BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Bed & Bath

How often should you replace your pillows? Way more often than you do

Adobe Stock/BestReviews illustration

No, you can’t keep that favorite pillow forever

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.

Just like your mattress and other bedding, pillows need to be regularly replaced. But how often? It depends on a few factors. 

Shop this article: Marriott Lyocell Down PillowArticNorthDown Standard Goose Down Pillow Hotel Collection Bed PillowWeekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow

Why do you need to replace your pillows?

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.

How do you know when it's time to get new pillows?

There are a few signs to watch for. If your pillows are:

  • Losing their shape
  • Getting stained or smelly
  • Causing your allergies to flare up
  • Causing you neck or body pain

It's probably time for new ones.

The best hotel pillows

Marriott Lyocell Down Pillow

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 Pillow

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.

W Hotels Down Alternative Pillow

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.

Best down pillows under $50

ArticNorthDown Standard Goose Down Pillow Hotel Collection Bed Pillow

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.

Apsmile Goose Feather Down Pillow

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.

Best memory foam pillows under $50

Weekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow

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.

Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

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.

Wayfair Sleep Memory Foam Medium Support Pillow

This memory foam pillow is medium firmness with mid-loft design, making it comfortable and versatile for many different kinds of sleepers.

Best down alternative pillows under $50

viewstar Down Alternative Bed Pillows

These microfiber pillows come in a two-pack for extra value. They fluff up well and give good head and neck support.

Mzoimzo Soft Down Alternative Queen Size Bed Pillows Set of 2

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.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

Share this post: