The answer to this question depends on whom you talk to. Ask anyone in The Bedding Industry and the answer you will receive is every 2 years.
There are clearly several downsides to this answer. The most obvious one being the expense. It's no wonder people don't want to pay more than $10 for a pillow. However, they then spend those two years wondering why it just doesn't give them a decent night's rest.
A second and perhaps stronger negative to this replacement frequency is the ENORMOUS waste and carbon footprint that pillows cause with thousands upon thousands of them ending up in landfills every year!
And thirdly, what if you do find a great pillow for yourself? Despair at the thought of throwing it away at it's appointed time? Or perhaps worse: NOT throwing it away and continuing to sleep on something that gets used 8 hours a day, every day, for years and never gets cleaned. Pillowcases help, of course, but never quite enough. This gross factor is not pleasant to contemplate.
You might try washing this beloved pillow, but as most department and box store bought pillows are not designed to be washed, often the laundering process warps, melts, and mis-shapens them into a completely unusable mess. Then there are the fills such as buckwheat, foam and memory foam that defy washing at the most common sense level.
So now you have two choices: 1) pillow shop every couple of years or 2) buy a pillow that can be machine-washed and dried - although there the bad news is that those are hard to find. The good news...A Little Pillow Company makes one! All of our pillows can be regularly washed and dried with no consequences. Add to this the ability to customize the feel and firmness with our Adjustable Loft Pillows and you now have a pillow that can last 20 years or more. (And we can tell you our personal pillows have surpassed that age and are still wonderful!).
So now you have a new answer to original old question: 20+ years with A Little Pillow Company pillow. We trust you agree that's a pretty good value.