How to Dry a Pillow: Quick & Easy Steps for Fluffy Comfort

Have you ever tried to sleep on a wet pillow only to wake up feeling uncomfortable and restless? Properly drying your pillows is critical for ensuring your comfort and prolonging the life of your bedding. …

How to dry a pillow.

Have you ever tried to sleep on a wet pillow only to wake up feeling uncomfortable and restless? Properly drying your pillows is critical for ensuring your comfort and prolonging the life of your bedding. In this article, we’ll cover all the essential techniques, tips, and tricks for pillow drying so you can enjoy a fluffy and hygienic pillow every night.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proper pillow drying is essential for maintaining comfort and hygiene.
  • Cleaning and preparing the pillow for drying is critical for optimal results.
  • Air drying and using a dryer are both effective drying methods with specific guidelines to follow.
  • Specialty pillows, such as memory foam or down pillows, require specific drying techniques.
  • Preventing common pillow drying mistakes is critical to ensure proper drying and a longer pillow life.
  • Proper pillow storage and cleaning frequency are essential for maintaining hygiene and freshness.

Why is Proper Pillow Drying Important?

Have you ever woken up to a damp, musty pillow that won’t dry? Or you may have noticed an unpleasant odor coming from your favorite pillow. These are just a few examples of the problems that can arise from improper pillow drying techniques.

Properly drying your pillow is crucial for not only maintaining its fluffiness and comfort but also for intercepting the growth of mold and bacteria. A damp pillow can quickly become a breeding ground for harmful microorganisms, which can potentially cause health issues such as allergies and respiratory problems.

In addition to health concerns, an improperly dried pillow can lead to a shortened lifespan. Over time, moisture can cause the filling inside the pillow to clump together and lose shape, resulting in a flat, uncomfortable pillow that no longer provides proper support for your head and neck.

By drying your pillow correctly, you can avoid these issues and ensure that your pillow remains fresh, clean, and comfortable for as long as possible.

Preparing Your Pillow for Drying

Before drying your pillow, there are a few essential steps to ensure the process goes smooth. Follow these instructions for preparing your pillow for drying:

Step 1: Check the Care Label

Take a moment to check the care label on your pillow. This label will provide essential information about the materials used in the pillow and any specific care instructions you need to follow to avoid damage. If the care label specifies that the pillow cannot be dried, do not attempt to dry it.

Step 2: Clean the Pillow

Before drying your pillow, it’s best to ensure it’s clean. If you have any stains or spills on your pillow, spot-clean them with a gentle cleaner and a damp cloth, being careful not to saturate the pillow. If the pillow is machine washable, run it through a gentle cycle with a gentle detergent and rinse thoroughly.

Tip: It’s always a good idea to wash your pillow before drying it. This will remove any lingering dirt or oils that could cause the pillow to become dingy or smelly over time.

Step 3: Fluff the Pillow

Before drying your pillow, could you take a moment to fluff it up? This will help it maintain its shape during the drying process. Gently knead and shake the pillow to distribute the filling evenly.

Step 4: Remove Excess Moisture

Before you begin drying your pillow, removing any excess moisture is essential. Use a clean, dry towel to mildly blot the pillow, paying particular attention to areas that may be damp. Be gentle and avoid wringing or twisting the pillow, which can damage the filling.

With these steps, you can prepare your pillow for drying and ensure the best possible results.

Air Drying Your Pillow

Air drying is an excellent option if you prefer a natural, no-heat pillow drying method. Follow these simple steps to air-dry your pillow:

  1. Remove excess water from the pillow by gently squeezing it or using a towel to blot the surface.
  2. Hang the pillow outside on a clothesline or in a well-ventilated area indoors. Make sure it is exposed to enough air circulation to dry completely.
  3. Fluff the pillow occasionally while it dries to help maintain its shape and loft.
  4. Check the pillow after a few hours to see if it is scorched. Depending on the humidity and temperature, it may take several hours to a full day to dry completely.

Remember that there may be better options than air drying for heavily soiled or stained pillows, as this method may not remove all the dirt and bacteria. Additionally, pillows made from materials like memory foam or down may not be suitable for air drying, as it can take a long time to dry them thoroughly and may damage the materials.


Place a fan near the pillow to increase air circulation if you want to speed up the air-drying process.

Using a Dryer for Pillow Drying

If air drying your pillow is not an option, a dryer can be an effective alternative. However, using the correct settings and precautions is essential to avoid damaging your pillow or the dryer.

First, ensure the dryer is clean and free of lint or debris. Place the pillow in the dryer and a couple of clean tennis or dryer balls to help fluff the pillow and distribute the filling evenly.

Use a low heat setting and mild cycle to prevent overheating and damage to the pillow. Adding a few clean towels to blot any excess moisture and accelerate the drying process is also recommended.

Check the pillow regularly throughout the drying cycle and fluff it by hand to maintain its shape and softness. Avoid over-drying the pillow, which can cause the filling to clump and reduce its fluffiness.

Once the pillow is dry, take it off the dryer and properly fluff it by hand or in a no-heat setting. This will help restore its shape and loft.

Alternatively, you can air dry a down pillow by laying it flat on a clean surface and fluffing it routinely to maintain its shape and fluffiness. Avoid hanging a down pillow to dry, which can cause the filling to settle and flatten.

Speeding Up the Drying Process

Waiting for your pillow to dry can be tedious, especially if it’s your favorite one. Here are some tips and tricks to help you speed up the drying process:

  • If using the air-drying method, place your pillow in a well-ventilated area with a fan or open window to increase air circulation.
  • Add up a couple of clean, dry towels to the load for machine-drying to absorb moisture and speed up the drying process.
  • Set your dryer to the highest heat setting safe for your pillow, but keep an eye on it to avoid overheating or damage.
  • To further speed up the process, remove the pillow from the dryer periodically to fluff and reshape it, allowing for more even drying.
  • For down pillows, add a couple of clean tennis or dryer balls to the dryer to help fluff the feathers and promote faster drying.

With these tips, you can get your pillow dry and ready for use.

Specialty Pillows and Drying Techniques

Particular pillows require unique care and drying techniques to ensure longevity and optimal comfort. Here are some tips for drying different types of specialty pillows:

Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows should be air-dried to avoid damage from high temperatures. After carefully removing any excess moisture, place the pillow on a flat, dry surface, allowing it to air dry completely before using it again. Avoid using heat sources, as they can damage the memory foam material.

Down Pillows

Down pillows are prone to clumping when wet, affecting their fluffiness and comfort. To dry them, set the dryer to a low or no-heat setting and add a few clean tennis or dryer balls to the load. This helps fluff the pillows as they dry and prevent clumping. Stop the dryer periodically to fluff and rearrange the pillows, ensuring they dry evenly.

Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillows should not be washed, as the buckwheat hulls can be damaged by moisture. Instead, remove the pillowcase and allow the pillow to air out in a dry, sunny spot for a few hours. Fluff the pillow occasionally to redistribute the buckwheat hulls and promote even drying.

Pregnancy Pillows

Pregnancy pillows are in various shapes and sizes, but most can be dried in a dryer on a low or no-heat setting, with a few clean tennis balls or dryer balls added to prevent clumping. Be sure to follow the instructions provided with the pillow and avoid using high heat or washing the pillow too frequently.

Preventing Common Pillow Drying Mistakes

Proper pillow drying is essential for maintaining optimal comfort and prolonging the life of your pillow. However, there are some common mistakes that people make when drying their pillows. Here are some tips to help prevent these mistakes:

  • Avoid high heat: High heat can mar the fabric and filling of your pillow. Always use low heat or the air-dry setting when using a dryer.
  • Refrain from overloading the dryer: Overloading the dryer can intecept proper air circulation, leading to uneven drying and damage to your pillow. Dry one or two pillows at a time to ensure adequate drying.
  • Don’t use fabric softeners or dryer sheet: These products can leave a residue on your pillow that can reduce its fluffiness and absorbency. Instead, use a mild detergent or vinegar to soften your pillow.
  • Don’t wring or twist your pillow: This can damage the filling and cause lumps or unevenness in your pillow. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water and fluff your pillow before drying.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight fades the color of your pillow and damage the fabric and filling. Instead, dry your pillow in a shaded area or indoors.
  • Read the care label: Different types of pillows require different drying methods. Always check the label on your pillow for specific instructions.

Avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure effective pillow drying and prolong the life of your pillow. Happy drying!

Additional Tips for Pillow Care

Proper pillow care goes beyond just drying it correctly. Here are some additional tips to keep your pillows in excellent condition:

  • Fluff your pillow routinely to maintain its shape and fluffiness.
  • Use a pillow protector to keep the pillow clean and keep it safe from spills and stains.
  • Wash your pillowcase weekly to prevent oil, dirt, and bacteria buildup.
  • Rotate or flip your pillow every few months to dispense the filling evenly and prevent lumps.

Following these above-mentioned tips, you can ensure your pillow stays clean, fresh, and comfortable for longer.

Storing Your Pillow After Drying

Proper pillow storage is just as necessary as effective drying techniques. Here are some tips to help you store your pillows correctly after they’ve been dried:

  • Use a pillowcase: Always place your pillow in a clean, breathable pillowcase to protect it from dust, dirt, and other debris.
  • Keep pillows dry: Ensure they are scorched before keeping them to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Avoid stacking: Do not stack heavy items on top of your pillows, as this can cause them to lose shape and become uncomfortable over time.
  • Store in a cool, dry place: Keep your pillows in an excellent, dry location away from direct sunlight and moisture, such as a closet or linen cabinet.
  • Fluff them up: Give your pillows a quick fluff now and then to maintain their shape and loft.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your pillows clean, fresh, and comfortable for a long time.

Cleaning and Drying Frequency

Knowing how often to clean and dry your pillows can help improve their lifespan and quality. It is recommended to wash and dry your pillows at least twice a year or more frequently if they become visibly soiled or if you suffer from allergies.

In between washes, you can keep your pillow smelling fresh by airing them out in the sun or using a fabric freshener spray. However, it’s important to note that excessive exposure to sunlight can cause discoloration, so be mindful of how long you leave your pillows outside.

If you sweat heavily during the night, changing your pillowcase more frequently may be beneficial, and consider using a pillow protector to prevent sweat and oils from seeping into your pillow. Additionally, washing your pillowcase regularly, at least once a week, is essential to keep it clean and bacteria-free.


Proper pillow drying is crucial to maintaining the comfort and longevity of your pillows. Following the tips outlined in this article, you ensure that your pillows stay fresh, clean, and fluffy for years.

Remember to prepare your pillows before drying by cleaning them thoroughly, whether by hand or by washing machine. Whether you air dry your pillows or use a dryer, use the appropriate settings and precautions to avoid damage or shrinkage.

Additional Considerations

When dealing with specialty pillows, such as memory foam or down pillows, follow the specific drying techniques tailored to each type to ensure optimal results. Avoid common pillow drying mistakes, such as using high heat or drying for too long, to prevent damage and maintain the quality of your pillows.

Store your pillows properly after drying them in a cool, dry place free from dirt and dust. And remember to clean and dry your pillows regularly to maintain freshness and hygiene.

By following these tips and techniques, you can enjoy comfortable, fluffy pillows that will support you night after night.


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