How often should I replace my pillow to prevent neck pain?

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How Often Should I Replace My Pillow to Prevent Neck Pain?

Many people experience neck pain related to their sleeping surface, often due to an inadequate pillow. The most common causes of neck pain include: an old, limp, or inadequate pillow; sleeping in an uncomfortable position; and the body’s natural aging process.

Replacing your pillow regularly is essential to ensuring that you maintain sound sleep and proper neck support while you are sleeping, which can prevent neck pain. Here are a few tips to help you determine how often you should change your pillow to prevent neck pain:

1. Know When To Change

The general rule of thumb for replacing a pillow is every 12-18 months, or when your pillow starts to look lumpy or worn. As time passes, your pillow accumulates dust, bacteria, and allergens; it can also lose its original shape, causing your neck to be placed in an awkward position as you sleep.

2. Consider Your Sleep Habits

If you are a stomach or side sleeper, you may need to replace your pillow more frequently than other sleep positions. Both stomach sleepers and side sleepers tend to rest their heads directly on the pillow, so they can put more weight and strain on it over time.

3. Use a Pillow Protector

Using a pillow protector can help you extend the lifespan of your pillow while preventing allergies, dust mites, and bacteria. Pillow protectors are a great way to keep your pillow clean, so you can get the most out of it.

4. Be Mindful Of Your Pillow Fill

The type of filler in your pillow can play a big factor in determining how often you need to replace it. Natural down pillows generally last much longer than synthetic fillers, so it is important to consider that when shopping for a pillow.

5. Listen To Your Body

One of the best ways to determine how often to replace your pillow is to pay attention to your body. If you find that your neck is aching more than normal and/or you are waking up with headaches more often, it is likely time to get a new pillow.


Replacing your pillow regularly is essential to maintaining sound sleep and avoiding neck pain. By following the above tips, you can determine how often you should replace your pillow and ensure that your neck is well-supported while you rest.

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