Did you know that 1/3 of your pillow's weight could contain dust mites and their droppings. And that in just within 6 weeks, a pillow can be colonized by these little critters?
Frequently changing your pillow and comforters (especially those made of down), and mattress is the best thing you can do not only for sleep, but your health overall. Nearly 10% of the population have dust mite allergies, and a simple bedding change can make a huge difference. When my husband was waking frequently in the morning with a terrible cough, changing our pillows made an almost instant difference. Having clean bedding can also reduce likelihood of acne breakouts and other respiratory illnesses.
Your pillow has a life span of anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. I recommend doing a deep wash of your family's pillows and comforters every 3 months to extend your beddings' life. When you first buy your new bedding, write the month and year of purchase on the tags so you remember when to change them out next. And remember, mites feed on more humid and hot weather. So, during these months you might need to do this more. Trust me - your lungs and body will thank you :)
With your mattress, it's just as susceptible to dust mite, dead skin cell, etc. build up. You can extend the time you use your mattress by purchasing hypoallergenic covers to go between your mattress and sheets. But, look at replacing your mattress every 5-8 years not only for your back and support for optimal cleanliness as well. Remember, you do spend about 1/3 of your life on it. So, treat yourself!