Can you wash memory foam pillows?

Can You Wash Memory Foam Pillows?

You sleep on your pillow night after night. It’s important to keep your memory foam pillow as fresh and hygienic as possible, so it lasts longer and helps you get a healthy night’s sleep. But can you wash memory foam pillows?

Yes! You can (and should) wash your memory foam pillows when they get dirty. They shouldn’t go in the washing machine, however, as that can damage the structure of the foam. The memory foam’s hypoallergenic properties reduce the risk of mould and dust mites, so they don’t need to be cleaned as often as other fillings. Hand-washing your pillow and allowing it to dry out completely is advisable at least once a year.

When your pillow just needs to be freshened up, rather than deep cleaned, you can use a vacuum cleaner or bicarbonate of soda, or spot-clean it with a damp cloth.

Below we’ll explain the best ways to clean your memory foam pillow... and why the washing machine is never a good idea!

Why Do I Need to Clean My Memory Foam Pillow?

As we sleep, dead skin cells and natural oils are released into our pillow. Over time, this can cause bad odours or staining. To keep your pillow in tip-top shape for longer, it’s worth giving it a quick refresh every now and again.

What Happens if you Wash a Memory Foam Pillow in a Machine?

If you make the mistake of putting your memory foam pillow in the washing machine, you risk damaging the foam and destroying its viscoelastic structure.

Memory foam is designed to mould to the contours of your head and neck, and the spin cycle can distort the foam.

What Happens When Memory Foam Gets Wet?

If memory foam gets very wet, the moisture can seep inside its compact construction. If it’s not dried out thoroughly, this can lead to mould growth.

It’s not a problem if you follow the proper drying process, however, it can be easier to spot clean your pillow or freshen it up with other methods.


Woman sleeping on pillow in bed

How to Wash a Memory Foam Pillow

There are many ways to clean your memory foam pillow depending on its condition. If you spill something on it for example, or if you want to eliminate odour.

Here are some easy and safe ways to revive your foam...

How Can I Freshen Up My Pillows?

If your pillow just needs a quick refresh, you can use the upholstery attachment from your vacuum to remove dust and crumbs from the surface. Alternatively, you can air it out in the sun for an hour or two.

How to Remove Stains from a Memory Foam Pillow

If you spill something on your memory foam pillow, we recommend spot cleaning immediately;

  • Remove all pillowcases and covers
  • Use a dry, clean cloth to blot the stain
  • Mix lukewarm clean water and gentle detergent in a bowl and use a clean cloth to rub the stain in a gentle, circular motion
  • Repeat until the stain is gone
  • Remove the excess water and soap with another clean cloth
  • Air-dry the pillow completely 

How Do I Get the Sweat Smell out of my Memory Foam Pillow?

If you notice a bad odour, this is fairly easy to remedy with the following steps;

  • Remove all pillowcases and covers
  • Sprinkle one side with baking soda and leave for 1-2 hours in the sun
  • To remove, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner
  • Repeat on the other side

How Do You Deep Clean Memory Foam Pillows?

If your pillow is in need of some serious cleaning, it’s worth trying a deep clean;

  • Remove pillowcases and covers
  • Fill a large sink or bath with cold water and a small amount of gentle detergent
  • Submerge the pillow and gently squeeze (don’t wring your memory foam pillow)
  • Once the stain has disappeared, drain and refill the sink and squeeze the pillow until the water runs clear
  • Gently squeeze out as much water as you can before placing on a dry towel and rolling the pillow
  • Lay the pillow on another dry towel and allow it to air dry for a minimum of 24 hours, ideally in the sunshine

Next, we answer some common pillow-related queries...

White pillows on a bed

Can Memory Foam Pillows Get Mouldy?

Yes. If moisture seeps into the layers and it’s not dried out properly, mould and mildew can form.

However, this is easily avoided with proper care. It’s important to always allow your memory foam pillows to dry completely after washing.

Can Bed Bugs Live in Memory Foam Pillows?

Thanks to its compact structure, memory foam acts as a barrier to unwanted creatures such as dust mites and bed bugs which is great news for allergy suffers.

However, it is possible for bed bugs to live ON memory foam mattresses and pillows, so if you suspect an outbreak, it’s important to wash all of your bedding and vacuum the pillow surface.

Can You Steam Clean a Memory Foam Pillow?

We don’t recommend using a steam cleaner on memory foam as it risks excess moisture making its way into the layers.

How Often Do I Need to Wash My Memory Foam Pillow?

To keep your pillow clean and in good condition, we recommend washing it every 3 months or so. It doesn’t have to be a deep clean every time, just a light refresh will do.

How to Protect Your Memory Foam Pillow

A memory foam pillow can last between 1-3 years before it needs replacing. To keep your pillow looking and feeling good for longer, we recommend doubling up on pillowcases for extra protection. Always choose a machine washable pillow case so you can wash it regularly.

Why Choose Memory Foam?

Memory foam pillows offer a whole host of benefits for great sleep;

  • Correct spinal alignment
  • Optimum comfort and support
  • Pressure relief
  • Relief for neck, shoulder and back pain
  • Hypoallergenic properties
  • Maintains shape
  • Long-lasting

Don’t just take our word for it! Check out our range of affordable memory foam pillows to see what it could do for your sleep.


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