How to Wash Memory Foam Pillow


A favourite bed pillow is a uniquely personal choice. Some sleepers find it impossible to get to sleep without their own pillow. If you opt to go the memory foam path, knowing how to regularly wash a memory foam pillow is a must.

Why are memory foam pillows proving to be so popular? Memory foam is made from polyurethane. Body heat causes it to soften allowing it to mould perfectly to a warm head in only a few minutes. Once you lift your head from the pillow, it resumes its original shape in a few minutes.

As the memory foam cradles your head, it provides perfect support for your head and neck comfortably, giving you a wonderful night's rest. Unsurprisingly, memory foam pillows are proving to be increasingly popular, particularly amongst those experiencing neck and back problems.

Start With A Pillowcase

One of the best steps you can take to care for your memory foam pillow is to adopt a removable machine washable pillowcase. Preferably, the pillowcase should be a breathable natural fiber such as cotton, bamboo or linen.

Wash your pillowcase at least fortnightly and ideally weekly in warm weather or if you have been ill when you tend to sweat more profusely.

Washing Instructions For Your Memory Foam Pillow 

Ideally, you should clean your memory foam pillow once or twice a year and after any spills. The same cleaning technique works for ordinary memory foam, gel-infused memory foam and for memory foam pillows with gel inserts.

Whenever possible, clean your memory foam pillow on a windy, warm morning to speed the drying process and avoid any chance of mildew forming.

  • Sprinkle baking soda on your memory foam pillow, ensuring its is covered thoroughly
  • Once the baking soda has sat for a minimum of one hour, vacuum it up
  • Once you have finished with one side, turn your pillow over and repeat the process.

This result will be a fresh smelling pillow. You will also find following this method removes any pet fur or dust that may adhere to your pillow.


  • Don't use warm or hot water to clean your pillow
  • Do not scrub your pillow vigorously

 Stain Removal

If your pillow has sweat or other stains, try:

  1. Mixing a small drop or two of mild detergent suitable for hand washing wool or silk in a basin of tepid water
  2. Dipping a clean cloth into your detergent mix, gently rubbing from the stain’s perimeter towards its centre
  3. Changing to a clean part of the rag as the stain shifts from your pillow to the cloth
  4. When the stain has completely vanished gone, dip a fresh rag in cold water and mop gently, removing residual soap
  5. Allow your pillow to air-dry thoroughly if possible
  6. If you have to speed up the drying, use a hair dryer set to cool and hold it at a safe distance from your pillow.

Washing A Gel Memory Foam Pillow

Most gel memory foam pillows simply require a light clean periodically. Use the same method to clean as with other memory foam pillows. If your pillow requires a deep cleaning:

  1. Fill your bathtub with tepid water and add a dab or two of gentle action detergent
  2. Immerse the pillow completely, gently squeezing to shift the detergent throughout the foam
  3. Rinse your pillow repeatedly until the water is clear
  4. Gently press the pillow to expel the water but avoid wringing the pillow out!
  5. Air-dry your pillow preferably on a flat surface
  6. Never place your gel memory foam pillow in a dryer as its heat can damage the foam
  7. If you need to accelerate the drying process, use a fan or hair dryer set to cool
  8. It may require 24 hours for your pillow to be completely dry, depending on how thick the foam is.

Washing A Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow

If you clean your bamboo pillow regularly, simply use a damp cloth and gently wipe its surface, then allow it to air-dry. This should only take 10 to 15 minutes.

If your bamboo memory foam pillow needs a more thorough wash, simply soak it in water without detergent. After you have soaked the pillow, allow it to air-dry it. However, soaking could potentially ruin its texture.

Washing A Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Shredded memory foam pillows are increasingly popular as they allow you to change positions as you sleep while enjoying continuous support from your memory foam. Shredded memory foam also promotes better airflow, dissipating heat and promoting a cooler and more comfortable pillow.

The particles of shredded memory foam can become trapped between the case and the core material, so regularly washing the pillow cover will help control odours and stains.

Avoid soaking the memory foam material as it may allow water to seep in-between the foam cells. This can promote the growth of mould and mildew as it dries.

Simply wipe the memory foam with a damp cloth, pressing gently. If the pillow needs a more thorough washing, soak it in water followed by air-drying. As with a solid foam pillow, never place a shredded foam pillow in a washing machine or drier.

Steam Cleaning Your Memory Foam Pillow

Steam cleaning a memory foam pillows is one of the easiest, safest, and most eco-friendly methods of getting that elusive deep down clean.

  • Always check your user guide to ensure your pillow is safe to steam clean
  • You will also need to buy or hire a steam cleaner
  • While some steam cleaner models dry as they go, these can be more expensive
  • Vacuum your pillow before you steam clean it to remove pet fur, dust and small dirt particles your steam cleaner won’t deal with
  • When you’re ready simply fill your steam cleaner with water, allow it to heat up and away you go
  • Allow about two to six hours of drying time before you can sleep on your pillow again

Memory Foam Pillow in Washing Machine

Memory foam is not designed to get wet. If it happens to get wet, its structure means it is slow to release any moisture it absorbs. Hence, moisture can quickly create a serious problem.

Never use a washing machine to clean a solid foam pillow. The movement of the agitator particularly the final spin cycle can cause the foam to shred into small pieces.

Similarly, never place your pillow in a dryer as it can destroy your foam.

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