Between The Sheets

Simple Life Hacks

How to Wash and Freshen Up Your Pillows

Think “what you can’t see won’t hurt”?  When it comes to bedding that's not always the case. A neglected pillow can be an ideal breeding ground for germs and bacteria, and a favourite hangout for dust mites. Add in a little sweat – one of the reasons for those stubborn yellow stains - and sooner or later even your most cherished feather pillow will need a good wash.


How often should you wash your pillows?

Thankfully, duvets and pillows don’t need washing as often as bed linen, which domestic diva, Martha Stewart, and laundry experts will recommend you carry out once a week. Simply washing your pillows every three to six months will help keep them clean and fresh, especially if you use zipped pillow protectors beneath pillowcases. This will shield them from allergens, spills and stains.


Washing your pillow to suit the material

Microfibre, down pillows and duck or goose feather pillows can often be washed and dried on a low setting until completely dry. However, to keep pillows clean, snuggly and lump-free, always follow the manufacturer’s washing advice. A common mistake when washing pillows is not drying the pillows thoroughly, allowing residual moisture to create a cosy home for mould, mildew and odours to thrive. See our guide to the best pillows for expert care advice.


Washing machine capacities and professional cleaning

If the pillow label says you can wash your pillows at home, you’ll need a machine with a large drum to wash any more than one pillow at a time. Tumble dry on a low setting until the pillow is fully dry to avoid mould, mildew and odours, and to help the fill fluff back up. Even if you can wash your pillows at home, it’s often better and safer to get your favourite pillows professionally laundered or to use the large-capacity machine at a local launderette.


Keeping your pillows fresh in-between washes

Dust mites thrive in warm, moist environments and pulling back your duvet each morning will help your pillow cool down. It’s also the perfect opportunity to fluff up your down feather pillow by giving it a good shake.  While sunlight naturally deodorises and disinfects bedlinen, sticking a duvet or pillow in direct sunlight can weaken the filling, so choose a shady garden spot if you want to dry or air bedding outside.

The best way to protect your pillow is to use a high-quality pillowcase and zipped cotton pillow protector, as opposed to an envelope style protector. This will more effectively safeguard your synthetic, down or duck feather pillow from dust mites, stains and spills. Ensuring your face is clean and make-up free will also prevent moisture, oils and sweat from ruining your pillow.

When to upgrade your pillow 

Your bed should feel like a place you want to jump into. If it’s not, your pillow may not be doing its job. A flat or lumpy pillow could simply need a good shake to evenly distribute the filling.  However, if your pillow flops over your arm like an old saddlebag, it could be time for an upgrade. Check out our guide to knowing when to replace your pillows for the very best night’s sleep.


Other reasons you may want to replace your pillow:

  • Sleep style: Your sleep style can influence your pillow choice. Side sleepers often prefer a thick yet soft pillow, while back and stomach sleepers can feel more comfortable with thinner pillows that reduce neck strain. You can find more on this in our guide to Which Pillow Is Best?
  • Comfort: Just like anything else pillows wear with age. A Tielle hotel quality pillow provides the lasting comfort and support you need for better Zzzzs.
  • Allergies: Switching to a hypoallergenic pillow can help reduce allergens like dust mites, making it ideal for allergy sufferers. Read our eczema and allergy friendly bedding guide.
  • Features: While cotton is naturally moisture-wicking and temperature regulating, new fill fibres such as Tencel® also come with benefits that enhance sleep.

Genuine luxury pillows combine exceptional materials, superior fillings and exceptional craftsmanship to create longer-lasting luxury. Typically,  Tielle pillows last around 3 years, or 1,000 sleeps. To find out more about pillows read our expert pillows guide. Our 7 tell-tale signs your bed or bed linen needs an upgrade will also help you enjoy a better night’s sleep.