Take a moment and think about when the last time you replaced your pillow was. Using a different old one doesn’t count. When is the last time you threw out your pillow and replaced it with a brand new one?
If the answer is more than a year ago, you’re way overdue for a change, according to one expert. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, says pillows should be replaced with brand new ones every six months. Here's what he told the Huffington Post recently.
“People talk about how nasty a mattress gets," Oexman says, but pillows can get just as dirty. “…it's just not something you want to be around longer than six months,” he adds.
Oexman says the replacement is necessary because pillows are magnets for dirt, debris, and dust mites.
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Washing pillows is an option as well, but the rigors of a wash cycle can leave a pillows cushioning out of form. As Andrew Hecht over at Web MD says, an improper pillow can aggravate a host of health problems.
"A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many underlying problems… and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night's rest," Hecht says.
While Oexman says a pillow should be replaced every six months, doctors over at Web MD say every 12-18 months is enough. After two years max, they say, it’s definitely got to go.