How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows? 

Designed to retain their shape to provide continued support, even the best pillows will eventually need to be replaced. But often do you need to replace your pillows? And how will you know if it’s time? Find out here…

After a long day at work, do you dream of resting your head down on a comfy pillow – only to get home and realise the reality is nothing to write home about? Maybe you’ve had that pillow for years and just can’t seem to part with it. It might not have even occurred to you that pillows aren’t supposed to last an eternity! Either way, there’s an unfortunately high probability that the pillow you just slept on is full of bacteria, fungi, dust mites, dust mite faeces, thousands of pieces of your skin flakes, and (hate to say it) probably a lot of drool from over the years.

Gross right? Dust mites don’t appeal to anyone. These tiny creatures add extra weight to your pillow and impair its ability to stay supportive long-term. Dust mites are not dangerous, but they feed on your skin, which is quite frankly, repulsive to think about! They’re a red flag for people with allergies too, worsening allergy symptoms to the extent that they interfere with sleep.

Trio of images of pillows

Putting those little critters aside, your pillow plays an integral role in supporting your neck while you sleep. Like your mattress, your pillow should offer the support and contouring your body needs to ensure maximum rest in correct alignment. After all, you should sleep the same way you stand. If you feel your
neck is arched to far forward or too far back, this means you are in need for a new pillow.

So how often should you replace your pillow?

The rule of thumb is to replace your pillow every 1 to 2 years. Certain types of pillows last longer than others, due to the quality and construction of their materials. Latex, memory foam and poly foam are some of the better options. To really maximise your pillow’s lifespan, protect it with a pillow protector and cover.

But how will you know if it’s really time to ditch your old favourite?

If you answer yes to any of these quick questions then chances are, it’s time you got yourself a new pillow!

  • Are you experiencing neck or shoulder aches and pain?
  • Can you see noticeable stains?
  • Are you always hot when you sleep?
  • Do you toss and turn a lot trying to get comfortable?
  • Have your allergies flared up?
  • Do you continuously wake up with headaches?
  • Is your pillow too flat or too high for your profile?

The right pillow will support your spine in stress-free alignment, regardless of your favourite sleep position: on your back, your side or your stomach. Just like finding the right mattress for your body, finding a pillow that genuinely supports the natural contours of your spine is life changing. Especially if you’ve been dragging your feet to replace your pillows for a while…

Beds for Backs stocks a premium selection of sleep accessories and pillows. Ask one of our sleep specialists at your nearest ergonomic sleep centre for help choosing your perfect pillow.