Do you wake up with a sore neck and shoulders? Do you find yourself sneezing a lot when lying in bed? Did you even consider that your pillow might be responsible for all this?
People don’t change their pillow often enough, so we’re going to have an in-depth look at how often you should replace your pillows and how to care for them.
How Often Should You Replace Pillows?
The answer is debatable, but to be on the safe side, replace your pillow every one to two years.
Why It Is Important to Replace Pillows?
Each night as you sleep, your body sheds its natural oils, hair, and skin, all of which is absorbed by your pillow. The accumulation of these elements might cause your pillow to smell, while regular washing will help prevent this.
Apart from the odor, these conditions would naturally attract dust mites to your pillow over time. These microscopic critters add additional weight to your pillow, impairing its ability to remain supportive over time.
Dust mites are not harmful, but they feed on your skin, which is uncomfortable to consider. However, for persons who suffer from allergies, dust mites can exacerbate their symptoms to the point of interfering with sleep.
Even if you eliminate the dust mite problem with routine washing, your pillow cannot survive indefinitely. Our heads are heavy and sleeping on a pillow that is constantly carrying the weight of your head can eventually wear it down and lead it to flatten in areas.
What Affects the Lifespan of a Pillow?
While a pillow may not appear to be as critical to a good night’s sleep as a mattress, it serves an important function: it supports your neck and head throughout the night, allowing you to wake up without stiffness or neck pain. And after a while, even the most luxurious pillow will cease to do so.
There are several factors that contribute to the lifespan of your pillow, including:
- Bedroom conditions, as humid environments will create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria inside your pillow.
- Proper evening skincare routine, as shedding skin and releasing body oils is not hygienic and causes the pillow to require faster replacement.
- The pillow has lumps and won’t return to its initial shape.
Pillow Care Tips: Types of Pillows
1. Memory Foam
Memory foam is a common pillow material because it relieves aches and pains in key areas of your body while you’re sleeping. When it comes into touch with body heat, memory foam softens, allowing it to fit closely, and then returns to its original shape when it cools.
Memory foam pillows can’t be washed or dried. Rather than that, it is advisable to spot clean this pillow as needed. Every two months, thoroughly hand wash the cushion with a mild detergent and air dry. Replace your memory foam pillow every two or three years.
When it comes to caring for these pillows, you can spot-clean them and wash them in a light detergent every two to three months. Polyfoam pillows typically last between two and three years before they need to be changed.
3. Down and Feathers
Down pillows are frequently more expensive than ordinary; typically, more down equals a greater price. These pillows, on the other hand, provide exceptional softness and support. Additionally, they sleep rather chilly for the majority of people and are quite moldable. They are an excellent alternative for sleepers who prefer to snuggle with a pillow.
Feather pillows may be good for sleepers who find other types of pillows to be too stiff and heated. However, feather pillows do not contour to the body as well as pillows made of latex or memory foam.
While the majority of feather and down pillows are machine washable, some should be dry cleaned. Use mild detergent, warm water, and a soft cycle when machine cleaning a down or feather cushion.
Occasionally, it may be required to repeat the rinse cycle to completely remove the detergent. You may either air dry the pillows or place them in a low-heat dryer for around 20 minutes.
These pillows should be washed every three to six months and replaced every one to three years. If the pillow does not spring back to its regular shape after being folded in half, it is time to replace it.
4. Down Alternative & Polyester
Down alternative pillows contain a material that is used in pillow manufacturing to replicate the lightness and softness of genuine duck or goose down. Unlike genuine down, which may cause allergic reactions in certain people, down substitute is fully allergen-free.
Additionally, down replacement products are typically far less expensive than true down products, making them an attractive option for budget customers.
Polyester pillows of varied quality are available throughout the country and world, from large box stores to online vendors. Polyester pillows are one of the most frequent varieties of pillows and also one of the least priced. Apart from being the least expensive pillow material, polyester pillows are also machine-washable, light, and soft.
Pillows made of these materials can be machine cleaned on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent and dried on a low setting in a dryer.
These pillows should be washed every three to six months. Pillows made of down substitute material typically last between one and two years. Polyester pillows are very flimsy and should be replaced every six months to two years.
Latex is another common pillow material because it molds snugly to the sleeper’s neck and shoulders, similar to memory foam, but it is also quite durable; most latex pillows have a projected lifespan of at least three to four years. Additionally, latex sleeps cooler than the majority of foams.
Avoid machine cleaning latex cushions. You should wash the pillow every two to three months with mild detergent and warm water. Avoid submerging or wringing the cushion in water. Rather than that, lay the cushion flat to allow it to air out. Replace your latex pillow every two to four years.
As with sheets, pillowcases should be laundered every one to two weeks. However, some people like to wash pillowcases on a daily basis. Unlike blankets or sheets, pillowcases are simple to launder due to their modest size. Pillowcases are not large enough to require their own load of laundry and can easily be combined with another load.
The cleaning instructions are very dependent on the fabric. Always refer to the individual pillowcase’s washing directions to guarantee the longest possible life.
The majority of pillowcases are machine washable in warm or cold water. For the most part, a low-set drier is sufficient, as is line drying. Certain pillowcase fabrics, like as percale, are wrinkle-prone and should be ironed on a low setting.
Also known as a pillow liner, a pillow protector shields your pillows from wear and tear, dampness, and stains. It can be constructed from a range of different materials, depending on the desired benefits. Additionally, a protector decreases wear and tear, allowing you to enjoy your beloved pillow for many years.
Always check the label of your pillow to determine if it is machine washable. However, only pillows filled with natural or synthetic down are normally machine washable. Others may require dry cleaning or spot cleaning.
If your pillow is washable, wash it on the hot water setting every six months. Use a light liquid detergent and wash two pillows at the same time to ensure that they are cleaned equally in the washing machine. Repeat the rinse cycle without detergent in your washing a second time.
Then, using an air only or low heat setting, continue drying your pillow until it is completely dry. If your pillow is filled with feathers or shredded material, fluff it every day to ensure it retains its shape.
What is the lifespan of a pillow?
Pillows usually last about one or two years before they need replacing, but it depends on the type of pillow in question. Latex pillows can last up to four years, while memory foam pillows last between 18 and 36 months.
How do you know when a pillow is worn out?
Some of the signs that a pillow needs replacing include: lumps in the material, sneezing that might be caused by dust mites, permanent stains, and neck and shoulder pain.
Can an old pillow make you sick?
Mold, fungi, and bugs love to live in pillows. A typical pillow should contain about one million fungus spores. This is particularly harmful if you have an immune deficiency disorder or are allergic or asthmatic.
The Bottom Line
Additionally, it is recommended that you purchase the best pillow that you can afford. Cheaper cushions are significantly more prone to mold growth and mite attraction than the more expensive hypoallergenic pillows. For more bedding-related advice, check out our guide to the best memory foam mattress toppers!