Health Report Claims You Need To ‘Throw Away’ Your Pillow Every Year, And We Have Some Thoughts

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Having the proper tools for a good night’s sleep—high-quality cotton sheets, good pillows, and a fluffy comforter with the proper weight—are essential if I want to have sweet dreams. High-quality, comfortable bedding is always something that I’ve splurged on during my adulthood because I value sleep A LOT.

I consider high-dollar bedding to be an investment in myself. And with proper care and maintenance, these items can last for a long time. Paying a couple of hundred bucks for a set of sheets or dropping a Benjamin on a pillow might sound crazy. But if I get 1,000 nights of awesome sleep out of it, I think those price points are a pretty fantastic deal.

Throw Away My Pillows, You Say?

According to a report from Health, the bedroom is a breeding ground for germs and allergens that can cause skin breakouts and disease. They warn that there are six things in your bedroom that require planned obsolescence for optimal health and hygiene. And this advice includes throwing away your pillows every year!

OK, maybe my special feather and down pillow that I’ve had since 1998 should be tossed. But throwing away pillows every year? What’s up with that?

The Outrageous Claim

The Health report claimed that because pillows “lose their shape and support each night you rest your head on them”, you should get new ones “every one to two years.”

“A lumpy or flat pillow will likely result in chronic pain, headaches, and stiffness,” sleep expert Amy Diamond of Brooklyn Bedding explained to Health. “You or your partner’s snoring could worsen due to lack of head and neck support.”

There’s also the possibility that your pillows have developed grooves or holes “where harmful dust mites and bacteria might hide.”

This Pillow Advice Is Wasteful

If you want to buy new pillows every year, I support that decision. Like I said, I have my own quirks when it comes to my bedding. But the idea of throwing away pillows annually seems quite wasteful.

When you invest in a good pillow like a My Pillow—I’m a “standard/queen firm” girl—you should expect it to last a lot longer than a year with proper care and maintenance.

If you’ve ever had an amazing night’s sleep at a hotel, chances are you were probably sleeping on a Pacific Coast Feather Double Down Around pillow. Good news, you can now buy a set of these pillows all for yourself!

Even with cheaper pillows that do get flat, there’s no need to throw them away. You can donate them to a shelter or recycle them. If you are creative, the possibilities are endless.

Brilliant Uses For Old Pillows

Comfortable bed with soft white pillows, closeup
(New Africa/Shutterstock.com)

Did you know that feathers make a great composting material? Instead of throwing out your old feather pillows, remove the feathers and use them as fertilizer for the plants in your home.

You could also use your old pillows to make a comfy pet bed for your fur baby. Or, if you have a tiny caged pet like a hamster, you can use the pillow stuffing to line the bottom of their cage. Of course, you’d have to throw out that cage lining eventually. But this does give your pillow some extra life before it’s tossed in the trash.

You can even use old pillows as stuffing for another pillow! It’s a great way to fill out pillows that are losing their fluffiness and make them feel like new.

Old bed pillows can also be kept in the car and used as road trip pillows. Flat pillows are perfect for wrapping around seat belts. Old pillows make great garden tools. Specifically, you can use an old bed pillow as a knee pad when kneeling down.

Use an old pillow to protect fragile items that you are shipping, or use them when moving furniture or large electronics.

DIY Pillow Projects

Another great option for old, flat, bed pillows is to turn them into throw pillows. All you have to do is fold the pillow in half, sew the fold together, and add a cover.

Here’s an idea that I actually have personal experience with–and I am the farthest thing from a DIYer that you will ever find. I took an old king-sized pillow and turned it into a draft blocker that I placed at the bottom of the front door.

I cut and sewed a pillowcase into a long draft blocker and then filled it with old pillow stuffing. I felt so handy and accomplished!

Old pillows also provide great material for Halloween costumes, or you can use them to make stuffed animals. You can also re-stuff toys or turn the stuffing into fake snow and make it part of your Christmas decor.

Between investing in quality pillows and using old ones for DIY projects, there really is no reason to throw your bed pillows away every year. Seriously, the trash can shouldn’t even be an option.

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