THIS is how often you should really be washing your pillows

Get ready for a figure that will shock you out of slumber

For many, throwing bed linen and pillow cases in the machine for their weekly or fortnightly wash is something that's incorporated into our routines as a matter of course. Even our duvets get at least an annual outing to the local laundrette.

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But did you know you also need to give your actual pillows the cleaning treatment too, and it's probably more frequently than you think. Yep guidelines advise that our pillows should be washed every six months – cue a sheepish look over at our homely, but definitely not hygienic, twin pillow sets.

bedroom with white wall and bed with white bedsheet and pillows

(Image credit: Mark Scott)

Now a new study conducted by nanu (opens in new tab) – a sleep specialist which creates personalised, eco-friendly pillows – has revealed a staggering 41 per cent of Brits questioned have never washed their pillows.

In the UK, the cities of Aberdeen, Swansea and York proved to be the worst culprits, with over 50 per cent of residents here having never washed pillows as part of their bedding.

The research revealed that a lack of knowledge of pillow cleaning protocol may be one of the reasons behind this inertia, with a quarter of Brits confessing that they didn't know they needed to wash pillows at all.

bedroom with blue wall and tree printed bedding set

(Image credit: Jonathan Jones)

It seems that the nation is also guilty of holding onto their pillows, even when they've lost their plump, with the majority sleeping on a pillow that is over five years old. A further fifth admitted catching 40 winks on a pillow that was more than 10 years old.

And rather than the pong our pillows may produce over time putting us off these sleep aids, the familiar smell is said to make us even more attached; a phenomena known as PAD (Pillow Attachment Disorder).

More than a quarter of those participating in the study revealed that they can't sleep without their trusty pillow. Pillows are also being taken out of the bedroom and into other areas of our personal lives, with a fifth revealing that they take their pillows on holidays and three per cent admitting that they even take them to the cinema.

bedroom with tree printed walls and wooden bed

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Commenting Jamie Moryoussef, spokesperson for nanu, said: 'Sleeping on the perfect pillow has proven benefits when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. The fact so many of us are sleeping on pillows that are five or more years older is somewhat worrying, as by then any pillow has lost its ability to support our heads, keep us truly comfy and help generate the perfect conditions for kip. It is recommended that pillows are changed every three years in order to maximise their benefits, and we hope these survey results will inspire Britons to take action and recycle any pongy pillows they may have at home.'

Related: 5 genius cleaning hacks that cost under £5 from Wales' answer to Mrs Hinch

Can you relate to the findings?