Pillows play an important yet underrated role in our sleep routine. Not only does a good pillow stay fluffy and cozy enough to make us sleepy, it is also partially responsible for maintaining our spinal alignment in bed.
Given how important they are, knowing how often you should replace pillows in your bedroom is a crucial step to making sure you’re getting a truly good night’s sleep.
Here’s everything you might have wanted to know about how often you need to be replacing your pillow, from what to do with old pillows, to coming to terms with how long pillows can actually last.
As much as you can clean your pillows to keep them hygienic and retain their shape, most experts recommend you keep them around for no longer than one to two years.
There’s a simple reason for this - when we lay our heads down to sleep on our pillows every night, we’re also shedding layers of dead skin, natural oils, and even hair. Apart from odor, this also has a tendency to attract quite naturally, dust mites.
Investing in hypoallergenic pillows can help go a long way in slowing down this process, but even with regular washing and maintenance, it’s recommended to have a routine replacement for the best quality sleep you can get.
There are a couple of tell-tale signs that’ll let you know it’s time to replace your pillow. Older pillows will usually have a clumpy fill, causing noticeable lumps and causing discomfort as you’re trying to get to sleep.
Another sign of a pillow that’s ready to retire is visible stains - these are usually caused by body oil and sweat, and won’t come away even if you try washing or cleaning them out. If you’re waking up with chronic allergies, that might be another sign your pillows have too much external debris trapped in them.
If you have feather pillows, it’s easy to tell whether or not your pillows need replacing by folding them in half. An old pillow is going to stay in the position it’s been folded in, rather than expand back out.
Older feather pillows struggle to keep their shape, so if you find yourself having to re-fluff your pillows constantly, then it’s probably time to throw them out.
Here’s a handy table for an overview of the average lifespans of different pillows. The amount of time a pillow can last in the bedroom often depends on the type of material it is made of.
|TYPE OF PILLOW||LIFESPAN|
|Memory Foam||18-36 months|
It’s important to clean and routinely replace your pillows. There are a couple of tricks to keeping them as hygienic as possible.
Wash instructions can vary depending on the type of pillow you have. For instance, it’s generally advised to air dry memory foam, whereas feathers can be put in a machine dryer.
Aim to wash your pillow once every six months. As a general rule of thumb, using the hot water setting with mild liquid detergent to clean out any light stains should be more than enough to keep your pillows properly maintained.
To dry your pillow, be sure to use the low-heat setting of your dryer, or if made of synthetic materials of any kind, air dry to avoid any risk of damage.
Finally, to extend the lifespan of your pillow for as long as possible, it is also advisable to use a cover with a zipper that acts as an extra layer between you and the surface of your pillow.
There are plenty of ways to recycle old pillows, so you don’t need to feel too bad about having to replace yours routinely.
While some nonprofits or charities might be open to taking in older pillows, most will have some conditions about pre-used items with hygiene issues in mind.
Here are some fun ideas you can use if you’re trying to repurpose your old pillows:
One of the most useful and creative ways to convert an old pillow is by turning it into a decorative cushion, whether this is a floor cushion or a throw pillow you might want to use on your sofa.
Your imagination is the limit - you can cut and sew your old pillow into different shapes, convert them into bolster cushions, and even tailor your custom covers if you have the time.
Your pets find your scent incredibly comforting, so repurposing your old pillows for them to cuddle up against or sleep on can be a great tool to train them off your bed.
Here’s a handy guide if you’re thinking of converting your old pillow back into a bed for your precious pup or kitten.
Another handy way to repurpose old pillows is to store them to use as packing material. Whether you’re sending something fragile to someone across states, or you’re thinking of making a move yourself, pillows can be a really useful way to cushion something breakable.
Memory foam pillows are especially useful for this since they can be recut or shaped according to what you need.
If you have a pillow with an organic fill, be it buckwheat or feather, it can be repurposed for your compost bin. This can be a great way to reuse your pillows and minimize your environmental footprint in doing so.
Be sure to check that there’s no synthetic material mixed into your pillow fill since this won’t decompose, and will affect the quality of your compost.
If you’ve gone through the trouble of finding the most comfortable mattress for your sleeping position, you owe it to yourself to do some research to find a pillow that is just as good. With the wide variety of pillows now available in the market, it’s possible to find something that provides equal amounts of support and comfort in a single sleep.
Memory foam pillows like the Puffy Pillow are a great option for hot sleepers who are looking to find something versatile enough for support, as well as comfort. One of the benefits of the Puffy Pillow has the zip-n-wash cover, protecting the actual foam and prolonging the life span of the product in doing so.
Finding the best pillow for your sleep is as simple as choosing something of high quality, made of materials you can trust for proper rest. The Puffy Pillow is hypoallergenic, made with Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Certified materials, and CertiPUR-US® certified foams. You’ll be resting easy and clean before you know it!