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Is it Time to Change Your Pillow? Experience the Long-Lasting Comfort of Hotel Quality Pillows

Woman slept uncomfortably on a flat pillow with no form retention.

When is it Time to Change your Pillow?Upset woman losing sleep to flat pillow with low loft and no shape.

Most of us have a favorite pillow that, when new, felt amazing, kept its perfect shape all night, and smelled incredibly fresh. Over time, of course, those things can change. But the problem is, we get used to our pillow and don’t notice that it has slowly lost the features we loved so much. If you aren’t sleeping as well as you used to, it’s time to ask: is it time to change your pillow?

Here’s what we cover in this article:

How long do you keep your pillows? Have you noticed signs that your current pillow is due for a change? Let us know in the comments below!

What Happens to Pillows Over Time

We’ve probably all had the experience of sleeping on a lumpy pillow. Whether your pillow starts fluffy or firm, its uniform feel makes a new pillow comfortable and supportive. But, as time goes by with your head resting on the pillow for hours every night, with the twists and folds we give our pillows to position them just right, and even pillow fights or puppy dogs resting on them during the day, pillow filling starts to break down. This is due to fibers or foam drying, cracking, and breaking with use. If you try to fluff your pillow and it’s still lumpy, that pillow can’t be saved.

Pillow Loses Shape

The ability of a pillow to hold its shape is known as form retention. Pillows will flatten with time as fibers break. The broken fibers, feathers, or other components clump or realign themselves in straight lines, reducing lift and give. The pillow feels flatter and harder. This may result in neck pain as the pillow’s ability to align your head and neck is now reduced along with the pillow’s loft. You can test your pillow’s form retention by folding it in half. If it doesn’t bounce back right away, it’s time for a new pillow.

Damage and Debris Accumulate

Along with the physical deterioration of the old pillow, pillows accumulate debris that may cause allergies and odors. We all shed dead skin cells and oils as we sleep and the pillow picks these up. Even with a pillowcase, this will penetrate over time to the pillow’s surface. Dust mites, which can cause allergies, are attracted to the organic material on the pillow and can build up inside. Pillows are also subject to mold and can accumulate pet dander. You may also see yellowing and stains and notice odors on an aging pillow. Sleepers may experience elevated allergy symptoms such as red eyes and congestion, or experience skin breakouts from the accumulated debris on the pillow.

While some pillows are washable, many are not. If your pillow is washable (not all are, check the label or manufacturer’s website), wash it every six months as needed. Frequent washing of pillows is not recommended as even washable pillows are reshaped and damaged in the wash and dry process, affecting overall form retention of your pillow..

Add a Pillow ProtectorPillow protector zips over and protects your quality pillow from dust, mites, odors, and allergens.

Whatever kind of pillow you have, there are ways to prolong its life. A clean pillow case, changed frequently, usually weekly, will help keep some debris and oils from getting through to the pillow.

Even more effective is a pillow protector in addition to your pillowcase. The zippered pillow protector shields your pillow from stains and spills and will help keep dust mites away. It helps protect the pillow from tears and holes as well. Especially effective if you suffer from nighttime allergies or asthma, a pillow protector is a low-cost extra step to sleep healthier and prolong the life of your pillow.

Which Pillows Last the Longest?Man sleeping comfortably on luxury pillow

In general, higher-quality pillows will last longer. Pillows made with high-quality materials and manufactured with durability in mind will be able to retain their form and shape longer and avoid the lumps and bumps of cheaper materials. This is an important factor to consider when looking for pillows for form retention.

Most pillows should be changed every few years, no matter the material. Polyester, memory foam, cotton, gel, and fiberfill pillows generally last one to two years. Higher quality pillows, such as latex pillows, made from rubber, are more durable, lasting three to five years.

Quality down and feather pillows are washable so they can be kept clean. They retain their shape longer and may last three to four years, if well cared for.

Pillow protectors can help extend the life of your pillow, but for maximum comfort and health, it’s recommended to replace your pillow every two years.

When It’s Time for a New Pillow

If you wake up with a sore neck or red eyes, that’s a good sign it’s time for a new pillow with the right loft and support for a great night’s sleep. A good rule is that, when you change your bedding, take time to examine your pillow, and shake and fluff it to check the loft and support. Look to see if the stuffing is evenly distributed and smooth and if the pillow bounces back to its original shape. You will know when it’s time to choose a new pillow that will provide the sleep comfort you need. Some people buy pillows in pairs and keep a spare new pillow on hand so they can change it out and feel the difference.

Here are some good choices for long-lasting, quality hotel pillows:

Hotel Bellazure Duo Down Soft PillowPic of 3 hotel quality Bellazure Duo Down Feather Pillows

Our soft feather and down pillow is a favorite with back sleepers. The fill is natural down and feathers that help hold the pillow’s shape. The casing features double stitch cotton ticking that keeps the down from leaking. You will sleep like a baby on this resort-style pillow.

Hotel Sobella Hypoallergenic Medium PillowPicture of Sobella hypoallergenic medium luxury pillow

Here’s a lofty, supportive pillow for side sleepers. With gel filling and 100% cotton casing, this luxury pillow is hypoallergenic, plush, and restful. You’ll feel like you’re at a vacation resort every time you sleep on it.

Hotel Dolce Vita Eco-Friendly PillowDolce Vita Eco-friendly Pillow

For eco-conscious sleepers, this eco-friendly pillow is filled with soft, recycled PETP fiber fill. Soft and cozy, it’s great for back and stomach sleepers. The cover is 100% cotton and has an anti-microbial silpure finish to help keep the pillow fresh and clean. It’s the perfect comfort pillow for a great night’s rest.

Check out more hotel and resort-quality pillows and bedding at sobelathome.com.


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