If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night or wake up feeling groggy, with a sore throat or bad neck, it might be time to replace your pillow.
According to sleep experts, pillows should be replaced every one to two years, on they can sag and fill with dust mites causing a myriad of health issues.
Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay told FEMAIL: ‘It’s recommended that you change your pillows every one or two years, but it really depends on a number of factors, such as the type of pillow and your sleeping position.’
‘There is, however, a test you can do to see if it needs replaced. Simply fold your pillow in half and squeeze out the air.
Here, FEMAIL reveals how to tell when to replace your pillow, and why you need to do it.
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night or wake up feeling groggy, with a sore throat or bad neck, it might be time to replace your pillow. According to sleep experts, pillows should be replaced every one to two years, on they can sag and fill with dust mites causing a myriad of health issues (stock image)
HOLD TO TELL IF IT NEEDS TO BE REPLACED
‘Let the pillow go and if it unfolds back to its original shape, then it has enough filling to support your beck and head.
‘If it doesn’t spring back, then it’s lost its support and needs to be replaced,’ Martin explained.
‘It’s worth doing this test when you notice that your sleep is being disrupted.
SAGGING PILLOWS AND SORE NECK MEANS YOUR PILLOW NEEDS REPLACING
‘Common signs that your pillow needs replaced include it taking you a while to fall asleep at night as your pillow feels uncomfortable, or that your head and shoulders are no longer supported,’ Martin went on.
‘Or you may wake up with a tension headache which is likely to be from the lack of head support.’
‘Pillows need replacement to ensure you’re using something clean, supportive, and free from allergens,’ said Barbara Santini, Psychologist, Sex and Relationship Adviser at dimepiecela.com.
How changing your pillows can help your mental health
Monika Wassermann, doctor at oliolusso.com told FEMAIL: ‘Although most people take it for granted, replacing pillows positively affects physical and mental health.
‘Switching out pillows gives you something clean, supportive, and allergen-free, improving the quality of your sleep.
‘With quality shuteye, your physical and mental health improves’.
… BUT DON’T THROW JUST THROW YOUR OLD PILLOW AWAY
‘It’s also worth knowing what to do with a pillow once it’s no longer of use,’ Martin said.
‘Many people are of unsure of what to do, however, there are lots of eco-friendly ways of making sure it doesn’t go to waste.
‘For example, you could donate it to an animal shelter or use it for your own pet’s bed.
‘Alternatively, if your pillow has natural fibres, you could remove the filling and leave it in your garden for birds as they can use it for nesting
‘It also helps increase their longevity. While I recommend changing your pillow after one or two years, it does not always have to wait that long.
‘Different factors determine how often a pillow can be replaced. For example, if you wake up with a sore neck, it could signal that your pillow is not granting the required support.
‘A sagging pillow or one with lumps also implies a soon replacement. Sometimes you may realise excessive yellowing or sensitive skin reacting mostly during contact with your pillow. In this case, it may call for buying new ones.
WASH EVERY THREE MONTHS TO AVOID BUILD UP OF DUST MITES
‘In addition, you should also make sure to wash your pillows to prolong their lifespan,’ Martin said,
‘As the average person spends a third of their life in bed, your pillow naturally becomes home to bacteria, dead skin cells and dust – all of which can cause acne flare-ups and more.
‘You should, therefore, wash your pillows every three months in the washing machine, however, make sure to check their wash label to see what wash suits them best.
Carl Walsh, sleep specialist and owner of Bed Guru added: ‘The reason you should replace pillows is simple, and kind of gross – over the years, your pillows will harbour a build-up of dead skin cells, dust, and oils from our hair and skin, as well as any liquids, spills, and stains. In short, they expire.
‘Washing your pillows on a three month basis, or when needed, is a great way to keep on top of the dirt build-up. But, it is recommended you replace your pillow every 1-2 years anyway.
USE A PILLOW PROTECTOR
Jonathan Warren, director at bed specialist Time4Sleep, added to FEMAIL: ‘Whilst mattresses can last between 7 and 10 years, pillows typically have a much shorter lifespan.
‘You should be replacing your pillows every two years, or earlier if you notice they are no longer providing the same level of neck support.
‘Using pillow protectors can help in increasing the time between replacement and also keep them hygienic for longer. If allergies are a concern, protectors can create a barrier between you and dust mites too.’
… and how often should you wash the rest of your bedding?
WASH YOUR SHEETS ONCE A WEEK
Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy told FEMAIL: ‘Wash and change your bedding at least once a week. If you have pets sleeping on your bed or you’re an allergy sufferer, particularly in hay fever season, I’d recommend upping it to twice a week.
‘It’s important to not neglect your inner bedding either so aim to wash your duvet and pillows at least twice a year as even with linen covering them, the inner fillings can absorb dead skin cells and body oils and odours.’
NOT WASHING CAN CAUSE SKIN IRRITATION
Dr Chun Tang, from Pall Mall Medical, told FEMAIL: ‘Think of your bed sheets as a sponge, absorbing old makeup, dirt and body secretions, night after night.
‘When sleeping on unclean bed sheets, it’s common to experience skin redness, irritation, and breakouts. Dust mite droppings, a common associated risk of unclean bedding, can also worsen asthma symptoms and trigger eczema flare ups.
‘Additionally, any sores or wounds may become infected through contact with dirty bed sheets. This infection can worsen or spread leading to more serious health complications and infections, including sepsis and cellulitis.’
WASH AT 40 DEGREES
Lucy advises: ‘Always check the individual care labels before washing as different materials will have different properties and the last thing you want to do is end up with shrunken or spoiled sheets.’
‘As a general rule, wash your bed linen at 40 degrees on a gentle but warm cycle which will kill bacteria whilst not ruining the fabrics and colours. However, to remove oils and stubborn bacteria that can build up over time, put them through a 60 degree wash every month or so. This routine will allow them to be perfectly hygienic without taking away their quality and crisp feel.’
AVOID HARSH CHEMICALS AND DON’T OVERFILL
Lucy adds: ‘Similarly, opt for gentle detergents as harsher chemicals can damage the fabric over time leaving you with stiff, coarse sheets. Avoid using detergents containing bleach which tend to be too harsh for cottons and natural fibres.
‘For any stubborn stains, spot treat the area before washing to prevent using unnecessarily harsh chemicals on the whole sheet which can quickly ruin the overall quality and feel.’
‘Never overfill the drum of your washing machine as the sheets need space for the water to permeate through the fabric and button up your duvet cover before washing to avoid your pillow cases and other laundry being swallowed inside it!’
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