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How Long Should You Use a Memory Foam Pillow?

Posted By: Layla

Memory foam pillows offer soft support that can help keep your neck and shoulders in proper alignment. However, sleeping with the wrong pillow for your preferred sleeping position can result in back, neck, and shoulder pain, making falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. We've all experienced what happens when we sleep on the wrong pillow, but what about sleeping on an old pillow?

How Long Should You Use a Memory Foam Pillow?

Everyone has their favorite pillow. They use it every night and may even take it when traveling. However, it might be time to say goodbye to your trusted sleeping companion because no pillow can last forever. Eventually, the materials in your pillow will start to break down and won’t be able to provide you with the proper support.

Additionally, dust and oils from the environment and your body can invade your pillow, potentially making sleeping on it unhealthy. Even if you wash your pillow, there will come a day when it can no longer provide you with the comfort and support you need. So, how long do memory foam pillows last? Keep reading to find out.

What Is a Memory Foam Pillow?

Memory foam pillows are made from polyurethane and won’t compress as flat as other types of pillows. As a result, they’re typically longer-lasting, and you don’t need to flip them as often. What makes memory foam pillows stand out from other types of pillows is that they offer spine alignment by supporting the head and neck and allowing the heaviest part of the head to sink down into the pillow with minimal resistance.

Additionally, memory foam pillows conform to your body to properly support the head and neck, and they come in various lofts to help you choose the right one for your preferred sleeping position. Perhaps even more important is that memory foam pillows are easy to maintain because they’re highly durable and don’t flatten as easily as other materials.

How Long Do Memory Foam Pillows Last?

Memory foam pillows are durable and don’t flatten as easily as other pillows, giving them the unique ability to conform to your body and support your head, neck, and shoulders. So how long do memory foam pillows last, and how often should you replace your memory foam pillow? Unfortunately, even the greatest pillows can’t last forever. Memory foam pillows should be replaced every 2-3 years, but they have longer lifespans than other types of pillows, such as polyester, down, and down alternative pillows.

Memory foam pillows should be replaced every 2 to 3 years

However, how often you have to replace your memory foam pillows depends on various other factors, like how often you use it, if you’re washing it and taking proper care of it, and if you fluff it regularly.

Signs Your Memory Foam Pillow Needs to be Replaced

If you’ve had your memory foam pillow for two or three years, it’s time to think about replacing it. However, there are certain circumstances when you might need to replace it sooner. Ultimately, not all memory foam pillows are created equal, and you can find higher-quality pillows that last much longer than low-quality ones.

Unfortunately, even choosing the best pillow won’t prevent the need to replace it. In any case, here are a few signs it’s time to replace your memory foam pillow:

Signs your memory foam pillow needs to be replaced
  • Fold test failure: The fold test is a simple yet effective way to determine whether your pillow is still as supportive as it once was, and it works for all types of pillows. To perform the fold test, you fold your pillow in half and watch for how quickly it springs back. A pillow that doesn’t need to be replaced will spring back immediately. However, if your pillow takes time to return to its normal position or doesn’t spring back at all, it’s time for a new one.
  • Lumps and bumps: Lumps and bumps are usually more common in polyester pillows, but they can happen in memory foam pillows. As you use your pillow, your head usually rests in the same spot every night, creating a divot and contributing to lumps and bumps. Your pillow shouldn’t contain any lumps or bumps because they can prevent your head from remaining in a neutral position with the spine.
  • Aches and pains: Most people have experienced pain after sleeping on the wrong pillow at night. However, your current pillow can betray you if it’s too old. Your head slowly compresses your pillow every night, which could cause indentations that prevent the pillow from keeping your head, neck, and shoulders in proper alignment and contribute to pain in the morning.
  • Odor: When you sleep, your skin sheds oils and dirt that can seep into your pillow. This moisture and dirt can contribute to bacteria and mildew that can cause an unpleasant odor and trigger allergy symptoms.
  • Difficulty sleeping: If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, your pillow could be to blame because it’s not as comfortable as it once was.
  • Acne flare-ups: As we’ve mentioned, your body oils can rub onto your pillow at night, even seeping through the pillowcase. This oil on your pillow can contribute to clogged pores and acne flare-ups.
  • Stains: It’s normal for pillows to get stained throughout their lifespans due to sweat, oils, and spills. However, if your pillow is completely discolored, it’s probably time for a new one.

Factors that Affect Memory Foam Pillow Lifespan

The average memory foam pillow lifespan is two to three years. However, several factors can reduce their lifespan, including the following:

  • Usage: The more you use a pillow, the shorter its lifespan because your head compresses the material in, or around, the same spot every night. If you don’t use your pillow every night, you may be able to keep it for over three years.
  • Care: Proper pillow care is crucial because it can help prolong your pillow’s lifespan. You should wash and fluff your pillows regularly to ensure the proper loft and prevent the memory foam from being compressed.
  • Storage: If you don’t use your memory foam pillow every night, you should have a good storage solution for it. It’s best to keep it in a cool, dark, and dry place to prevent moisture buildup that can contribute to mildew.
  • Quality: Memory foam pillow quality varies by brand. Typically, you can expect to get what you pay for, so the more you’re willing to pay for your memory foam pillow, the longer it will last.
  • Sleeping position: How you sleep on your pillow may also affect how long it lasts. For example, if you sleep on your side and your pillow doesn’t offer the right support, it can force your shoulders and neck together, compressing that one area of the pillow.

Tips to Make Memory Foam Pillows Last Longer

Memory foam pillows won’t last a lifetime, but there are several ways you can make your pillow last longer.

Tips to make your memory foam pillow last longer
  • Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions: Manufacturers put care instructions on their pillows to help them last as long as possible. Following those instructions for washing, drying, and general care tips can help you keep your pillow for longer.
  • Wash your pillowcase and pillow regularly: Washing your pillowcase and pillow regularly is crucial because it can remove dust and oils that have accumulated over time. Learn how to wash a pillow.
  • Rotate your pillow: Rotating your pillows can prevent nightly compression from causing indentations, lumps, and bumps in memory foam pillows. The less you use your pillow, the longer its lifespan.
  • Fluff your pillow: Fluffing your pillow will prevent it from becoming compressed from regular use to ensure that it can keep your spine in proper alignment by holding your head at the proper angle for your preferred sleeping position.
  • Air out your pillow: Airing out your pillows in the sun can bring a little life back into them by helping them decompress. The sun’s UV rays can also eliminate germs and bacteria while removing odors.

Importance of Regularly Replacing Pillows

Now that you know when to replace a memory foam pillow, you might wonder why you should do it. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of not replacing their pillows every few years and don’t realize that this bad habit could be responsible for health issues and pain. Here are a few of the benefits of regularly replacing your pillows:

  • Reduce allergies: Over time, your pillow collects dust and moisture, potentially becoming a breeding ground for mildew and bacteria that can trigger your allergies. If your allergies flare up at night, you might consider replacing your pillow and seeing if it reduces your symptoms.
  • Prevent illnesses: Old pillows have years to accumulate fungus and mold that can contribute to respiratory issues and trigger asthma.
  • Avoid acne: Unless you sleep on your back, you probably sleep with your face directly on your pillow. While a pillowcase can protect the pillow from oils from your skin and hair, these oils can seep into your pillow and trigger acne.
  • Support your head and neck: Over time, your pillow will compress, regardless of quality. Therefore, eventually, it won’t be able to support your head and neck as well as it once did. Replacing your pillow with a new one will ensure that your body remains in proper alignment to help avoid aches and pains in the morning.

Key Takeaways: How Often Should You Replace Your Memory Foam Pillow?

Layla Memory Foam Pillow

So how long do memory foam pillows last? Around two or three years if you take good care of them. However, you may need to replace your pillow more often if you choose not to wash or fluff it. When you’re ready to buy a new pillow, try Layla’s memory foam pillows. Our Kapok Pillow combines reactive memory foam and kapok fibers to feel soft and conform to your head while holding its shape. Similarly, the Layla Memory Foam Pillow offers unparalleled comfort and adjustable loft, making it ideal for all sleeping positions.

Ready to change the way you sleep? Replace your mattress, pillows, and bedding with our top products, designed to improve your sleep quality.