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Why Does My Pillow Turn Yellow?

January 25, 2023

Why Does My Pillow Turn Yellow?

Like your mattress, your pillows are also important when creating the best formula for a restful night’s sleep. Sleeping on old, saggy, or dirty pillows can cause multiple issues, like neck problems, incorrect sleeping posture, allergies, and sleep deprivation. 

While they can be covered with pillowcases, your favourite pillows can still turn yellow. This dirty and unsightly appearance of your pillow is not something you want on your bed.

Wondering why your pillows turn yellow? Are there any solutions to treat or prevent this from happening? Continue reading this guide to find out.

 

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow?

There are a variety of reasons that cause yellow stains on your pillows. The most common factors include heat, moisture, and humidity. These may also affect the quality of your pillow fillings, causing your sleeping surface to sag and lose its loft. If your bedroom is too hot or humid, your mattress, pillows, and bedding accessories will be affected. Natural body moisture and drool can also cause pillow discoloration.

Here are some specific reasons that turn your pillows yellow:

 

Perspiration

Perspiration

One of the most common reasons for a yellow-stained pillow is sweat. We all sweat at night while sleeping, especially in this hot and humid weather in Singapore. Even when you use some pillowcases, the sweat can penetrate the material and build up yellow stains. This may not be obvious at first, but it will eventually affect the quality of your pillows.

 

Natural Body Oils

Natural Body Oils

Aside from sweat, other forms of moisture, like your natural body oils from your skin and hair, can also lead to the buildup of yellow stains. These traces of moisture can penetrate the fabric of your pillow and cause stains to form.

 

Wet Hair

Wet Hair

Having a warm shower before bed can be very refreshing. But did you know that your wet hair can cause your pillow to turn yellow? If you go to bed with wet hair, the excess moisture will soak your pillow and cause discoloration. Excess moisture can also lead to mould buildup. To prevent this, we recommend drying your hair some time before going to bed.

 

Skincare Products

Skincare Products

Lotions, facial creams, moisturisers, and other water- and oil-based skincare products can also cause yellow stains. Avoid these oils and moisture from sticking to your pillow by applying them at least an hour or two before lying down on your bed.

Aside from the factors listed above, one major reason for a pillow to turn yellow is its age. 

 

Is It Healthy to Sleep on a Yellow Pillow?

Is It Healthy to Sleep on a Yellow Pillow?

If your pillow is already too old and dirty, you will more likely experience discomfort when trying to sleep on it. An old yellowish pillow is also the perfect breeding ground for dust mites and other elements that may cause allergy symptoms. 

As a rule of thumb, you should replace your pillow every two years. If your pillow has a few yellow stains but is still lofty and comfortable to sleep on, it is still safe to use, provided that you cover it with a clean pillow protector. However, if your pillow is lumpy and fully discoloured, it’s time to buy a new one.

 

Ways to Prevent Yellow Stain Buildup

Ways to Prevent Yellow Stain Buildup

Moisture is everywhere. Sweat, oils, and saliva are also inevitable, but you can still protect your pillow from coming into contact with these elements. 

The most effective way to prevent moisture from penetrating your pillow is to use a pillow protector. Like a mattress protector, a pillow protector is a zippered sleeve placed between your pillow and pillowcase. This also prevents dirt and allergens from having direct contact with your pillow. 

To keep your pillows fresh and yellow stain-free, make it a habit to wash your pillowcases and protectors at least once a week, along with your other bedding accessories. This is to prevent moisture, oils, and dirt from sticking to the fabric for too long. Maintaining a low and comfortable temperature in your bedroom can also help you avoid excessive night sweats.

Other things that you can do to prevent yellow stains from building up on your pillow are:

  • Washing your face to remove excess oil and makeup products
  • Drying your hair before going to sleep
  • Doing your skincare routine at least an hour before bedtime

 

Ways to Get Rid of Yellow Stains on Your Pillow

Ways to Get Rid of Yellow Stains on Your Pillow

If there are a few yellow stains on your pillow, there is still a chance that you can remove or reduce them through spot cleaning. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you may use a mild detergent and a bleach or borax solution to lighten up yellow stains on your pillow. Some fabric stain removers or vinegar will also help tackle deep stains. Another way to remove the odour from your pillow is to use baking soda and water paste. 

Take note that you may not be able to remove 100% of the stains, especially when they’ve been bedded on your pillow for a long time, so it’s always best to protect your pillow to prevent the hassle of yellow stain cleaning.

To keep your pillows fresh and free from allergens, we recommend washing them at least twice a year. This process will also depend on the manufacturer’s instructions since some pillows are not meant to be machine washed.

 

When Should You Replace Your Pillow?

When Should You Replace Your Pillow?

Experts recommend changing the pillows every 1 to 2 years, depending on the quality of the materials and the condition of the pillow. Some stubborn yellow stains accumulate as your pillow ages. Older pillows even show brown dirt buildups, which are more challenging to deal with. If your pillow has already turned too yellow or brown and is producing unpleasant mildew odours even before it reaches its full lifespan, consider buying a new one. 

 

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

Like a mattress, the pillows that we sleep on every night also need some care. Nightly sweats, oils, and skincare products can penetrate the fabrics of the sleep solution and cause yellow stains. To prevent this, it’s always important to protect your pillows by using a pillow protector and regularly cleaning your pillowcases. If it’s time to upgrade your pillow, carefully consider your sleeping needs and comfort preferences. You may also want to try a specialised pillow for better contouring support and sleep comfort.

 

DISCLAIMER: All the information, including the texts, images, and other materials on this website, are for educational purposes only. Although we strive to present accurate information to our readers, no material on the Somnuz website is a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified medical professional with regards to your health. NEVER disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read in this article.


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