Can Pillows Go in The Dryer?

by Véronique Raymond
Published: Last Updated on

Bed pillows can get gross pretty quickly. They soak in sweat and drool while you sleep, your pets may sleep on them, and they collect a build-up of dust, dead skin cells, and other allergens that can irritate your lungs and skin. We often think of washing our pillowcases, but the actual pillow should be cleaned regularly too. Doing so can improve your night’s sleep and keep your sleeping environment healthier.

If you need to wash your pillow, you’re most likely concerned about how to get it dry. Putting it in the dryer is the most convenient option, but is it safe? Will it damage the pillow? Will it dry fully? These questions and more will be answered below.


Is It Safe to Put Pillows in the Dryer?

It is safe to put pillows in the dryer, but they should be dried on the lowest heat setting possible. Some dryers even have an air-dry setting that is perfect for drying pillows since it doesn’t use any heat. Low heat helps avoid fire hazards which is important since pillows are natural insulators that trap heat from the dryer the same way they trap your body heat when you sleep. Even if you intend to follow these precautions, you should always check the pillow’s care label before washing or drying it.

pillow in the dryer

Benefits of Putting a Pillow in the Dryer

Putting your pillow in the dryer is a good idea for multiple reasons. Even if you haven’t washed it, placing it in the dryer on a low heat cycle can kill off dust mites and help maintain your clean pillows for longer. Using a dryer for your pillows also saves a lot of time compared to air drying. Since the dryer can run multiple cycles in a row, you reduce the risk of mildew growth due to a damp interior. Whether you hand wash, rely on spot cleaning, or use a washing machine with a gentle cycle and mild detergent, using your dryer to dry your pillow is definitely the way to go.


How Long Should a Pillow Go In The Dryer?

Unfortunately, your pillow probably has the lengthiest dry time of anything else you put in the dryer. Due to their filling and thickness, it can take several cycles for pillows to dry completely. Depending on your dryer’s efficiency, this can add up to three or more hours of drying, especially since little to no heat can be used. While this may seem like a lot of time on a pillow, they can take more than a day to air dry on a clothesline even if you’re in a warm, sunny climate.


Can All Types of Pillows Go in The Dryer?

Not all pillows can go in the dryer. You should not put memory foam pillows, latex pillows, or Buckwheat hull pillows in the dryer. Your feather pillows/down pillows, cotton pillows, and polyester pillows are good to go in the dryer.


Can a Pillow Go in The Dryer With Other Clothes or Bedding?

Since your pillow needs to dry on a no-heat or low-heat setting, it isn’t a good idea to mix other clothes and bedding. It will keep the pillow wet for longer, and your clothes won’t be efficiently dried. It is best to wash and dry your pillows separately.

pillow in the dryer

Tips for Drying a Pillow in The Dryer

Run The Spin Cycle an Additional Time

Since your pillow is quite thick with lots of filling, it soaks in a lot more water than normal clothes and bedding do. This can make it quite difficult to air dry or dry fully in a dryer. Before you take the pillow out of the washer, you should run one or two spin cycles to get out as much water as possible. Every washing machine should have this feature, and it can help reduce the drying time by a lot.

Don’t Let Time Pass

For best results, you shouldn’t leave the pillow sitting in the washer for any amount of time. If the pillow sits with excess water in it, it can clump up and become harder to dry. You should put the pillow in the dryer immediately after the wash cycle finishes.

Use Tennis Balls or Dryer Balls

Adding tennis balls or dryer balls into the dryer with your pillow can make a world of difference. Not only do they help the pillow dry faster, they fluff it up during the dry cycle so there’s no need for manually fluffing the pillow before you put the pillowcase back on.

How to Keep Your Pillows Clean

A pillow protector is one of the best ways to keep your pillow clean longer and extend its lifespan since it provides a barrier against all the gross stuff that your pillow collects over time. Refreshing your pillowcase often is also a good idea.

Drycleaning your pillows is another option if you don’t want to do it yourself, but you can easily achieve the same results by using a delicate cycle, either hot water or cold water, a mild laundry detergent, and a touch of fabric softener. Just remember that when you wash pillows, the pillow cover should come off.


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