Pillow talk: Give your pillows a fresh start

Pillow talk: Give your pillows a fresh start

As we head into 2022 with all the best intentions, it seems like the perfect time to clear out our closets, cabinets, garage and everything in between. Giving your home a fresh start is always a good idea in the new year.

One area that shouldn't be overlooked when freshening your home is the bed, and particularly your pillows.

When was the last time your pillow inserts were laundered? Proper pillow care can ensure its cleanliness and longevity.


Washing your pillows regularly can contribute to high quality sleep and reduce build-up from dirt, body oils and allergens. The National Sleep Foundation recommends washing pillows every six months at a minimum. Some experts even say that pillows need to be washed every three to four months to stay fresh and clean.

Luckily for us, most down and down alternative pillows are machine-friendly, which means they can just be tossed in a washing machine for a refresh.

A helpful piece of advice is washing two pillows at the same time to keep the washer balanced and ensuring an all-around clean.

Wash the pillows on a gentle cycle with warm water and use only a small amount of detergent.


Tumble the pillows on low heat, fluffing and turning them often. To help keep pillows plump, throw in a few dryer balls. Stop the dryer a few times throughout the cycle to fluff them and break up the lumps by hand.

Don’t forget to check the label as there are types of pillows that you can’t put in the washing machine, such as foam pillows.

Last but not least, to help prolong a pillow’s lifespan, it is always a good idea to add a protectant case in between the pillow and the pillowcase.

A pillow protector provides a barrier against wear and tear, moisture and stains. A pillow protector will need to be washed only around once a month, while pillowcases should be changed each week or more frequently if you are prone to allergies or have skin concerns.


If your pillows start losing their shape and are looking flat, it might be worth considering switching them out for new ones. To play it safe, the National Sleep Foundation suggests getting a new pillow every one to two years.

A good way to test whether you need to retire your pillow is by folding it half and seeing if it stays that way. If it doesn’t bounce back to its original shape, then it’s time for a replacement.

This article was originally featured in the January 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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About the author

J.V. Russell is the co-owner of Bedside Manor, a Camana Bay shop that showcases a collection of high-quality bedding, bath and baby brands, as well as unique jewellery, stationery and gifts.

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