How Often Should You Change (and Clean) Your Pillows?

If you can’t really recall when the last time you changed your pillow was, it might be the right time to do it.

There is a general rule of thumb that you ought to do so at least once a year or two years at worst.

There are a few different reasons for which you’d want to consider doing so, and we’ve taken the liberty of elaborating a bit on this topic.

Why Replace Your Pillow

Better Sleep

Your pillow has a direct impact on the way your neck and head are supported, and when they are brand new, the support is the best. This keeps your spine aligned which translates to a great night of sleep. Keep this in mind.

Hygiene

You sweat. That’s a fact. Furthermore, your dead skin cells peel and all of this gets absorbed in the pillow. With time, you might experience certain allergic reactions or skin inflammations resulting from these – it’s important to keep this in mind.

four white pillows on a white duvet bed cover

How Often Should I Wash My Pillow?

The general rule of thumb is three weeks, even though you could do it more frequently. This is what’s considered a great habit to get into. Should you do so, rest assured that you wouldn’t experience any issues regarding hygiene.

Types of Pillows & Replacement Timeline

Memory foam

Memory foam pillows should be replaced once a year. Their conforming is great, but they tend to sag. The material is not that reliable, and that’s the main reason for it.

Down Pillow

Down pillows should also be changed once a year, maybe a little longer than that. They tend to lump quite a bit, and it is at that point they’d become unusable.

Latex

Latex is more durable than memory foam, and as such, if you have a latex pillow, you can replace it once every two years. They are more expensive as well.

Feather-based

Feather-based are amongst the most common types out there, and they are also usually the more inexpensive ones. You should change these at least once a year even though certain people recommend even more often.

Bamboo

These should be changed once every year and a half as bamboo fibers tend to be a bit more reliable than cotton ones.

woman sleeping on bamboo pillow

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pillows go in the dryer?

Some of them can – others can’t. For instance, you can throw a bamboo pillow in the dryer, but you can’t put a feather-based one in it as you risk making a substantial mess.

Are there health risks associated with an old pillow?

The more you use a pillow, the more its properties diminish. Think of it as amortization. An old and inappropriate pillow could cause spinal misalignment so – yes, there are health risks associated with old pillows.

Conclusion


The most important thing to consider is your health. As such, you are obligated to ensure that everything is handled as per the highest standards. Follow the above guidelines to guarantee that your pillow is in perfect condition and that it delivers the necessary capabilities.

Sources and References:

  1. When Should You Replace Your Pillow? – sleep.org
  2. Pillows: A Hot Bed Of Fungal Spores – sciencedaily.com

More Readings:

Author: Sarah Cummings

I think we’re all nerds, but I’m probably the biggest nerd in the group. Put me nose deep in a spreadsheet and I’ll start smiling.

I love to travel, hang out with positive people, and love cycling when I find the time!

My hope is that everyone who visits our site will walk away with a fresh perspective. I think too many people in society downplay the importance of sleep. In my opinion, it’s the difference between an average life and an amazing one.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    laura ann May 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Latex (Taladay) pillows are the best ever, I’ve had one for a year, bought two extra (on sale) to use when first one gets old. Malouf brand. I use a protective cover.

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