Everyone knows that it is important to replace clothes, sheets and bedding on a regular basis, but it is not uncommon for pillows to be recycled and reused throughout the years. Pillows hold your head and you will often breath through them as you roll and turn throughout the night. So given the proximity of pillows to your head every night, how should you look after them and often should they be replaced?

Protecting Pillows

The first important thing is to protect your pillows. Pillow cases will keep your pillows from touching your hair and face, but this is only a thin layer so double bagging your pillows is a good idea. With two layers of material around your pillow it is possible to protect the pillow from picking up dirt from your head and face as you sleep. When changing your bedding each week it is important to change both of these pillow cases and wash them.

Airing Pillows

Pillows are often also left on the bed for months without ever really being moved particularly far. This means that pillows will become stagnant over time, as there is never an opportunity for air to pass through them. Once or twice a month it is thus sensible to hang pillows on a clothesline outside for a few hours during the bedding change. This will allow the pillows to air out and it will help to keep them fresh.

Washing Pillows

Pillows should be washed fairly regularly. Washing a pillow will remove some of the stuffing from inside and this is particularly true with down pillows. Washing pillows once every two months will, however, help to keep them fresh and hygienic. A pillow left without being washed for longer periods can begin to harbour germs and will likely begin to stain from the natural oils produced by your body.

Ensuring Support

Pillows are not only for resting your head, they are for maintaining your lumbar position whilst you sleep. For this reason it is vitally important that your pillow is providing the correct support. If your pillow has ceased providing proper support, then replacing it is a very sensible move to make. A properly supportive pillow will allow you to get a better night of sleep and will help you to maintain a good posture.

Maintaining Hygiene

Hygiene is vitally important in every situation and your bed is certainly a place that should be kept hygienic. Washing, airing and protecting your pillows are important steps in this, but no pillow will last forever. A pillow should really be replaced every 2-3 years because over this period it will lose its shape and will have experienced enough dirt to have questionable hygiene. A good rule, however, is to judge the pillow by sight. A pillow that is yellowing and unclean in appearance should be discarded and replaced because this means that it has collected a significant amount of dirt.

Comfort and Safety

Pillows should provide you with comfort and safety when you sleep, so it is important to make a judgement call about the condition of your pillow. As with mattresses and even toothbrushes there comes a time when replacements are needed for your own good. Regularly checking the condition of your pillows will allow you to make a replacement when the time is right, but remember that replacing them too often is better than replacing them too infrequently.