How often should you change your pillows?

Close up of  Scooms Pillow Showing Care Labels | scooms

Many sleep experts recommend replacing a pillow every one to two years. Why?

The key purpose of your pillow is to support your head and neck while you sleep, so that you don’t wake up with neck pain or stiffness. Pillows, like mattresses, deflate and lose their ability to be supportive over time. Different fillings do have different durability, natural down and feather pillows last longer than polyester filled pillows for example. Eventually though, all pillows will lose their shape and need to be replaced.

How often should you change your pillows?

  1. Time to change your pillow checklist
  2. Washing your pillows
  3. Pillow allergy research
  4. Recycling or repurposing your pillow

“Hungarian Down Pillows

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Is it time to change your pillow checklist

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then it's time to treat yourself to a lovely new pillow:

  1. Down & feather pillows - Do you have to constantly fluff it up so that it supports your head?
  2. Foam & synthetic pillows - Has the filling gone lumpy and clumpy?
  3. Do you wake up with neck pain or stiffness?
  4. Has your pillow gone flat?
  5. Does your pillow still feel that it supports your head and neck?
  6. If you fold your pillow in half does it stay folded?

"If you have a plain-old, inexpensive polyester pillow, you should be replacing it every six months,” says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of the book Good Night. “But if you have a quality pillow or any one with structural integrity, it’ll last you anywhere from 18 to 36 months.”

See our guide to Best pillow for neck pain.


Washing your pillows

Check the care label on your pillow for washing instructions. Most pillows should be washed every 6 to 12 months.

  • Pillows absorb body oils, dead skin cells and can attract dust mites (yuck!)
  • Regular washing every six months can extend your pillow's lifespan. 
  • Foam pillows can’t be washed however.
  • Also, bear in mind that when you wash microfibre and hollowfibre pillows they can shed microfibres and add to microplastic pollution.

See our Guide to washing your pillow.


Pillow allergy research

It's important to keep your pillow clean and to replace it regularly if you have a dust-mite allergy or a respiratory illness such as asthma or sinusitis.

An allergy study by researchers from The University of Manchester funded by the Fungal Research Trust took samples from pillows that had been used for between 1 and a half to 20 years. The researchers took apart various feather and synthetic pillows. They identified several thousand spores of fungus per gram of used pillow; over a million spores per pillow.

Each pillow was found to contain a substantial fungal load, with 4 to 16 different species identified per sample. Even higher numbers were found in synthetic pillows. The microscopic fungus aspergillus fumigatus was particularly evident in synthetic pillows and fungi as diverse as bread and vine moulds and those usually found on damp walls and in showers were also found.

Professor Ashley Woodcock added: "Since people spend a third of their life sleeping and breathing close to a potentially large and varied source of fungi, these findings certainly have important implications for people with respiratory disease - especially asthma and sinusitis."


Recycling or repurposing your pillows

  • Pillows aren’t really recyclable but instead of throwing your old pillows away, think about donating them to an animal shelter. Unless you have a pet of your own who would love a new bed!
  • Natural fibre pillows such as feather, down and wool are biodegradable. So you can put the feather, down or wool filling out for nesting birds in the Spring.
  • Microfibre and hollowfibre pillows contain plastic microfibres so don't put the filling out for the birds! If you don't want to add to land fill, think about using your old pillow as extra insulation in the loft or perhaps as a draft excluder.

Hungarian Goose Down Pillows

Our luxury Hungarian goose down and feather pillows are wonderfully comfortable and supportive, as well as breathable and anti-allergy. Free next day delivery & returns.

From £95.00 Shop now

Author: Emily AttwoodPublished: 1 June 2024Last modified: 5 June 2024

Also in Pillow care

Two Pillows On A Stool | scooms
How to wash your goose down pillow
Wash your goose down feather pillows every 6 to 12 months in a large drum washing machine with non-bio detergent. Tumble dry thoroughly on a low heat setting.

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Bedding size guide

Duvet sizes

These are standard UK bedding measurements so if you know your mattress size, you can easily work out which duvet size you need. (Width x length.)

UK sizes Duvet size Mattress size
Single 135 x 200cm (53 x 79") 90 x 190cm (36 x 75")
Double 200 x 200cm (79 x 79") 135 x 190cm (53 x 75")
King 225 x 220cm (89 x 87") 150 x 200cm (60 x 78")
Super king 260 x 220cm (102 x 87") 180 x 200cm (72 x 78")

US/CANADA BEDDING SIZES: Approximate matches to UK sizes are US King/UK Super king, US Queen/UK King,  US Full/UK Double and US Twin/UK Single.

EUROPEAN BEDDING SIZES: Each size - Single, Double, King and Grand king - is a little larger than the UK equivalent.

Measure your mattress to see which size bedding you need: our UK v European v US mattress comparison guide.

Hungarian Goose Down Duvet

Hungarian Goose Down Duvet

Our Hungarian goose down duvet is naturally breathable with cloud-like comfort. Hand-made in Hungary, filled with the finest, ethically sourced goose down. Free delivery & returns; 60 night trial.

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Duvet tog ratings

Young children can overheat so if they are old enough to use a full size bed, we recommend using a single size 4.5 tog duvet.

 Tog rating Season / heat Feel
2.5 tog High summer / hot sleepers Light thermal insulation
4.5 tog Summer Lower thermal insulation
9 tog Spring & Autumn Cosy medium heat
All season 13.5 tog 4.5 tog + 9 tog Very warm
All season 11.5 tog 2.5 tog + 9 tog Warm
All season 7 tog 2.5 tog + 4.5 tog Lower warmth


Duvet fill weights

Our goose down duvets have high 700 fill power. Fill weight is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). For example view our 9 tog king size goose down duvet for more duvet details.

Fill weight (not total duvet weight)
Single All seasons - 788gsm
9 tog - 486gsm 
4.5 tog - 302gsm 
2.5 tog - 220gsm
Double All seasons - 1168gsm
9 tog - 720gsm
4.5 tog - 448gsm
2.5 tog - 320gsm
King All seasons - 1478gsm
9 tog - 911gsm
4.5 tog - 567gsm
2.5 tog - 400gsm
Super king All seasons - 1671gsm
9 tog - 1030gsm
4.5 tog - 641gsm
2.5 tog - 480gsm


Hungarian Goose Down Pillows

Hungarian Goose Down Pillows

Our luxury Hungarian goose down and feather pillow is wonderfully comfortable and supportive, as well as breathable and anti-allergy. Free next day delivery & returns.

From £95.00 Shop now


Pillow sizes

Our pillows come in two sizes and two firmness options. (Width x length.)

Standard  50 x 75cm
King 50 x 90cm


Bed linen sizes

Our fitted sheets are deep fit, up to 40cm / 15.7" mattress depth. And our duvet covers fasten with large, easy to use buttons. (Width x length.)

Duvet cover Fitted sheet Flat sheet Pillowcase (pair)
Single 140 x 200cm 90 x 190cm 180 x 275cm
Double 200 x 200cm 135 x 190cm 230 x 275cm 50 x 75cm (Standard)
King 230 x 220cm 150 x 200cm 275 x 275cm 50 x 90cm (King)
Super king 260 x 220cm 180 x 200cm 305 x 275cm


White Egyptian Cotton Bedding

Egyptian Cotton Bedding

Egyptian cotton bedding that’s luxuriously light, breathable and durable; with a smooth, silky-soft feel and soothing drape. Like sleeping in a boutique hotel every night! Free Delivery & returns.

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Topper & mattress protector sizes

Our mattress protectors are deep fit, up to 40cm mattress depth. Choose the same size topper or protector as your mattress size. (Width x length.)

Topper / protector size Mattress size
Single 90 x 190cm 90 x 190cm
Double 135 x 190cm 135 x 190cm
King 150 x 200cm 150 x 200cm
Super king 180 x 200cm 180 x 200cm 


Hungarian Feather and Down Toppers

Hungarian Feather and Down Toppers

Enhance your sleep with our luxurious goose feather and down mattress toppers. Free next day delivery & returns.

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£10 off your first order over £200!

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