How often should you change your pillows?

Goose down pillows | scooms bedding

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 changed.

How often should you change your pillows?

  1. Time to change your pillow checklist
  2. Washing your pillow
  3. Allergy study
  4. Recycling or repurposing your pillow



Time to change your pillow checklist
Try these tests to check if you need to replace your 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 answer yes to any of these questions, then it is time to treat yourself to a lovely new pillow!

"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.”

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Washing your pillow
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 pillows 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 cleaning your pillow.


An allergy study in 2005 from the University of Manchester
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."

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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.



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Also in Pillow care

Caring for your scooms pillow | scooms bedding
How to clean and care for your scooms pillow

You can wash our goose down and feather pillows in the washing machine. Just follow the instructions on the care label. We recommend that you wash your pillow every 6 to 12 months.

Read more →



These are standard UK bedding sizes so if you know your mattress size you can easily work out which duvet size you need.

Duvet size Duvet weight UK mattress size
Single 135 x 200cm (4ft 5" x 6ft 7") All seasons - 788g
9 tog - 486g 
4.5 tog - 302g
2.5 tog - 220g
90 x 190cm
Double 200 x 200cm (6ft 7" x 6ft 7") All seasons - 1168g
9 tog - 720g
4.5 tog - 448g
2.5 tog - 320g
135 x 190cm
King 225 x 220cm (7ft 4" x 7ft 3") All seasons - 1478g
9 tog - 911g
4.5 tog - 567g 
2.5 tog - 400g 
150 x 200cm
Super king 260 x 220cm (8ft 6" x 7ft 3") All seasons - 1671g
9 tog - 1030g
4.5 tog - 641g
2.5 tog - 480g
180 x 200cm 



Young children can overheat so if they are old enough to be using 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 (4.5 + 9 tog) Winter / cold sleepers Very warm



Our pillows come in two sizes and provide medium support.

Standard  50 x 75cm
King 50 x 90cm



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

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

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