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This 2-Second Test Tells You If It’s Time to Buy New Pillows

How often should you change your pillow? For many of us, the answer is once it’s lumpy and flat. But really, you should be swapping out your old pillow for a new one a lot sooner than that. Experts recommend buying new pillows every one to two years — so here’s a quick and easy tip for checking whether it’s time to toss yours. 

First, place your pillow on a flat and firm surface, like a table. Push down in the center of the pillow with your finger. If your pillow springs back into shape as soon as you lift your hand, then it’s OK to use. However, you should probably invest in a new one if the pillow remains dented.

Another method for assessing whether it’s time to get new pillows is the saddlebag test. If you lay your pillow on your arm and it flops over the sides like a saddlebag, it’s time to get new headrests. 

While the press test and saddlebag test can help inform you whether it’s time to get new cushions, it’s worthwhile to remember these general guidelines for how long different types of pillows last.

  • How often should you replace memory foam pillows? Once per year as this material is prone to sagging over time. 
  • How often should you replace down pillows? Once per year, though they may last a bit longer. It’s common for down pillows to get lumpy, at which point you need new cushions.
  • How often should you replace feather pillows? At least once per year, though you may need to replace them more often. These are often the cheapest pillow options on the market. 
  • How often should you replace latex pillows? Once every two years. Latex is more durable than memory foam, but it’s often more expensive. 
  • How often should you replace bamboo pillows? Once every year and a half. Bamboo fibers tend to last longer than cotton ones, hence why you can replace them less frequently. 

If you failed both pillow tests (or you’re interested in purchasing new pillows) it’s time to do some research. The secret to a good night’s sleep is a pillow that supports your head and neck so you don’t wake up in the morning with pain. To help, we’ve rounded up the best pillows for side sleepers with neck pain, as well as the best pillows for stomach sleepers with neck pain. We’ve even collected the best memory foam pillows for neck pain so you can sleep soundly. After all, restful, restorative sleep is crucial for the body to function properly. 

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