Hint: You've likely already waited too long.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
December 14, 2018
Credit: andresr/Getty Images

There are some things in life we push pass their prime. Do we really need to change our water filter already? Do we have to empty the chamber in our vacuum when it hits the "max" line? Should we change our pillows regularly? Yes, yes, and most definitely, folks.

Whether you know it or not, it's important to replace your bed pillows roughly every one-to-two years, depending on the type of pillow and how frequently it's used. House Beautiful offers two convincing reasons for the practice: "One, your pillow's structural integrity has a direct impact on your quality of sleep and neck support. And two, something you spend 6-8 hours sleeping on daily—sometimes sweating or drooling on...occasionally while still wearing your makeup—is going to build up dirt that regular washing simply can't get rid of," writes Maggie Burch.

"Brent Pfister, vice president of marketing at Tempur-Pedic, says that while regular polyester pillows typically need replacing as often as 6 months, higher quality pillows can last up to a few years. (Tempur-Pedic's pillows have a 5-year warranty, for what it's worth)," Burch continues. Of course, regardless of what kind of pillows you have, it's important to wash both the pillowcase and pillow itself to ensure they stay in tip-top shape.

When you feel like your pillow is no longer giving you proper support and you wake up sore, that's probably a good indicator it's time to trade it in. Another sign? Burch says that if your non-foam pillow doesn't bounce back to its normal flat shape after you fold it in half, "it's probably time to say goodbye."

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You don't want to ignore proper pillowcase hygiene, either. As PopSugar reports, to avoid breakouts, "[washing your pillowcase at] least once a week is the general consensus among skincare experts." Pillowcases like the machine-washable Hollywood Silk Solution ($45) are made of long fiber mulberry silk and high grade cotton, and may even be extra gentle on your face. If your skin is acne-prone, you may also want to consider what kind of detergents you use on your pillowcase, as that could contribute to breakouts.

BRB, throwing our bedding in the wash pronto and headed out for some overdue pillow shopping.