Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow: What You Need to Know

Do you ever wonder why your pillows turn yellow? It can be frustrating to see your once-white pillows become discolored over time.


There are several reasons why this can happen and understanding them can help you prevent it from happening in the future.

Why Do Pillows Turn Yellow


One of the most common reasons for yellowing pillows is sweat. When you sleep, your body produces sweat, and this can seep into your pillow over time.


This is especially true if you tend to sleep hot or if you don't wash your bedding frequently. Want to know more? Let’s read on and discover all the answers.

What Causes Pillows and Pillowcases to Turn Yellow?

A pillow with visible stains

If you've ever wondered why your once pristine white pillow has turned yellow, you're not alone. There are a few reasons why your favorite pillows and pillowcases can turn yellow over time. 


Now, let’s explore one by one the various factors that contribute to yellow stains on your pillows and pillowcases.


Bodily Fluids and Oils

One of the main culprits behind yellow stains on pillows and pillowcases is bodily fluids and oils. When you sleep, you naturally shed dead skin cells, sweat, and drool. These substances can all leave behind stains on your best bedding sets.


Additionally, hair oils and beauty products like cosmetics and skincare routines can also contribute to yellow stains.

External Factors

External factors can also play a role in causing pillows and pillowcases to turn yellow. For example, if you eat or drink in bed, you may accidentally spill food or drink on your pillow, leaving behind stains.


Additionally, dust mites can accumulate on your pillow over time, leaving behind yellowish-brown stains.


Material Breakdown

Finally, the breakdown of pillow materials can also cause yellow stains. Down and feather pillows, for example, can break down over time and release oils that can leave behind stains. Memory foam pillows can also discolor over time due to exposure to light and air.


How to Prevent Yellow Pillow Stains

A white pillow and a yellow pillow on a bed

Pillows are an essential part of your bedding, and it's important to keep them clean and fresh.


Yellow stains on pillows are not only unsightly, but they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and allergens. 


Here are some ways to prevent yellow pillow stains and keep your pillows looking and smelling fresh.


Proper Cleaning Techniques

Regular cleaning is the key to preventing yellow stains on your pillows.  You should wash your pillows every three to six months, depending on how often you use them.


Use a mild detergent and warm water, and avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can damage the fibers of your pillows. 


You can also add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle to help remove any musty odors.


Protective Measures

Using a pillow protector is an effective way to prevent yellow stains on your pillows. Pillow protectors are designed to keep moisture and stains from penetrating the pillow, and they can be easily removed and washed.


You can also use a mattress protector to keep your entire bedding clean and fresh.


Pillow Replacement and Care

Even with proper cleaning and protective measures, pillows will eventually need to be replaced.  Pillows should be replaced every 1-2 years, depending on their age and condition. 


When you purchase new pillows, be sure to check the care instructions and follow them carefully to ensure that your pillows stay clean and fresh for as long as possible.


Pillows turn yellow due to sweat, oils, and moisture buildup over time. Regular cleaning and using protective pillowcases can help prevent this discoloration and extend the life of your pillows.


To keep your bedding fresh and comfortable, it's essential to address these factors. Explore our pillow collections today to find high-quality options designed for durability and comfort.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep my pillow from turning yellow?

To keep your pillow from turning yellow, it's important to practice good hygiene.  Wash your pillowcases and sheets regularly to prevent sweat, oil, and dirt from building up on your pillow. 


You can also use a pillow protector to help keep your pillow clean. Additionally, avoid eating or drinking in bed, as food and drink spills can also cause stains.

Is it OK to sleep on a yellow pillow?

While it's not harmful to sleep on a yellow pillow, it's not the most hygienic option.  Yellow stains on pillows are often caused by sweat, drool, and other bodily fluids, which can harbor bacteria and allergens. 


Over time, these stains can also cause unpleasant odors. It's best to wash your pillows regularly to keep them clean and fresh.


How to remove yellow from pillows?

To remove yellow stains from your pillows, start by washing them in hot water with a mild detergent. You can also add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to help break down stains and odors.


If the stains are still visible, try using a stain remover or bleach specifically designed for pillows. Be sure to follow the care instructions for your pillows, as some materials may not be able to withstand bleach or other harsh chemicals.


Why does my husband's pillow turn yellow?

Yellow stains on pillows are often caused by sweat, drool, and other bodily fluids. If your husband tends to sweat a lot during the night, this could be the cause of the yellow stains on his pillow. 


Additionally, using hair or skincare products before bed could also contribute to the stains. Encourage him to wash his face and hair before bed and consider using a pillow protector to help keep his pillow clean.