How Often Should Your Replace Your Pillow

Replacing Your Pillow often or as required is not just about hygiene but also about the functionality fo the pillow.

After a few years, many pillows do not offer the support and comfort which they used to deliver initially and are in dire need of replacement.


Why is it Important to Replace Your Pillow

  • Hyggiene – Every night that you sleep on your pillow, your body sheds skin, you sweat, and body oils stick to your pillow. For people who sweat excessively or have very oily prone skins and hair, this gets much worse. All of this eventually soaks into your pillow, giving it a bad odor and making it a breeding ground for bacteria.

  • Support – The weight of your head, neck, and shoulder bear down on your pillow each and every night. After a couple of years, your pillow may lose its loft and support functions and will wear out in certain areas.

  • Dust Mites – Whether you believe it or not, Dust Mites are a reality. And a pillow soaked in body oils and skin cells is the ideal breeding ground for these creatures to collect in. All in all, Dust Mites, in turn, aggravates allergies.

  • Dust and Allergens – Over the years, dust itself and other allergens can collect inside your pillow, making it more hazardous to your health. These particles can cause snoring, difficulty breathing, and allergies.

As you can see, replacing your pillow is a necessary decision, so when should you consider replacing your Pillow?


  • When your pillow has noticeable lums and empty sports.
  • When there are permanent stains, or it becomes yellow in color.
  • When you wake up with aches and pains, that were not a problem before.
  • If you suddenly start suffering from tension headaches that are unexplainable.
  • When you start developing allergies in your skin, or your sneeze, have a runny nose and watery eyes.
  • When you have a feather or down pillow, and you fold it in half, it should expand and not stay that way.
  • When you have switched sleeping positions and need different support.
  • If you are allergic to your pillow.

When Should Your Replace Your Pillows

The rule of thumb overall is to replace your pillows every 1 to two years, although certain pillow types and fils last longer. This will also depend largely on the quality and construction of the pillow.

  • Latex Filled Pillows – A latex filled pillow only needs replacing every 3-4 years, as latex is a firm and durable natural material.

  • Buckwheat Fill Pillows – Buckwheat filled pillows need replacing every 3 years, or if the buckwheat accidentally becomes wet.

  • Feather Pillows – Most Feather and Down Pillows last 18-36 months before needing replacement as it s an animal-derived fill.

  • Memory Foam Pillows – Memory foam loses its shape and support capabiluities after around 18-36 months.

  • Down Fill Pillows – Down can last up to two years.

  • Down Alternative Synthetic Fill Pillow – Being synthetic, this pillow can last from 18-24 months before losing its shape.

  • Polyester Fill – The Polyester pillow is a synthetic-filled pillow which does not last very long, only 6-24 months depending on the quality and construction.


How to Wash and Maintain your Pillow

Washing Your Pillow
You can keep your pillow much moe hygenic by washing it regularly, which can remove excess oils, odors, sweat, and stains and even rid you fo those pesky dust mites and other allergens.

There is, however, a certain method of washing for every pillow type and fill, so it is important to closely follow the instructions on the labels of your pillow.

Buckwheat pillows should never be washed as the Buckwheatat husks will mold and become soggy if they get wet. Feather pillows and down pillows need special care when washed.

Memory foam and latex should also be washed with care. Most cotton, down alternative, and polyester, filed pillows are machine washable and can be dried in a tumble dry.


Using Pillow Covers
One of the best ways to lengthen the life of and maintain your pillow is to invest in a proper waterproof pillow cover.

This cover prevents any liquids and dust particles, skin cells, or even dust mites from entering your pillow and will preserve and protect it for a very long time. The cover can be washed regularly with no hassle, and you are also protected against spills.

However, the cover will not help to maintain the support and loft of your pillow; therefore, in that instance, a replacement will be needed.


How to Find The Best Pillow Replacement

So You have decided to finally take the leap and make the much-dreaded replacement of your favorite pillow.

Here are a few things to consider before choosing your next pillow;

  • Fill and Fiber – Consider the Fill of the Pillow as well as the Fiber used in the casing or cover. For the cover, cotton and bamboo are two great options. For the fill, you need to consider the support that you need. Latex and memory foam offer firmer and more moldable support; just make sure to choose gel-infused memory foam for the cooling effect. Shredded latex or Memory foam is my favorites as they are also more adjustable. Down and feather is ideal if you like a very soft and plush low profile pillow, and is particularly perfect for stomach sleepers. If you have allergies, then opt for a Down and Feather alternative. Other less popular fills are Microbeads, Polyester, and cotton, which tend to easily lose its shape and are a medium to soft support, then there is also wool, which is quite expensive, plush, and long-lasting. Buckwheat, however, will give you a hard and firm supportive pillow.

  • Fill Weight – The weight and loft of the fill is also important. While memory foam and latex are firmer and heavier, a lighter fill such as polyester or down I much more fluffy and light and easy to move around.

  • Quality of The Fill – It is important to invest in quality, look for reputable brands, and ethically sourced and certified fill materials.

  • Pillow Size – Today, there are many size options besides the standard or continental sized pillows; you can go for a Large Queen size or much larger King sied options. For other support functionality, you can also opt for different shaped pillows such as a wedge or neck pillow, or even a full body pillow.

  • Your Sleeping Position – This is important as some pillow types offer better support for certain sleeping positions. SIDE SLEEPERS needs a thicker and firmer pillow, while BACK SLEEPERS needs a flatter and softer pillow, and STOMACH SLEEPERS will require a very low profile and soft pillow or no pillow at all.


To Conclude

As you can see, you do need to replace your pillow mainly for HYGENIC and SUPPORT reasons. Also, every pillow fill type has a different lifespan, so it is important to be educated on the lifespan of your particular pillow type and fill.

Then again, there are a few considerations to take when choosing a new pillow that will last and provide you with the support you need for your specific sleeping position requirements.



About the Author

Daniel Max

Interior Designer, Living in New York City. My sole work is to make indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful. It is achieved, by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. Work always starts with a drawing, reading, and editing blueprints!

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