Most people only consider to replace a pillow they have been using for years only after they experience some neck discomfort during their sleep or upon awakening. Is there a best time to decide when to replace a pillow? If you reading this article and have neck pain and wondering if your neck pain was caused by your pillow, I hope you shed some light based on my experience we see in our neck pain patients.
Many patients come in with neck pain has considered changing or have already replaced their pillow. It is not common to hear patients having owned five to ten pillows or more and still suffer from neck pain! So the million dollar question is when you have neck discomfort or pain, did the problem arise from the pillow or your neck? It may surprise you if I tell you that the problem is more often the neck that needs to be fixed first. Once the neck is better, you might find that sleeping on the same pillow is more comfortable. In short, don’t go spend unnecessary money on pillows until you know the origin or cause of your neck pain.
Obviously, there comes a time when you have to replace the pillow as it is not giving your neck the proper support it needs. After a patient gets a neck adjustment or neck tune up, but the pain returns especially upon awakening, then it may be worth to consider getting a new pillow. Even if you don’t have neck pain, consider replacing a new pillow if its more than one year old. There are other advantages of replacing your pillow more so for hygiene such as dust mites, allergies or stains.
Which type of pillow should your replace? Well, for the best neck support, I find a memory foam does a fantastic job, if they have not been degraded or break down. Have your even seen your running show cushion peel off without warning? Even branded memory foam such as Tempurpedic pillow will degrade. In the following video, I show you a pillow brought by one of our patients who has had neck pain.
Tests to Determine When To Replace a Pillow.
The first test most commonly described to determine when to replace a pillow is the Fold Test. Basically, what you do is to fold the neck pillow halfway. If it is very easy to do, the pillow has lost its resilience indicating the need to replace the pillow. The method or pillow fold test may not work well for memory foam or foam pillow. So I usually suggest a Pinch Test which is illustrated in the video. Interestingly, the video where I describe when to replace a pillow is a Tempur-Pedic brand, that is only slightly more than a year old by a young adult male. Hope this tip will help you make a good decision when you buy your next new pillow. By the way, pillow store owners or department stores usually put these old pillows that start to degrade on SALE. Hence, don’t be surprise if most of the pillows you see in the department store fail the pillow Pinch Test.