Is It Time To Replace My Pillow?

A good pillow should give you the right cushioning to position your head and neck properly.  Just like any good thing, no pillow lasts forever. The life time of a pillow is determined by frequency of use, type of use and materials (fill) that make the pillow.

Common pillow sizes and their uses


The fill and size of pillows determine their function, support and comfort. 

Standard Pillow:

20 inches x 26 inches and fits inside a standard size pillowcase. This pillow is your basic sleeping pillow and provides support for your head and neck; it’s ideal for all sleep positions depending on the pillow’s filling. Typically one is used on a Twin bed, two across a full or queen bed, and three across a king bed.

King Pillow:

20 inches x 36 inches and fits into a King size pillowcase. These extra-long pillows are great for neck and head support, and all sleep positions. They fit perfectly paired across the top of both king beds

Queen Pillow:

20 inches x 30 inches and fits tightly in a standard size pillowcase. These basic sleeping pillows offer support for your head and neck, and ideal for all sleep positions. Created for Queen Size bed, it fits perfectly across both a full and queen beds.

Body Pillow:

20 inches x 54 inches and fits into a body pillowcase. This body-length pillow contours to the shape of your body, which is perfect for side sleepers and expectant mothers.

European Pillow:

26 inches x 26 inches and fits in decorative or pillow shams. These pillows can be used for all sleep positions. They’re normally used as decoration and positioned against the headboard.

Travel Pillow / boudoir:

12 inches x 16 inches and fits into a travel size pillowcase. This pillow is small and convenient to have and use when traveling on long trips in the car or on a plane.

Neck roll:

6 inches by 16 inches.  They are Cylindrical in shape making them perfect for slipping under your neck.

Bolster Pillows:

Bolster pillows are long narrow pillows (generally 10 inches x 27 inches and 8 inches x 30 inches). They are firm for back or arm support or for decorative application


Generally 14 inches x 36 inches and 12 inches x 24 inches. Designed to support the lower back, these inwardly curved pillows are perfect for those with back problems but who must remain seated for long periods of time.




Pillow types according to fill (material used)

You pillow give the right cushioning for your head and pillow. This cushioning is provided by the fill in the pillow. The common categories of pillow fill are:

Natural fill pillow is feather, down (fluffy insulation under feathers), or a combination of both. These types of pillows and filling offer comfort by conforming to your head and neck. The fill power, which is how much filling included within the pillow, will be listed on high-end down pillows. The higher the fill power, the more loft the pillow will have, and therefore, it will be more durable.

The best feather pillows are the ones that use very small highly curled feathers.  You should never feel the quill through the cover.

Synthetic fill pillow is a man-made fill, customarily polyester. They have shorter life spans and do not conform to the head and neck like natural fill pillows. These pillows and filling are hypoallergenic and most affordable.

Poly Cluster fill pillow is a synthetic fill of polyester clusters coated with silicone to feel and move like down, which conforms to your neck and head. These pillows are great for allergy sufferers because it gives the softness and allure of a true down pillow without the down and high cost.

Foam pillow is made of solid pieces or chunks of foam. These pillows are an inexpensive alternative to Memory Foam but more often found and used for decorative pillows.

Memory Foam Pillow is a dense, sponge-like pillows that molds around the neck and head for extra support. This pillow contours are perfect for sleepers who prefer a firm pillow or have neck and spine issues.

Memory foam pillows usually last longer, up to a maximum  three years. Pillows with natural fill tend to last longer than synthetic pillows. Higher quality pillows will last longer than inexpensive ones.


When to replace your pillow

A good pillow should give you the right cushioning to position your head and neck properly.  Just like any good thing, no pillow lasts forever.

There are several ways to determine whether it’s “game over” for your pillow and it’s time to say goodbye. Let’s look at some:

The fold test

Fold your pillow into half and hold for about 30 second and release. The pillow should spring back to into its original shape and fullness immediately. If it takes several seconds or stays folded, then it’s time to get a new one

The feel

Place the pillow on a flat surface and examine it. Throw it away if it feels lumpy and bumpy.

The age

The timeframe for how long a pillow can be used often depends on its quality.  A general rule of thumb is to change pillows every year, but some pillows may wear out faster than others.  With time, pillows accumulate dirt and dust mites which might lead to allergies.

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