When we think of achieving the perfect night’s sleep that’s both comfortable and good for our physical health or posture, a mattress is usually the first port of call - but what if we told you sleeping with a supportive pillow is equally as important if you want to wake up feeling fit?
While most people have a setup they are happy with, it’s not knowing when your pillows need a refresh that can lead to issues with back, joint or neck pains.
So how long does a memory foam pillow last, and how do you know when it’s time to replace?
How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?
How long your pillow will last, of course, mainly depends on the type of pillow you use and its material structure. While many factors can contribute to the feel, pillow material is the biggest game player in how often they will need replacing.
Here’s how often you should be refreshing some of the most popular pillow types on the market:
Are you replacing yours this often?
It might seem quite regular in comparison to how often most people change their pillows, but when you lose the structural stability of a pillow, it has an impact on your quality of sleep and your physical health.
A sad and flimsy pillow will directly affect your shoulders, neck and head, which in turn could lead to issues with spinal alignment and back pains in general. Replacing a pillow at the recommended frequency will reduce the risk of joint pains and aches.
As well as this, sleeping on the same pillow for 8 hours a night, every night, is bound to result in some dirt buildup that even your washing machine is scared of.
How to Make Memory Foam Pillows Last Longer?
If you want to make sure you get that maximum 36 month shelf life out of your memory foam pillow, before it’s shy, retired and needing a new lease of life, there are some measures you can take to ensure longevity.
Use a Pillow Cover
A simple yet effective precaution.
Aside from the physical damage of body weight and movement, dirt and grime is the biggest cause of early deterioration in pillows and memory foam mattresses.
A pillow cover (under your pillowcase) or pillow protector will soak up any external moisture, such as sweat, body oils, harsh cosmetics, that would otherwise sink into your memory foam pillow causing damage.
So, if you want to keep allergens and dirt and bay while prolonging the life of your memory foam pillow by almost double, a protective cover is a great place to start - just make sure you give the cover a wash as per instructions every two to three weeks.
Wash Your Pillow - Sticking to Cleaning Instructions
I know we said a pillow cover will prevent external moisture and dirt from seeping into your memory foam pillow, bare in mind that some of the nasties will still make their way through. After all, you will be sleeping on it for roughly 8 hours a night, every night.
Washing your pillow thoroughly will also do a much better job at eliminating odours, oils, dead skin cells and dust mites that will accumulate over time.
You should give your pillow a full wash or clean every six months, but make sure you follow the instructions on the label as a polyester will have very different washing instructions to a foam or feather pillow, for example.
Washing A Memory Foam Pillow
If you do own a memory foam pillow, the washing machine should be avoided. This will ruin the structural integrity of the foam and maybe even result in the pillow losing its original shape.
If you want to deep wash your foam pillow:
- Fill a bath, bucket or other with lukewarm water and mild detergent
- Place the pillow in the water and gently squeeze - repeat two or three times
- Drain the pillow until the water runs clear
- Gently squeeze to drain water, but don’t twist or distort the pillow in the process
- Leave the pillow to air dry
How Do You Know It’s Time For a New Pillow?
There are many tell tale signs that your memory foam pillow has seen the end of its life and needs replacing:
- If you fold your foam pillow in half and it stays folded upon release - the biggest and most obvious sign for foam pillows
- You regularly wake up with aches and pains in your neck and shoulders
- Visible lumps and bumps in the foam
- If you find yourself battling to get your pillow to properly support your head
- You are regularly waking up tired with headaches or tension headaches
- If your sleeping positions don’t feel supportive and you know your mattress isn’t the problem
- Waking up sneezing from dust mites
- Visible stains or marks from sweat or oils - even after a deep clean
What are The Best Memory Foam Pillows?
The quality of the foam pillow will also have a direct impact on how long it will last, but it also needs to meet your personal preferences of comfort when it comes to having a good night sleep.
For Those With Back Issues
If you find yourself already struggling with back issues, you need to make sure your pillow compliments that and offers the qualities that you need to wake up feeling ready to take on the day.
The Essentials Memory Foam Core Pillow uses foam outside of the norm. The foam core is vital for spine alignment, and it is cushioned on either side of the pillow to ensure it adapts to every pressure point - regardless of your sleep position.
For Those Needing Extra Support
The 4G Aircool Memory Foam Pillow is made with a luxurious, orthopedic foam offering the highest level of support. The foam is also made with an open-cell structure, meaning you will have all of the support of a traditional orthopedic pillow, but one that is more breathable if you find traditional foam pillows too stuffy and hot.
For The Hot Sleepers
The pillow is made with a smart fabric that absorbs excess moisture and built-up body heat, keeping your face and neck cool all through the night - perfect for sufferers of the night sweats!