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 most 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?
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 (opens in new tab). "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 (opens in new tab) 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
Best bamboo memory foam pillow
Filling: Memory foam
Cover: 80% polyester, 20% rayon from bamboo
Care: Machine wash and tumble dry cover only
+ CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold Certified
- More expensive
For memory-foam lovers who want peace of mind, Coop Home's shredded foam-filled pillow is a fan favorite. Entirely adjustable and perfect for any sleep style, this pick is encased in a breathable bamboo-blend cover and its filling is customizable. It's spendy but worth the investment.
Best cooling memory foam pillow
Filling: Memory foam
Cover: Bamboo-derived viscose rayon and polyester
Care: Washable cover
+ Temperature regulating
+ Great price point
- Not great for front sleepers
The Weekender pillow addresses a common complaint about memory foam: overheating. The gel-infused foam and ventilated design are made to keep you cool with a thick 5-inch loft. FYI: It's great for back and side sleepers, but it may be too high for stomach sleepers to keep their spine aligned.
Most affordable memory foam alternative pillow
Filling: Gel memory foam
Cover: 100% cotton
Care: Wash on cold and air dry
+ For all sleepers
+ Cooling gel layer
+ OEKO-TEX Certified
- May need to re-plump
This ever-popular pillow from Beckham's Hotel Collection is a great Amazon find at only $49.99 for two. It's beloved for its premium feel and affordable price. You won't need to check into a fancy hotel to get more than just a standard night's sleep. Even better? You can pop this one in the wash.