How to Tell When Your Pillow Needs Replacing

If you can’t remember when you last replaced your pillow—or if you ever have— then it’s probably time to replace it. When a pillow wears out, it can’t provide the support it once did for a restful night’s sleep. Depending on the quality and type of pillow, it can last anywhere from 1-10 years or more. With such a large window, we need to go by feel to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your pillow.


What is your pillow made of?

Down and feather pillows can be washed regularly— we recommend every 6 months—and the fill is very durable, making their lifespan 5-10 years or more.

Synthetic pillows, depending on the material quality used, usually need to be replaced every 1-2 years.

Foam is a little trickier; it depends on the quality of the foam and the usage it is being put through. The foam does harden over time, so when it is too hard for your liking, it’s time to replace.


Pillows should be fluffy and soft, not flat and hard.

If your down and/or feather pillows are feeling a little less than lofty, it is important to first wash and dry your pillow to see if that will fluff them back up. If your pillow can no longer return to its potential loft and fluff, it’s time for an upgrade.

If your synthetic pillow is starting to clump, the loftiness and conformance is beginning to break down, leading to a less comfortable night’s sleep. Since synthetic fibers do not fluff up like down and feather, once it’s flat, it can’t go back.

Like it was stated earlier, foam gets hard over time. Once you hit that point, it’s time to replace.


Need a final indicator? Try the folding test!

For down and feather, lay your fluffed pillow on a hard surface. Fold the pillow in half and press all of the air out, folding king pillows into thirds. When you release, it should unfold and return to its original shape; if it does not, it’s time for a new pillow.

Synthetic pillows follow the same formula, but this time you should place a 10oz. object on the folded pillow—like a shoe. A pillow with ample support will throw off the tennis shoe, while a worn-out pillow will remain folded.

As for most things, it’s important to care for your pillows and keep them clean to make sure they last as long as possible. With proper care, your feather and down pillows can last for up to 10 years, making it an excellent investment in your sleep satisfaction.