Everyone has that favorite pillow that seems to help you sleep better. Despite how comfortable and clean your pillow might be, it’s the home of thousand of dust mites, bacteria, fungi and mold. People hang onto their pillows for too long. According to experts, pillows need to be replaced every six months. Keeping a pillow for more than a year can affect your skin and health.
The average person uses a pillow for three years and risks neck problems caused by sleeping without sufficient head and neck support. There are multiple health problems associated with dust mite infestation. Even through dust mites don’t spread any kind of disease, they do create allergy and asthmatic risk. The dirt, oil, and dead skin that accumulate over time in pillows can cause acne breakouts and trigger allergies. Of the 20% of people who suffer from allergies, two thirds may be allergic to dust mites.
Your pillow should be aligned with your spine and support the neck. If you fold your pillow in half and it doesn’t spring back right away by itself then its dead and should be replaced immediately. To avoid getting headaches, and stiff neck, use latex, polyester, or foam contour pillows. Feather pillows should be avoided because they are often associated with more neck pain. Here are some tips to help reduce or avoid dust mites:
- Wash pillow regularly with very hot water and mild detergent.
- Use a drier on low heat as an extra precaution when washing.
- Use a pillow protector as well as a bed protector.
- Replace pillow every six months.