Ensuring Hygiene: When Should You Change Your Pillow?

28th November , 2021

Heavy is the pillow that bears years and years of dust mites! Hygiene is something that is often overlooked when it comes to deciding when to replace pillows. Eventual sag and deformation is always taken into account, but sanitation is an important factor too. Old pillows are home to allergens and build-up of sweat, oil, and dead skin that may cause sore throat, runny nose, and eye irritation. Studies suggest that pillows must be replaced every one or two years to avoid these problems. Washing pillows can prolong pillow lifespan but they ultimately have to be changed for ergonomic and sanitary reasons.

What are the telltale signs that your pillow is dirty and needs changing?

Visible stains. Discoloration is an effect of an accumulation of oils, saliva, and sweat in your pillow. Opt for a pillow with a removable cover that you can easily take off and sanitize.

You’re inhibiting common symptoms of allergies: runny nose, irritated eyes, and itchy throat. Pillows collect dust mites over time. These are microscopic bugs that commonly grow and thrive in house dust. They cause allergic reactions and in worse cases, they can also cause difficulty in breathing and sneezing. 

Skin irritation. Pillows are a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria and fungus that can irritate your skin. Dirt and oil build-up can clog the skin and cause breakouts so you must see to it that your pillow covers are regularly washed. If consistent cleaning doesn’t do the job anymore, perhaps your pillow is due for a replacement.

To slow down growth of bacteria and allergens in your pillows, it’s recommended not only to change and clean your pillowcases, but to also clean your face and your hair before sleeping. Oils, dust, and make-up from your skin can seep into the pillow causing fabric staining and acne-causing dirt to get into your face. Making sure that you’re going to bed clean can reduce accumulation of dirt that will irritate your skin in the long run.

Pets also carry a lot of germs that can transfer to pillows in their paws and fur. Studies show that animal dander can exacerbate a person’s allergies. So as much as we love our fur-babies, it’s good practice to train them to keep away from our pillows. 

When it comes to washing your pillows, make sure to read the care instructions to preserve their material. If there are no special instructions indicated against heat, a good tip to sanitizing pillows is to wash them with hot water on top of detergent. This can greatly help in killing fungus and bacteria growing in your pillow. Drying them completely before using is also essential to make sure no mold can thrive where there is moisture.

Hypoallergenic pillows can significantly decrease symptoms of allergies from dust mite build-up. They are filled with natural materials such as cotton and wool. Pillows made of memory foam and latex materials are also sanitary options as they are anti-microbial in nature. Regardless of what type of pillow fill you choose, regular removal and washing must still be practiced to ensure good hygiene.

Achieving a peaceful, congestion-free sleep is definitely attainable so long as you practice proper sanitary practices. Making a habit of regularly washing and replacing pillows will keep your pillow clean and you safe and germ-free. 

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