Ask Happy Dan: A 56 Year Old Pillow?


When you have questions about pillows and other bedding, Happy Dan the Pillow Man is your guy!  He’s happy because he always gets a good night’s sleep.  Happy Dan is the alter ego of Dan Schecter, Senior Vice President at Carpenter Co., and the creator of  He’s spent 30 years learning about pillows and sleep and how those two items go together, and he’s now available to answer your questions!

In this edition of Ask Happy Dan, Dan answers a number of questions on how to take care of your pillows, including one about what might be the grossest-sounding pillow we’ve ever heard of.

Sheri M. Masterson: How often should you wash bed pillows? What about pillow protectors?

Hello Sheri! You should wash your bed pillows at least every six months, but make sure you take plenty of time to dry them. Your pillow protectors should be washed every time you wash and dry your sheets. So says Happy Dan The Pillow Man.

Susan Alles: I want a firm pillow that stands up to washing/drying. Any recommendation?

All pillows will break down in time – that is just the way it is. You can extend the life to some degree by making sure you dry the pillow thoroughly. Don’t fall for marketing claims that states  that a pillow is forever firm, or that you can wash me as many times as you want … and so on.  That is a bunch of hooey. Do yourself a favor and just know you will need a new pillow every year or so. So says Happy Dan The Pillow Man.

Judy Oliver: I found a pillow on the beach after Hurricane Donna (1960) I still have it. How much bacteria, etc., do you think are hiding in there?

What an amazing find and it is even more amazing that you are sleeping on it! I would go to the kitchen and get some tongs, pick up the pillow, and walk it directly to your trash can. I would then put the pillow in the can and throw away the tongs. I would then get in my car and buy a NEW PILLOW! So says Happy Dan The Pillow Man.

Check back soon for another edition of Ask Happy Dan.  If you have a question for Dan, ask it on our Great American Bad Pillow Project page, and be sure to enter our contest for a chance to win one of three bedding makeovers, each valued at approximately $700!