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  • Article

3 min read

How dirty is your pillow?

Bed. It should be the most relaxing place in the world, shouldn't it? But if you don't look after your mattress and bedding properly, it could quickly become a place of nightmares; particularly your pillows. Dead skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, fungi, and mould all thrive in unwashed pillows…gross, we know. But don't worry, we’re re on hand to help you with a few tips and tricks to ensure your pillows are the last thing you worry about before you go to sleep.

First, let's go over the downside to not looking after your pillows. One common problem with uncared for bedding and pillows can be dust mites. Dust mites are part of the spider family, and feed on flakes of human skin that reside in the crevices of pillows and in carpets, upholstery, draperies, and other dusty areas. Whilst dust mites do not carry diseases, they can be known for causing and heightening allergies, which isn't great news for asthma or dust allergy sufferers.

How can you protect your pillow?

Did you know that an adult can lose up to a litre of sweat in one night, and there can be up to 16 types of bacteria in one pillow? Even more concerning is that if your pillow is left unwashed for a few months, a third of it could end up being made up of dead skin, bugs, mites and mites' droppings. We're not sure about you, but we're not overly keen on the thought of sharing our heads with these unwelcome visitors.

To avoid creating a pillow environment like that, we recommend using pillow protectors, which should be washed weekly. This will keep the surface of your pillow clean between giving the pillow itself a full wash. 

Pillows themselves should be washed around every three months. If possible, wash at 60 degrees plus to kill the mites and clean away any bacteria which may be inhibited within. Put two in at a time to keep the washer balanced.

As an extra precaution, you may also want to give you pillows a blast in your tumble drier every month. This will not only keep them plump and comfortable, but the heat will kill off any mites or bacteria.

How often should you replace your pillows?

If you follow the correct care instructions, your pillows should be replaced every 2-3 years. However, different materials and fibres may last more or less time. 

At Silentnight, we’ve got a pillow for every sleeper, from lavender infused pillows to anti-snore pillows, and cooltouch pillows to ultimate luxury pillows. Check out our full range here.

Author - Liz Tabron

Liz Tabron

Liz has over 7 years' experience in writing lifestyle, home, health, and eco content. Liz's mission is to make accessible our expert team's knowledge.