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August 6, 2021

10 Signs It’s Time For A New Pillow

It can take a while to find the right pillow, and once you do you want to hold onto it. That pillow that works perfectly for how you sleep, offers the ideal amount of support is something you want to use every night for years on end. However, like all good things, eventually our time with our favorite pillow will sadly come to an end. If you are unsure whether or not that time has come for you and your pillow, then keep reading to get the 10 signs it is time for a new pillow.

10 signs it is time for a new pillow

Not ready to say goodbye? A pillow protector can go a long way when it comes to prolonging the life of your pillow. Learn more in our post: How To Clean Your Pillows & Keep Them Fresh

1) Your Pillow No Longer Springs Back

time to say goodbye to your old pillowMost quality pillow allow for compression, however they also bounce back into shape. This is what provides comfort and support as you sleep.

If you have a pillow that used to compress and then bound back into shape but no longer does, that is a sign that it has gotten weighed down by a build up of skin cells, dust, and sweat over time. Or that your pillow has simply worn out over time and no longer supplies the support you need for proper comfort.

2) Heavily Stained or Yellowed 

A pillow protector can really help to prevent stains. However, if you do not use a pillow protector, then there are many ways in which a pillow can get heavily stained over years of use. Eating or drinking in bed can often lead to not only stains from spills, but it can also attract pests. Sweat, drooling, or oils from your skin can also cause staining on your pillow.

This is especially true if your pillowcase is not being changes often. If your pillow has lived long enough to turn entirely yellow with age and use, then it is a good sign that it is time to get a new pillow.

3) Having To Layer or Fold Pillows For Support

having to layer your pillows for supportWhen you have the right pillow, you won’t need to stack piles of pillows together in order to get the loft height you need. Nor will you need to fold your pillow in half in order to keep your head propped up the way you like it. Having to layer, stack, or fold your pillow in order to get the loft you desire are all signs that it is time to move on and get a pillow that will suite your needs.

Often times our pillow starts out fluffy and supportive, but overtime it falls flat. We start to make adjustments like adding extra pillows or folding the pillow in order to try and compensate for our flat pillows. Instead of compensating, get a new pillow that will work for you and how you sleep.

4) Waking Up With Neck/Shoulder Pain

waking up with severe neck or shoulder painWe hope you already know this, but waking up with neck and shoulder pain is not the normal. Most morning neck and shoulder pain is caused by sleeping on a pillow that does not work for how you sleep.

Whether it is because your pillow has worn out and no longer provides support, or you purchased a pillow that doesn’t work for how you sleep. Either way, if your pillow is causing you to wake up with neck pain, shoulder pain, or even headaches. Then it is time to say goodbye to that old pillow.

5) Your Pillow Smells Bad

your pillow stinksThis should go without saying but… If your pillow stinks, then it is time to get a new pillow. You may be used to the smell, but if your partner is telling you that your pillow smells bad, believe them. A stinky pillow is a sign that bacteria is growing inside of it. Whether it is from a spill that got on it, or it was washed and not thoroughly dried, or simply you have not washed your sheets frequently enough.

A bad smelling pillow is more than just a bit icky. The bacteria (or worse, mold) causing the stink in your pillow can be bad for your health. So if it stinks, throw it out, and maybe wash your sheets more often.

6) Your Sleeping Position Has Changed

your sleep positions has changed If you have recently changed what position your primarily sleep in, then it is time to get a new pillow. Different sleep positions require different features from their pillow. If you lay on your stomach for instance, then a slim breathable pillow is best. While side sleepers should have rather tall lofty pillow in order to keep pressure off the shoulders and proper spinal alignment.

Whether it is simply a change in preference or your have had to change your position due to injury, pregnancy, or for any other reason. It is a good idea to change your pillow as well. Even if the change in sleeping position is temporary, it can greatly increase your comfort as you sleep in this new position.

7) Your Pillow Is Lumpy

time to get a new pillow if it is lumpyThis phenomenon is typically found in polyester fiber filled pillow. This is commonly used in down-alternative pillows and it a very popular fill for pillows. After years and years of use, the interior fill begins to lump together in small balls. Washing and drying many times over can also speed up this process. It typically takes a long times for persistent lumps to form.

Fluffing your pillows often can help to break up any forming lumps. If your pillow is filled with lumps instead of a seamlessly smooth and fluffy filling. Then it is time to say goodbye to your old pillow and hello to a new pillow.

8) Increased Allergies At Night

if your pillow is causing allergiesDust, dirt, dander, and other allergens can collect in your pillow and mattress over time. Even if you wash your sheets and pillowcases every 1 to 2 weeks, it can still build up little by little over time. Washing your face and hair before bed can help, if you avoid washing your hair daily, wearing it up at night can also help.

However, if at night your find your allergies increasing after you get into bed, it could be a sign that your pillow and or mattress is carrying a lot of allergens that are irritating you as you sleep. If you have a down feather pillow, this could also be the source of your increase in allergies. You may find that switching to a new hypoallergenic pillow could potentially help calm your allergies at night.

9) You Are Constantly Fluffing Up Your Pillow

time ot get a new pillow if you have to fluff it too muchWhile fluffing up your pillow is a good way to extend its life and keep it comfortable. There can be such a thing as a pillow needing too much work to be comfortable. The right pillow should be able to support your head and neck comfortably throughout the night without needing you to wake up and fluff up/adjust.

If your pillow used to be able to support your head and neck throughout the night and is now falling flat and requiring constant fluffing… Then it might be about time to look into getting a new pillow.

10) Your Pillow Is More Than 3 Years Old

dirty old pillow needs to be replaced As much as we love a good pillow, eventually it is just time to say goodbye. The three year mark is when we typically see pillows losing their structure and beginning to age in a way that no longer gives you the support needed. While a pillow protector and changing your sheets often can prolong the life of your pillow, most pillows will eventually tire out and need replacing.

The quality of materials in your pillow can also prolong the life of comfort and support you get from your pillow. The three year mark is simply an on average estimate when most pillows wear out. It is at least a good time to check your pillows and see if they are still giving you the comfort you desire.

If you have decided it is time to buy a new pillow check our our list of the Top 15 Pillows!

10 Signs It Is Time For A New Pillow – Final Thoughts:

It can be difficult saying goodbye to your pillow that has provided you comfort for years. However, with pillows slowly changing over time, you may not even realize that it is no longer as comfortable as it used to be. It may not longer be giving the support and comfort that you need. Getting a new pillow can be a chance to increase your sleep quality and comfort throughout the night. We hope these tips have helped you determine whether or not it is time to make the move on to a new pillow.

comfort of a new supportive pillow

Looking to keep your white linens looking at their best? Check out our post: Caring For White Linens