It’s easy to think of your pillows as old standbys. They give you comfort, ease, a sense of security, and above all else, a good night’s sleep. Or do they? In fact, your favorite cushion may be doing more harm than good if it is long overdue for replacement. Check out this guide to see how a new pillow can bring new life to your sleep.
How Pillows Affect Your Sleep
Your pillow plays a vital role in the quality of your sleep. It supports your neck and spine, keeping them in a neutral alignment.
Although it might be possible to fall asleep on a cheap or worn-out pillow, the lack of proper support can hinder your body’s natural ability to heal or recover from the stresses of the day. For people suffering from back or spine problems, the type of pillow you choose can make the difference between waking up rested and waking up rusty.
One thing to remember: The pillow you choose needs to match your sleeping style. A side sleeper needs a different pillow than a back sleeper, for example. In this case, one size does not fit all. For more information on choosing the right pillow for a comfortable night’s sleep, check out our guide here.
What Else is in Your Pillow?
Your pillow absorbs the weight of your head like a sponge. Unfortunately, it also soaks up your dead skin, oil, and hair. These are like an all-you-can-eat buffet for dust mites – tiny members of the spider family which settle down in the crevices of your pillow. We never stop providing them with food since our body sheds skin, oil, and hair every night. The less we wash and change our pillows, the more dust mites we invite in.
Dr. Arthur Tucker says that almost a third of your pillow’s weight could be made up of dead skin, dust mites, and feces. Not only is this totally gross, but it also can lead to the flattening of your pillow cushions which can reduce the ability of your pillow to support you.
Although it is unpleasant to think about them, the good news is that dust mites don’t spread disease. The bad news, however, is that some people are allergic to them. If you’re waking up with a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, we suggest getting yourself checked for indoor dust mite allergies.
You can reduce this problem by washing your pillowcase every week, but sooner or later, your old pillow will have to go. Beckham Hotel Collection offers the perfect hypoallergenic replacement pillows to help prevent allergic reactions caused by dust mites.
The Hidden Cause Behind Your Breakouts
We’re supposed to be done with pimples by the time we graduate from high school, and yet we still find blemishes just before a big meeting! You’re using the best products for your face, so why is this happening? According to Mayo clinic, acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. If you’re frequently waking up with breakouts, your old pillow could be the culprit.
If you don’t clean your pillow and pillowcase regularly, oil and dirt will build up. When you go to sleep, that oil transfers back to your face, which can cause breakouts and blemishes.
For people who are prone to breakouts, frequent pillow washing should be the norm.
7 Tell-Tale Signs You Need a New Pillow
No matter how well you take care of your pillow, eventually getting a fresh new replacement is the only option left. How do you know that the time has come?
- You wake up regularly with neck, shoulder, or back pain
- You feel tired and easily agitated during the day
- You sneeze or your nose suddenly feels full when you’re in bed
- Tension headaches are a daily occurrence upon waking up
- You move a lot during the night and are constantly adjusting your pillow
- Lumps in the filler materials are clearly showing in your pillow
- There are permanent, yellowish stains on your pillow
If you’re prone to allergies, you need to change your pillow more often than others. We all move during the night, but we also have our preferred sleeping position. If you recently changed yours, you need a new pillow because every sleeping position requires different support.
When to Change and How to Maintain
How often you need to change your pillow depends on its quality and type. In most cases, it’s recommended to change it every 1 or 2 years. Polyester pillows will last you 6-24 months, while memory foam pillows will support your sleep for 18-36 months. Choosing the best quality pillow and taking proper care of it will help expand its lifespan.
The first thing you need to do is to find a good pillowcase that you will wash regularly. In addition to a pillowcase, you can use a pillow cover with a zipper. It’s a good way to encase your pillow and it serves as an extra buffer against build-up. This extra layer will prevent more shed skin and body oil from being absorbed and it will stand as a barrier for those dust mites.
When you choose a pillow to buy, ensure it has a label saying it’s machine washable. You should wash your pillow every six months and lay it out to dry. There should be no damp clumps or moisture. Check the label to see if it is fade & stain-resistant – this will make your life so much easier.
Although we may not think about replacing our pillows as regularly as we replace our sheets or comforters, the truth is that pillows should be replaced every couple of years and cleaned intermittently to keep away dirt, grime, oil, bugs, and other uncomfortable irritants. A good pillow is a key to a good night’s sleep, so make sure you keep these tips in mind the next time you settle into bed.
Contributing Writer: Eni Susak