Quick question: Can you wash memory foam pillows?

Only one rule to remember

Can you wash memory foam pillows being hand and spot cleaned
(Image credit: Future / Louise Oliphant)

Discovered your love for memory foam? Me too. Whether it's a cushy memory foam mattress, topper, or pillow, this sink-in, cloud-like material has got most people struggling to get out of bed (it's me, I'm people). 

I love the satisfying squish when my head hits the pillow. What I don't like is how it looks after a few nights. I'm a fake tan wearer and self-confessed sweaty sleeper, which means my pillow has gotten pretty gross. There's only so much my pillowcase can take — and there are a few stains that have seeped beneath the sham. Not to mention the dirt and dust mites I can't see. 

Before I threw my pillow in the wash, I paused. Can you wash memory foam pillows? I wasn't so sure. The foam is delicate and when it gets wet, and I coudln't imagine it's a quick-dry material either. Since the majority of the best pillows can be popped in the washing machine, there has to be an easy way to get memory foam pillows pretty clean. 

To get the low-down on what to do and what not to do when it comes to cleaning memory foam, I asked the experts.

Can you wash memory foam pillows?

Can you wash memory foam pillows being hand and spot cleaned

(Image credit: Future / Louise Oliphant)

If you're thinking of washing your memory foam pillows, there's just one rule you need to remember: "Don't put them in the washing machine," says Marc Werner, inventor, founder, and CEO of GhostBed. "STOP. Spot check and hand clean to save the life of your memory foam pillow." 

It's true, don't toss your memory foam pillows in the washing machine. If you opt to clean them by hand, it needs to be done delicately and with care. If the foam becomes extremely wet, it can damage its texture (the best thing about it) and become extremely heavy and hard to dry. It pays to know how to wash pillows properly

Parima Ijaz, founder of Pure Parima notes that you should "use gentle detergent with some warm water to rub out any stains and wash away any dirt." After a few other options for getting your head cushion clean? "Another safe way you can go about washing your memory foam pillow is by using a wet and dry vacuum that can suck up any moisture without aggressively throwing it around in the wash," explains Ijaz. 

Can memory foam pillows be put in the dryer?

You can't put your memory foam pillow in the washing machine, but can you put them in the dryer? Unfortunately, the same applies. Do not put your memory foam pillows in the dryer. The combination of heat and the tumble dry motion can tear up the padding of your memory foam pillow, making it a whole lot less comfy and shortening its lifespan. 

A few of my fave memory foam pillows 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is the Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, specialising in sleep content so you can wind-down well. With prior PR experience working for a luxury bedding brand, Louise knows the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. Joining the other side of the desk as a full-time journo, Louise brings her bedding expertise to writing sleep buying guides, reviews, and news for Real Homes. Aside from helping readers get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, but a budget that won’t quite stretch, Louise loves nothing more than a modern designer dupe. From coloured glassware to contemporary storage, anything to upgrade the bare space of her rented East London flat.