Here's How Often You Should Be Changing Out Your Pillows

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting a good night's sleep remains an important consideration for overall good health. That means at least seven hours of shuteye for most adults over 18. Creating the perfect environment to get enough winks and wake fully rested usually requires finding the perfect pillow. You'll likely sleep better, just like Goldilocks, resting on one that's just right.

Let's face it, though, once you've found a bed pillow you love, it's hard to give it up. Over time, however, the cozy comfort you've grown to expect will start to decline. And even worse, some icky stuff can be hiding in a pillow that gets daily use. So how often should you be replacing the bed pillows in your home? Here's what experts on the topic have to say, and it's sooner than you might think, depending on the type of pillow you sleep on.

The right time to change out your pillows

According to the Sleep Foundation, when asked how often to change out bed pillows, the consensus is purchasing new ones every one to two years. It's not only a decision based on how many years you've used a pillow; different pillows may last longer than others.

For instance, pillows made of polyester usually don't last as long as those made of latex. Polyester pillows usually stay supportive for about a year, while a latex pillow can have a lifespan of two or more years. Memory foam pillows last longer than polyester, as noted by U.S. News & World Report. You can tell if a pillow needs to be replaced, regardless of the material, by looking for some telltale signs. If it is losing its shape or has become lumpy, your pillow is a good candidate for replacement. Smelly pillows and those with bothersome stains should also be rotated out in favor of new ones.

Another important factor to consider: allergies

Even if your cranium cushion is holding up pretty well, there's still the potential for allergens lurking within. If you've noticed that you or a family member is waking up feeling allergic more frequently, this could very well be the cause. Allergens can include a pet dander if your dog or cat sleeps on the bed. Pollen and mold can also accumulate in pillows, especially if you're prone to sleeping with a window open. And don't forget about the ever-annoying dust mites frequently found in bedrooms. 

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, after a couple of years of use, as much as 10 percent of your pillow's heaviness can be made up of dust, mite feces, and carcasses. They're too small to see with the naked eye, but they are most certainly there. That thought alone is enough to ditch an old pillow for a new one.