I have been doing research on and writing reviews about mattresses for a couple of years now, and one question I hear the most has to do with pillows: How often should you replace your pillow? Well, let me start by saying that there is no formula you can use to calculate the time after which you should replace your pillow. However, there are certain signs that indicate that the time has come to get a new pillow.


Let’s start with the fairly obvious sign. If your pillow requires you to re-fluff or punch it to get rid of the lumps forming within it, it is probably time for you to get a new pillow. When a pillow reaches this state, the person using it will definitely be able to feel the decline in the quality as well as the comfort level of the pillow.

If you are the type of person who does not really pay attention to whether or not your pillow has lost its fluffiness, need not worry! There is yet another way to test if you need to change your pillow. Simply take your pillow and try folding it in half. If it returns to its normal state once you leave it, your pillow is fine. However, if it stays folded, you may need to start looking for a new one.

NOTE: If you are more comfortable with a specific period within which you need to replace your pillow, it is best to replace your pillow every 1 to 2 years.

Why should I replace my pillow?

There are many reasons that make replacing your pillow regularly a necessity, and 2 of the main points are explained below:

Sound Sleep

The main reason why people use pillows is to get a good night’s sleep. Some people prefer to sleep without pillows, while others simply feel awkward sleeping without one. This awkward feeling is caused by the misalignment of your spine. Your head and neck require proper support, which helps with the proper alignment of your spine, which In turn gives you a good night’s sleep. The problem with pillows is that they tend to get softer and flatter over a period of time, which means that they tend to lose their comfort over time; this goes for pillows made of all types of materials. Replacing your pillow once in a while helps you maintain the level of comfort you are probably used to, and also helps you take care of your body by giving it the good night’s sleep it so badly craves every night.


Although the decline in comfort level is the most evident sign that it is time to change your pillow, there are other forms of wear and tear that your pillow goes through that may not be as visible. As you rest your head on your pillow overnight, body oils, dead skin cells and other fluids easily get absorbed into your pillow and stay there. If this may not seem like such a big deal to you, think of it this way. Dead skin cells on your pillow feed hundreds of tiny dust mites. After about 2 years of usage, it is said that approximately 10% of your pillow’s weight will consist of dust mites and dead skin cells. The problem is not the dust mites itself, but the excreta of the mites. There is an enzyme in the excreta of the mites that is capable of even inducing allergic reactions in people. For people suffering from asthma, it can make the condition even worse.

How can I make my pillow last longer?

The obvious answer to this question would be that you can make your pillow last longer by taking better care of it. Here are some of the ways in which you can take better care of your pillow:
  • Experts advise you to use a protective cover for your pillow, which can help keep body fluids such as sweat, body oils, and worst of all, drool! In order to keep the cover fresh from all the aforementioned fluids, you may want to toss it in the washing machine at least once a month.
  • Washing your actual pillow is the next step. Although experts suggest that it is best to wash your pillow at least once every 3 months, rarely any people out there would consider washing their pillow so frequently. In my opinion, if you wash your pillow at least once a year, you should be good to go. How frequently you must wash your pillow will depend on the way you use it.
  • If you have a non-washable pillow, you should first take care of stains with a cloth slightly dipped in soap water, after which you can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dirt, or toss it in the dryer on “air only” setting for 15-20 minutes.
To sum it all up, you can start of by taking good care of your pillow. You can do this by cleaning it regularly, and by not using it too roughly. However, you should only do this until you start feeling discomfort or stiffness in the neck area, which indicates a decline in the comfort level of the pillow. And for those of you out there who do not know how to check for all these signs, 2 years is the perfect period after which you should start shopping for a brand new pillow. After all, there are so many options out there to choose from!