How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

When you should replace your pillow might seem like a straightforward question, but the answers you get vary depending on who you ask. Your mother might have a strong opinion, while your partner disagrees completely. At SwissAire, we’re passionate about giving you the best night’s sleep possible, so we investigated all the factors to consider when it comes to finding out how long pillows last. If you’ve ever pondered this question yourself, keep reading to find out whether your pillow is still good to go or might need to be shown the door.

How long do pillows last?

There’s no hard and fast rule to this — depending on the kind of pillow you have, the climate you live in, the materials the pillow is made from and the way it’s been maintained, a pillow may last from 6 months up to 3 years in some cases. How often to replace every type of pillow can be a little tricky, but there are some rules of thumb.

Down alternative pillows tend to become flattened and lumpy more quickly, often needing replacing after 6 months. Genuine down pillows can last longer — more like a year or two, but they do require regular cleaning and fluffing to retain their firmness and shape and might become flattened or unsupportive sooner than this. Latex and memory foam mattresses may last up to 3 years, as their material tends to be more dense and durable. They have a limit to how often they can be washed though, so make sure to choose a pillow that you can clean regularly in order to keep away dust mites, allergens, molds and fungus.

When should you replace your sleeping pillow? Some telltale signs

These time frames are all general rules, but the best way to tell if a pillow needs replacing is to keep an eye out for any of the signs of wear and tear that indicate a pillow may be past its prime.

  • Smells or odours — Unpleasant smells are a good indicator that it’s time to trade in your old pillow. Odours may indicate the presence of bacteria and mould or a build-up of allergens that can affect the air quality when you sleep, making you congested and even contributing to snoring. Washing and airing out newer pillows will help to deal with this, but if you notice odours aren’t being banished in the wash, a replacement is a must.
  • Lumpiness — Any unevenness of lumps indicates that the material filling your pillow has been damaged and degraded. Whether it has become less full over time, synthetic fibres breaking down or foam shredding and developing tears, lumps are a no-go for a decent night’s sleep — so ditch them and invest in some new pillows instead.
  • Neck pain and stiffness — If you find that you’re waking up with pain when you once slept comfortably, the problem could be your pillow. Especially when you sleep on your side, the support your pillow gives you is essential for avoiding pain and good spinal posture. If you usually don’t experience any, pain in the morning could be an indicator your pillow is to blame.
  • Deflated or flat — One of the most vital tasks of a pillow is its ability to provide you with sufficient neck and head support and allow your body to relax into the spine’s natural curvature while maintaining a neutral position. Pillows that appear to be sagging, or look flat and deflated, have probably lost the ability to provide this critical support. If in doubt, you can test a pillow’s supportiveness by folding it in half and placing a heavy shoe on one side. Let go of the fold, and if the pillow immediately springs back and pushes the shoe off, its firmness isn’t a problem. If it folds under pressure, it’s time to start shopping for a new one.
  • Discolouration — It’s natural to sweat sometimes while sleeping, and many modern pillows have moisture-wicking properties to draw sweat away during the night and provide a cooling effect. If you start to notice your pillow has become yellowed or otherwise discoloured, that’s a sign this moisture-wicking process may no longer be happening and that it’s time to trade in your old pillow for a clean new one.

How often should you change your pillows?

As well as simply replacing pillows, cleaning and refreshing your pillows with hypoallergenic washing liquid will help to extend their life, stay fresh, and prevent the buildup of nasties like bacteria or allergens. Try washing your pillow every 3 months or so, and consider changing them out with a spare pair so you can extend their life. Down pillows can be put in the dryer, but memory foam and latex need to be air-dried, so bear that in mind when you choose when to have your washing day!

Is it time to replace your pillow? Find a new one at SwissAire

If it’s been a few years since you last invested in a pillow, it just doesn’t feel as soft and comfy as it once did, or you’ve noticed your pillows looking flat and deflated even when the bed is freshly made, it’s time to treat yourself to a new one. A fresh pillow will support your spinal posture and reduce pain, won’t cause irritation from the presence of allergens, and feels fresh and clean. Plus, with modern pillows, you can choose an easily laundered, moisture-wicking and longer-lasting pillow that will give you more nights of quality shut-eye.

At SwissAire, we’re proud to offer a selection of quality Swiss-made ergonomic pillows that will give you a better sleep for longer. Our hypoallergenic memory foam pillows can be washed up to 20 times while still retaining their ergonomic design and breathable, moisture-wicking properties. We know no sleeper is the same, which is why our team is here to help you choose the perfect product for you, to give you years of sweet dreams. Talk to us about replacing your pillows and improving your sleep.