How Long Do Memory Foam Pillows Last?

Memory foam pillows are considered to be one of the most popular luxury pillow types out there, but people are beginning to wonder how long these pillows can last–and if they’re worth it. While we knew they are a bargain in terms of comfort, we decided to research to find out how long you can rely on memory foam pillows.

No matter how you look at it, memory foam is surprisingly durable. If meticulously cared for, a memory foam pillow can last for as long as 36-months. However, most memory foam pillows will last for 18 to 28-months with regular maintenance. 

Memory foam pillows may seem like they can last forever, thanks to their unique dust mite-repelling qualities, but they still have some drawbacks. Before you get a new pillow made from this foam, it’s good to know both the pros and cons. Please keep reading as we discuss everything you’ll need to know about memory foam’s longevity, health implications, and proper care. 

Four stacked super comfortable memory foam pillows, How Long Do Memory Foam Pillows Last?

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The Pros And Cons Of Memory Foam Pillows

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Four different colored memory foam pillows

Like with any other type of pillow, memory foam has its own perks and pitfalls worth noting. To make things easier, we decided to parse the basics for you. 


  • Memory foam pillows are made of a material resistant to mold, mildew, and dust mites.
  • Chiropractors and doctors agree that memory foam is better for your posture and spinal health than other types of pillows. 
  • Unlike other pillows, memory foam keeps its shape.
  • Memory foam pillows have a longer lifespan than others, including polyester. 


  • Unlike other pillows, you cannot put memory foam in the washing machine or the dryer since it can permanently damage the pillow. 
  • Pillows made with memory foam can still house bed bugs and other critters if improperly maintained.
  • Some poorly-made pillows contain toxic compounds that make them slightly hazardous to one’s health.
  • These pillows are highly temperature and water-sensitive, which means they can melt or get destroyed fairly easily. 
  • They also are more expensive than most other pillows. 

Are Shredded Memory Foam Pillows Toxic?

If you have been reading up on different pillow materials, you might’ve heard complaints about safety. Much like foam for couch cushions, there is some reason to be alarmed about the memory foam pillows you see on store shelves—but only to a point.

Many memory foam pillows contain trace levels of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene. These chemicals have been linked to higher cancer rates. They also can have isocyanates, a known skin and eye irritant. Thankfully, not all do. When shopping for a memory foam pillow, check to see if your potential pillow has been linked to toxin use.

Memory Foam Pillow Lifespans: How Do They Measure Up?

A woman sleeping on her memory foam pillows

We now know that memory foam can last from one to three years, but what does that mean compared to, say, a feather pillow or a cotton pillow? Here’s the scoop:

  • Feather pillows have a maximum lifespan of eight years, and down pillows can last a maximum of five years. 
  • Down alternative pillows last two years at most, with most pillows failing after a year of steady use.
  • Polyester pillows, when cared for extremely well, will only last two years. 
  • Cotton pillows lose their ability to hold shape after a year.
  • Microbead pillows last one to two years at most. 

How Long Do Shredded Memory Foam Pillows Last?

Believe it or not, shredded memory foam pillows last noticeably longer than standard “chunk” pillows. If you have a shredded memory foam pillow, you can expect it to last a maximum of five years. That’s a whole two years longer than the longest a standard foam pillow will last.

How Do You Know When Memory Foam Is Worn Out?

Memory foam pillows are pretty easy to gauge when it comes to wearing. If you fold the pillow in half and it doesn’t pop back into its old shape, it needs to be replaced. You can also tell if memory foam needs to be replaced if you notice a faint smell or if the foam has gained a permanent dent.

Can Dust Mites Live In Memory Foam Pillows?

This is a tricky question. Memory foam is a lot more solidly built than most other bedding materials, making it highly resistant to dust mites. However, dust mites can still live in memory foam pillows if they are desperate for a place to live. It’s not ideal, and their growth will be slower, but it can still happen. 

Can Bed Bugs Live In Memory Foam Pillows?

Like with all other pillows and warm, fluffy things, bed bugs will find memory foam pillows to be a comfortable home. However, there are varying levels to which a memory foam pillow will be considered a good home for bed bugs. Shredded foam pillows tend to be more prone to bed bug infestations, while solid block pillows are less likely to have them. 

How Much Do Memory Foam Pillows Cost?

Depending on where you get the pillows from and the pillow brand, you should expect to pay between $20 to $100 for a single pillow. While this may seem like a steep price, it’s important to remember that memory foam pillows are considered to be some of the more durable and quality-oriented pillows on the market.

How Do You Keep Memory Foam Well Maintained?

This is a great question, and it impacts your pillow’s usage more than you might expect it to. These tips below can help you extend the life of your pillow for as long as possible:

  • Keep your pillow in a cool, well-aerated area. Memory foam pillows do best in areas not exposed to heat or moisture. This reduces the chances of mold growth and inhibits bacterial growth, too.
  • Spot clean your memory foam, and don’t use hot water on stains. The hot water will make the stain set in, not to mention potentially melt your pillow. If you feel the need to get your pillow fully cleaned, cover your pillow with baking soda and vacuum it, then leave it in the sun. 
  • Do not let your pets near your memory foam pillow. Memory foam tends to trap odors in its material. If pets get a hold of your memory foam pillow, there is a good chance that it will be ruined. 
  • Always use pillowcases. If you can, try to splurge for a specialized zipper pillow cover. This will prevent it from getting soiled or stained. 

Click here to get these pillow protectors from Amazon.

How Do You Dispose Of Memory Foam Pillows?

Even the most well-maintained memory foam pillow will eventually have to be replaced, and when that time comes, it’s important to know how to get rid of it properly. Most people don’t realize this, but memory foam products can be recycled alongside regular plastics. This includes memory foam pillows. 

Recycling your pillows is the most environmentally-friendly way to get rid of them and reduce your carbon footprint. To recycle your memory foam pillow, toss it in the plastics bin for your recycling day. If you have a recycling center near you, you can also drive there and drop off the pillow in person. 


The world of home improvement is always improving, and that includes things like pillows, too. Memory foam pillows are one of the most durable synthetic pillows on the market, which is precisely why they’re booming in popularity. However, they are not for everyone. Many people may find memory foam pillows to be too high maintenance for them. If you are willing to do careful cleanings, then you will find these pillows to be a real-life dream come true. 

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