When was the last time you changed your pillow? Can you remember? Though there are guidelines about how often you should be changing the pillow, only few people seem to follow those. Nearly 70 percent of all individuals say that a comfortable pillow is essential for enjoying quality sleep during the night. When it comes to how often a new one should be bought, however, many people seem to have no answer.
The question: How often should I replace my pillow?
It may come as a surprise but according to scientific recommendations, a pillow should be changed every six months! If you’re not doing that, you’re certainly not alone. The consideration in this case is not about the ability of the pillow to provide sufficient support. It’s about the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms that you certainly wouldn’t want to get your face into for six to eight hours.
Unlike mattresses, the concern is less about the pillow breaking down and no longer providing ample support. Instead, it’s just not something you want to be around longer than six months.
- A pillow will host a vast range of microorganisms and debris. Your skin sheds during the night and all of the dead cells fall on the pillow. These create the perfect conditions for the replication of all kinds of bacteria.
- In addition, dirt and sebum will get trapped in the material. If you have acne-prone skin, you will certainly need to get in the habit of changing the pillow more frequently.
- Dust mites, which belong to the spider family, also like to hang out in the crevices of your pillow. You can’t see them, but they’re concentrated where people are in things like bedding and carpeting.
The change of the pillow comes on top of replacing your pillowcase frequently. This step will not be sufficient to prevent the accumulation of dirt and bacteria as months go by. Even if you don’t have sensitive or acne-prone skin, it’s still a good idea to stay on the safe side.
Apart from bacteria, the thing that you place your head on during the night could also become the home of dust mites. These are associated with a wide range of health problems, including allergic reactions. Almost 20 percent of all people suffer from some kind of allergy. Two thirds of these individuals may be prone to experiencing an allergic reaction because of the presence of dust mites in the home.
Do you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction early in the morning? The problem is probably hidden in your pillow (literally). Head to the store and buy a new one, if you often wake up having watery eyes and stuffy nose.
If you’re looking for ways to extend the lifespan of your favorite pillow, you’ll be glad to learn that options do exist. Airtight pillow and mattress covers are a good possibility. The same applies to changing your bedding every week. You may also want to start washing your pillow to get rid of the dust and the dirt buildup on the surface.
Shopping for a New Pillow
A good pillow provides the right kind of support and is made of quality materials. It keeps your head and your neck properly aligned so that you wake up relaxed rather than feeling pain and stiffness in the shoulder area.
If you are a stomach sleeper, you should opt for a thin pillow. Side sleepers will feel better if the pillow is bigger. The material that your pillow is made of depends entirely on what your budget is and which one makes you feel most comfortable. Many people opt for memory foam but there are other great possibilities to explore. Try the pillows before buying and make sure that they provide enough support.
A good pillow will help you relax but you can’t keep on using the same one forever. If you want to keep your skin in perfect condition and if you’re prone to allergic reactions, you will need to change your pillow frequently. Once you get in this habit, you’ll realize just how much better it’s going to make you feel.