Is Your Pillow Harming Your Health?

The average person (non-Netflix addict that is) will sleep for 229,961 hours in their lifetime, or basically one third of their life. Most of that time is spent with your sleepy head on your pillow – but how much thought do you actually give to your pillows? 

Your pillow plays a pretty important role in the quality of your sleep. Problems associated with poor quality pillows include back and neck pain, restlessness and insomnia. The wrong pillow can also be a breeding ground for mould, dust mites and fungi. Poor quality pillows especially can contain chemicals or allergens that can irritate the skin – and I’m not even counting the copious amounts of drool and sweat that you add to the mix. Delightful.

So, what should you be doing to look after your pillow, and how often should you change yours? We’ve asked the experts (yes, there are actual experts on this sort of thing out there) and rounded up the best advice for you right here.

Firstly, a pillow should be replaced every 2 – 7 years, depending on the quality. If you fold your pillow in half and it doesn’t bounce back into shape, it’s lost its support and you should consider replacing it. How many of the pillows in your home can you say have been around longer than 7 years? Yeah, me too.

In order to keep your pillow as clean as possible, always use a pillowcase. This should be washed at least once every 4 days. Did you know your hair carries more dirt than anywhere else on your body? Avoid using dryer sheets when drying your pillowcases – these can contain chemicals that irritate the sensitive skin on your face, and have even been known to cause acne. Air dry all the way, people! Exfoliate your skin weekly – that way you’ll leave less skin cells and oil behind on your pillowcase, and consequently prevent a build-up of the bacteria and dirt that can clog your pores.

When choosing a new pillow, there are lots of options to choose from. To prevent back and neck pain, you want to make sure the pillow offers you adequate support, whilst still being comfortable. Consider hypoallergenic material, and check whether the pillow contains any chemicals such as fire retardants, that can irritate sensitive skin.

We love the scrumdiddlyumptious bamboo fibre shredded memory foam pillows from CosyBoo – available here. These hotel quality pillows will maintain their shape and support for a long time, but are extremely comfortable, and the cover is super silky soft. They’re also hypoallergenic, and certified free from harmful or irritating chemicals.



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  • Great article!


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