Are you one of those people who judge a pillow by how many years it's been used? If so, you might be in for a surprise – most experts say that pillows only have a lifespan of about 2 - 3 years. Pillows are the unsung heroes of sleep. They are the silent, but essential, support that make all the difference in our slumber. So how do you know when it's time for a new one? Here are four signs that it might be time to invest in a fresh pillow.
1 - Folds in half
If you have a suspicion that your pillow is over its use by date, put your arm out and put your pillow over it. If the pillow is limp and folds in half then put it in the bin right now!
The perfect pillow needs to be firm enough to keep your head high and aligned with the rest of your body. Over the years pillows will get thinner and you will be able to feel it when you lay your head down. The first test you can do is to put the pillow over your arm and see if it folds in half over the arm. If it droops then that is the first sign that a new pillow is in order. This is a bad thing because it won't be filling the space between your head and the bed as effectively as it used to, leading to aches and pains.
2 - Starting to smell
Everyone sweats and dribbles during the night (some more than others) and this can stain and make your pillow start to smell. When you take your pillowcase off your pillow and notice yellow/brown stains then it might be time to buy a new one. Build up of substances in your pillow also makes it less breathable and will make it more hot. This will also have adverse effects on your skin and hair as it will reduce airflow and have more oily buildups on the pillow and your skin.
3 - It starts to hurt your neck / back
Pillows are there for head and neck support, so when your pillow gets thinner over time your neck and head will start to decline too. This can lead to stiffness and pain the next day because of the strain on your neck to the pillow. This is also the case for pillows that are too big and lumpy, as the angle your head hits the pillow is key in waking up smiling and in pain . The general idea is to keep your head, shoulders and waist inline with each other so your body is comfy during the night.
4 - Lumpy
The fillings in pillows can be a mixture of things; fabrics, solid foam and little bits of foam are just to name a few and when they get exposed to heat and sweat they can start to clump up. Over time the pillow will become uncomfortable and your normal sleeping position might change because the filling is moving around inside. This can lead to low quality sleep and pains in the neck and head from the hard filling.
There are a few indicators of telling if your pillow is old and it's very important to be up to date. Just like you replace your shoes when they break, a pillow is an asset that helps you get great quality sleep. As soon as you start to think that your pillow is not doing its job anymore, it probably isn't. So invest in something long term and not anything cheap!
Buying sustainably is the way forward which is why all our pillows are wrapped in a lovely bamboo fibre pillowcase! They are also built to last saving you money over time. So getting a good night's sleep and helping the planet is just that one step easier.