The Dirty Truth About Pillows

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 08/04/2014 | 03:45 PM EDT

Experts say after six months those fluffy bed accessories are loaded with not-so pretty things

Be prepared to never look at your pillow the same way ever again.


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Despite being one of the most essential things needed to sleep, pillows are very seldom replaced on a regular basis. But according examiners, pillows should be changed at least every six months, as they overtime are covered with critters, debris, dirt and dead skin cells, among other things.


Think about it: every night you lay your head on your pillow, you’re smearing dirt, oil and the like onto it, which doesn’t exactly make for the most clean or healthy circumstances.


Remnants of dirt, oil and dead skin cells can cause acne on the skin, not to mention dust mites also like to hang out in the crevices of your pillow. Experts also point out that such invasions are hard to spot, as you are not able to see them in bedding and carpeting.


The good news, however, is that dust mite accumulation can cause very real health problems, except unpleasant reactions in people who are allergic to the bugs. Roughly 20 percent of people have allergies and of those who do - which is around two thirds may be allergic to the types of dust mites that congregate indoors. Even better, dust mites don't carry with them any risks other than those allergic or asthmatic reactions, and they don't spread any kind of disease.


As for tips, experts recommend airtight covers for mattresses and washing bedding and pillows regularly. Thirty minutes on low in the dryer can also help clear out some of the clutter from your pillows, the Huffington Post reports.


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It’s also important to note that whenever you buy a new mattress, you should also buy new pillows to go along with it.


Also, no need in finding the best type of pillow; whatever is your style will do just fine. Just beware!

(Photo: Getty Images)

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