A Quick Guide to Buying New Pillows

Buying bedding is a chore and, as much as most of us resent having to do it, it really is important for our general health and the quality of our sleep.

We had a chat with Sleepy People who said: “Seeing as we spend around a third of our lives asleep, it’s so crucial that we have bedding that promotes good sleep and sound health.”

Pillows are perhaps the part of our bedding that we need to take the most care of as they are more likely to contain nasties like dust mites, and we also have our faces in a very close proximity to them.”

If all of this is new territory for you, this quick guide should get you on the right track.

Know when it’s time for new pillows

Pillows simply don’t have the same lifespan as the rest of your bedding because you flatten them with the weight of your head every night, so it’s best to replace your pillows every 2 – 4 years, depending on whether or not it’s showing signs of needing to be replaced. It’s time to buy a new pillow when:

  • Your pillow is discoloured – We all sweat in bed and some of us lose as much as a pint of sweat during the night. Your pillow will absorb your sweat which causes discolouration, bacteria to grow, and, eventually, a bad smell to develop.
  • You have a sore neck when you wake up – When you need a new pillow, often it will become lumpy and flat which can cause you to have neck pain when you wake up. Having a sore neck upon waking can also be a sign that you have the wrong type of pillow for your sleeping style.
  • You’re wheezy and/or have a blocked nose when you wake up – If you frequently wake up wheezy or with a blocked nose, you’re probably allergic to the dust mites which are all too present in older pillows. New pillows don’t contain dust mites so a new purchase will likely do the trick.

Pay attention to your sleeping position

Many people don’t know this, but your sleeping position heavily impacts which pillow you should be buying.

Stomach and back sleepers – These types of sleepers require one pillow which is soft, not too thick, and will be supportive of their head and neck.

Side sleepers – This type of sleeper will require either one firm pillow or a firm bottom pillow along with a soft top pillow, depending on preference.

To find out what your sleeping position says about you, check out this post.

Try before you buy

If you can, try to test out your new pillow in the shop for about ten minutes to see if it provides you with the right level of comfort. If for any reason you can’t do that, try it out at home with the packaging still on so that you can return it if necessary.

For information on how to properly look after your bedding, peruse this Bedding Care 101 guide.