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How Often Should I Replace My Pillow?

It is recommended to change the pillow every 1 to 2 years. This way, you will always have a pillow that provides adequate support to your body, that is clean and free of allergens.

If you change the pillow regularly, you will prevent the accumulation of allergens and improve the quality of sleep. Replacing the pillow is very simple and you will not have to do it often, it is enough to do it once every two year, on average.

 In the end, with a little bit of our help, you will be able to decide for yourself when it is time for a new pillow. Then, when you realize that you are not well supported during sleep, it is definitely time to replace it.

Their duration also depends on how much you take care of them. That is why frequently washing pillows can significantly prolong their life and allow you to sleep peacefully.

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    Why is it important to replace pillows?

    Since you sleep on the same pillow every night, it gets constantly dirty. It is natural for your body to sheds skin, hair and oil. All the dirt accumulates over time on the pillow and he absorbs it. To avoid allergies, poor pillow hygiene and pain in parts of the body, it is necessary to change it in time.

    an image of a woman holding a pillow

    Less allergens

    In addition to the fact that dirt on the pillow causes an unpleasant odor, mites can also appear. These small creatures have a great influence on its structure, which at one point is completely lost. Although mites cannot physically harm you, they pose a great danger to people who are prone to allergies. Such symptoms can cause sleep disorders. No matter how often you clean it, each pillow loses its original shape and function after a certain time.

    Improved hygiene

    To keep your pillow clean at all times, you need to wash it regularly and properly. However, the most important thing is to get protection for it on time. That way, you won’t sleep directly on a surface that will be harder to wash later. Before you wash it, you need to check the label, because that way you will be sure that you can wash a pillow in the washing machine. Keep in mind that you can only do this with down or synthetic down fillers. It is enough to wash it once a year and use a milder detergent. You can dry it only in the air or at low temperatures. The cover should be washed every 3 to 4 weeks.

    Less pain

    The man’s head is heavy, which means that you put a lot of pressure on the pillow every night. Eventually, it must wear out or you will sleep on a flattened pillow that is full of mites. Just like a mattress, a pillow must provide equally good support to your body. Otherwise, the head and neck will not be in the correct position, which can cause an uncomfortable and painful feeling. It can also lead to chronic pain that will not only disturb your sleep but also your overall functioning. That is why a worn pillow is not good to use and needs regular replacement.

    When is it time to replace pillows?

    Depending on how much you take care of your pillow, whether you use protection and how often you use it, the time to change the pillow can vary. For example, if you do everything right and use it every day, you should change it at least once every two years. However, there are a few clear warnings that it is time for a new pillow. This refers to pain in the neck and back, muscle crampings, headaches, allergies, dents on the pillow and yellow spots on the pillow.

    You feel frequent pain

    Since the pillow is often used and is constantly under pressure, there is an obvious reason for changing its structure. So, it will change under the weight of our head after a certain time. This means that your body position also changes, because you are lying on a different surface. Such conditions are not ideal for our body, which is why pain occurs. It will be a clear sign that it is time to replace the pillow, because it no longer follows the correct position of the body. It all starts in the neck area, because the neck and head do not have good enough support. If you are sure your pillow is fine but you still feel the pain, check the best pillows for neck pain to find your ideal one.

    an image of a man suffering from neck pain

    You have muscle cramping in the morning

    If you do not provide enough support to your neck and head, you fall into a vicious circle of pain. Since the pillow loses its original shape after a while, it automatically loses its main function. Then you will have to improvise with it to provide your neck with an adequate base. However, it is generally not good enough and your body is to blame. It can also lead to a change in posture during sleep. This is especially important for people who sleep on their side, because they need a pillow that will perfectly fill the space between the head and shoulders.

    Constant headaches

    If the pillow stands too high for the neck and head, you add tension to the suboccipital neck muscles. Once too much tension builds up in that place, you will start waking up in the morning with a headache. Headaches can also develop during the day, not necessarily immediately after you get out of bed. You may suspect something else, but the reason is very obvious. The pillow has lost its strength or you have chosen the wrong pillow for your sleeping style. In that case, the body took an unphysiological position in sleep, and as a result, a chronic headache occurs, which affects the quality of life.


    If you sleep poorly due to allergic attacks, the source of the problem may be your pillow that needs to be replaced. During sleep, we transfer all the impurities from ourselves to the pillow and leave them there. Even if you wash it regularly, you cannot remove all the harmful substances that affect its functionality. 

    an image of a man having problem with allergies

    For example, mites can significantly accelerate its decay as well as the wrong way of washing. When it comes to mite allergies, you will notice frequent headaches, poor or intermittent sleep as well as allergic reactions. You may also have trouble breathing, a stuffy nose, or itchy skin. What you can do additionally, is to look for a hypoallergenic pillow. Hypoallergenic pillows have benefits that will allergy sufferers absolutely love so these are worth considering if you suffer from allergies.

    Lumps in pillow

    Lumps from the pillow can be removed by a simple method. You need tennis balls and a dryer. They will manage to break out lumps and make your pillow soft again. Each pillow will eventually come to this state, because their interior begins to fill with dust, treasure and various impurities. 

    Then tennis balls will not help you, but neither will any other method. This is a clear sign that your pillow cannot get rid of moisture and dirt, because it is too old. Due to the great pressure or weight of the head, it will sooner or later lose its shape. The only difference is in better and lower quality pillows.

    Yellow spots

    Yellow spots on the pillows are inevitable, and are caused by prolonged using. This can also be a consequence of an insufficiently dried pillow, because it is a perfect base for the development of mold. This may indicate poor maintenance or use it for more than 2 years. 

    Since you leave sweat and other impurities on it every night, these stains appear when they accumulate. Imagine sweating and dropping other liquids every night, followed by the drying process and so on in a circle. Stains on pillows can also occur depending on the material of the pillow.

    Flat pillow

    Your pillow must be supportive and comfortable at the same time. However, if it is flat, it means that it is no longer suitable for use. You can best determine something like this if you perform a band test. All you need to do is fold your pillow in half and let it go. If he immediately takes the original position, it is still not completely flat, but if it remains folded in half, it is time for a replacement. Such a pillow does not support your neck and head. No matter how thin the pillow you have, it should return to its original position and that is called bounce.

    How to extend the lifespan of your pillows?

    There are several factors that can affect the life of a pillow and significantly prolong it. In the first place is the upholstery. So, most of the dirt that would end up on the pillow will stick to the upholstery first. You can change it often and wash it in the washing machine, unlike some pillows. Then, it is necessary to properly maintain the pillow in terms of washing and drying.

    Regular washing

    By washing pillow, you extend its lifespan, which will make you use them longer. However, if you want to remove some stubborn stains by washing them in the washing machine, check the label. It contains the manufacturer’s instructions that you should follow when it comes to washing and drying pillows. Pillows are prone to the collection of dust and mites, which can cause allergies that contribute to sleep disorders. Here is how to fight dust mites off successfully.

    In addition to being careful during washing, you must also wash and maintain them well. If your pillow can be washed in the washing machine, wash it as you would wash delicate laundry. Do not put two pillows at once.

    Proper drying

    No matter how well you wash your pillow, it will retain its shape only if you dry it well. You can only dry it in the air, but experts recommend a dryer. It needs to be completely dry before you start using it again. Also pay attention to lumps that can form and create bumps. This can also affect its shape. They occur if the filling has not dried well, which is why someone uses tennis balls during this procedure. Set your dryer to a very low heat. To make sure that your pillow will still be the same after drying, take it out after each cycle and shake it well.

    Using pillow cases

    Pillow case can significantly extend the life of the pillow. If you take proper care of it or wash it at least once every two weeks, you will keep all impurities away from the pillow. You just need to be careful during this procedure. You will do this by following the manufacturer’s instructions, as some pillow cases are more sensitive than others. 

    Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the selected material. Not only will this protect the pillow from stains but it will keep its shape for a long time. For example, mites destroy its shape over time. With the pillow case you can delay the change of structure and save the inside of the pillow.

    Type of pillow stuffing

    In order to know how to properly maintain your pillows, you need to know everything about them. At the prom place, it is necessary to sort them by type and size. When it comes to the type of pillow, we specifically mean the type of filling. There are several different types of fillings and you cannot treat each type the same. This applies to polyester, down, memory foam, and latex. Don’t forget to read the instructions on them.


    This is the most popular choice of material for several reasons. It is soft, durable, and extremely fluffy in nature. The price is very affordable and easy to maintain. It can be washed in a washing machine and has worked well for allergies.


    They are lightweight and thus more comfortable. This material is an excellent temperature regulator. The pillows with this filling are very soft and are considered premium. Down pillow is not suitable for people prone to allergies and it is not vegan-friendly.

    Memory foam

    There are block memory foam and shredded memory foam. Both materials are equally fantastic support for the user’s body. With them you get maximum comfort and pressure relief.


    It is a natural foam. The price is slightly higher than other materials, and like memory foam, it exists as a block or shredded form. It has good breathability. Not the best option for side sleepers.

    The summary - how often should I replace my pillow?

    The most important factor that affects the appearance and functionality of the pillow is the way you take care of it. For example, if you completely ignore the manufacturer’s instructions or do not have the habit of using a pillow case, you will surely have to buy a new one soon. 

    On the other hand, users who use pillow cases, properly wash and dry their pillow can change it after 2 years. Until then, it will have its shape and will be an appropriate support for your body during sleep. Also, consider the possibility of allergies, because people who are more sensitive have to change it more often.

    It will help you to understand better the process of selection as well as features that you must consider when shopping for a new pillow. If you are sure how to find your ideal pillow, we suggest you checking our buyer’s guide on the best pillows in the UK.

    an image of a woman with a new pillow

    FAQs about replacing pillows

    There are a lot of questions regarding the maintenance of the pillow, and the reason is the different types of filling. That’s why there are manufacturer’s instructions that should not be ignored if you want your pillow to last as long as possible. To help you maintain your pillow properly, here are some of the most popular questions that are likely to interest you.

    Yes, especially when it comes to memory foam. Then hand-wash is the best option, because that way you will save the material.

    You will get rid of dust if you wash your pillow case and your pillow regularly. The pillow case should be washed at least once every two weeks, and the pillow every 6 months. There are also many natural preparations for neutralizing and removing dust.

    If your pillow loses its original shape and ceases to be a support during sleep, it's time for a new one.

    If approved by the manufacturer, you can wash your pillow in the washing machine, follow their instructions.

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