How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow?

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Written by: Alex Savy
Last updated on

Pillows are one of those little things in life that people take for granted. You don’t know their importance until they stop working as intended. Unfortunately, you might be unaware that your pillows are harming you. So, how often should you replace your pillow? This article will provide the answer and more, so keep on reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Ideally, you should replace your pillow in one to two years. You would simply be able to tell it’s time by looking at the pillow.
  • Old pillows don’t provide as much support. Plus, they can be infested by fungi, aggravating your allergies.

Signs That It’s Time for a New Pillow

Aspergillus fumigatus is a fungus that causes allergic reactions in people with lung problems. It’s one of the most common molds found in pillows. According to the CDC, the fungus lives indoors and outdoors (1).

You probably breathe a fair amount of this fungus every night when you sleep on a fungus-ridden pillow. However, it’s nothing to immediately worry about unless you have asthma or weak immunity. Children with asthma are most susceptible to this fungi. They suffer the most because their weak lungs can’t fight back. If your pillows are old and have started producing a funny odor, it’s time to replace them. However, the fungus isn’t the only reason to replace your pillows.

Your pillows are your best sleep companions next only to your mattress. They are the support system for your head and neck while you sleep. So, the slightest misalignment could give you a banging headache in the morning or a neck strain that lasts for days. Furthermore, pillows provide support for spinal alignment. Thus, using the wrong pillow will give you long-lasting back pain. People over 40 know it more than anybody else. Sleeping in an awkward position for a long time is a recipe for disaster—a disaster you can prevent if you change your pillow regularly.

How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow?

Here’s the problem: You might be too young to notice your pillow is causing much strife in your life. You might blame other reasons for your breathing problem, lack of sleep, and stiffness. All the while, your faulty pillow is the root of the problem.

If you’re reading this, you’re ahead of the curve. Changing your pillow won’t magically solve all these problems, but it’ll help the situation. Younger people can withstand and ignore the symptoms of a compromised pillow. However, older adults are quick to notice its problems. Either way, you should replace your pillow every one to two years.

After one to two years, fungi will develop in your old pillows. Within two years, your pillow becomes a striving colony of harmful bacteria. That’s why a two-year timeline is an excellent guideline for when to replace your pillow.

When you sleep on a pillow, you leave your body fluids like sweat and oil. These fluids seep into the pillow, adding moisture which is perfect for fungi and bacteria.

Chronic back pain takes a few months to develop. Within one year, you could be well on your way to getting a musculoskeletal disability. The sooner you change your pillow, the better. If you already suffer from cervical and lumbar pain, you’ll need new pillows more often than someone without pre-existing conditions. In addition, individuals with asthma or other lung conditions will benefit from a fresh set of pillows each year.

I test the pillow’s support by folding it in half. If it stays that way, it’s time to change it. Chances are most of it is compressed filling and dust at this point.

Also read: How to Wash Pillows

Which Pillows Should I Buy to Replace My Old Ones?

The first thing to consider when replacing your pillows is your sleep preferences. Consider your sleeping position, for example. If you’re a natural side sleeper, look for the best pillows for side sleepers in Canada. They should be firm and thick to keep your head and neck head comfortable. Otherwise, your head might tilt at dangerous angles and cause unbearable neck pain the following day.

Next, consider the fill material. Down pillows are the most fluffy and provide medium firmness. Bouncy memory foam pillows come in different levels of firmness, and they provide the most support for all sleep postures.

Latex pillows are another option, especially if you have moderate to severe allergies. After all, the best pillow in Canada is a hypoallergenic one. These pillows are typically made of organic material. In addition, they are thought to provide more support than a memory foam pillow.


So, how often should you replace your pillow? The best time frame is one to two years. The longer you sleep on an old, fungus-ridden pillow, the more likely you’ll suffer from sleep deprivation, night terrors, and breathing problems. If you suffer from pre-existing conditions such as asthma or chronic pain, consider replacing your pillows at least once a year. The more frequently you change your pillows, the better. Replacing your pillows often will prevent the growth of fungus and provide much-needed support.

How often do you replace your pillows? Leave us a comment below to let us know.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (May 7, 2021). Types of Fungal Diseases: Aspergillosis. Retrieved from

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