How Often Should I Replace my Pillows and Duvet?

When was the last time you replaced your pillows and duvet?If it was so long ago you can’t remember, you may want to read on.

Bedding is more than something soft to lie on and under, it takes care of our health too. So to keep ourselves in good nick, we need to take very good care of our duvets and pillows and replace them regularly.

When to replace your pillows

According to the Sleep Council, you should replace your pillows every two years, though a study by premium mattress manufacturer, Ergoflex UK, showed that the average Briton will keep hold of their pillows for 3.2 years.

We all love that luxurious satisfaction we get from the fresh, plump comfort and clean smell of a brand new set of pillows. But after years of continued use, your pillows will begin to lose their supportive structure and cleanliness, potentially building up infestations of dust mites and dead skin cells (yikes!), which can have negative effects on your health.

But don’t worry, you can apply a variety of measures to help keep your pillows in the best possible condition during their recommended two-year lifespan. Firstly, try and get into the habit of plumping them up every day to help even out the filling and prevent sagging. You can also use pillow protectors, which offer a protective barrier against dirt and oils – but make sure you wash and change your pillow protectors and pillow cases every week for maximum cleanliness.

And don’t be afraid to launder your pillows. You can put most pillows through the washing machine and tumble drier every six months to remove any dead skin cells and pesky dust mites that may have made themselves at home. However, make sure you always check the care label for specific washing instructions before you do, just in case.  

If you want an easy way to test if your pillow needs replacing, try the arm test. Simply balance the pillow over your arm; if it sags over either side of your arm, it’s crying out to be replaced. If, however, it stays fairly rigid and holds its shape, it’s good for plenty more sleeps.

When to replace your duvet

Whether you buy goose feather and down luxury duvets or opt for the slightly lower cost microfibre duvets, they all need to be cared for and replaced regularly for maximum benefits and hygiene.

The Sleep Council advises that duvets should be replaced every five years, though once again the survey by Ergoflex UK shows that the average person keeps hold of their duvet for far too long; 7.6 years to be exact.

The quality of your duvet will also determine how long you should keep hold of it, with the higher quality, luxury duvets tending to last a little longer than others. If you’re not sure if your duvet needs replacing, look out for the following telltale signs:

  • It feels thin and limp due to the filling being compressed, which will mean it can’t trap air and maintain your body temperature correctly.
  • It’s feels lumpy due to the filling being unevenly spread. This can happen naturally or after a few too many washes.
  • The filling is leaking out due to rips, split seams or thinning of the casing.

Just like with your pillows, you can take steps to maintain your duvet and ensure it lasts its full five years. Look for microfibre duvets or feather duvets with cotton covers, as these are more breathable and keep you cooler, which means your duvet will stay cleaner for longer.

And, just like pillows, most duvets can be machine washed (but never dry cleaned). Due to their size, machine washing at home isn’t always possible so you may have to take your duvet to your local launderette, though this only needs to be done once or twice a year. Washing and tumble drying your duvet periodically will help prevent the buildup of those pesky dust mites and dead skin cells, which can trigger allergies.

You can also carry out more regular duvet refreshes, which simply involves hanging your duvet on the washing line on a dry, breezy day (though we appreciate these are few and far between!) and letting it air out for a few hours. This makes a world of difference; try it!

Can I recycle my duvets and pillows?

Unfortunately, duvets, pillows and other bulky bedding types are not widely recycled. However, some local recycling centres and kerbside collections will accept textiles for recycling. Check with your local council to see if they facilitate textile recycling; if they don’t, your bedding will need to be disposed of with your normal household waste.

If your pillows and duvets are showing those telltale signs of needed a replacement, why not take a look through our bedding collection here at Sleep and Beyond? We pride ourselves on our hotel quality pillows and luxurious duvets that will stand the test of time.

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