How to test if your pillow needs replacing

An old pillow can make you tired

At the end of the day (literally), a pillow’s job is to give you a good night’s sleep. It does this by giving support to your head, aligning your neck with your spine and providing a soft smooth surface to rest your head.

On average, your pillow performs this role admirably for over 2500 hours a year, the equivalent of over 100 days and the poor thing gets worn out surprisingly quickly.

One of the biggest contributing factors to a bad night’s sleep is a bad pillow, either because it’s the wrong sort of pillow for your sleeping style or because it’s worn out.

A tired pillow will not be able to do its job as well as it should and you should seek a replacement asap.

Guidelines on how long you can expect a pillow to last:

  • Feather pillows: 8 years
  • Down pillows: 5 years
  • Synthetic pillows: 6 months to 2 years

how to tell if you need a pillow replacement:

  • If it’s a feather or down pillow, place the pillow on a table, fold it in half and squeeze out the air. Let the pillow go and if unfolds itself back to its original shape then it means the filling still has enough support in it. If it doesn’t spring back then it’s lost its support and needs replacing.
  • If it’s a synthetic pillow (polyester, hollowfibre, microfibre) then place it on a table, fold it in half and place a small weight on it, around 300g (e.g. a decent paperback). If the pillow springs back to shape whilst flinging off the weight then it still has enough support, if not, chuck it and buy a new one.

Don’t let a bad pillow disrupt your sleep, it’s not necessarily expensive (take a look at our top 10 list) and you deserve better. For the amount of time you use them, a good pillow has got to be one of the best investments you can make.