Are Old Pillows Unhealthy? Are They Bad for You?

Are old pillows bad for you? Do they cause allergies? Should you throw them away?

Old pillows are definitely not good for you! Pillows and pillow covers absorb MOISTURE and bacteria. Yes, that is unhealthy!

Over time, they may become contaminated with dust, dirt, mold, mildew, and bacteria.

You can feel how they become LUMPY as they get older. They can cause back and neck pain, sleep disorders, allergies, etc.

Old pillows turn yellow, which makes them look displeasing.

If you’ve got an old pillow lying around, then it might be time to throw it away.

But before you do, read this article and learn what makes old pillows unhealthy, and how to spot the signs of bad pillows.

How Can You Make Your Pillow Last Longer?

1. Wash Your Old Pillows

If you don’t clean your pillows REGULARLY, they can harbor bacteria and become dirty and unhealthy. 

If you have allergies, you may want to avoid using old cushions because they could trigger asthma attacks. 

It’s best to wash them regularly and dry them thoroughly after each use.

2. Use a Pillow Protector

Always use a pillowcase, whether the pillow is new or old. The pillowcase protects your pillow from dirt and dust

The pillowcase is easy to throw in the washing machine as often as you need to. Allow the pillowcase to dry properly before pulling it back over the pillow. 

By using a clean pillowcase, you don’t need to wash your ACTUAL pillow as often (once every three to four months is fine).

If necessary, replace the pillowcase with a new one.

3. Nightly Face Wash

If you have dirt or oil on your face, your pillow will degrade faster.

Make sure you wash your face and brush your hair out before bed. This will help your pillow stay cleaner longer.

What to Consider When Replacing the Old Pillow?

Before throwing away or recycling your old pillows, consider whether they’re causing you any discomfort. If they are, try switching to a different type of pillow. 

When looking for a new pillow, you might try using a memory foam pillow. Memory foam has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and it’s a great alternative to traditional pads. It conforms to your body shape and supports where you need it most.

If you’re having trouble finding one that works for you, check out our guide to choosing the best pillow.

If you are wondering what to do with old pillows, recycle or repurpose them, read more from this article.

Why Are Old Pillows Bad for You?

Using an old pillow is a bad idea as it might negatively affect your sleep. There is no point in you waking up with neck and back pains due to having an old pillow. 

Be smart and get rid of the old cushion you are using, and get a chance to enjoy quality sleep.

Old pillows smell weird due to their aging, and this is why you need to look out for some of these smells if you are not sure if your pillow is old or not. 

An old cushion has a musty and sweaty smell, which is not pleasing to the nose. 

Another way of knowing if your pillow is old is by finding out whether it can re-fluff.

Reasons for Throwing Out Old Pillow

There are several reasons that make old pillows unhealthy. In these cases, you should consider throwing away the old pillow.

1. You Start Sneezing and Sniffling

Have you been using your pillow for a while now without getting any allergies? 

As long as that’s the case, everything is fine. But if you notice your aging pillow getting unhealthy and bringing you ANY reactions, it’s not clean anymore.

You should throw out such a pillow as it is not safe to use. It will only disturb you and worsen your sleep.

2. Your Body Becomes Sore

The pillow does not give you enough support if you need to reach for a second pillow or slide your hands underneath it during the night.

If you don’t get enough support, your body will feel sore when you wake up. That’s a sign your pillow is getting scruffy, and you need to replace it. 

Replacing it will keep you away from dealing with aching backs and necks, making your day a lot better.

3. You Have Used the Pillow for Years

If you have gone for years with a particular pillow, it is clear that it is old even when it does not look like it. 

Get to know how old your pillow is to find out if you need to purchase a new one. Run-down pillows need to be replaced, and it is all for your good.

Why You Should Not Use Old Pillows

You should not use a worn-out pillow for the following reasons:

1. They Can Harm Your Sleep

When using old pillows, you will probably not get a chance to enjoy your sleep fully as you are using a dumpy cushion that does not offer you the comfort you need. 

Do not interfere with your sleep by using a run-down pillow, as you will greatly regret it. Quality sleep requires you to have quality pillows.

2. They Can Bring You Allergies

Old unhealthy pillows can cause issues due to the allergies they bring you. The symptoms come due to the musty smell the cushion might have due to being old. 

Out-of-date cushions are musty, so you should address the situation as early as possible and get a new pillow.

3. They Are Uncomfortable

It is good to keep shaky pillows away as this is one way of making sure your bed does not bring you discomfort. 

Past their prime pillows are not fun to sleep on as they are not fluffy as they should be, and this is discomforting to you.

The Bottom Line

A number of factors make old pillows unhealthy. But you shouldn’t throw away a perfect pillow just because it’s old. The first step is to replace your pillowcase. The second step is to regularly wash your pillow and the pillowcase. 

But the pillows will not last forever even if you wash them.

When a cushion has had its day, it’s time to let go before it becomes harmful.

The fabric has absorbed too much moisture and dirt. Moisture can lead to mildew and bacteria, which makes old pillows unhealthy.

Old pillows are flimsy or lumpy. They aren’t good for your back. Sleeping with an old pillow can make your neck stiff and sore.

So if you want to keep your house free of germs and bugs, and get a good night’s sleep, throw away your decayed pillow.

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