How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows? – Natural Form
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How Often Should You Replace your Pillows?

How Often Should You Replace your Pillows?

How Often Should You Replace your Pillows?

Along with your mattress, your pillow plays an important role when you settle down to sleep each night. Not only does it provide you with a comfortable place to lay your head, but it helps with your spine alignment too.

However, your pillow will not last forever. There will come a time when you have to replace it, and we go into detail on why and how often below.

Why should you replace your pillows?

Your pillows aren’t made to last forever. Over time, all pillows wear out, so it is important to replace your pillows occasionally. You don’t have to do this on a monthly basis, but as a general rule, every 1 to 2 years is advised.

There are two key reasons why:

Better hygiene

As you sleep, your sweat, body oil, hair, and dead skin cells are all absorbed by your pillows. The buildup of these fluids and flakes will eventually cause your pillows to smell, and this is thanks to the residue that has been left behind. Washing your pillows and pillow covers can help, but this won’t always get rid of the dust mites and other allergens that will have accumulated over time. For the purposes of better hygiene then, and for a better night’s sleep without an allergic reaction, you can understand how a new pillow will be better for you.

Pain prevention

Your pillow, along with your mattress, is there is to keep your spine neutral. It supports your head and neck in perfect alignment with your spine, and in theory, should give you a comfortable night’s sleep. Over time, however, soft spots develop in the pillow, and this is because of the heaviness of your head. A flattened pillow can’t support your head and neck correctly, so you might start to feel neck pain after a while. It might be that you wake up to a pounding headache after a night on a flat pillow too.

Signs it's time to replace your pillows

The name bunkie board comes from the fact that they were first made for bunk beds. Box springs are too large to use with tall bunk beds, so thinner supports were created in the form of bunkie boards. Now they are available for every size of bed, not just bunk beds, and can offer a low-profile and space-saving way to support your mattress. The bunkie board has come a long way since it was first created, and you can now even find decorative options if you’re looking for a bunkie board that matches your bedroom decor. Plenty of people still use bunkie boards and they’re a great option for your bed.

Your spot color changes

Thanks to the sweat, body oils, and facial makeups you might wear, you will eventually notice discoloration on your pillowcase. This isn’t a huge problem as you can simply put the pillowcase in the washing machine. However, when you notice discoloration on your pillow too, you know it’s time to purchase a new one.

Your head and neck don't feel supported

If your head lolls this way or that during the night, and if you often wake up with your head off the pillow, then you know it isn’t supporting your head and neck properly. As we suggested earlier, you might also experience neck pain or headaches when you wake up, and there could be stiffness in your neck too. For the benefit of your health, these are situations you need to avoid, so upgrade your pillow ASAP.

Your nose picks up a suspicious smell

As we mentioned, your pillow will start to smell after a while. Considering the amount of sweat and skin cells you lose as you sleep, it’s little wonder. The change to the pillow’s odor will happen gradually, so you might not notice it straight away. However, when it becomes a little more pungent, you will know the time has definitely come to purchase a new pillow.

The pilllow has changed shape

If your pillow isn’t looking as plump as it used to, and if it has become decidedly lumpy, then you will know it is no longer ideal for your head and neck support. Of course, the fact that you probably haven’t been able to get comfortable is another sign that the pillow has long since passed its prime. Rather than spend another night trying in vain to fluff your pillow or smooth away those lumps, replace it with something new.

You have altered your sleep position

Different types of pillows accommodate different sleeping positions, so if you have decided to change the way you sleep, it might be that a change in pillow is needed. Thicker pillows are often needed for people sleeping on their side, for example, and the height should be lower for people sleeping on their back. Commit to a Google search online with regards to your sleeping style, and purchase a pillow that is right for you.

Your pillow failed the bend test

A pillow that snaps back into its original position after being bent in half is still in good shape. A pillow that doesn’t, on the other hand, has seen better days. If it has lost its shape, it will no longer be able to support you, and so you might experience pain and a disruption to your sleep.

Maintaining Your Pillows

While it’s advisable to change your pillow every 1-2 years, there are things you can do to slightly extend its lifespan.

Keeping your pillows covered with an extra pillowcase or blanket can help, as they will absorb the fluids and flakes that your head leaves behind.

You should also shake your pillows frequently to remove any built-up dust and debris.

And if it’s okay to machine wash your pillows (check the tag), you should do so once every 4-6 months at a high temperature. The hot water will kill the allergens that have accumulated in your pillows.


A good night’s sleep is essential for proper rest and better health. For this reason, it is important to change your pillows every year or so to boost your sleep quality. Look out for the signs of wear that we have mentioned here, and change your pillows when you think it is right to do so.

Be sure to consider your mattress too, and if it is no longer as comfortable as it used to be, take a look at the mattresses that are available on our website.