Though bedding materials often come as somewhat of an afterthought, the quality of our blankets and pillows can mean the difference between a restful sleep and a restless night. Over time, this can even mean the difference between productivity and laziness, alertness and exhaustion, or patience and irritability. Clearly, a good night’s sleep is important. Shouldn’t the pillow we lay our heads on hold just as much importance?
General Pillow Care
Pillows should be properly cared for and replaced as needed so that you can get a restful night’s sleep without worry. Wash the outside cover every three weeks and the pillow itself every three months to maintain cleanliness. Down, down alternative, and polyester pillows should be replaced every six months to a year while memory foam pillows can last from two to three years.
Most of us have trouble remembering the last time we replaced our pillows - or even why we should replace them. Months and months of tossing and turning can leave your pillow stained with mold and mildew. Over time, these can cause acne and allergies. Additionally, a pillow loses shape after a certain period of time and stops delivering on its primary purpose - supporting your head and neck. Replacing your pillow as needed is important so that you can continue to wake up well-rested and energized, but how do you know when it's time to replace your pillow?
Signs You Should Replace Your Pillow
Stains may be the most obvious visual sign that your pillow needs replacing. These time-incurred spots are more than just visually unappealing, they may be harmful to your skin. Issues like acne, rashes, and other types of irritations may develop as a result of exposure to these collections of old bodily oils.
You Have Morning Allergies
If you experience strong allergies in the morning, this may be a sign of a dust mite allergy. Since this allergy is not airborne, reactions that occur in the mornings are probably sourced from your pillow. Dust mites are small spider-like bugs that live in carpeting, bedding, and pillows. Though invisible to the naked eye, dust mites often cause allergies like itchy eyes and a runny nose. Anti-allergen pillow covers can help protect your health by preventing the formation of dust mites and other allergens.
It Fails the Fold Test
An effective way to test your pillows resilience is the fold test. Fold your pillow in half and set it down. If it bounces back, it is resilient enough to support your head as much as it did when it was new. If it stays folded, it has lost its ability to support your head adequately and needs to be replaced.
There’s an Odor
If your pillow has a musty smell, it probably needs to be replaced. This smell can be caused by the previously mentioned allergens or simply by the aging of the materials.
Doesn’t Provide Support
One of the simplest ways to check if your pillow is supporting your head and neck enough is to lay down on your back and have someone check that your neck is in line with your spine. Next, turn onto either side and perform the same check. If your neck is having to bend down in order for you to rest your head, your pillow is unsupportive and you should replace it in order to avoid neck and back pain.
Lack of Quality Sleep
If you are not experiencing any of the above but you are having trouble sleeping, you may want to consider trying out a different kind of pillow. Many people have a strong preference when it comes to pillows so trying out different kinds may lead you to your perfect match, which may help you sleep. Determine your sleep position to see what pillow might be the best for you.
Water Pillow Benefits
When the time comes to replace your current pillow, consider trying a water pillow such as the Mediflow Water Pillow. Water pillows provide an extra layer of support so that your neck and spine are aligned all night. The nature of water movement results in responsive support as you adjust throughout the night. The waterbase is topped with ultra-soft layers of your choice of down, gel memory foam, or fiberfill so that you can enjoy a restful sleep in luxurious comfort. A water pillow helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night so that you can wake up energized and pain-free.
Getting a solid, restful sleep every night is important and, as a result, so is your pillow. An old, dirty, unsupportive pillow can leave you tired and in pain. If it’s time to replace your pillow, make sure to select one that will improve your quality of sleep and allow you to wake up well-rested and pain-free.