Your pillows could be making you sick: Here’s what you should do about it… 27



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Most people know to change the bed sheets or flip the mattress but what do we do about our pillows? It may seem obvious but your pillow will not last forever and does require changing.

Sleeping on the same pillow every night will absorb your hair and body oils, which makes it a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites.

But how often should you replace your pillow? The answer ranges from one to three years. We suggest you make the decision by completing this pillow test to determine if you should replace it.

1. Age test

Over time dead skin and oils are collected in pillows. These dirty things can start to weigh down the pillow causing it to lose its shape. The dust can be harmful for us too, such as creating nasal congesting and allergic reactions. So, how long have you had your pillow? Do you think you need to replace it?

2. The fold test

This test will help determine whether your pillow if fresh enough to use. Simple fold your pillow in half, hold for 30 second and then let go. If the pillow springs back to its normal shape quickly, then you know you can still use it. If you pillow takes time to unfold, then perhaps it is time to get a new one.

3. Fluffy or flat test

Examine your pillows structure, if the pillow is flat or has your head mark stuck in it then it is likely time to get rid of it. The pillow should be fluffy and not lumpy.

Tips for cleaning your pillow

We recommend cleaning the outside cover every three weeks. The cover will help keep the dead skin and oils from absorbing into the pillow.

Clean the inside pillow every three months. Check the pillow label to see how to wash it.

How often do you clean your pillow? Have you ever replaced it?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I change my pillows when they are no longer comfortable. These suggestions are put out by companies who manufacturer the goods and want us to buy more.
    A bit like the toothbrush they brought out that changed from blue bristles to white bristles when it needed changing. If you bought them you would need to change your toothbrush every two weeks as that was how quickly they changed colour based on twice daily use.

  2. I wish I had not read that article. I love my old pillow that I have had for quite a while. Think I will take a chance and keep it; sweat marks and all.

    1 REPLY
  3. I always write the date on the tag of the pillow.
    Find it so hard to get the right pillow. I have a Menu of them in my cupboards, I have bought so many.Still looking for that perfect pillow.

  4. I wash my cover every fortnight ,in the summer every week. I also hang my pillow out in the sun at least twice a month,sometimes more often .

  5. All very well, but finding a suitable pillow that is affordable, is an extremely difficult task. In most shops, pillows are not available to try, and once you’ve bought one, it can’t be returned. I have spent a small fortune on pillows, only to find them unsuitable once I’ve tried them at home, with my bed and sleeping habits.

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