How often you should change your pillows. Here’s what you need to know.

The average person keeps their pillow for more than three years before replacing it. An additional 50 percent don’t replace their pillow until they notice it starts to wear down.

Keeping a pillow for too long presents health risks. The Sleep to Live Institute in America recommends that you replace your pillow every six months, while the Sleep Council UK recommends replacements every two years. However, both of these options seem to be a bit aggressive. Replacing your pillow twice a year is certainly overkill, while waiting out two years can pose inherit risks to your health.

The question, therefore, remains: how often should you change your pillow out? If you want to avoid dust mites, dirt and grime, and head neck and shoulder pain, then you need to know exactly how long to wait before you change your pillow. Consider the following information to make sure you can sleep safe and sound.

Dust Mites

The first problem with keeping a pillow too long is a dust mite invasion. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin cells, and they thrive in warm, humid environments, say your pillows. Dust mites are most common allergens that are found in any households. Although, they do not bite, and they do not spread diseases, but they are the most common allergen found in any home. So, if you keep your home dust free and encase your pillows in high-quality cotton, you may change it every other year.

Adequate Neck Support

When we lie down, our pillow should fill the gap between your head and shoulder. If your old pillow is flattened and no longer giving your neck the support you need, you will need to change your pillow. It might be six months or two years or something in between.

Washable and dryable pillows

Another reason that you might need to change your pillow is whether you can wash or dry your pillows. Most down or feather pillows and some foam pillows are not washable and dryable. Washing and drying your pillows will reduce dust mites and fungal spores residing in your pillows.

The risk of using old and flattened pillows could be high and changing them more often may keep you healthy and allergy free. Use your best judgment in deciding how often you should change your pillows. You may also find the article about How to Know Your Pillow is Expired useful in making your decision.