How often should you really be changing your pillows? A lot more than you think...

What kind of gross things are hiding on your pillow?

By Maddison Leach
Most of us wash our bed sheets every few weeks, but when it comes to our pillows we can go for months without giving them a good clean.
In fact, many Aussies haven't thought about cleaning their pillows – let alone buying new ones – in years!
So how often should you actually be swapping our your old pillows for new ones?
When's the last time you changed those pillows, Martha? (Image: Instagram)
"A good rule of thumb when it comes to pillows is to replace them every 1-2 years depending on how well you care for them," explains Ecosa 'bed in a box' entrepreneur Ringo Chan.
Ideally you should wash and air your pillow every six months, try not to leave them lying on the floor and even use a pillow protector where possible.
The material of the pillow, manufacturing quality and how often you clean it can also affect how long your favourite pillow lasts, but look out for the key signs you're due for an upgrade.
"Some of these tell-tale signs are stains, smells, new allergy symptoms and recurring acne on cheek," Ringo says.
"Over time, dust, sweat, dead skin cells, and facial oils accumulate on your pillow. This build-up can make it the perfect breeding ground for dust mites and certain fungi, making your pillow unsanitary."
Not only can old pillows become unsanitary, they can also cause back and neck pain and prevent you from getting a good night's sleep if they're no longer in good condition.
"This could be from the pillow being too hot and not breathable, perhaps it's lost support or you could be having minor allergic reactions," Ringo says.
Most of us are guilty of hanging onto old pillows for far too long and when it comes to buying a new one all the options can be overwhelming.
The key features to prioritise when shopping around are height (make sure it's right for your sleep position), breathability and odour control, as well as making sure the pillow or cover is washable.
"Side sleepers need to ensure the pillow is high enough so that you shouldn't be sinking in and being squashed," Ringo adds.
"Back sleepers need a pillow that will contour your neck so you're in a neutral position and aligned."
With all that in mind, now is probably a good time for you to invest in a few new pillows – we've rounded up some of our favourite affordable options under $120 to give you a great night's sleep.
  • undefined: Maddison Leach