfort is one of the most important factors in determining how well you sleep


How Often Should I Replace My Pillows?

Generally we recommend you replace your pillow at least every one to two years. However, the lifespan of your pillow will vary depending on the material your pillow is made from. For many people the main concern for why they would want to replace their pillow is cleanliness and allergy avoidance. If this is a main concern of yours, you should wash and replace your pillows more frequently. This helps you prevent the accumulation of common allergens and dirt. 

To ensure a smooth replacement of your pillow, follow this guide

 In order to make sure the pillow will last for its expected life, make sure it is covered with a pillowcase and that it is cleaned regularly. With pillows in general, pillows made with higher quality materials will last longer and maintain their structural integrity better.

Which Pillow Types are Best?

Highest Rated Pillow by Customers

A great pillow material should be soft enough to help relieve pressure points, yet firm enough to promote spinal alignment. We found that natural latex pillows designed ergonomically provide high levels of satisfaction. Research indicates that 93% of customers are very satisfied with these pillows. Much higher than conventional types of pillows, like feather and standard foam pillows.  

Best Pillow According to Science 

A study conducted of five different types of pillows found that latex pillows improved quality of sleep and reduced restlessness in healthy subjects more than any other type of pillow.

These are some common types of pillows that use fillings made from latex, polyurethane and memory foam:

  • Moulded – These pillows offer a great deal of support and comfort. These pillows are very effective for people with back and neck pain because they can be made into specific shapes. Latex, memory, and other types of foam are commonly used to make moulded pillows.
  • Shredded – These allows adjusting the loft of the pillow to match your preferred comfort level. Shredded pillows are sometimes more breathable than moulded counterparts. These pillows often contain similar materials as moulded pillows such as shredded pieces of memory foam or natural latex foam. However, they are not as ergonomic or supportive as moulded foam pillows.
  • Feather or down pillow – While these types of pillow are very common, they are universally regarded by sleep experts to be the worst pillow type. In comfort and back pain studies that look at different pillow types, feather and down pillows constantly rank last in terms of comfort and sleep quality. This might surprise you however, ditching feather pillows might just be the easiest way to quickly improve your sleep.

Pillows can also be filled with various fills, each with its own pros and cons. Some materials are heat-retardant, and others are hypoallergenic.  Consider what is important to you when choosing the material for your new pillow.

Best Pillow For Each Sleeping Types

If you sleep on your stomach, you should consider if you are better on your back or side. Your pillow needs depend on what sleeping position you will be sleeping in. Sleeping on your side requires you to adjust your pillow loft so that your spine and neck can be aligned properly. A mattress with a medium or low loft is ideal for back sleepers as this will keep their spine in a neutral position. Stomach sleepers should use pillows with the lowest loft to avoid their neck from curling during sleep, which gives them chronic neck pain.

What Should I Do with My Old Pillows


Having a new pillow does not mean the old one does not have any value. Perhaps your first thought is to donate old pillows to a local nonprofit. However, they may not accept them due to hygiene reasons. Did you remember all the dust mites in there?

If you still wish to keep your pillows, there are many ways you can repurpose and reuse them including in and around your house. Let’s go over some options you have.

Make Pet Beds – Old pillowcases serve as excellent pet beds. They will love their new bed since it feels like home and smells like you. The internet is filled with lots of non-sew patterns and ideas for making a pet bed out of your old pillows. If you have an existing pet bed, you can take the stuffing from your old pillow and use it to restuff the pet bed.

Use Your Old Pillow to Help You Move – In case you’re going to move in the near future, use your old pillows for padding breakables. Since latex and memory foam pillows can be cut to exact measurements, this technique is particularly useful with these pillows.

Seal Drafts in Your Home – You can also make a DIY draft stopper out of your pillow. You can make these using some pillow stuffing or a sock that you used for something else, or you can be very creative and crafty – whatever works for you.


Your old pillow may have sentimental value to you, but maybe it’s time to throw it away. It’s more important to take care of your sleep and your overall health. Stay healthy and well-rested each morning by changing your pillow regularly and keeping your bedding and duvet cover clean.

You’ll be glad you made the switch once you start sleeping better, thanks to your new pillow.

About Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality mattresses and pillows for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.



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