How often should you change your pillow?

How often should you change your pillow?

The humble pillow - one of our most important belongings. It cradles your head, supports your neck, and offers a soft refuge after a long day's toil.

But have you ever wondered how often you should change your pillow - and why it is necessary?

In this article, we’ll look to unravel the mysteries of pillow maintenance, aiming to ensure your nightly rendezvous with the Sandman remains nothing but delightful.

Why should you get a new pillow?

First and foremost, let's tackle the 'why' of this matter. Why should you consider changing your pillow at all? After all, it's just a pillow, right? Wrong! Your pillow plays a crucial role in your sleep quality and overall health.

Hygiene and Allergens

Over time, pillows accumulate a considerable amount of dust mites, dead skin cells, and sweat. This unsavory combination can trigger allergies and asthma, leading to restless nights and daytime discomfort. A fresh pillow can significantly reduce these allergenic elements, promoting healthier sleep.

Neck and Back Pain

An old, worn-out pillow fails to provide the necessary support for your neck and spine. It can lead to discomfort and even chronic pain in the long run. Replacing your pillow regularly can help prevent these issues and improve your posture.

Quality of Sleep

A lumpy, misshapen pillow can turn a peaceful night's sleep into a battlefield of tossing and turning. By replacing your pillow, you can enjoy a more restful slumber, leading to increased alertness and productivity during the day.

Now that we've established the 'why,' let's delve into the 'how often.'


Woman sleeping comfortably on a pillow.

Having the right pillow is essential to a good night's sleep.

How often should I replace my pillow?

The general consensus among experts suggests that you should consider replacing your pillow every 1 to 2 years. However, this timeline isn't set in stone. Several factors come into play when determining when to bid farewell to your beloved pillow.

  1. Pillow Type: Different types of pillows have varying lifespans. Memory foam pillows can last longer, often up to 3 years or more, while traditional feather or down pillows may require replacement every 1 to 2 years. Be sure to check the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific pillow.

  1. Usage: How often you use your pillow matters. If you're the kind of person who spends a lot of time in bed outside of 'sleeping hours' (we see you, Netflix bingers), your pillow is likely to wear out faster. Frequent tossing and turning can also lead to faster wear and tear.

  1. Allergies and Hygiene: If you suffer from allergies or are prone to skin conditions, you may need to replace your pillow more frequently. Regular washing and pillow protectors can help extend its lifespan.

  1. Pillow Care: Proper care can extend your pillow's life. Fluffing, airing, and using a pillow protector can help maintain its shape and hygiene.

  1. Comfort: Ultimately, your comfort is a significant factor. If you find that your pillow no longer provides the support and comfort you need, it's time to say goodbye, regardless of its age.


Signs you need to get a new pillow...

Now, how can you tell if it's time to bid farewell to your trusty pillow? Here are some signs that your pillow has seen better days:

Your pillow is flattened and lumpy

If your pillow no longer springs back to its original shape or has become lumpy and misshapen, it's time to retire it.

Allergies and Odors

Frequent sneezing, itching, or unpleasant odors emanating from your pillow are clear indicators that it's harboring allergens or bacteria.

Neck and Back Pain

If you wake up with a sore neck or back consistently, your pillow may no longer be providing adequate support.

Yellowing or Stains

Unsightly stains or discoloration are not only unappealing but also a sign that your pillow is past its prime.

Celeste Parler from the Mattress Charity tells us that sweat is often the causation of pillows turning yellow, and that regular washing and temperature regulation in your bedroom are two effective ways of tackling ths.

Dust and Debris

If you can see dust and debris emerging from your pillow even after a good fluff, it's time for a change.


How do I go about choosing a new pillow?

Now, let's address the 'how' of pillow replacement. When you decide it's time for a new pillow, here are some steps to follow:

Research - find what works for you!

Consider what type of pillow suits your sleeping style and preferences. Memory foam, latex, down, or a combination of materials – there are plenty of options available. Read reviews and consider your budget.

Testing - try before you buy...

Don't be shy about testing pillows in the store (as long as you ask first - or checking return policies if purchasing online). Lie down and see if it provides the comfort and support you desire.

Picking the right pillow protector

Once you've found your perfect pillow, invest in a good-quality pillow protector. This will help extend its lifespan by protecting it from sweat, dust, and allergens.

Pillow Rotation

If you have more than one pillow, rotate them regularly to ensure even wear and tear. This can prolong their life.


Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Regularly fluff your pillow, air it out in the sun, and wash it as recommended.


Can you recommend any top quality pillows?

At Kokoon, we have developed the Nest Pillow - making the most of our sleep science knowledge 

Tailored for individualized support, it harnesses NASA-inspired space suit-style temperature control and features soft, hypoallergenic fill sourced from natural sources.

"I cherish the cool comfort and adaptability of my Kokoon Nest Pillow; it has positively impacted my sleep!"

Catherine, Durham

Find out more on the Nest Pillow product page.


Summing it all up...

Your pillow is more than just a place to rest your head at night; it's a vital component of your sleep quality and overall health. Knowing when to bid farewell to your trusty pillow and why it's essential can make a significant difference in your comfort and well-being.

So, don't hesitate to part ways with your old pillow when it's time.


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