Lorraine laughs at Dr Hilary explaining benefits body pillow

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Pillows are an important purchase. Pillows have a considerable impact on your life and therefore comfort should be a key factor when choosing which pillow to lay down upon each night. But pillows have different fillers which impact the shape, support and comfort you feel when you use them. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to cleaning your pillow no matter the type of filling.

How to clean pillows


It is important to wash your pillowcase at least once a week, or more if you soil it.

Most pillowcases can be washed in your washing machine, according to the care instructions.

You should try to clean pillowcases on a hot wash to ensure all germs are eliminated.

Down and fibre pillows

There are many different types of pillows – all of which need different treatment.

Most down and fiberfill pillows can be washed in your machine, which means it can be very simple to wash your pillows.

You should try to wash two pillows at a time so as to keep the machine balanced and ensure a thorough cleaning.

Always read the pillow’s care label before washing, but generally, you should select a gentle cycle with warm water and then add in an extra water rinse and spin cycle.

Add a small amount of laundry detergent to the cycle and then tumble dry the pillows on low heat, making sure to turn them regularly.

Stop the dryer a few times throughout the cycle to fluff them and break up lumps by hand.

Memory foam pillows

Memory foam pillows are firmer than ordinary pillows and can provide good cushioning for your joints.

Foam pillows cannot be thrown into your washing machine to be washed.

This type of pillow is resistant to dust mites, but should still be washed on a regular basis.

You should check your pillow for cleaning instructions, or use the below tips.

Vacuum both sides of your memory foam pillow or place it in your tumble dryer on a no-heat and air-only cycle for 20 minutes to get rid of any dust and dirt.

Spot clean any marks with a cloth dipped in sudsy water and then lightly rinse the air with a clean and damp cloth.

Allow your pillow to air dry completely before using it again.

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Latex foam or gel-infused memory foam

You can also wash memory foam and other foam pillows by hand.

For this technique, it is best to wait for a warm, breezy day because the pillows dry best outside in the wind.

Create a cleaning solution in your sink with lukewarm water and a gentle detergent using one teaspoon of detergent for every gallon of water.

Submerge your pillow in the water and work the solution into the pillow for around 10 minutes.

Rinse the cushion dry with fresh water and continue squeezing the pillow to gently remove all the suds.

Allow the pillow to dry for 24 hours, ideally outside or in a well-ventilated area.

Bamboo pillows

Bamboo pillows have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their antimicrobial and hypoallergenic qualities.

You can usually wash bamboo pillows in the washing machine or by hand.

Use tepid water or a soft and gentle cycle to wash the pillows.

Make sure to use a gentle laundry detergent as well as bleach or abrasive cleaning solutions which can damage your pillow.

How often should you clean your pillows?

Pillows should be washed at least two to four times a year.

This will ensure they last longer and are kept in the best condition for your head each night.

Eventually, however, you will have to replace your pillows.

The way to check if they are still up to their task is to fold your pillows in half – if they spring back they are good.

But if they do not – it is time to buy yourself a new pillow.

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