4 April 2022

Our tips for washing pillows

Our tips for washing pillows

While pillowcases are regularly washed in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry, pillows are rarely, if ever, washed at all. However, just like a duvet, dust mites and bacteria can accumulate on pillows over the course of the night. Whether they are feather or synthetic pillows, washing them becomes necessary to preserve the health and life of the pillow.

washing your pillows

Why wash your pillows? 

Although we often prefer not to think about it, it is important to know that a person can sweat up to 1.5 litres every night. This perspiration gets into the mattress, the duvet and the pillow. To this can be added saliva, which can also soak in depending on the type of sleeper, as well as the dust and other bacteria that one gathers in one’s hair throughout the day.

Fortunately, the pillowcase and its regular care by washing and drying in the washing machine can clean the dirt and other dust mites present. However, one wash cycle plus one drying cycle of the pillowcase is not always enough to get rid of dust mites. They can slide between the fibres of a feather or down pillow as well as a synthetic or memory foam pillow. This can easily be seen when you see a yellowed pillow, as this is a sign that pillow washing is more than necessary.

Pillow washing will remove yellow stains (yellow stains often caused by saliva and perspiration), and also allow you to sleep on a cleaner and healthier memory foam pillow, synthetic pillow or feather or down pillow. Say goodbye to yellowed pillows and hello to the right wash cycle to whiten a yellowed pillow, and also to extend its life!

Which machine should I use for an efficient pillow wash? 

For a successful pillow wash, the choice of machine used will be important. The washing machine chosen must have sufficient capacity to fit one or more pillows in the machine. When machine washing a feather, down, synthetic or memory foam model, it is also important to ensure that a suitable wash cycle is available (refer to the care label). Pillowcases will be washed differently from pillows, just as a memory foam pillow will not be washed in the same way as a feather or down pillow.

As a little soapy water will not suffice, a machine with a suitable wash cycle will usually be necessary. Machine washing can then be done in a laundrette. You can bring your pillows or even your duvet and follow the recommendations on each care label. However, for mattresses, a professional should be called in.

washing your pillows

Which pillow wash should I use? 

Pillow washing makes for a healthier bed and goes further than simply cleaning a pillowcase cover. As with a duvet, this often requires a trip to the laundrette to get the pillows into the machine (as they will take up much more space than a pillowcase or regular laundry). 

Feather pillows

For feather pillows, it is recommended to choose a wash cycle between 40° and 60° (no boiling water) and a slow spin cycle. In any case, you should check that machine washing is possible by reading the label. Drying can be done by inserting a tennis ball into the drum of the dryer to keep it even. It is also possible to opt for dry cleaning.

Synthetic pillows

The synthetic pillow can be washed at a temperature of up to 40° (this is also the recommended temperature for a synthetic duvet or delicate linen). Washing synthetic pillows may also require the use of tennis balls to prevent the filling from forming a ball. You can also wash the bed linen at the same time or wash several pillows at the same time to avoid this phenomenon.

Memory foam pillows

Finally, washing a memory foam pillow also requires some precautions. The visco-elastic foam used for this type of model is not water resistant. If a stain occurs, it is therefore possible to rub it with a sponge and let the pillow dry in open air. Just like the mattress, this type of product should be aired from time to time and beaten outside to remove as much dust and dust mites as possible.


For drying, choose an air dryer or a gentle tumble dryer programme to avoid damaging the filling. 

Here is another article that might interest you: How do I wash my sheets in the washing machine?