We all probably have a favorite pillow. But if you've been hanging onto your emotional support pillow for so long it's flat, lumpy or stained, I'm here with bad news: You should probably replace it.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), pillows should be replaced roughly every two years because over time, they build up allergens like dust mites, dander and even mold.
Dust mites are tiny insects, too small to see, but living just about everywhere around us — including in your pillows. And gross as it sounds, they survive by eating your dead skin cells. AAFA's chief mission officer, Melanie Carver, told U.S. News & World Report, "You can be allergic to both the body parts and droppings of dust mites. After two years, 10% of the weight of your pillow can be from dead dust mites and their droppings."
If that doesn't convince you to replace your pillows, nothing will.
There are a few signs to watch for. If your pillows are:
It's probably time for new ones.
The exclusive pillow from Marriott has a unique dual-chamber design. The outer chamber is filled with down, and the inner chamber is filled with duck feathers. This pillow comes in three sizes with a breathable, moisture-wicking cotton cover.
The Ritz-Carlton offers a plush allergen-free pillow filled with a blend of down, feathers and lyocell fibers with a cotton cover. Its three chambers help it keep its shape so it stays fluffy and supportive.
The trendy W Hotels chain offers an allergen- and feather-free pillow, filled with down-alternative microloft filling that gives it a high loft. This machine-washable pillow is available in two sizes.
This down pillow is low loft, so it's perfect for anyone who doesn't like a thick, fluffy pillow. Its cotton cover keeps the feathers from sticking out.
This medium-soft pillow comes with a zippered cotton cover for easy care. It's easy to fluff and offers a nice balance of softness and support.
This pillow is made from solid memory foam. It comes in three sizes, all ventilated and infused with gel to keep you cool while you sleep.
This high density pillow is filled with shredded memory foam, so you can remove it to get the perfect loft and firmness for your comfort and sleeping style.
This memory foam pillow is medium firmness with mid-loft design, making it comfortable and versatile for many different kinds of sleepers.
These microfiber pillows come in a two-pack for extra value. They fluff up well and give good head and neck support.
These hypoallergenic pillows are under $30 for two queen-sized, which is a great deal. The microfiber fill makes them fluffy with a high loft, so they're best for people who prefer a soft pillow.
Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.