Washing your pillows is on those chores that most of us only get around to completing once in a blue moon, like hoovering your mattress, giving your skirting boards a proper scrub or handwashing that blouse that’s been at the bottom of the laundry bin since 2012.
But according to new research, it’s an important step that we definitely shouldn’t be skipping, no matter how low down the list of priorities it slips.
The survey, conducted by eco-friendly personalised pillow specialists nanu, found that that a fifth of people in the UK are sleeping on a pillow that’s over 10 years old, and a quarter of the nation don’t even realise they need to wash them during that time.
In fact, almost half of us admit to never washing our pillows, despite guidance from experts advising that we clean them every six months to tackle the build up of sweat, oil, dirt and grime that inevitably develops over time as we sleep.
We should also be replacing them at least every three years – three times more often than the research suggests many of us are – to retain the benefits of proper support.
Jamie Moryoussef, spokesperson for nanu, commented: ‘Sleeping on the perfect pillow has proven benefits when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. The fact so many of us are sleeping on pillows that are five or more years older is somewhat worrying, as by then any pillow has lost its ability to support our heads, keep us truly comfy and help generate the perfect conditions for kip.
‘It is recommended that pillows are changed every three years in order to maximise their benefits, and we hope these survey results will inspire Britons to take action and recycle any pongy pillows they may have at home.’
Most cotton, down, and synthetic pillows can be put in the washing machine, so there’s no excuse not to give them a spin. Just check the label before you start and make sure you’ve got a spare set to use while they dry.
And if you need to swap them out completely? nanu is running a pillow amnesty on its Facebook page to give you a 15 per cent discount to use on its products, plus the chance to win a brand-new personalised pillow for free.