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How Often to Replace Pillows and How to Take Care of Them

» Pillows Guides » How Often to Replace Pillows and How to Take Care of Them

Not so many people know how often to change pillows, and that’s why they may have poor sleeping. Your pillow can’t last forever – it wears out. Besides, it also can get yellow spots or unpleasant odors. Some cushions are not machine washable, so how to cope with the dirt? The answer is simple: sometimes washing is not the solution, and you need to change your pillow. I will give you recommendations on this.

How Often to Replace Pillows?
Pillows should be replaced every one to two years, unless they are specifically designed to last longer.

Cozy Sleep All the Time: How to Get It?


A pillow should be soft and convenient enough to give your head and neck a good rest. However, it can lose its shape and look during the time. You should know how often to replace pillows: I have prepared a guide for you.

Why is it so important to replace your pillow?

There is a standard belief that a pillow can last forever. Other people may say that washing once a year is enough. I also thought like this, but after I started to have in mind a healthy sleep, the pillow became a noteworthy factor for my well-being. You need to consider the three significant reasons to replace your pillow.

An average person spends more than two thousand hours a year laying on a pillow. Through this time, a cushion absorbs a huge amount of dead skin, body oil, saliva, and other dust. It causes skin allergies and bad odor. Of course, regular washing reduces it, but you cannot always clean the pillow foam, which is an excellent environment for the allergens’ development. They affect the human mucous membrane that may cause breathing difficulties and running eyes. If you had such symptoms and didn’t know why – an old pillow could be the explanation.

The pillow is also a home for the dust miles. They live there because of the dead skin and body oils – it is their food. These pests can be a trigger for asthma and allergies. As you spend a whole night on your pillow, nothing should disturb your breathing to let you have a deep and long sleep. You may reduce the dust miles amount using the allergen-resistant pillow protector. It is affordable on any market, and you also need to wash it once a month or even more frequently. However, replacing pillows is required because the amount of dust miles becomes too high after 1 or 2 years.

You can clean your pillow from dead skin, liquid, and dust miles, but it will still wear out. The human head is heavy enough to make the pillow foam flat and create soft spots. It’s a significant issue because the cushion should support you. The worn-out pillow can cause neck and back pain and decrease your sleep quality. If your pillow doesn’t allow you to relax, it’s time to change it.

Signs you should replace your pillow

I’m sure you had a stressed morning because you didn’t get enough sleep. And usually, people don’t pay attention to how often should pillows be replaced. They think they should go to sleep earlier or watch less TV (it’s a worthy idea too). But, if you feel tired after sleeping, it’s the first sign you should replace your pillow.

In most cases, you will feel tired because of the neck and shoulders pains. Some of my friends prefer sleeping without a pillow. But I don’t agree with them – a cushion is what supports your neck during the night and allows your spine to get the right position. If your pillow has soft spots, your body gets less support. Besides backaches, you may also wake up with the headaches that can turn to be continuous.

The dust miles and body oils are triggers for breathing problems. So, if you wake up with a runny nose, sneezing, or watery eyes and it’s not because you’re sick – try to consider the changing pillows. Mostly, only people with allergies react to the pillow’s dust. For other people, these signs are not relatable – but I know some more.

Do you want to know how long do feather pillows last? In case you have a feather pillow, you will need to fluff it to find a comfortable position. Besides, you may also fold such a pillow in half – if it stays that way, it’s a sign to replace your cushion. A worn-out pillow has eye-catching lumps in its foam. The small ones are not a problem, but if you feel the huge deepings while lying on the cushion, it’s a signal.

How often to wash pillows?

You need to remember that only pillows with the synthetic and down materials are machine washable. But it’s better to check a label before you put it in the washing machine. If your pillow is made of feather or other material, you may try a dry clean or spot clean. There is no need to clean your pillow frequently. You should wash it once every 6-8 months in hot water. If you see yellow spots or other dirt within a month or two, you better buy a protector. A pillow can wear out fast if you wash it too often.

Talking about the allergen-resistant pillow protector, you may wash it every month. It keeps your pillow clean from the dust miles, body oil, saliva, and liquids. You also need to wash a protector in hot water. The heat will kill all the allergens, so you will be able to sleep calmly for some time.

The pillowcase allows you to wash it every week or two. I recommend you to have more than two pillowcases for every cushion – they will wear out more slowly. It’s better to wash them separately from clothes, but you can easily put them together with other bed linens. You also need to replace the pillowcases through some time – it depends on their look and material, but usually, they last for a year or two.

When to replace pillows?


It will be a mistake to say that after one year you should throw away your pillow. I mean, the different pillows have a different lifespan. It depends mostly on the material, but also on how you take care of your pillow. If you wash it too frequently, it will wear out earlier. But if you provide pillow cleaning once a year or don’t have a protector, your cushion will last for a short time. So, how often should you get new pillows?

I think that you should replace your pillow when you feel like doing this. Check out the special signs that I have described above. So when you feel uncomfortable sleeping, you better change your pillow. But there is a determined lifespan for the particular material as you’re not always able to see how much dust miles are inside your cushion – so let’s consider how long should you keep a pillow.

If you search for the pillow that lasts longer, you may choose the one with buckwheat or latex filling. Such cushions last for three or even four years. But you can’t wash them, and they need additional protection. So, if you already have one, you need to consider the fact that they should have an allergens protector to allow you to use them for several years.

The down pillows can serve you for two years or a little longer. They don’t require a protector because you can wash them in a washing machine. Such materials as synthetic down and feather last from one year to two and a half. How long do tempurpedic pillows last? Well, the memory foam pillows also can be used for up to two years. The fabricated foams usually need to be replaced quicker. For example, polyester is changed in half a year or at the latest in two years with the right supervision.

How to maintain your pillow?

First of all, you better find a suitable pillowcase and allergen protector for your pillow. It’s much harder to wash pillows, especially if they are made of feather or other non washable material. You can clean the pillowcase every two weeks, so you will always have a fresh pillow. The allergen protector absorbs the body oils and liquids. Thanks to this, the dust miles have nothing to eat, so it’s a smaller probability of their development. Remember to wash it every month for the best protection.

In case you have a synthetic pillow, you need to wash it every six or even four months – it depends on its pollution level. You may use liquid detergent for high-quality cleaning. After washing, do the tumble dry. However, you can also provide the air-dry. It’s not a good idea to put a moist pillow into the cover – the mold can develop and cause breathing problems. To avoid it, you should also know how often should you buy new pillows.

Tips for the Right Pillow Replacing

I have collected the most common questions I hear about the cushion replacing. It’s time to get the answers to them!

Are old pillows bad for you?

I think no one likes it when their back or shoulders ache. An old pillow can cause various pains when you wake up in the morning. What is worse – you may feel them during the day. Besides, the worn-out cushions make you feel tired, and you won’t get a good rest at night. Through time the pillow absorbs the dead skin and body liquids. They become a buffet for the dust miles. Even the regular washing and allergens protector doesn’t work for the whole life. If you don’t want to change pillows frequently, you may choose those that last for three or four years.

Why does your pillow turn yellow?


The pillowcase doesn’t protect the foam from all the dirt that gets on it.The pillow absorbs a small part of the human body oils and sweat. During the time, the yellow spots can appear on the cushion surface.

How long does it take to get used to a new pillow?

The human body can adapt to new circumstances quickly. When you change your pillow, I recommend you to choose the one with the same filling. You will get used to the identical material and feelings a lot faster. It takes up to two weeks to become completely accustomed to the new pillow. If you want to replace your feather pillow to the synthetic one, the adaptation may take a little more time. Sometimes, you may feel uncomfortable even after the whole month. In this case, I advise you to think about cushions with another foam.

How to store pillows long term?

Some pillows are not created for long term use. If you don’t want to change a cushion frequently, consider the one with the down or feather foam. They will last for more than two years. The synthetic one will serve you up to two years. However, it’s easier to take care of it, because you can wash it in a washing machine. Regular cleaning will allow you to store a pillow long term. But don’t wash it too often – it may wear out. And also, the quality pillowcase and allergen protector helps to keep your pillow in a satisfying condition.

How often should I change my pillowcase?

If you see that your pillowcase looks dirty and not really fresh, it’s time for its replacement. The cushion cover gets the biggest amount of body oils, saliva, etc. I recommend washing it once a week or two – it depends on how quickly it gets messy. Also, it will be great to have two pillow coverings or even more because they wear out fast. You may also apply the spot clean in case you don’t want to wash the whole pillowcase, for example, if you have left a coffee spot on it.

Can pillows go in the dryer?

The pillows with the down and feather foam can’t go to the washing machine, but you may dry-clean them. So, most pillows can go in the dryer (except something else is mentioned on the label). But synthetic pillows should go on low heat settings when the feather or down cushion should have no heat or air adjustments.

How long do memory foam pillows last?

The pillows with memory foam are one of the most innovative and have excellent dust and liquid protection. That’s why they usually last for two years and more. You may also wash them in the washing machine, making them even easier to look after.

Also read:

Cushion Replacing – What Else?


So, this is what I wanted to tell you today. Now I’m sure you will take care of your pillows in the right way and replace them in time. Don’t forget that you sleep on them every night, and your health depends on their cleanness and quality. Also, pay attention to pillow washing and pillowcase cleaning – it will help you store your cushion for longer.

But don’t forget that pillows are not everlasting. If you didn’t change your pillow for a long time, today is a nice day to think about this. How often do you replace the pillows? Does it take long to get used to them for you? Leave your comments in the section below.

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