When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, few things are as important as a comfortable pillow. Not only does your pillow provide support for your head and neck, but it also contributes to spinal alignment, sleep quality and your overall wellbeing.
However, like all things in life, pillows have a limited lifespan, and knowing when to bid adieu to your pillow can make a significant difference to your sleep experience. In this article, we'll give you the lowdown on pillow expiration so you know when it's time to replace them.
What are the risks of using an expired pillow?
Although you won’t get food poisoning from using an expired pillow, that’s not to say there are no risks.
Neck, Shoulder or Back Pain
An old and worn-out pillow can contribute to neck and shoulder pain. As a pillow ages, it loses its ability to provide adequate support to your head, neck, and spine. This can result in poor alignment, leading to discomfort, stiffness, and even chronic neck or back pain.
If you wake up with sore shoulders or stiff spine, it might be time to consider investing in a new pillow that provides better support before booking an appointment with a physio.
Allergies and Respiratory Issues
Over time, pillows accumulate dust mites, dead skin cells, and other allergens. These allergens trigger respiratory issues, especially in individuals who are sensitive or prone to allergies. This can lead to symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, itching, and even worsen conditions like asthma.
If you find yourself sneezier than you used to be, your old pillow might be to blame. Try replacing your old pillow with an anti-allergy pillow if this is the case.
Subpar Sleep Quality
An expired pillow that is causing neck pain and breathing issues is likely no longer offering the level of comfort and cushioning needed for a restful sleep. As a result, you may experience tossing and turning during the night, find it difficult to fall asleep, or wake up more frequently.
Together, this leads to disrupted sleep of worse quality which you’ll find starts to boil over into other areas of your life.
Signs You Should Replace Your Pillow
Besides the symptoms you may be experiencing, there are a few other telltale signs that it’s time to change your pillow.
Uneven filling is another common indicator of an expired pillow. Over time, the filling materials inside the pillow can shift or become compressed, leading to uneven distribution of support. Although it’s normal for certain materials such as feather to gather, if shaking the pillow out doesn’t get rid of the lumps then it’s definitely time for a new one.
You’ve Had It Past The Expiration Date
It’s not just food that has an expiration date. In fact, some pillows (such as Tontine’s!) have an expiration date printed on their tags so you can easily track when it’s time for a new one.
If you’re unable to find a date and can’t remember when you bought your pillow, this likely means that the expiration date has well and truly passed.
Did you know the average person sheds 4 kilograms of skin each year, much of which ends up in our beds? Not only that, but old pillows harbour sweat, oils, and other bodily fluids that accumulate over time.
This causes visible yellowing, which indicates an unhygienic sleep environment that leads to skin irritation, acne breakouts, and potential infections. If washing your pillow doesn't help, it might be time.
How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow?
So, how often should you replace your pillow?
At Tontine, our polyester and cotton pillows generally last up to two years with good care and normal use. After two years they begin to lose the superior comfort and support qualities they’re famous for.
To make it as simple as possible for you to tell when to replace your Tontine pillow, most Tontine pillows are date stamped with the date two years ahead of the day they’re made, as a guide. To make it even simpler, the Tontine Digital Date Stamp allows you to register your pillow so you can receive an email notification when it’s time to replace.