How To Care For Bed Pillows

Use a pillow protector and a pillowcase

Bringing Home a New Bed Pillow
First, cut the labels off of your new pillows before using them on your bed. Scratchy labels will only get in the way of a peaceful night’s sleep. Next, slip on a pillow protector (more about these below) and finally a decorative pillowcase to match your sheets.

Protecting your Pillow
Always get two pillow protectors in the appropriate size to fit your pillow when you buy a pillow. Pillow washing will be less frequent thanks to the pillow protector, which is just a plain white pillowcase with a zippered closure. Each pillow should have at least two pillow protectors so that you can use one on the pillow and wash the other. From inexpensive muslins that cost a few dollars to exquisite cottons with high thread counts that can cost up to $20, these protectors are available in a variety of fabrics. It makes sense to buy a finer one with longer-lasting quality fabric with a greater thread count since you’ll be using it every night.

Keep a Supply of Extra Pillowcases
A decorative pillowcase is the outer layer of the pillow. Always buy at least one extra set of pillowcases each time you purchase sheets. Extra cases will give you the option of changing the pillowcases every few days to freshen up the bed. (Changing pillowcases frequently can also help keep your face and hair cleaner.) You might also collect sets of plain white (or plain colored) pillowcases so you have a fresh clean one available every day. Buy the highest thread count you can afford to add a touch of luxury to your night.

Laundering Pillows
Your new pillow will come with care instructions on the package. Read them and tape them up inside your linen or laundry closet door as a reminder. Pillows are best protected from dust and dirt by using quality pillow protectors and pillowcases.

With a few extra precautions, many pillows can be washed in a washing machine at home. Set your washer to the mild cycle and, if available, hit the “extra rinse” button. If not, simply repeat the final rinse cycle of the pillow one or two more times to completely rinse away any soap and bubbles. The thickness and density of pillows necessitate these extra rinses.

Next, spin your washer at least twice to remove as much moisture as you can from your pillow. The dryer is then used. While the pillows are drying, fluff and turn them occasionally. Due to the possibility that the central filling will still be wet even after the outer layers are dry, drying your pillow will likely require numerous drying cycles and may take several hours. If you’re unsure, hang the pillow somewhere dry for a day or two to make sure it’s entirely dry before putting it back in your bed.