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Time for a Change: Hows Often Should You Change Your Pillows?

If you’ve been wondering how often should change you change your pillows, learn all about a healthy pillow routine and when it’s time for a replacement.

We’ve all heard that the average person spends close to a third of their life sleeping, that is a lot of time!

Normally when you hear that fun fact it is tied to the need to have a comfortable, quality mattress. But there is often another important element missing in this conversation.

The pillow! A good pillow can make all of the difference in your sleeping habits and patterns.

Finding the right pillow can be a real test. So much so that often we just want to keep the one we have.

But the question is how often should you change your pillows?

How Often Should You Change Your Pillows?

Often it can take a lot of trial and error to find just the right pillow. It has to have the right amount of firmness, has to fit the position you sleep in, and it has to keep you at the right temperature.

There is a time period that the pillow must be tried out to see if it really will improve the quality of our sleep.

Sadly, once we find the right pillow we then take it for granted and beat it to the ground. They are often used well past their prime.

And that is why you should know when to change your pillows so that you can continue to get great sleep.

Fails Fold Test 

First, the easiest way to know if you need to change your pillow is if it fails the fold test.

The fold test is exactly what it sounds like; fold your pillow in half and let go. If the pillow stays folded in half then it needs to be replaced. If the pillow bounces back to its original shape it may still be okay to use.

This fold test is used to see if the filling inside of the pillow has degraded to a point where it can’t hold its shape. If it can’t hold its shape then it can’t support your head, which will lead to many problems.

Physical Distortion 

Another very obvious way to know if it is time to replace pillows is if there are obvious physical distortions.

If your pillow is lumpy and bumpy when it was not that way when you purchased it the filling has most likely lost its integrity.

For the same reasons as the fold test, this lack of support from the pillow filling can lead to problems in the quality of your sleep.

Wake Up with Pain 

There really is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to sore muscles. It just is not the right way to start your day off.

A pillow is supposed to be designed to help you keep the natural curve of your spine intact while you sleep. When your pillow is not functioning correctly this is not being done.

When you stay in a compromising position for a long period of time (say seven to nine hours while you sleep) that can cause damage and result in pain.

If you are regularly waking up with pain in the neck, shoulders, or back the pillow you are using may be a big part of the problem.

Noticeable Changes

Some changes can be seen when the pillowcase is on, such as the bumpy fillings. But there are other changes that indicate it is time to change the pillow that may not be visible with the pillowcase on.

If there are stains on the pillow from sweat, drool, facial or hair oils, it is probably time to get a new pillow.

Sometimes the whole pillow will start to yellow with age which is also an indicator.

Obviously, if your pillow is starting to have a strange smell you need to replace it ASAP.

How Long Do Pillows Last?

The lifespan of a pillow mostly depends on what the pillow is made from. The range can be anywhere from six months to four years.

It can be very helpful to look up the expected amount of time your pillow should last so that you can begin to keep an eye on it around that time period.

There is a general rule that can be followed as well for ease and consistency. This is to change your pillow every six months to a year. Changing this often also ensures that your pillow is not breaking down and causing your problems.

Pillows often go under the radar when having sleep problems but really do make a big difference.

How to Maintain Pillows?

You may be wondering if there is any way to prolong the life of your beloved pillow. Or if you will just inevitably have to throw it out before you are really done with it.

The good news is that there are ways to maintain a pillow that may extend the life a little.

The main way to maintain your pillow is to wash it. And no we don’t mean just wash the pillowcase, we mean to wash the entire pillow. For obvious reasons, this is an important hygiene tip for your pillow.

Regularly changing out your pillowcase is also helpful in making sure it is clean and well-cared for.

Fluffing the pillow back into its original shape is also an effective way to maintain a pillow.

Why is it Important to Change Your Pillow?

It may seem a little dramatic to talk so much about how often to replace pillows but it really isn’t that dramatic at all.

The pillow that you choose to sleep with every night an actually make a big difference in the quality of sleep you get. And the quality of sleep that you get can be a big indicator of health and wellness.

Because sleep is so important to overall health, doing anything you can to make that as easy and restful as possible is vital.

So, how often should you change your pillows? As often as it becomes worn out is the easy answer!

For more household tips and tricks, check out our other blogs!

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