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How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow- 3 Easy Methods

By Sleepsia

No matter the pillow fill, regular cleaning is important to ensure a hygienic sleep environment. Pillows often develop dust on the surface and the covers become a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria.

In this article, you’ll learn how to wash a memory foam pillow.

Cleaning procedure of a pillow depends entirely on the type of fill. And a lot depends on the pillow protector, which maximizes the life of a foam pillow.

A breathable cover made of natural fiber should be preferred – one made of cotton, linen, or bamboo.

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Methods of Cleaning a Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam is a very dense material.

So it’s naturally dust, dust mite, and mold resistant. It doesn’t require the level of cleaning that other pillow types need.

Here are the methods you can use to clean a memory foam pillow:

Vacuum a Memory Foam Pillow

To vacuum or deodorize a memory foam pillow, you can follow the steps provided below:

  1. Remove the pillow cover.
  2. Sprinkle one side of the pillow with baking soda.
  3. Let the pillow dry in the sun for 1-2 hours.
  4. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to vacuum the surface of the pillow.
  5. Repeat the same for the other side.

You need to lay the pillow down on a surface and sprinkle the baking soda on one side. It is essential to dry the pillow out in the sun. After the pillow has dried out for an hour or two, simply vacuum the surface to remove the baking soda.

This methods:

  • Gets rid of the dust from the pillow surface
  • Leaves the pillow smelling fresh
  • Removes the moisture buildup in a pillow

Spot Clean a Memory Foam Pillow

If, by any chance, you get stains onto the pillow, then you can simply spot clean using a cleaning mixture.

To spot clean a memory foam pillow, follow the steps provided below:

  1. Combine lukewarm water and a gentle detergent.
  2. Wet a cloth in this mixture and rub it in a circular motion around the stain.
  3. Repeat the process to remove all the stains from your pillow.
  4. Leave the pillow in the sun to dry it out completely.

It is essential that you don’t use hot water. Also, don’t rub the stain too hard as water can disintegrate memory foam.

You may have to repeat the steps several times to get rid of all the stains from your memory foam pillow.

To ensure that no moisture builds up inside the pillow, leave it in the sun for an hour or two to completely dry out. Moisture can harm the pillow and lead to the development of molds.

Deep Cleaning a Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam is like a sponge. It can soak in and hold water. You can use this to your advantage to perform a deep clean on your memory foam pillow.

Here are the steps for the same:

  1. Fill a tub with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Submerge the pillow completely in water and squeeze it gently to allow the water to saturate it completely.
  3. Drain the water and fill the tub again with cold water.
  4. Submerge the pillow again. Repeat this 2-3 times.
  5. Roll a dry towel around the pillow and squeeze gently to let the water seep out.
  6. Dry the pillow. This can take a very long time. You should dry it in the sun for two straight days.

This method can be used to remove tough stains. And ensure that you don’t grind the pillow. Simply squeeze it to saturate it with water, and later to remove the water.

Drying the pillow is essential, as moisture can reduce the lifespan of a pillow. Further, moisture can lead to buildup of molds, which can cause allergies.

Dry the pillow in the sun for at least 2 days.

How to Clean a Shredded Memory Foam Pillow?

While you don’t have to clean the shredded memory foam, you need to wash the bamboo cover regularly.

To clean a shredded memory foam pillow, follow the steps provided below:

  1. Open the bamboo pillow protector and take out the shredded memory foam.
  2. Wash the cover in your washing machine.
  3. Let the cover dry completely.
  4. Put the shredded memory foam back into the bamboo pillow cover.

Don’t throw the entire pillow into your washing machine. Memory foam disintegrates when washed with water. To protect your pillow, remove the shredded foam and then wash only the cover.

How to Clean a Bamboo Pillow?

A bamboo pillow comes with a bamboo pillow protector and a memory foam fill. The memory foam can be:

  • Solid memory foam (with or without cooling gel)
  • Shredded memory foam (with or without cooling gel)

If you have a bamboo pillow with solid memory foam, then wash the bamboo pillow cover in the washing machine and use the aforementioned techniques to clean the memory foam.

If you have a bamboo pillow with shredded memory foam, then wash the bamboo pillow protector in the washing machine. You don’t have to clean the shredded memory foam.

Things to Avoid

Although a memory foam pillow rarely requires washing, cleaning a memory foam pillow, especially with water, can be tricky.

Here are a few things that you must avoid to protect the quality of your memory foam pillow:

  • Don’t use harsh chemicals or cleaning agents that can break down the memory foam.
  • Don’t wash the memory foam in a washing machine. The agitation combined with moisture can damage the memory foam.
  • Don’t place the memory foam pillow in your dryer unless you want to fluff it up.
  • Don’t use hot water to clean memory foam.
  • Wait for the pillow to dry out completely before use. Dampness and moisture inside the pillow can make it a breeding ground for molds.


When cleaning a memory foam pillow, you need to be cautious, as you may end up damaging the foam. Use the steps and tips provided in this post to clean your memory foam pillow safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is memory foam?
Ans. Memory foam is a viscoelastic material that can mold to the shape of your body because of which it is popularly used as a fill in car seats, mattresses, and pillows.

Q. How long does memory foam pillow last?
Ans. A memory foam pillow can last for more than 5 years. However, you need to purchase one with premium memory foam that has a good bounce. If the pillow takes too long to recover to its original shape, then the quality of the foam isn’t good.

Q. Can memory foam retain water?
Ans. Memory foam is very much like a sponge, so it can absorb and retain a lot of water. That’s why it’s essential to squeeze out all the water and dry the foam before using the pillow.

Q. How often should I change my memory foam pillow?
Ans. When you notice that the pillow takes too long to recover its original shape, you should replace it. This happens usually after 3-5 years of use. And you may have to replace the pillow protector after 1-2 years of use.

Q. How to get rid of the smell coming out of my memory foam pillow?
Ans. New memory foam pillows often emit chemical smells because of a process called “off-gassing.”  Once you take the pillow out of the package, the smell will go away within a day or two. 

If it takes longer than that, then sprinkle baking soda on the pillow surface and vacuum it after 1 to 2 hours. This is often referred to as “deodorizing a memory foam pillow.”

Q. Can you put a memory foam pillow in a washing machine?
Ans. No, you can’t. You can only put the pillow cover in the washing machine. Washing the memory foam in a washing machine will damage it. To clean memory foam, use the methods detailed in this article.

Q. Can you put a bamboo pillow in a dryer?
Ans. Yes, but only if the instruction manual says so. Many bamboo pillows need to be fluffed up before use. And for that, many manufacturers recommend putting the pillow in a dryer on mild settings.