Two hands fluffing a pillow

Ultimate Guide on How to Wash Pillows

Posted by Snuggle-Pedic

Your pillows are there for you every night. Getting good quality sleep is very important for your mental and physical well-being to function every day. It has been proven by medical professionals that high quality sleep is not just about how many hours of sleep you have had the night before. If you constantly wake up throughout the night, even if it spans for eight hours, it’s poor quality sleep. 

To help get high quality sleep, you want to make sure that you keep your pillows clean. Do you remember the last time you washed your pillows? Probably not. In this guide, we’re going to give you everything you need to know about how to wash your pillows to ensure you get the best sleep possible. Let’s get started! 

Two hands fluffing a pillow

Why is Cleaning Your Pillows Important? 

When washing your bedding, your pillows might be the last thing you want to wash. Even though it can feel like a hassle, it is very important for you to protect your health. Dirty pillows can end up giving you a number of diseases. Pillows, like other bedding material, gather dust and airborne particles over time. 

The more time that goes by without cleaning them will cause the pillows to have a higher accumulation of particles that can get you sick. Cleaning them regularly will increase the lifespan of your pillows and will protect you from diseases. 

How Often Should I Wash My Pillows?

You should be washing your pillows at least twice a year if you don’t get sick often or haven’t stained them. If you live in a warmer and humid area, you should be washing your pillows at least three times a year, or every 4 months.  

Can You Put a Pillow in the Washer? 

A majority of pillows (like Snuggle-Pedic’s) can be thrown into the washer. If you sleep on memory foam pillows, you might not want to throw it in the wash. You’re going to have to hand wash because washers and dryers are proven to be too rough on memory foam and the pillow will lose it’s quality quickly. 

How to Wash Pillows with a Washing Machine 

When throwing your pillows into the wash you’re going to have to configure the washing machine to accommodate the load if you can by setting it on bulky/large. Take off the pillowcases and wash them separately. Balance the washing machine by putting two pillows in at the same time so they won’t be thrown around as much. Add a regular amount of detergent and start the cycle. 

How to Hand Wash Your Pillows 

Remove the pillowcases and throw them in the washing machine. Fill a tub or sink with enough warm water to submerge the pillow completely. Add a tablespoon of liquid detergent per pillow you are washing. Mix it around in the water to evenly spread the detergent around. 

Submerge the pillow in the water and allow for the detergent to seep in. While the pillow is under, massage and squeeze the pillow to dislodge dirt and let the water get through the layers of the pillow. 

After you completed properly massaging your pillow, take it out of the tub and rinse it off with fresh water. This might take awhile because you want to make sure that you get as much of the soap out as possible. To make sure that all of the soap is out, check the runout to make sure there are no suds coming out as you are rinsing.  

How to Dry Your Pillows in the Dryer 

When you’re done washing your pillow, you can throw your pillows in the dryer to get all of the moisture out. For feather pillows, use the dryer setting that accommodates “air/fluff/no heat.” For synthetic pillows, set your dryer for low heat. 

You want to make sure that your pillows dry all the way through. Dampness means that pillows are not done drying yet. If it is still moist it becomes a hotbed for mold and bacteria. Pillows can take awhile to dry, so to speed up drying, put two tennis balls into clean, white, dry socks and throw them into the dryer with the pillows to pick up moisture quickly. 

If you have sensitive pillows, you don’t want to put them into the dryer. To dry them by hand, towel off what you can. Bring the pillow outside to let it dry in the sun. Again, before bringing the pillow back inside make sure that there is no water left to avoid mold and bacteria buildup. 


Woman sleeping happily on her side.


When to Replace Your Pillows 

After washing your pillows, if they're not bouncing back like they used to it might be time to replace them. Ideally, you should change your pillows once every 18 months. The longer you use them, the more skin cells and dust mites may fester in there.

If you’re unsure about if it is a good time to change your pillows, you might want to think about these things: 


  • Is your pillow still fluffy or is it starting to become lumpy? 
  • Do you need to form the pillow for you to be comfortable? 
  • If you answered “yes” to either of these questions it’s time to get a new pillow. You’re just wasting your time and putting extra effort in that isn’t necessary. 

 The Spring Back Test 

  • A good way to test the springiness of your pillow is using the Spring Back Test. Start by folding your pillow in half. If your pillow jumps back to its original form, then it’s still good to use. If it remains folded, then that’s your sign that it needs to be replaced.  

Wrap Up

Well, you have everything you need to wash your pillows. so, what are you waiting for? You’re going to feel so much better and productive after giving your pillows a nice wash. You’re going to sleep so much better on a nice clean pillow. Good night! 

Contributing Writer: Madeline Collins