Having a comfortable pillow makes all the difference between a good and bad night’s sleep. When we find the perfect pillow it’s often the case that we never want to get rid of it. It’s also very easy to avoid keeping up with regular washing if it means you might have to part with your pillow for a night or two. But comfortable or not - it’s important to remember pillows should be washed and replaced regularly. Replacing and washing pillows is especially important if you suffer from allergies. Allergenic protective covers and other allergy proof bedding products help prevent allergens such as dust mites in pillows, but even a protected pillow doesn’t last forever. Washing Pillows-Yes, it’s Something You Should Do! Many people don’t know how to wash pillows, or even that they should! According to Martha Stewart, pillows should be washed at least twice a year. This will help eliminate allergens and dead skin that may have settled into your pillow. It will also give you something nice and fresh to sleep on. Be sure to check the care label on your pillow to make sure it can be machine washed. If you want to be extra vigilant about killing bacteria and eliminating allergens, you may want to consider using hot water washable pillows. Pillow Protectors: Keeping Allergens Out and Comfort In One of the best ways to take extra care of your pillow is to use a pillow protector. A pillow protector will help keep your pillow clean by acting as a barrier for your pillow. Allergy sufferers may even want to consider using an anti-allergen pillow cover. These pillow covers are made of tightly woven material that shields your pillow against allergens such as pet dander and dust mites. Pillow protectors are meant to be used in addition to a pillowcase and can be washed and cared for the same as your other bed linens. Unlike a pillowcase a pillow protector zips tightly around your pillow, keeping it clean and fresh in between washings. Replacing Pillows: Knowing When It’s Time To Move On No matter how well you take care of a pillow, it wasn’t made to last forever. In addition to collecting dead skin, allergens and other harmful particles over time, pillows will also lose their support and comfort. Many sleep experts recommend replacing pillows every 2-3 years in order to make sure you’re always getting the proper head and neck support you need. However many people prefer to change their pillows as often as once a year. If you feel that your pillow is too dirty or has lost its support, it is more than likely time to toss it and get a new one. Our pillows are something we spend a lot of time with. If we grow to love a pillow it can often be difficult to part with it. But knowing when to make the call can greatly affect how well you sleep and your general well-being.