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How to Know When to Replace a Pillow

by Staff Writer

Two brand new down filled pillows

No pillow lasts forever. Tired pillows may leave you feeling tired yourself, so it's good to know when yours are ready to be thrown out and replaced with new pillows. There are several ways to determine if your bed pillows have any life left in them. Take a look below to learn how to know when to replace a pillow.

When to Replace Your Pillows:

  1. Think about waking up. Consider how you feel when you wake up in the morning. When your bed pillow gets old and loses shape, your head won't rest on it properly. This could cause chronic neck pain. If you experience neck pain for more than a week, it could be a sign that you need a new pillow.

  2. Examine your pillow. Lay your pillow on a flat surface and examine it. The pillow should not be lumpy or have bumps in it. Often a large dent can form where you lay your head each night. If you have to fluff or punch the pillow to make it comfortable, it's time to throw it away.

  3. Perform the fold test. Fold the pillow in half lengthwise and place your hand on the top of the pillow. Hold the pillow this way for 30 seconds and then release the pillow. The pillow should spring back to its original form. If it stays folded or it takes a few seconds to lie back down, you should throw your pillow away.

  4. Consider your pillow's age. In time, dead skin, dust mites and other allergens can accumulate on your pillow. This can cause more than nasal congestion. These items can weigh down your pillow, causing it to go flat or lose shape. Replace a new pillow after 18 to 24 months to keep it fresh and allergen-free.


  1. Use pillowcases and protectors to increase the life of your pillow. These items should be used every time you lay on the pillow.

  2. Wash your pillows according to the instructions on their tags. To get more wear out of down pillows, place them in the dryer with a tennis ball to fluff them up.

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