How often should you wash your pillow?

You want to feel good in your bed and spend restful nights. This includes both cozy bed linen and a comfortable pillow .

Since you are in close physical contact with your bed linen every night , you have to clean it regularly. This is the only way to reduce the mite burden [1] and sleep better in a freshly made bed.

But how often should you wash the pillow and what factors does this depend on? Here you can find out which washing rhythm makes sense and how the laundry works.

At first glance, you might not even be aware of the way in which the pillow is being stressed. The cover usually does not tell you what the pillow has to withstand during the night.

But do you realize that people lose a few hundred milliliters of sweat every night Even if you use a cooling pillow , you excrete sweat through your skin. This is not only the case in summer, when the warm temperatures stimulate sweat production, but also in winter. The sweating [2] is a normal process and a reason why you should wash your pillow regularly.

Load on the pillow

The pillow is exposed to some influences at night. Sweat, flakes of skin and your body weight act on the pillow.

Another reason is the secretion of skin flakes. Just like sweat, you lose a lot of flakes of skin that are so small that you don’t even notice them. These human remains are a veritable feast for mites . They feed on these scales and multiply rapidly.

For most people, mites do not pose a threat. However, there are around 10 million people in Germany who are allergic to the mites and their excretions . Breathing problems and symptoms that are reminiscent of a cold are the result. It is therefore necessary to wash the pillow thoroughly so that mites do not feel comfortable and multiply unhindered.

If you do not follow the typical hygiene rules and do without the laundry, bacteria can grow in the core [3]accumulate. Like the mites, they love the slightly humid environment that occurs due to sweat secretions.

Thorough cleaning is necessary to protect your health and to be able to use the pillow for many years But can all pillows be washed at all?


Not every pillow as a whole can be put in the washing machine and cleaned there. Especially with modern pillows made of a foam, this must not be washed. The result would be that it loses its unique properties and no longer provides the comfort that is actually preferred.

Wash the cover

In the case of sensitive cushions made of foam, only the cover may be put in the washing machine. You prefer to ventilate the core and clean it carefully by hand.

So waivers on a memory foam pillow , neck pillow or gel pads to wash in the machine. These usually consist of a foam that is not compatible with water. It is better to air the pillows out more often. More intensive cleaning is not necessary, as they are considered to be breathable and mites and bacteria are less comfortable there anyway with careful treatment.

The situation is different with pillows with a filling made of down or a microfiber . These can be completely machine washed [4] become.


If the pillow can be washed, it is recommended to wash it in the machine about once or twice a year . So it is not necessary to wash the pillow as often as the cover. Less cleaning is sufficient and will ensure optimal sleeping conditions.

If you sweat heavily or suffer from an allergy , more frequent washing is advisable. You should also pay attention to more intensive care for the positioning pillow for your baby . This doesn’t have to mean that it needs to be washed more often. An airing and shaking may already be sufficient for your baby spends relaxed the night.


The best way to learn how to wash the pillow correctly is to refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions The label clearly shows the temperatures at which washing is possible. In the following you will find general advice that you should always question whether it is also applicable to your pillow.

A mild detergent is suitable as a detergent for microfiber pillows and down pillows . On the other hand, fabric softeners are unsuitable. These can lead to the filling becoming clumpy and no longer providing support for your head.

High temperatures for allergy sufferers

If you suffer from a house dust allergy, the pillow or cover must be washed at at least 60 ° C. Otherwise, the mites will survive the washing process and continue to be a nuisance.

The temperature during the washing process depends on the resistance of the material. It is usually from 40 to 60 ° C . A higher washing temperature is particularly useful for allergy sufferers, as only with these the mites can be reliably washed out of the pillow. Most mites survive a wash at 40 ° C , so that there are hardly any improvements for allergy sufferers. Only from 60 ° C [5] the small animals are killed and are initially no longer a nuisance.

If you are allergic and use a foam pillow , you can hand it in to a professional cleaning company . Although this is more expensive, it is worthwhile with a high-quality pillow and definitely improves your sleep.

If you are unsure about the washing program, you can use a gentle program . Delicates are also suitable for pillows so that they are not damaged.

You should wash the down pillow completely about 1 to 2 times a year

An insider tip for the down pillow is to add a tennis ball. You put this in the machine and the movement when spinning the tennis ball ensures that the down does not clump together.

After washing, a treatment in the dryer is sometimes possible. You can find out whether your pillow is suitable for this on the label. If the temperature is low, drying will help you to use the pillow again that same night. If it cannot be used in the dryer, leave the pillow in the fresh air. However, do not expose it to direct sunlight .


To ensure a hygienic sleeping environment, it is important to clean bed linen and pillows. However, it is not necessary to wash the pillow that often. It is enough to wash it about 1 to 2 times a year . This depends on how much you sweat and whether you are allergic.

The cover should be washed significantly more often. This is much more exposed to your skin contact and sweat. Also, make sure to shake the pillow regularly and air it out.

With these measures you ensure that mites and bacteria are hardly comfortable. You get a clean sleeping environment , which does not affect your health and offers restful nights.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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