When Should You Replace Your Pillows?


Your pillow might seem to be less detrimental as compared to your mattress. But, have you ever realize that it does play a key role as your trusty companion? Well, an average adult sleeps for 7 to 10 hours which translates to about 600 hours in three months time.

Although the topic of when should you replace your pillows is always welcomed with strong differing opinions, one thing is clear for sure. Now, when you’re asleep, you tend to sweat and drool a lot. What happens is that your pillow absorbs the sweat, body oil, make up, and hairs which, when you’re not careful, might become a breeding spot for bacteria, bugs and dust mites.

But, when should you replace your pillow? Now, the answer to this question is always up for debate though it differs depending on the circumstances. With that said, here are seven glaring obvious signs that will confirm to you that its time to change your pillow.

Waking up with a stiff neck

If you happen to wake up with a stiff neck every morning, then don’t just blame it on injury but instead consider examining your pillow. You see, as your pillow ages, it tends to lose its supportive characteristics making it thin as compared to how you bought it.

Once it loses its bounce and firmness completely, it can no longer support your head and neck leading to poor positioning of the spine. When this happens, it’s a clear sign that you should change your pillows or try adding some fluff to make it more supportive.

You’re sneezing a lot

An occasional sneeze is nothing to worry about. But frequent sneezing each time you wake up is something of a concern. Like we mentioned earlier, dead skin, make up, body oils, sweat, and drools all end up on your pillow making it a hotbed for dust mites.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, humans shade enough skin to feed over a million dust mites. With such a huge number of dust mites, not to mention their feces, your pillow will definitely trigger and exacerbate asthma and allergic reactions which start with frequent sneezing.

So, to remedy this problem, its either you change your pillow or invest in a high-standard zippered allergy resistant pillow protector.

Is your pillow lumpy?

The primary goal of your pillow is to support your head and neck to keep you comfortable when sleeping. Now, as your pillow ages, this type of lumber support diminishes making your pillow feel like its clumping together to form lumps and bumps.

With time, these lamps and bumps start to press your head when sleeping making you very uncomfortable. In fact, they sometimes tend to change your sleeping position as your body is already facing difficulty repositioning itself. When things get to this point, then it’s definitely time to gift yourself a new pillow.

Has your sleep position changed?

If yes, then it’s time to change your pillow. You see, if you were once a side sleeper and you’ve changed to back or stomach sleeping, then changing your pillow will do you more good than harm. Sometimes, you might be forced to change your sleeping position due to injuries, pregnancy or aging.  So, If you are pregnant, find the ideal pregnancy pillow for your needs.

This means that your preferences too will change as using the previous pillow might make you downright uncomfortable. So, in such a scenario, simply change to a pillow that will meet your specific sleeping position or alternatively, go for a completely customizable pillow.

When it starts to smell

Is your pillow stained or smelly whenever you put your head down? Well, these are clear signs that it needs to be replaced. You see, when you’re asleep, your body excretes sweat, body oils, and dead skin. With time these stuff gradually penetrate through the pillow leaving stains and causing odors that cannot be removed.

So, if you notice any of these two signs, then it’s definitely time to replace your pillow. On a side note, don’t mistake these odors with the synthetic smell of new memory foam. Also, if your pillow is easily washed to remove the stains and odors, then you can clean it on a regular basis.

Does it fail a bend test?

If you bend your pillow into half and you notice it doesn’t get back to its original position, then that’s a clear sign it’s begging to be replaced. When a pillow is in good shape, regardless of whether its thin or thick, should spring back to its original shape when bent and released.

If it doesn’t, then it clearly shows it has completely lost its supportive power and can no longer support your head and neck when sleeping.

You don’t know anything about it

There are rare cases when you’re sleeping on a pillow and you don’t know anything about it. If you’re that person that owns an ancient pillow and you probably have no clue on how to clean it or which material it’s made of, then it’s probably time that you ditch that pillow and look for a fresh start.

In most cases, having a pillow whose origin is a mystery means that you probably don’t know which materials it’s made of. Therefore, cleaning it will definitely be a problem as you’re not sure whether to dip it in the washer or to dry clean it.

Its way past its expiry date

The life expectancy of your pillow greatly depends on the type, the use and how frequently it’s cleaned. However, to keep track of your pillow, it’s always wise to note which material it’s made of and the date you purchased it. Through this, you’ll be able to know how you should clean it and when to dispose it.

For instance, polyester pillows are low in quality and should last for at least 6 to 24 months. Memory foam pillows are high-standard and can go for 18 to 36 months.


So, that’s it for today. In case you’re experiencing any of the above signs in your sleeping rituals, then it’s definitely time to gift yourself a new pillow. With the advancement in technology, the traditional pillow has totally been improved allowing it to feature a combination of breathable fabrics with high-tech materials to reduce the transfer of sweat and oils through the pillow.

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