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How Long Do Pillows Last?

Natural Talalay latex pillow by Savvy Rest.

How long does a pillow last? This is a very common question since after a lot of use, pillows can become compressed, less supportive, and simply old.

While you definitely don’t need to go pillow shopping every 6 months, you may be surprised when it’s time to replace your pillow.

We break it down for you here.

When should I replace my pillow?

You should replace your pillow approximately every 2-3 years if you have a quality latex pillow, especially if you have been taking care of it with a pillowcase you wash regularly and/or an allergy cover. However, if you have a pillow fill that is not as supportive, you may opt to switch it out after 1-2 years instead. When it comes to comfort, it depends on your own preferences if you can stretch out the lifetime of your pillow.

However, another factor to consider is allergens. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends replacing your pillow every 2 years. Dust mites, pet dander, and dead skin cells can be found in your pillow over time so from a health and hygiene standpoint, you may want to replace your pillow sooner rather than later.

How to Dispose of Old Pillows

If your pillow is made of organic materials such as kapok, wool, or organic cotton, you may be able to compost the fill! This is an eco-friendly way of disposing of your pillow rather than simply sending it to a landfill. If you do not compost at home, there may be a compost bin or center in your area. 

However, if your pillow is made of synthetic materials, such as polyester or memory foam, it is unfortunately not biodegradable.

Can I recycle my old pillow?

You cannot throw a pillow in your home recycling bin but you can contact your local recycling center to see if they accept pillows! They may ask you what material the pillow is made of. Another option is the American Textile Recycling Service. They have donation bins across the country. Visit their website to see if one is near you!

Reusing My Old Pillow

You also don’t necessarily need to discard your old pillow if you can find another way to utilize it, such as for pillow forts, a cozy reading nook, or added plushness for your dog’s pet bed.

It can also be used as an “emergency pillow” in case you have guests stay over and run out of newer pillows, or something happens to your current pillow and you need a backup (of course this depends on the condition of your pillow). It’s always good to have at least 2-3 pillows in your closet for those unexpected moments.

Can you donate pillows?

Most homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and other charities prefer new pillows for hygienic reasons and for the safety of their residents. Sometimes animal shelters will accept used pillows for makeshift bedding depending on the animal shelter’s current needs (each shelter typically has their own wishlist). You can call local shelters to see if they accept gently used pillows. 

Please Note: Pillows with stains, smells, or extensive use should NOT be donated.

Shopping for Pillows

If you are ready to replace your pillows, we recommend purchasing an organic pillow made of durable materials that will allow you to use your pillow longer. Natural latex pillows (either Dunlop or Talalay latex) can easily keep their shape for longer when compared to a fluffy down pillow, which typically needs to be replaced much more frequently.


Shop all Savvy Rest organic pillows here.

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