Imagine looking at your pillow through a microscope. Barring any visible stains, this would be the only way to really determine how clean your pillow truly is. Due to sweat and fluids from colds and other viruses, your pillow can harbour harmful bacteria including mold, fungi and dust mites that you will breathe in every night.
Studies have shown that pillows could hold up to 1 million bacterial spores that could trigger allergies, headaches and other health issues. This could be why a stubborn cold won’t let go of you, or perhaps why you sneeze excessively during the night. If you are lucky not to suffer from any allergies, your immune system will still need to work extra hard at keeping these potential threats from causing havoc to your body.
Since mold and dust mites thrive in warm moist places, your pillow is the perfect spot for them to feed on dead skin cells, grow and multiply. Here are some helpful tips on keeping your pillow clean and allergen free.
Use a Pillow Protector
Pillow protectors are by far the easiest way to keep your pillow from potentially breeding and spreading allergens. Choose ones that indicate that they are specifically designed to protect from typical germs and bacteria. Wash them weekly with the rest of your linen and replace them when they are worn.
Replace Your Pillow Case
When you are suffering from a cold or other virus, it is best to replace your pillow case nightly to keep from recirculating the germs and feel better sooner.
Wash Your Pillow
Washing your pillow more regularly when you have a cold will also shorten the life of your symptoms. Throw them in your dryer on a weekly basis – provided the care instructions say it’s safe to do so - the heat will kill any bacteria on and in your pillow.
Buy a New Pillow
Studies show that replacing your pillow every 2 years is ideal. If you feel that your pillow has either flattened, no longer gives you the support you enjoyed the first day, or is stained, replace it entirely.
Dry Your Hair
As moisture helps breed bacteria, you should never rest your head on your pillow with wet hair. Make certain that your hair is completely dry before you are ready for sleep.
Keep Your Pet Away
Keeping your pets away from your pillow is always a good idea as you would be adding to the smorgasbord of bacteria already there.
Maintain Your Shams and Decorative Pillows
If you use shams and decorative pillows, make sure that if they are very close to your actual sleep pillow that you keep them regularly clean as well. Remember to remove the covers and throw them in with your wash. If their covers do not easily remove, make sure they are regularly vacuumed.
Use a Hepa Filter Air Purifier
Using a hepa filter air purifier always adds that extra protection from air-borne allergens settling on your bed and pillows.
Whenever possible, go as organic as possible in the filling and the cover of your new pillow. Natural feathers tend to be worse for allergy suffers, and some synthetic or foam pillows are made with potentially toxic materials.
When comes the time to make a decision about your sleep, be informed on what is best for your health and over all well-being.
Angela, Your Sleep Expert
At BrandSource we are excited about sharing our knowledge and expertise on ensuring you have the best sleep experience. Following our fact and fun-filled blogs will help enlighten you on what’s new, what’s old and what’s best.