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How often you should change your pillow?

If you’re someone who keeps their pillows for a very long time, this is going to be some news that you probably shouldn’t take lying down.

While it’s recommended that you replace your mattress every 10 years, medical professionals actually advocate a much shorter service life for those cute pillows that you’ve been clinging to over the years. More on the specific reasons later, but the bottom line is that experts suggest replacing your pillows every two years.


You may be thinking “Gee, 24 months seems like an awfully short lifespan for a pillow, especially since it can take a little while to form a new one just the way I like it.” It also sounds like a significant expense, since some companies will have you believe that it’s necessary to spend a lot of money for comfy goose-down pillows. That simply couldn’t be further from the truth, and after you read about what goes on when you lay your head down, you’ll realize that it might be worth the additional expense.

Why the Short Lifespan?

The simple answer to why you should change your pillow every two years is that pillows get extremely dirty in a short amount of time. First, you should consider skin cells. The human body is made up of more than 10 trillion cells, and your skin accounts for 16% of that total number. As you constantly grow new skin cells, your body sheds the older ones as they die off to the tune of 40,000 every hour which adds up to just under one million dead cells in any given 24-hour period. Obviously, your head only accounts for a fraction of your total cell loss, but it’s still enough to contribute significantly to the grime in your pillow.

After skin cells, the next thing that contributes to the rapid decay of your pillows is the dirt, oil and makeup residue that remains on your face, even after washing. Try as hard as you can scrub all of that stuff from your skin, it’s virtually impossible to remove everything, and you gradually transfer the leftovers to your pillow while you sleep through the night. Those cute pillows are starting to look a lot less attractive right now, aren’t they?

One final thing to consider is that dust mites and other critters love to live in the nooks and crannies that pillows provide and feed from dead skin cells. In case you were wondering, dust mites are extremely small (less than a third of a millimetre) members of the spider family that make their homes in bedding, pillows and other household surfaces. You may not be able to see them, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there, and they’re attracted to the same air pockets that make your favourite goose-down pillows warm and comfy.

What is the Impact?

If the mere presence of a pile of discarded skin cells and minuscule arachnids wasn’t reason enough to make you consider a new set of pillows, there are some real health concerns to take into account. First and foremost, dust mites produce digestive enzymes that can cause allergic reactions such as wheezing, which can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Aside from mites, other allergens such as pet dander can also accumulate in your pillow.

Even if you aren’t particularly sensitive to allergens, you should also take the health of your skin into account. You wash all of that dirt and grime off of your face at the end of the day to make sure that your pores stay clean, so why would you then go and lay down on a pillow full of things that could clog your pores up again? The bottom line is that sleeping on a dirty pillow can lead to acne and a host of other skin conditions.

What Can You Do?

Obviously, the most important thing you can do is keep track of how often you’re changing your pillows and don’t let them go for longer than two years without replacement. Yes, money is definitely something to consider, but if you’re on a budget, it’s better to buy a few cheap pillows as replacements than continue to sleep on older pillows that could negatively impact your health. One added bonus is that changing your pillows will allow you to upgrade the way you sleep, and here are a few suggestions.

Gel Pillows

Have you ever had difficulty sleeping because your pillow just refuses to stay at a comfortable temperature? A gel pillow solves that problem by taking the heat that you produce and dispersing it throughout the body of the pillow instead of creating a warm spot where you rest your head. The result is a comfortable night’s sleep without having to constantly wake up and flip your pillow over in a futile quest to stay on the cool side.

contoured pillow
Complete Sleeepr Gel Infused Pillow

Long Pillows

If you’re looking for some all-around relaxation, consider adding an extremely versatile body pillow to your bed. These long pillows are great for a multitude of uses, the best being that you can wrap your body completely around it to totally envelop yourself in comfort. Body pillows are also great to help prop yourself up to do some reading or watch television, and you can even use them to provide support should you ever need to cuddle up on the floor.

Therapeutic Options

No sleeper is unique, and everyone has their own personal needs. Pregnancy, snoring and circulation issues are all medical conditions with challenges that can be eased with proper support in bed. Maternity support cushions can help ease the stress on the body of an expectant mother. Leg wedges can help people sleep on their sides, which can drastically cut down on instances of snoring. If circulation is your problem, a pillow with a magnetic insert can help increase blood flow.

Make the Change Today

If you’ve been stubbornly hanging on to the same pillows for the last five or ten years, it’s time to throw them out. Your favourite goose-down pillows could be harbouring all sorts of things that are detrimental to your health, so you might as well take this opportunity to upgrade. Not only will you have new, cute pillows, but you’ll also be sleeping better in a completely clean environment.

Do you want to learn more? Read our Frequently Asked Questions for...

It is recommended to change your pillowcases at least once a week. Pillowcases can accumulate dirt, sweat, oils, and dead skin cells over time, which can lead to the growth of bacteria and allergens. Regularly changing your pillowcases helps maintain a clean and hygienic sleeping environment. Additionally, if you have allergies or sensitive skin, changing your pillowcases more frequently, such as every few days, may be beneficial to minimize potential irritants.

Remember, pillow change frequency may vary depending on individual factors such as personal hygiene, lifestyle, and skin condition. If you notice any stains, odors, or visible dirt on your pillowcase, it is a clear sign that it needs to be changed sooner. By keeping your pillowcases fresh and clean, you can promote better sleep quality and overall well-being.

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It is recommended to change your pillows every 1 to 2 years. Over time, pillows accumulate dust mites, dead skin cells, and sweat, which can affect their cleanliness and comfort. Regular pillow change ensures a fresh and hygienic sleep environment, promoting better sleep quality and reducing the risk of allergies or respiratory issues. If you notice your pillow becoming lumpy, flat, or no longer providing adequate support, it may be a sign that it needs to be replaced sooner. Remember, a good night's sleep starts with a fresh and supportive pillow, so don't forget to consider a pillow change every 1 to 2 years for a comfortable and healthy sleep experience.

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Contour pillows, also known as contoured pillows, are designed to provide better support and alignment for your head, neck, and shoulders while you sleep. These pillows are shaped with curves and contours that follow the natural curves of your body, allowing for a more comfortable and personalized sleeping experience.

The unique design of contour pillows offers several benefits. Firstly, they help to alleviate neck and shoulder pain by promoting proper spinal alignment. The contoured shape cradles your head and neck, reducing pressure points and ensuring that your spine remains in a neutral position throughout the night. Secondly, contour pillows can improve your overall sleep quality. By providing optimal support, they help to reduce tossing and turning, allowing you to enjoy a more restful and uninterrupted sleep.

Contour pillows, or contoured pillows, are indeed better for those seeking improved comfort and support during sleep. Their unique shape and design promote proper spinal alignment, alleviate neck and shoulder pain, and enhance overall sleep quality. If you are looking for a pillow that can provide personalized support and help you wake up feeling refreshed, a contour pillow may be the ideal choice for you.

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Contour pillows are designed to provide better support and alignment for your head, neck, and shoulders while you sleep. Unlike traditional pillows, contour pillows have a unique shape that follows the natural curves of your body. This helps to reduce pressure points and promote proper spinal alignment, resulting in a more comfortable and restful sleep. The contoured design of these pillows can also help alleviate neck and shoulder pain, as well as reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Overall, contour pillows offer a more personalized and supportive sleep experience, making them a popular choice for those seeking improved comfort and sleep quality.

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Contour pillows can be beneficial for individuals experiencing neck pain. These pillows are specifically designed to provide support and alignment to the neck and head, which can help alleviate discomfort. The unique shape of contour pillows helps to cradle the neck and promote proper spinal alignment, reducing strain on the neck muscles. By providing adequate support, contour pillows can help relieve tension and pressure, allowing the neck muscles to relax and recover during sleep. Many people find that using a contour pillow can improve their sleep quality and reduce neck pain, making it a suitable option for those seeking relief.

Contour pillows are designed to support the neck and promote proper spinal alignment, making them a good choice for individuals experiencing neck pain. These pillows can help alleviate discomfort by cradling the neck and reducing strain on the neck muscles. By providing adequate support, contour pillows can improve sleep quality and allow the neck muscles to relax and recover. If you suffer from neck pain, using a contour pillow may be worth considering to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall sleep experience.

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Yes, contour pillows can be beneficial for side sleepers. These pillows are specifically designed to provide support and alignment to the head, neck, and shoulders, which is crucial for maintaining a proper sleeping posture. The unique shape of contour pillows, with a dip in the middle and raised edges, helps cradle the head and neck, promoting spinal alignment and reducing pressure points. This can alleviate discomfort and prevent the development of aches or stiffness that side sleepers may experience. By offering personalized support, contour pillows can enhance the quality of sleep for side sleepers, allowing them to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

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Yes, firm pillows can be beneficial for neck pain. When you sleep on a firm pillow, it provides better support to your neck and helps maintain proper alignment with your spine. This can alleviate strain on your neck muscles and reduce discomfort. Firm pillows are especially recommended for individuals who sleep on their back or side, as they help keep the head and neck in a neutral position throughout the night. However, it's important to note that the ideal pillow firmness may vary from person to person, so it's essential to find the right balance of support and comfort that works best for you.

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therapeutic pillow family

The Therapeutic Pillows Family

We are a 50-year-old family-owned business & are Australia's leading manufacturer of quality pillows, supports and comfort products. We have proudly produced our range exclusively for Health Professionals for over 40 years.

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