How often should you replace your pillow?

You’ve probably heard plenty about how often to replace your mattress or how often to change your sheets. But have you given much thought to how often you should change your pillow? We know how important a comfortable pillow can be for a good night’s sleep, so if you’ve found one that works for you, you’re probably not in a rush to change it. Well that might change.

Pillow

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to how often you should change out your pillow, and the answer is bound to shock you: every 6 months! That’s right, according to Robert Oexman, DC, director of the Sleep to Live Institute and at the very least within two years according to WebMD. How does yours measure up?

We’ve talked about the importance of maintaining a clean mattress before, but often times people forget about the sanitary conditions of the item just below their head. While you may not be able to see it, there is a massive amount of dirt, oil, dead skin and in some cases bugs, including mites and spiders. While this image may not be a pleasant one, it’s certainly an important one to consider, especially for those people with allergies that might have a reaction to dust and insects.

Along with your mattress, your pillow also plays an important role in keeping your spine aligned and supported so that you don’t wake up with aches and pains. Over time, pillows lose volume and firmness. The perfect support they once provided begins to decline with age. Eventually, the deflated  pillow could compress your neck or push your spine out of alignment and leave you with persistent pain. If this sounds familiar, the problem could be directly related to your old pillow. Base how often you should replace your pillow in part on how often you wake up sore in the neck and shoulders.

Now that you’re thoroughly grossed out, let’s talk about replacing those pillows. Let’s strike a balance between the Sleep to Live Institute and WebMD and recommend you replace your pillow every year. Make sure you find a pillow that is best suited to your sleep position, firmly and gently supporting your head and neck, and allows for proper alignment of your spine. We also recommend getting a pillow protector to help  extend the life of your pillow as well as prevent stains and the accumulation of allergens, dust mites and bed bugs. In some cases you can also occasionally place your pillow in the dryer on low for 20 to 30 minutes to help clear clutter, but be sure to read the manufacturers specifications to make sure you don’t damage the pillow.

In addition to asking how often you should replace your pillows, you should also be asking what kind of pillow is right for you? You may be using the wrong kind currently, contributing to restless sleep and morning stiffness. When you go to replace your pillows, consider trying out a new style specifically designed to support your sleep style. These are some of the most popular options in our inventory:

  • Down – The oldest kind of pillow remains one of the most popular because down is a lightweight, breathable material that provides support night after night. People who like a firm pillow will want a different material.
  • CoolingIf you flip your pillow over at night to sleep on the cold side, consider a cooling pillow. If transfers heat away from your body so that you stay cool and comfortable all night long. 
  • Memory FoamPillows made of memory foam are known for their consistent support and smart balance between soft and firm. Innovative new forms of memory foam also do a better job of diffusing body heat. 
  • ContourPeople who sleep on their back or side often struggle to keep their neck and shoulders supported. Contour pillows provide a recessed surface that cradles the head instead of forcing it to bend in a way that throws the spine out of alignment. 

You can find all these styles at a Sit n’ Sleep location near you. Put each one to the test, and decide for yourself which one feels most comfortable. Won’t regret ditching your old pillow for something that is soft, supportive, and perfectly suited to your sleep style.

So, when was the last time you replaced your pillow?

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