How Long Do Memory Foam Pillows Last?

Published Categorized as Pillows, Bedding

How long do memory foam pillows last? How do you know when to replace your memory foam pillow? In this article, we’ll discuss everything that you need to consider.

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The average lifespan of a memory foam pillow is 1.5 – 3 years (18 – 36 months). The lifespan of the pillow will vary depending on the quality and density of the memory foam. To extend memory foam lifespan, avoid using a washing machine or dryer on high heat; rather wash by hand using lukewarm water and a mild detergent.

Best Mild Detergent

Consider the mild detergent below:

Hypoallergenic Detergent
Woolite Delicates Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent, 50 oz, 33 Washes, Machine and Hand Wash Eligible

Does not cause fading, shrinking, or stretching even on fabrics such as wool, silk, cashmere, cotton, satin and polyester.

Why is it essential to replace your pillow?

Your Pillow Will Flatten Over Time

It is important to replace your pillow because the weight of your head will gradually flatten out the pillow over time. This means that the pillow will stop providing the necessary support to your head and neck required for a good night’s sleep. As a result, you can wake up with aches and pains, especially in your head and shoulders.

Your Pillow Will Get Dirty Over Time

Your pillow will also absorb skin, dandruff, hair, body oil, saliva, and dirt over time. This can lead to a buildup that can lead to stains or a bad smell. Fortunately, this is avoidable if you correctly wash and dry your pillow. There are several more tips on how to maintain your memory foam pillow further below in this article. 

Your Pillow Can Attract Dust Mites

Your pillow might also attract dust mites. A house dust mite is a microscopic, insect-like pest with a translucent body barely visible to the naked eye. 

dust mites

Luckily dust mites are not dangerous but they feed on human skin flakes. As a result, they’re attracted to your pillow and mattress, where many dead skin cells can be found.

Dust mites produce an allergen derived from their feces and body fragments. So if your pillow is full of dust mites then the dust mite allergen may lead to sneezing. 

However, if you’re prone to allergies or asthma, this can lead to an immune system response, known as allergic rhinitis

In mild cases, this can lead to a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. 

In severe cases, this can lead to chronic and ongoing coughing, sneezing, facial pressure, or severe asthma attack.

How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites

If you’re concerned about dust mites or have allergies then:

STEP 1 – Wash sheets and blankets weekly with hot water – at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius)

STEP 2 – Cover your mattress and pillows in zippered dustproof covers:

Best Pillow Protector
Set of 2 Standard Size SureGuard Pillow Protectors - 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Zippered Cotton Terry Covers

100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic – Blocks dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen and pet dander. 10-year quality guarantee.


Best Mattress Protector
SureGuard Twin Size Mattress Protector - 100% Waterproof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Fitted Cotton Terry Cover

100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic – Blocks dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen and pet dander. 10-year quality guarantee.

STEP 3 – Vacuum with a certified filter vacuum cleaner like the one below:

Best Anti-Allergy Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor with Lift-Away Hand Vacuum and Anti-Allergy Seal (NV501), White with Red Chrome

Captures over 99.9% of dust & allergens. Completely sealed system with a HEPA filter to trap dust and allergens.

STEP 4 – Use an air filter in your bedroom to trap dust mites and filter their airborne contaminants:

Best Air Purifier for Allergies
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies Pets Hair in Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Filter, 24db Filtration System Cleaner Odor Eliminators, Ozone Free, Remove 99.97% Dust Smoke Mold Pollen, Core 300, White

Ease sneezing, congestion, and other allergy symptoms caused by airborne contaminants. Choose Sleep Mode at night and then forget all about your air purifier while you sleep.

How often should you replace your pillow?

How long a pillow lasts will depend on the materials used, as well as their quality. On average, it is advised that you replace your pillow every 1-2 years.

Shredded memory foam pillows may last longer because they are easier to clean. However, solid memory foam will retain its shape and provide better support over time.

Try This Test To See If Your Pillow Must Be Replaced

If you have a shredded memory foam pillow, then you can try the “Fold Test”. 

First, fold your pillow in half and hold it, or place a book on top of it. 

Then hold the pillow in a folded position for 30-60 seconds.

Lastly, release the pillow to see how it responds:

  • A new pillow will spring back immediately
  • An older pillow will spring back more slowly
  • A dead pillow will stay folded

Pillow Types & Lifespans

Most people don’t replace their pillows as often as they should. Many get attached to their pillows, or they plain forget to replace their pillows.

As a result, it’s helpful to have some rough timelines to follow that’ll let you know when to replace your pillow.

Below is a list of different pillow types and how long you can expect them to last:

Type of PillowLifespan
Latex3-4 years
Buckwheat3 years
Feather18-36 months
Memory Foam18-36 months
Down2+ years
Synthetic Down (Down alternative)18-24 months
Polyester6-24 months

Note that many memory foam pillows don’t come with a warranty. 

However, some do come with a warranty period of up to 1 – 3 years. 

Most pillow warranties are limited and only protect you from physical flaws in the pillow material or stitching.

Reasons why you should replace a memory foam pillow

The main reasons why you might want to replace your memory foam pillow are:

  • You regularly wake up with a sore neck, shoulder, or back.
  • You regularly have headaches when you wake up.
  • You often wake up feeling tired because you’re not able to sleep comfortably.
  • You wake up sneezing due to dust mites.
  • Your allergies are worse than usual.
  • Your pillow feels lumpy or not providing the necessary support.
  • Your pillow is flat enough to fold and stays flat when folded.
  • You often fluff your pillow to get comfortable.
  • Your pillow smells bad (smell does not go away after washing)
  • Your pillow is visibly stained and dirty (does not respond to washing)
  • You’re getting acne, or your acne is getting worse.
  • If you’ve switched sleeping positions then you might need a new type of pillow to keep your spine, neck, and head aligned.
  • Your pet has ripped, torn, or urinated on your pillow.
how long do memory foam pillows last

How to maintain your memory foam pillow

Your memory foam pillow can last for as long as 36-months if it’s well cared for.

Memory foam pillows will remain clean and fresh if they are washed twice a year. 

Note that sleeping on a dirty pillow can worsen skin conditions like acne. If you have acne then it’s recommended that you wash your bamboo pillow every three months. 

Here are some extra tips for maintaining and extending the lifespan of your memory foam pillow:

  • Keep your memory foam pillow in a cool, well-aerated area. This is because memory foam does not react well to heat or moisture.
  • Spot clean your pillow with warm water and a mild detergent if there are any visible stains on the pillow.
  • Keep your pets off your bed and away from your pillow. They might tear up your pillow, or worst case they might urinate and spoil your pillow for good.
  • Keep your pillow smelling fresh by airing it out. You can also use bamboo charcoal, baking soda, or an enzyme spray. Click here for full instructions.
  • Fluff your pillow in the dryer on low heat with dryer balls and add a few drops of essential oil onto the washer balls. Click here for full instructions.
  • Keep your memory foam pillow covered with a zippered pillowcase or pillow protector (preferably dustproof – see below). Dustproof pillow covers can double the lifespan of your pillow, particularly if it has a zip closure and you wash it every 3 to 4 weeks.
Best Pillow Protector
Set of 2 Standard Size SureGuard Pillow Protectors - 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Zippered Cotton Terry Covers

100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic – Blocks dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen and pet dander. 10-year quality guarantee.