The City Mattress Blog


How to Wash Pillows


How to Wash Pillows

You spent a lot of time creating your perfect bed. Thanks to a high-quality mattress, comfortable sheets, a cozy down comforter, and supportive pillows, you’re now sleeping on the perfect slumber oasis. If you don’t take care of these products, though, they won’t stay in top condition for long. Yes, your bedding needs a little TLC from time to time!

If you’re like most people, you wash your linens and other bed sheets pretty often. This is because your bedding gets dirt, oils, sweat, and other stains on it. This includes washing your pillow case, of course, which takes much of the brunt of an oily face as you sleep on it every night. What about the pillow itself? If you’re forgetting to wash this, you’re missing a big part of it!

Is your pillow dirty? 

Wait- can your pillow get dirty? Yes! Not only can you wash your pillows, you really should. Even with a pillowcase, your pillow eventually gets dirty. Most people do not realize that their pillows can harbor quite a bite of gross build up over time, including oils, sweat, bacteria, and even fungi. These nasty combination can break down the fill in your pillows, causing them to lose the ability to give the support your head and neck need.

How often should you wash your pillow? 

Once you buy a new pillow, which means one that is both comfortable and supportive, you want to keep it in great shape for several years. This means washing it! While you'll want to wash the rest of your bedding regularly, about once a week or so, your pillows have a bit more of a grace period. At the very least, your pillows should undergo a good deep-down clean in your washing machine every six months. If you’re especially concerned about it, every three to four months is okay too. 

Can you wash pillows in the washing machine?

Most pillows, including those filled with cotton, feathers, down, and fiberfill, can be cleaned in a washing machine. However, it's always a good idea to read the label for cleaning instructions first. All pillows come with tags attached by the manufacturer and often include care instructions. 

If your pillow is made of one of the materials listed above and the tag don’t say otherwise, you can go ahead and get started. Your pillow can go right in the washing machine. Wash two pillows at a time. You want to do this in order to keep your washer balanced on the spin cycle.

Put the pillow or pillows in the washing machine and select a gentle cycle with warm water. Add an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle if your machine allows you to. This is to make sure there are no remnants of detergent left behind that can cause irritation or break down the filling over time. Your pillow is all clean! 

Memory foam pillows: can you wash them? 

You may notice that memory foam wasn’t listed above. Can you wash memory foam pillows? Actually, no. Do not put your memory foam pillows in the washing machine or dryer. The motions of a washing machine and dryer could tear apart the padding of your memory foam pillow. Not only will it weaken the material, but it will also cut the pillow's lifespan down significantly. Memory foam cannot be fully saturated wet, so the washing machine is out of the question. In this case, it is best to spot treat any stains, preferably as they happen. 

Really, the best way to learn how to wash a memory foam pillow is to learn not to let your pillow be stained or dirty in the first place. In order to avoid the need for a deep wash, use a pillow protector to keep it totally clean. Pillow protectors are one of the basics of a healthy sleep environment. Pillow protectors are like pillowcases with fabric technology that offers enhanced features for your health and comfort. This can be done with a variety of materials, typically nylon and polyester. For instance, the Malouf Five 5ided® Pillow Protector features an Omniphase® material to promote a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Down pillows: can you wash them?

Down feathers pillows were listed above as being machine washable. This may surprise you. Can you wash down pillows? If you’re like many people, you assume that a luxury item like this would be difficult to clean and perhaps even labeled “dry clean only.” If you’re wondering how to wash down pillows, we have good news! They can be washed in the washing machine, easily and effectively. The key to knowing how to wash feather pillows is to be sure to use the fastest speed to take as much moisture out as possible and add an extra rinse cycle to make sure all the soap is gone. Speaking of soap, always use a gentle soap without any harsh additives.

It’s no secret just how gross your bedding can get. Those with sensitivities, allergies, or who simply want to keep their bed as clean as possible may wonder what the best way is to care for their pillows. Now that you know how to clean pillows, you can do so on a regular basis. Not only is keeping your pillows clean good for you, but you can also extend the life of them by washing them regularly.