How often should you change your pillow?

We often get asked - when should you replace your pillows?  The general rule is around 2 years.  However, this is a hard one to answer – as it depends on the type of pillow and your sleep style, climate and how you use your pillow. For instance, if you sleep with two pillows, the one on top (which you put your face on) is likely to need replacing more often than the bottom pillow.

When you Should Replace Your Pillow

The key questions to ask to know if it's time to replace your pillows are:

  1. Are they comfortable? 
  2. Does the pillow smell?
  3. Are there any stains on the pillow?
  4. Has it lost its shape and support?
  5. Are you suffering from neck pain?
  6. Are you a hot sleeper? Or live in a humid climate?

Even if you have the best pillow, it will need replacing due to hygiene issues, general wear and tear that impacts the supportive design that pillows have.  We recommend getting a pillow you can wash.  This will give it longevity and keep it fresh and feeling good. Leaving a pillow in the sunshine can provide great benefits. 

Dust mites find their way into beds, no matter how clean you are, so washing your pillow occasionally is important.

We find that pillows last 18 months to 2 years on average, even a good quality brand. 

You will find that your pillow looks grotty when its time to replace it, and that it doesn’t spring back when you fold it in half.

Kids pillows may need replacing more often, as they tend to get sick more often, to sneeze and dribble on them. Try machine washing them (per instructions above) a few times, and when their pillows no longer spring back – best to replace them.

Replacement Guideline for Pillow Types

The lifespan of pillows will vary on the quality and the pillow material. 

As a general rule we have estimated the life based on a quality pillow for each material listed below. 





1 to 2 years. Quality varies greatly.  To maximise life we suggest washing regularly and drying in the sun as this will adsorb the moisture that is causing the pillow to flatten.


Memory Foam

2 to 4 years.  As you can not put this pillow in the washing machine it can create hygiene issues.  Keep a pillow protector on it and clean by hand if needed. 



Very similar to memory foam.  We estimate life can be 3 to 4 years.  Breath-ability can be an issue for latex so we suggest changing pillowcase frequently to keep it as clean as possible.



1 to 3 years.  A down pillow (or feather pillow) has a soft luxury plumpness. These pillows will require a fluff to keep them in shape. These pillows can be very expensive so follow the washing instructions on the pillow.  Natural sunshine is best for drying the pillows.


KEY TIP: Make sure you use a pillowcase!  Wash it regularly - around once a week and you will extend your pillows life by a long way.  If you are a hot sleeper or live in a humid climate then you need to be washing more regularly.

Do you need to replace European Pillows regularly?

European pillows, which are often used for decoration, do not need to be washed unless there is a spillage or dust settles in them.  We’ve found that European pillows do not need to be replaced for years, if they are used as decorative pillows. Often, they need a bit of plump up, and some time in the sunshine to be refreshed. Once a year we put them onto the top of the clothesline to air out – and they come back inside plump and new.

I have allergies, do I need to treat my pillow differently?

If you have allergies, you may want to replace your pillow (and wash your pillow) more often than recommended. Most pillows are anti-allergy – however you will find that dust and germs from your face collect in the pillow over time, and if you are particularly sensitive it will help to wash and replace more often.


Sorry but nothing lasts forever.  Not even your pillow.  So make sure you choose the right pillow for you and care for it to maximise the life.  Oh, and remember to use a pillowcase and a pillow protector. Sleep well!