Washing your bed pillows is so essential, and why? We all know that some people sweat a lot at night, and sweat goes through the fibers of the pillowcases. Things like mites and dead skins also build up on the pillowcase, making the pillows smell. 

How to Wash Bed Pillows? There are several ways you can wash your bed pillows, but it depends on your pillow type. Before you wash, you first need to read the label for cleaning your bed pillow, and there are pillows you can spot clean, hand wash, or even machine wash.

It would help if you did not machine pillows made of foam because the filling can break and become lumpy when washed. You can only vacuum any dirt on your foam pillow. It’s always a good hygiene practice to wash your pillows, and you can practice the washing after one to two years.

Here we will discuss more on how to wash bed pillows and how to dry bed pillows properly. 

Keep reading on!

What to look for when purchasing new bed pillows

It would be best to consider a few things for a good night’s sleep when purchasing new bed pillows. You need to consider your sleeping position, the type of your mattress, the firmness of the pillow, the breathability, and the pillow’s care instruction. 

And why should they be considered? I will explain below.

Your sleeping position 

Everyone has their best position when sleeping. There are back sleepers, we have side sleepers, and even stomach sleepers. All the sleepers should purchase the right pillow based on their sleeping position.  

The type of your mattress

The kind of mattress you have must work together with your pillow for it to support you when sleeping. The softness of your pillow depends on the type of mattress you are using. If your bed is very soft, your pad should be very thin.

The breathability

Always purchase a pillow that has better breathability. It’s good for the best night’s sleep. Pillows made from cotton, polyesters, and shredded foam offer good breathability and stay cool.

The less dense a pillow filling, the less breathable it will be.

The firmness of the pillow

Pillows have different firmness; we have very soft firmness, medium soft, hard, and medium-hard firmness. A soft pillow is always good for any sleeping style, and the soft cushions are made from feathers.

The medium-hard pillows are ideal for supporting the neck and shoulder. The medium-soft is well used with back and side sleepers, and the very hard firmness is well used on side sleepers.

The care instruction label

Always purchase a bed pillow with the care label on how you will wash it. Remember, not all pads are machine-washable, and if you wash a buffer that’s not meant to be cleaned, you will damage it. 

As you may know, dirt and mites build up on our pillows, and it’s good to wash them every once to two months to kill the germs. It would be best to consider replacing and cleaning their pillowcases every two days for bed pillows that you can’t wash.

ALSO READ: How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed?

How to wash bed pillows

Needles to say, we need to be washing our bed pillows, and it’s a good way of maintaining hygiene. Also, you will have a good sleep. Remember, our pillows tend to get dirt from our bodies when we sleep. If you don’t wash them, they will start smelling bad.

Suppose your pillow has stains that are hard to remove. Treat the color with a stain cleaner before putting it in the washing machine. For your machine to balance the load, it’s good to wash two pillows at a time. Then read the care label to know how you will wash your pillows.

Here are additional steps to help you out.

  • On washing the feather pillows, you can use a washing machine but use a mild detergent in a slow cycle motion. Then let the pillows dry entirely.
  • For memory foam pillows, you can only hand wash them. If you machine wash these pillows, the machine will damage the fillings. You can vacuum the memory foam pillows if there are any spots of dirt. You can do it by using a damp cloth with mild detergents and air-drying them.
  • Polyester pillows can be machine-washed with warm water with a gentle cycle motion.

The proper way to dry your bed pillows

Drying pillows takes time, especially pillows made with feathers and fibers. Pads take about one hour to get completely dry inside. When drying the feather pillows, always set no heat and let them run through the dryer until they are completely dry.  

Adding clean, dry clothes inside the dryer will speed the drying motion. Also, adding tennis balls inside the dryer will help fluff up the pillows. Hanging your pads on the clothesline is a good idea, but you have to make sure they are scorched and have no moisture inside them.

Tips for keeping your bed pillows clean and fresh

Everybody needs to be clean and put their hygiene first. Cleaning your cushions will make you sleep comfortably. We shed many dead skin cells at night, and they end up attracting mites. If you let them build up without washing, they will trigger asthma and allergies.

Washing your bed pillows will remove any dirt, and it’s advisable to clean your bed pillows at least four times a year. If you overwash your pillows, it can damage their filling, shape, and eventually, their ability to function as pillows.

Here are tips for keeping your bed pillows in good condition.

You first need to purchase a pillow cover.

A pillow protector always offers a barrier against sweat, dust, and even allergens, providing a good night’s sleep. They also minimize tears and extend the life of your pillow, and the protector will only need washing once a month.

It would help if you dried the pillows completely. 

Sleeping with a damp pillow will cause harmful bacteria and molds to grow inside. Please make sure they are dry in any form you’re using to dry your pad.

When drying, use a dryer on low, medium heat. You can add softener to freshen, and then you can use two tennis balls to fluff the pillows. 

Have extra bed pillows

Having extra bed pillows is a good idea, especially if you’ve just cleaned the ones you regularly use. Additionally, owning extra pillows ensures you have enough pillows to decorate your bed.

And if the pillows you regularly use wear out, the extra bed pillows can come in handy as you prepare to buy new pillows.

If they’re worn out, you can purchase new ones.

For bed pillows that have worn out or have started to turn yellow, it’s good to purchase new bed pillows for your room to be fresh and clean. Some bed pillows become very lumpy and flat. When this happens, it’s a clear sign you need to buy new ones for yourself.

Why you should replace your bed pillows every few years

A good bed pillow helps in body alignment when you sleep. If you want to know the right time for replacing your pad, observe the following:

  • When the pillows smell bad even after washing them
  • If you experience acne on your face
  • Waking up with back, neck, and shoulder pain, and
  • If you experience lumpiness

You should consider purchasing another bed pillow if you experience the signs mentioned above.

If your pillow has worn out and is flattened, it won’t necessarily provide you with good sleep. If you wake up having neck and shoulder pain, that’s a clear indication to purchase and replace your bed pillows with new ones.

Face oil, hair oil, mites, and dirt are trapped inside the pillows. They start staining your buffer seriously. And they can cause your face to start breaking out, cause rashes, and even pimples. Washing with a mild detergent may help clean up the stains, but you may find the smell is not yet gone.

Lastly, it would be best to purchase new bed pillows to prevent the old ones from irritating your skin. Relacing and purchasing new cushions might be a struggle for some people, but you will be doing good for yourself. For more on how to buy pillows, this article can help you out.


For good hygiene, we should often replace bed pillows. Suppose you notice any changes like odor, lumpiness, severe stains, and pain when you wake up. Immediately consider purchasing a new set of bed pillows.

If you have been struggling with how to wash bed pillows or when you should replace your bed pillows, this article should help.