Quickly Test If It’s Time To Buy A New Pillow

Quickly Test If It’s Time To Buy A New Pillow

Photo by pmarkham.

Pillows have a limited lifespan. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced yours and want to quickly see if it’s time for a new one, try this simple test.

Real Simple recommends:

Fold your pillow in half, squeezing out the air. If it doesn’t spring back to shape, you’re overdue for a new one. Otherwise, so long as they don’t smell mildewy, you only need to replace your pillows every three to five years — any longer, and they begin to lose support.

Pillows are also one of those things that can accumulate nasty stuff like dust mite remains and dead skin, so even if your pillow does bounce back in shape, it’s a good idea to replace it every few years. When it’s time, make sure you buy the right pillow for your sleep position.

When to Buy a New Pillow [Real Simple]


  • Can anyone recommend a good pillow? I find the ones I buy from department stores don’t seem to stay soft and springy for very long. I’m a back/side sleeper and usually like to sleep with two pillows. I hate the latex/memory foam kind and find them uncomfortable.

    • Maybe try a proper memory foam pillow? And when I mean proper, I mean one that will indent when you place your hand on it for a little while and stay indented for a bit when you take your hand away. The last time I went shopping for a replacement memory foam pillow I was disappointed with how many pillows labelled as such seemed to have an incredibly short memory and would spring back up immediately. With the proper pillow it moulds around your head and neck and feels to nice to sleep on.

      If your shoulders aren’t too broad and you like to sleep on your side, a side sleeper pro pillow might work well. I bought one and it has a nice hole in the middle so your ears don’t get too squished, though unfortunately it’s not high enough so my neck gets a tad crooked.

    • Have a look at a water pillow. They normally have a bladder that your can adjust the amount of water to suit different heights. The water maintains room temperature.

  • As a very sweaty person, particularly in Summer, and a clean freak, I just buy two new pillows as it gets hot and then again at end of summer and throw the old ones away.

    The ones that were on my bed from November to February do not deserve to live more than a few months, but in reality, I should probably just buy new ones at Easter too. I feel weird about washing pillows.

    • How wasteful. Try putting on two or three pillow cases to protect your pillow and just wash the pillow cases. Or by a pillow protector!

  • I still get angry at my mum/wife for throwing out some of my pillows. I had 2 that worked perfectly together and ever since they got thrown out i have not had comfortable pillows ever since.

  • My mum still has the pillows in her house that she bought 40 years ago, there is no such thing as a use by date on a pillow. To sweaty balls, learn how to use a washing machine and get over yourself. Pillow cases take the brunt of sweat so just take care to change them every week. Pillows should only be dumped if they are starting to break down; time is irrelevant, time in use is everything.

    Really gets under my skin to think overprivileged western a$$holes dumping perfectly good pillows because they are not “fresh”. Do you understand that there is not an endless supply of everything? You are probably a greeny too but see no contradiction here.

    Also, according to this rule, if you own an eiderdown pillow then it goes off immediately.

    Rant over and out.

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