Signs Your Pillow Just Isn’t Getting the Job Done
By Brian Acton
Your pillow can directly affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Great pillows provide proper support and promote sleep quality, which is important to your overall physical and psychological health.
But a low quality or poorly maintained pillow can prevent you from getting the rest you need. Here are six signs your pillow just isn’t getting the job done.
- You’re Experiencing Pain
Pain is the number one indicator that your pillow isn’t performing. Neck pain, stiffness, and even headaches can all result from improper pillow support.
Ideally, pillows should provide support that maintains proper spinal alignment. Pillows that keep your head elevated too high or too low may lead you to bend your neck at an unnatural angle as you sleep. This can cause short-term stiffness and even lead to chronic pain.
- It Doesn’t Bounce Back
If you have a memory foam pillow, it should pop back into shape once you remove your head. If you have a fiber or other type of pillow, you should be able to fluff it back into its original shape. If your pillow is sagging and depressed in the middle and won’t snap back, it might be time for a replacement.
- You’re too Hot
Memory foam pillows tend to retain heat
, causing you to sweat and feel uncomfortable. If your pillow feels too hot (especially during the hotter months of the year), you might want to switch to a fiber alternative.
- It Hasn’t Been Washed Recently
Over time, pillows collect dead skin cells, sweat, and fungi, attracting dust mites to feed on your pillow’s contents. It’s more than a little disturbing, but it can also cause a bad reaction in the approximately 20 million people with dust mite allergies.
- You’re Tossing and Turning
There are many reasons you could be tossing and turning all night, but your pillow is one possible culprit. If you find yourself constantly waking or shifting in your sleep, you may want to evaluate your pillow.
- You’re Uncomfortable
It’s a pillow’s job to make you feel comfortable enough to sleep. If you feel uncomfortable - because you’re itchy, too hot, or not getting enough support - your pillow isn’t doing its job and you should find a replacement.
There are a number of reasons your pillow may be failing you. It could be too old, in need of a deep cleaning, or it might just not be a good fit. No matter the reason, picking the right pillow will help you get the sleep you need to function every day. For help picking a pillow, check out our guide to choosing foam or fiber pillows