How Often Should I Wash My Pillow? Tips for Pillow Care

Do you know the importance of washing your pillows?

Keeping them clean and fresh is a key part of maintaining a healthy bedroom environment.

This article will provide you with helpful tips on how often to wash your pillows, the right materials to use, and the best ways to clean specific types of pillows.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to keep your pillows in good condition for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Pillows should be cleaned often to prevent the accumulation of germs, odors, and bacteria.
  • The frequency of washing pillows depends on the type of pillow and its usage.
  • Washing pillows in the washing machine should be done with warm water and mild detergent on a gentle cycle, following the label instructions.
  • Regular maintenance, such as daily fluffing and airing pillows outdoors, helps keep them fresh and prolong their lifespan.

Why Wash Your Pillows?

how often should i wash my pillow 5 - How Often Should I Wash My Pillow? Tips for Pillow Care

Cleaning your pillows regularly is essential for keeping them fresh and preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. Pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi, and adenoviruses, can seep through fabrics and into the filling material, making regular cleaning a must.

Not only does it help eliminate odors and bacteria buildup, but it also extends the life of your pillows. Protect your family from illness and ensure the longevity of your pillows by washing them every three months.

How Often Should I Wash My Pillow

To maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of germs, it’s important to clean your pillow at least twice a year. For specific situations such as eating in bed or having pets, washing your pillow every three months is recommended.

Foam pillows should never be washed in a washing machine, and should instead be vacuumed or spot treated. Down pillows should be washed in a washing machine with gentle settings.

Lastly, pillowcases should be washed weekly.

Taking these steps will help keep your pillow fresh and hygienic.

Can You Wash Pillows in the Washing Machine

how often should i wash my pillow 6 - How Often Should I Wash My Pillow? Tips for Pillow CareFoam pillows can be washed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with mild detergent.

Yes, you can wash pillows in the washing machine.

Different types of pillows require different instructions for washing.

For natural-filled pillows, it is important to read the labels on the pillows before washing them.

Polyester and hollow-fiber pillows also have specific washing instructions.

Similarly, foam pillows like latex and memory foam need to be handled differently when it comes to washing.

Natural filled pillows

Natural filled pillows should be washed at least twice a year for optimal hygiene and freshness. To maintain their quality, use a gentle, clear detergent and warm water on the delicate cycle. Squeeze out excess water without wringing to keep the shape. Hang in the sun to completely dry, and rotate or flip pillows every hour or two.

Spot clean, hand wash, or dry clean as directed on the label. Regular cleaning helps eliminate odors and bacteria buildup for a healthier home.

Polyester/hollow-fiber pillows

Polyester/hollow-fiber pillows need regular cleaning to eliminate odors and bacteria buildup. Wash them on a gentle cycle with warm water and mild detergent.

To keep them fresh, fluff them daily and hang them outdoors on a sunny day every month.

Spot clean, hand wash, or dry clean as directed on the label. Squeeze out excess water without wringing to maintain shape and dry completely to prevent mildew.

Following these steps will ensure your pillows are clean and fresh.

Foam pillows

Foam pillows, such as latex and memory foam, should never be washed in a washing machine as it can damage the padding. Protect them with a pillow protector and vacuum attachments to remove dirt and dust.

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Spot treat stains with a mixture of water and detergent or a gentle stain remover. Dry clean to preserve quality, but avoid this for down pillows.

Clean pillowcases weekly to prevent the buildup of dirt, oils, sweat, and makeup. Use the right laundry cycle and detergent for proper cleaning.

Can You Put Pillows in the Dryer?

You can put certain types of pillows in the dryer, but always check the manufacturer’s instructions first. Pillows with feathers, polyester, latex, memory foam, and buckwheat hulls may be dryer-safe. Be sure to read the label for specific instructions, as some filling types require specific precautions.

To ensure complete drying, set the machine to the lowest heat setting and remove the pillows when cool. Never over-dry, as this can lead to mildew or damage to the pillow.

Following these steps will help keep your pillows clean and fresh.

How Else Can You Keep Pillows Fresh?

Keeping your pillows fresh doesn’t just involve washing; there are other ways to keep them in good condition. Fluffing them daily helps remove dust and retain shape. Hang them outdoors monthly to expose to fresh air, and rotate or flip them every few hours.

Special care instructions are needed for pillows that can’t be machine-washed. Spot clean, hand wash, or dry clean these as directed on the label. Vacuum attachments can be used to clean foam pillows. And pre-treat stains with enzyme-containing detergents.

Following these steps will ensure a long-lasting, fresh pillow.

How Often Should Pillows Be Replaced?

It is important to regularly replace your pillows in order to maintain their freshness and ensure a good night’s sleep.

Generally, it’s recommended to replace pillows every two years, depending on usage and the type of pillow you have.

If you find that your pillow is losing its shape or becoming lumpy, it may be time to replace it.

Look for signs of wear and tear, such as discoloration or flattening, as these are indicators that it’s time for a new pillow.

With the right care and maintenance, you can extend the life of your pillows and get the best sleep possible.

Here’s a handy guide to the recommended lifespan of various types of pillows.

Pillow TypeRecommended Lifespan
Foam PillowsThese pillows should generally be replaced every 18 months to 2 years, according to Angela Brown.
Polyester PillowsFor optimal cleanliness and comfort, these should ideally be replaced every 1-2 years, depending on usage.
Down PillowsWith proper care and regular cleaning, these can last up to 5-10 years.
Feather PillowsLike their down counterparts, feather pillows can last up to a decade with proper care.
Throw PillowsThese decorative pillows can last several years, but should be replaced when they start to lose their shape or become discolored.
Solid/Memory Foam PillowsGiven their sturdy construction, these pillows can last up to 2-3 years, depending on use and care.

Remember, these lifespans are general guidelines. Depending on your personal comfort and cleanliness standards, you may opt to replace pillows earlier. The key is to maintain proper hygiene by washing them regularly, as per the given guidelines, and replacing them when they no longer provide the necessary support or comfort.


Keeping your pillows clean and fresh is an important part of maintaining a healthy bedroom environment. Washing your pillows regularly, using the right materials, and cleaning specific types of pillows correctly can help keep your pillows in good condition for years to come. Don’t forget to replace your pillows every few years as well, for the best results. With the right knowledge and care, you can ensure your pillows are always clean and fresh.


What happens if you don’t wash your pillow?

Not washing your pillow regularly can result in the build-up of dust, dirt, and bacteria, which can lead to skin irritation and other health issues.

Are you supposed to wash your pillows?

Yes, you should wash your pillows regularly in order to keep them fresh and free of dust and dirt.

Should you wash pillows every week?

It’s recommended to wash your pillows at least every two to three months.

Should I wash my pillowcase every day?

Yes, it’s recommended to wash your pillowcase once a week.

Is it better to wash or replace pillows?

It’s best to regularly wash your pillows and replace them every few years in order to maintain a healthy sleeping environment.