How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow

7 min read
7 min read

When it’s about comfort, the first thing that comes to mind is getting a comfortable mattress or a bed—may be setting the room lights or organizing your bedroom to optimize comfort. Changing the pillows is the last thing that comes to mind. Are you aware, how often should you replace your pillows? 

You spend so much time in bed with your head resting peacefully on a pillow. Therefore, replacing pillows should be done regularly as they majorly provide you comfort after a mattress. 

This article will discuss why it is important to replace your pillows, how often you should buy new pillows, and how you can take care of them. 

How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

Experts usually say you should replace your pillows once every 1-2 years. By doing this, you ensure that you use clean and supportive pillows that are good for the head and body. Using fresh pillows also lowers the chances of skin and allergic reactions. Most people do not know this, but you should invest in silk pillows if you want to take care of your skin and reduce hair fall. Silk pillows are gentle on the skin and lower the chances of any skin infections too.  

You should replace your pillows if they start sagging or feel uncomfortable. The main purpose of a pillow is to provide support and comfort. Hence you should replace them if you see them turning yellow. Different pillows have different lifelines. Hence, you should know when to replace which type of pillow. 

Pillow type
When to replace
Memory Foam
Every 2 to 3 years
Latex
Every 2 to 4 years
Buckwheat
Every 3 years
Down/feature
Every 18 months to 3 years
Polyfoam
Every 2 to 3 years
Bamboo
Every 1 to 3 years
Down Alternative
Every 18 months to 2 years

Why Should You Replace Your Pillows?

It is not hygienic to sleep on the same pillow forever. You might find your perfect sleeping pillow, but in the end, it is just a pillow. You need to understand here that your pillow, however comfortable it might be, has an expiration date. This is because most of them are made from natural materials, which would perish after a certain period of time. 

Here are a few reasons why you should replace your pillow regularly. 

To reduce allergies 

Like it or not, your pillow at some point will become the reason you have skin infections. The bed, mattress, pillows, and sheets are the perfect environment for mite and dust to settle down. If you do not clean your pillows deeply, you’ll soon be having secret encounters with mites thriving on your dead skin. Sounds eww, right? 

So, to avoid allergens and mites having a party on your skin and causing you discomfort, you should regularly wash your pillows and replace them from time to time. 

To maintain bed hygiene 

As mentioned above, the bed is the perfect environment for mites and allergens to grow. Moreover, your sweat, saliva, body oil, and dead skins rest on the pillows. Your pillows absorb these, and thus, you need to clean them regularly. These fluids can create a habitual environment for molds and might even start to smell. 

Washing the pillows might get rid of the foul smells but not so sure about the allergens. That’s why, to maintain simple bed hygiene, you should change your pillows every 2-3 years. 

Avoid unnecessary pain 

There comes a time when your pillow doesn’t support you the way it is supposed to. In such cases, you’ll find yourself in pain when you wake up. Most pillows give more trouble than giving support once their time is up. They develop flat spots, and in such cases, there is no point clinging to the same pillow. 

If you’re also noticing some increased neck pain or headaches, then you know what needs to be done. Not just neck pain, you might feel body pain from sleeping on an unsupportive pillow. 

Your pillow has lost its shape 

Your pillow, at some point, will lose its fluffy shape and feel. It might soften from parts or feel stretchy from other parts. This increases if you fold the pillow when sleeping. You might see some lumps or flatten in the pillows soon. 

These problems can arise when you choose low-quality pillows. These tend to wear out soon and offer poor support. A pillow should be thick, fluffy, comfortable, and smooth from all sides. If yours is not the same, then you know, it’s time to replace them.  

Pillows cannot last forever 

Whether it’s a new bed or a pillow, comfort is the key. With time, your pillow might not be as comfortable as it once was. Although various types of pillows are available in the market that offers different lifespans, a pillow will simply not last forever. 

Pillows should feel comfortable enough to send you right to dreamland. If you cannot see that happening, then you should get a new pillow for sure. 

When Should You Replace Your Pillows?

As there are various types of pillows available in the market, the lifespan of a pillow is roughly up to 3 years. Although you should replace your pillows as per their expiry date, you should replace them anyway if you see the below-mentioned reasons. 

  • You wake up with neck and headaches 
  • You can see folds in the pillow 
  • Your pillow is not that comfortable 
  • You can see lumps, or the pillow has changed its shape 
  • You can see yellow or black spots on the pillow 
  • Your allergic reactions have increased 
  • You are able to fold the pillow in half easily 
  • You feel like your pillow doesn’t support your neck anymore.

How to Care for Pillows

It is not necessary to toss your pillow when the time comes. Knowing how to care for your pillow can help you increase their life. It might not avoid the inevitable, but it will definitely delay it. 

Here are some tips on how to take care of your pillow. You should know them as different pillows have different needs and care techniques. 

Memory foam pillows 

These pillows are not supposed to be washed in a washing machine or dryer. It is better to spot clean these pillows or wash them without a washing machine. The way to clean these pillows would be to hand wash them every 2 months to keep them fresh and fluffy. 

Polyfoam Pillows 

These pillows can be hand washed or spot cleaned whenever needed. There is no timeline as to when these should be cleaned. Generally, these should be washed once every 2-3 months. 

Down/feather pillows 

Down or feather pillows can be machine washed easily, but for some, you’ll need to get them dry cleaned. When you’re machine washing a down or feather pillow, make sure you wash them in the gentle wash cycle with warm water and a gentle detergent. Since these pillows are a bit tender, you’ll need to make sure you wash them every 3-6 months gently. 

Latex pillows 

Latex pillows should not be washed in a washing machine. These pillows also shouldn’t be submerged in water. You can hand wash them in mild-warm water with gentle detergent. Make sure you wash them once every 3-6 months. 

Buckwheat pillow 

Moisture or water is a complete no-no for buckwheat pillow. Hence you should use a washable pillowcase with these pillows. You can wash the pillowcases with your hands or in a washing machine but not the pillow. In case of an accidental spill, you should be able to open these pillows and dry them under the sun.

The Final Word

Now that you know how often you should change your pillows, you should make it a habit to change your pillow every 2 years. Different types of pillows are available in the market that offer various features and have a certain lifespan. 

Keeping the pillows clean and hygiene is a good habit of making them last longer. The most important thing to look for is the signs of wear and tear as pillows cross 1.5 years. 



On average, a pillow lasts for 2-3 years only, not more than that. It can last a little longer if you follow a pillow care routine regularly. 

Pillows turn yellow because sweat and moisture remain on the pillow. This won’t happen suddenly, it will take some time, but pillows will turn yellow with the time passing by. 

On average, you should wash your pillows 2-3 times a year. While washing them, make sure to use antibacterial and antifungal detergents or solvents. This helps to maintain the hygiene of the pillows and also keeps them fresh and mite-free. 

Pillowcases should be changed once a week. These are the ones that get dirty the most, absorb the sweat, saliva, and other fluids more than the pillow. Therefore, these should be washed and changed every week. 

Unlike pillows, sheets are durable and can last longer. Ideally, you should completely replace a sheet after 2-3 years. In some cases, when it is a high-quality bedsheet, you might be able to use them for more than 3 years. But once you start to feel uncomfortable in a bedsheet, you shouldn’t wait to replace them. 

Yes, you can hand wash a pillow easily. Here’s what you’ll need to do: 

  1. Fill a tub with warm water and submerge the pillow into it completely.
  2. Pour cloth washing detergent on the pillow and make sure it is enough for a pillow. 
  3. Massage a pillow with care as they are more tender than mattresses. 
  4. Once you have gently cleaned the pillow, rinse it with lukewarm water.  
  5. Let the pillow out in the open to dry, it is best if you could keep them in sunlight for a while. 



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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

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Authored by health experts and journalists

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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians