When should I replace my pillow?


It is widely accepted that proper sleep is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. Just like getting enough exercise and eating a balanced diet, quality sleep helps with brain function, mood regulation, and overall health.

When it comes to sleep, there are several things you can do to help ensure that you are getting enough high quality sleep. Things like purchasing a good mattress and creating the right sleep environment are the most commonly talked about. One factor that is often overlooked is a person’s pillow.

Pillows are an incredibly important component of good sleep. They support your neck and head and one that is poor quality or past its life span can lead to a stiff neck, shoulders and back. One question that we often face at WR Mattress is: “When should I replace my pillow?”

There is no hard and fast answer to the question since not all pillows are made equally. The general consensus is between six months to two years. To help you know when to replace your pillow, consider the following things:

Pillows break down

Like anything, pillows break down over time, especially since it supports the weight of your head for up to eight hours every single night. The rate of break down will depend on what the pillow is made of. Some common materials include: down feathers, synthetic polyester materials, and foam. Polyester normally breaks down quickest while down and foam (depending on the quality) can last longer.

Pillows absorb

While it’s not very pleasant to think about, pillows end up being receptacles for all kinds of things that bodies shed overnight. From skin cells to sweat and tears and drool, all of these things can accumulate in pillows. Pretty icky stuff.

Pillows can affect your health

It’s not just neck stiffness that pillows can affect, it’s also your respiratory health. When a pillow absorbs all the things a body sheds, it creates the perfect condition for dust mites to move in. Dust mites are common allergens and can cause itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and wheezy breathing. If you are experiencing those symptoms, consider if it’s because of your pillow.

Pillows need cleaning

Many people don’t realize that many pillows can go in the washing machine (though foam pillows and real down can not). Read the washing instructions to wash every few months. If the pillows cannot withstand a washing machine, it’s a good idea to at least take them outside and give them a few good whacks to get some of the dust out.

Pillows can be protected

Most people use pillow cases over their pillows, but there are also pillow protectors that help prolong a pillow’s life. These should be washed as often as the pillow case.

Pillows do need replacing

If this wasn’t obvious yet, we’ll make it clear now. Pillows should be replaced from every six months to every two years. Exactly how often will depend on things like how well you care for your pillows, how much you sweat and drool overnight, and what kind of material the pillow is made from.

If your pillow is feeling lumpy, your neck is sore when you wake up, or your pillow is starting to smell, it’s probably time to replace it. Remember that it can affect your overall health and wellbeing and that pillows are a worthy investment.

If you have any questions about what pillow is right for you or if it’s time to replace your pillow, come down to our showroom. If you are in the White Rock, Surrey or Langley area, our experienced staff will help find the right fit for you.