Here’s what’s actually in your pillows, in case you wanted to have nightmares tonight

Anyone who is living and breathing is trying to clock in enough hours of sleep each night. There are so many factors to consider when it comes to good sleep. One thing you might not be thinking of is your pillows, and what kind of gunk is living on them. Dow Comfort Science gathered some data on the factors that contribute to a good night’s sleep, from your room temperature to the optimum height of your pillows. There are a few things they uncovered, though, that left us feeling a little queasy.

Get a load of this: After two years of living on your bed, a third of your pillow’s weight consists solely of bugs, dead skin, droppings, and dust mites. We apologize for being the bearers of bad news, and please excuse us while we burn all the pillows in our house.


Dow Comfort Science also found that 80 percent of people who have allergies and 10 percent of everyone in general are allergic to the proteins found in the waste and dust mites on our pillows. Which doesn’t exactly make for the most pleasant sleeping experience.

Surveys show that 90 percent of everyday folks consider comfortable pillows (and mattress) a top priority for getting a worthy night’s sleep. But what about the cleanliness of those pillows? How many of us think about those? Not many, we’re guessing.

Dow Comfort recommends using memory foam pillows, which can be machine washed every so often to keep your face clean and dust mite-free. It’s probably a good idea to switch out your pillows every few years, too. So if you’re still clutching onto that pillow you had since you were a tween, it might be time to give it a respectful send off.

Filed Under