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Can I put my bed pillow in the washing machine?

When it comes to keeping our homes clean, one item that often gets overlooked is our bed pillows. Pillows are something we use every day, and over time, they can become filled with dust, sweat, and body oils. In many cases, this can lead to foul odors and even allergies. So, what’s the best way to clean your bed pillows? Can you put them in the washing machine? In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this common question.

The Short Answer

The short answer is yes, most bed pillows can be put in the washing machine. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before tossing your pillow into the washer.

Types of Pillows

Before we delve into the step-by-step process of washing your pillows, it’s important to know the different types of pillows available in the market, and how they should be washed.

Down and Feather Pillows:

Down and feather pillows are often made from natural materials, which make them soft and lofty. These pillows can be machine-washed, but it’s important to use a gentle cycle and mild detergent to avoid damaging the delicate feathers.

Synthetic Fiberfill Pillows:

Fiberfill pillows are made from polyester or other synthetic materials. These types of pillows can be machine-washed and dried using the delicate cycle.

Memory Foam Pillows:

Memory foam pillows are made of viscoelastic material that responds to heat and pressure and can mold to the shape of your head. The foam material makes these pillows more delicate and requires special care when washing. You can gently spot-clean memory foam pillows with a damp cloth, but they should never be machine-washed.

The Washing Process

Now that you know the different types of pillows and how they should be washed, it’s time to dive into the actual cleaning process.

Step 1:

Check the care label on your pillow for specific cleaning instructions. If there are no instructions on the label, it’s safest to assume that it can be washed on a gentle cycle.

Step 2:

Before washing, remove any pillowcases and protectors from the pillow. If you’re washing more than one pillow, make sure they are evenly distributed in the washing machine to avoid unbalancing the machine.

Step 3:

Add liquid detergent to the washing machine, and set the machine to run on a gentle cycle with warm water. Avoid using a heavy-duty detergent or fabric softener as these can damage the filling in your pillows.

Step 4:

After the cycle is complete, remove the pillows from the washing machine, and gently squeeze out any excess water.

Step 5:

Now, you have the option of tossing your pillows in the dryer or drying them outside. If using the dryer, place the pillows in the dryer along with a few clean towels or dryer balls. Set the dryer to a low or delicate setting and avoid high heat, which can damage the filling in the pillows.


In conclusion, the answer to whether or not you can put your bed pillow in the washing machine is a resounding YES. Just ensure you follow the appropriate steps based on your pillow’s composition as highlighted in this blog post. By following the steps and using the appropriate washing technique, your pillows will be free from dirt, sweat, or stains. Keeping your pillows clean is an essential part of maintaining a comfortable, healthy sleep environment.

For more information on bed pillow washing techniques and tips for maintaining a healthy sleep environment, check out the Sleep Foundation website.


What is the best way to wash bed pillows?

Washing bed pillows regularly is important for maintaining hygiene and quality. Over time, pillows can accumulate dirt, sweat, and bacteria, which can affect their appearance, texture, and support. However, washing pillows can be tricky, especially if you don’t know the proper method or products to use.

The best way to wash bed pillows depends on the type of material it is made of. For example, synthetic pillows can usually be washed in a washing machine without any issues, while down or feather pillows require extra care. It is important to read the care instructions on the pillow’s tag to ensure that they are washed properly.

If you have a washing machine at home, pillows can typically be machine washed on a gentle cycle, with warm or cold water, using a mild detergent. It is crucial to not add too much detergent as soap residue can build up on the down, just like dirt and sweat does, which can affect the quality of the pillow over time. As an alternative, a gentle soap or a baby shampoo can be used instead of regular detergent.

After washing, it is crucial to thoroughly rinse and spin the pillow to make sure the soap is fully removed, as leftover detergent can cause the pillow to smell musty and attract bacteria. If washing multiple pillows, it is recommended to wash them separately or only with other bedding to prevent them from getting tangled or damaged.

Once the washing cycle is complete, it is recommended to dry pillows on a low-heat setting in the dryer or outside in the sun, flipping them every 15 to 30 minutes until completely dry. It is important to ensure that the pillows are completely dry before use, as any moisture left inside may cause mold or mildew to develop.

If you don’t have access to a washing machine, hand washing or spot cleaning can be effective solutions. However, it can be a more time-consuming process as the pillow will need to be thoroughly rinsed and dried.

Washing bed pillows is an important part of maintaining hygiene and longevity of your pillows, but it is important to ensure proper care instructions are followed. Using mild detergent, thorough rinsing, and gentle drying are key to ensuring your pillows are properly cleaned, and can help improve the quality and lifespan of your pillows.

How do you wash pillows in washing machine without ruining them?

Pillows collect dirt, sweat, and bacteria over time, which is why it’s important to wash them regularly. But washing pillows in a washing machine can be a bit tricky, as you don’t want to ruin their shape or texture. Here are some tips to help you wash your pillows in the washing machine without ruining them.

1. Read the care label – Before washing your pillows, you need to read the care label to see if they are machine washable. If the care label says “Dry Clean Only,” do not attempt to wash the pillow in a washing machine, as this will ruin it.

2. Pre-treat stains – If your pillow has any stains, pre-treat them with a stain remover before putting the pillow in the washing machine. This will improve the chances of removing the stains during the wash cycle.

3. Use a mild detergent – Use a mild detergent that doesn’t contain bleach or fabric softener. Bleach can damage the fabric, and fabric softener can leave a residue on the pillow that will reduce its fluffiness.

4. Wash two pillows at a time – If your washing machine is large enough, wash two pillows of the same size at the same time. This will help balance the load and prevent the pillows from getting agitated too much.

5. Choose the right wash cycle – Select a cool, gentle cycle for washing pillows, as hot water and heavy agitation can damage them. Use the delicate or gentle cycle if your washing machine has one.

6. Add some towels – To help cushion the pillows during the wash cycle, add a few same-colored towels to the load. This will prevent the pillows from banging around in the washing machine.

7. Rinse and spin cycle – After the wash cycle is complete, run the rinse and spin cycle to remove any leftover detergent. It’s essential to remove all of the detergent, as any residue can cause skin irritation or reduce the fluffiness of the pillow.

8. Air dry the pillows – Do not put the pillows in the dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric and filling. Instead, hang the pillows outside or lay them flat in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause the fabric to fade.

Washing pillows in a washing machine is a great way to keep them clean and fresh. Just be sure to read the care label, use a mild detergent, wash two pillows at a time, choose the right wash cycle, add some towels, and air dry the pillows to prevent damage.

Can I put pillows in the dryer?

Yes, you can put pillows in the dryer, but it is essential to take certain precautions to prevent any damage to the pillows or the dryer itself. One of the critical factors while drying pillows in the dryer is selecting the appropriate cycle and adjusting the temperature settings.

Before putting the pillows in the dryer, you should read the care instructions mentioned on the pillow label. Some pillows might not be suitable for machine washing or drying, and you could end up ruining them. Most down-filled and synthetic-filled pillows can be dried in the dryer, while feather-filled pillows can be a little more tricky.

Once you have confirmed that the pillows are safe to be put in the dryer, the next step is to remove any loose debris or feathers that might be present in the pillows. It is always better to place two pillows in the dryer to maintain a balance in the load and avoid any unevenness while spinning.

The most delicate cycle setting should be used to dry the pillows. If your dryer has a delicate option, it should be used to avoid high dry heat and prevent the pillows from getting damaged. Use the lowest heat setting as high temperatures can damage the filling inside the pillows, causing them to lose shape and become lumpy.

After one cycle of drying the pillows, check them to see if they need to be flipped over for even drying. Usually, pillows take more than one cycle to dry completely. If the pillows are still damp, do not worry, simply put them back in the dryer for another cycle. It is essential to ensure that the pillows are entirely dry before taking them out of the dryer; otherwise, they can develop mold and become unusable.

Putting pillows in the dryer is a reasonable method to clean them, provided that you follow the instructions mentioned on the pillow label and take necessary precautions while drying them. It’s essential to choose the most delicate cycle setting, use low heat, and check the pillows after every cycle to ensure that they are not damaged or lumpy.