Sometimes, the best part of the day is laying your head down on your pillow at its end. A fresh pillow is just so inviting, but there comes a point where your pillow isn't so fresh anymore. In fact, you need to replace your pillows more often than you probably thought. According to the National Sleep Foundation, pillows should be replaced every one to two years. This is because it's both hygienic and helps you sleep better.
Why Do I Need to Replace My Pillow?
When you keep your pillow for too long, it gets gross. Over time, your pillow absorbs body oil, dead skin cells, and hair, which creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, since they feed on dead skins and they need a warm humid environment to survive. Dust mites can cause allergies, leaving you with symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, and sneezing. Dust mite allergies make it harder to get a good night's sleep and wake up in the morning feeling well rested.
Washing your pillow every four to six months in hot water and drying it completely will reduce the presence of dust mites, but it won't get rid of them for good. But hygiene is not the only reason for replacing your pillow. You also want to make sure you have good head and neck support.
A good pillow keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine. Pillows lose their shape over time, mainly from the weight of your head on them night after night, and when your pillow no longer provides good support, you may wake up with headaches or neck and shoulder pain.
How Do I Know It's Time to Replace My Pillow?
Depending on your sleep patterns and your pillow's material, the exact time to replace your pillow may vary between one and two years. If you are waking up with headaches or neck and shoulder pain, or allergy symptoms are keeping you up at night, it is time for a new pillow. You should also get a new pillow if you see stains that don't go away with washing, the pillow feels lumpy or flat, or if it doesn't spring back when you fold it in half.