Can You Dry A Pillow In The Dryer?

When it comes to cleaning your bedroom supplies, few things can be as daunting as pillows. Pillows are notoriously delicate, and yet, you need to have them dried sooner rather than later if you want to prevent mold. The dryer looks like a tempting option, which is why many people wonder if they can just use it as a way to dry their newly-washed pillows. We've researched how to dry pillows to provide the best methods for you.

It all depends on the material in the pillow's stuffing. If you want to keep your feather pillows and memory foam pillows intact, you should avoid the dryer. However, most other cotton pillows and throw pillows will fare well on a low tumble, as long as the temperature setting is low. 

A poorly dried pillow is a pillow that will need replacement and may even ruin the rest of your laundry. If you want to make sure that your pillows last long, you need to know the full details of how to dry your pillows properly. Please keep reading as we discuss different methods for various pillow materials.

A white and blue throw pillows arranged on a brown leather sofa, Can You Dry A Pillow In The Dryer?

How To Dry Your Pillows Properly

The methods you can use to dry your pillows will all depend on the material that you have. To make things easier, we're going to give you the full details on how to dry each major type of pillow. When deciding whether you can use a dryer, remember to take the pillow's exterior material into account too. 

Down Pillows

This common material for throw pillows poses a problem for many people that need to wash their decorative cushions. Feathers and dryers do not mix, which means they do not belong in a dryer. A better way to clean and dry these pillows is to dry clean them professionally, let them air dry, and fluff them by hand. 

Cotton And Fiberfill Pillows

Cotton pillows are fairly common, especially when you're discussing the many different types of throw pillows out there. This stuffing material is popular because it's machine-washable and dryer-friendly, as long as the material on the outside of the pillows is durable.

To dry these pillows, place them in a dryer with two tennis balls and a dryer sheet. Then, turn your dryer on at a low or medium temperature and tumble setting. 

Polyester Pillows

Synthetic though it may be, polyester is a homeowner's best friend. These pillows dry exceptionally quickly and are dryer-friendly, too. To dry these, place them in the dryer at a low temperature and tumble. After they're out, fluff them by hand. 

If you do not feel like putting them in the dryer, you can choose to place the pillows flat on a surface near a fan, or you can hang them out to dry. Polyester is lightweight enough to make it work. 

Memory Foam Pillows

While memory foam may be wonderful to have in your bed, this is one material that is not that easy to dry or clean. Memory foam (and foam of all sorts) has no business anywhere near a dryer due to the sheer amount of damage it can do to both the pillow and the other items in the dryer. 

To dry this pillow, just leave it on a flat surface and place a fan next to it if you need to speed things up. Ideally, you will avoid using memory foam pillows or storing them in rooms above 120-degrees Fahrenheit. 

Microbead Pillows

Microbead pillows are a little rarer to see, but this is not due to their cleaning difficulties. Like polyester and cotton pillows, microbead pillows are remarkably dryer-friendly. To get the best results, throw them in the dryer at the lowest speed and temperature until they are almost entirely dry. Then, finish then by hang drying.

Important Pillow Drying Questions

While it's good to get your pillows dried and know how to care for them, there's more to the story than just following basic instructions. Understanding the answers to these questions can help you maximize your pillows' lifespan and potentially avoid serious issues. 

Does A Dryer Melt Memory Foam?

Memory foam may be resilient against pressure, but it's not resilient against heat. Even at lower settings, the heat from a dryer can melt the memory foam, which in turn, can turn your drying session into a fire hazard. At higher temperature settings, it's possible to permanently damage your dryer by having the pillow melt into your dryer.

How Long Does Memory Foam Take To Fully Dry?

Due to the way memory foam absorbs water, it can take up to 24-hours for your pillow to dry fully. Rather than ruin your pillow by trying to put it in the dryer, the best way to hurry things up is to stick it near a fan or air conditioner.

How Long Does It Take To Dry Feather Pillows?

Though feather pillows tend to be pretty heavy when they are put in water, they do not stay that heavy for long. It only takes two to three hours of gentle air drying for your pillows to be back to normal. 

How Can You Tell If Your Feather Pillow Is Dry?

Feather pillows are unique when it comes to their traits when wet versus when they're dry. A wet feather pillow will clump up in odd places and emit a strange, musty odor. It also may feel damp to the touch. As the pillow dries, it will stop clumping, and the smell will fade away. 

Unlike other pillows, down pillows hold a higher risk of growing mold and mildew if used while wet. If you are not sure whether your down pillow is dry, then it's best to err on the side of caution. It's better to have a very dry pillow than a mildly damp one.

How Do You Dry A Pillow In The Dryer Without Tennis Balls?

Tennis balls are famous for being one of the fastest ways to fluff up a pillow (or clothing) while they're in the dryer, but sometimes, you might not have tennis balls available to you. Thankfully, you don't have to go to the nearest sports outlet to get that fluffing power. One of the newer trends in laundry care has you covered.

Wool dryer balls are a great alternative to tennis balls. In fact, they're better than tennis balls because they're actually meant to go into the dryer. Some people even add perfume oils to them (in small quantities) to help add some aromatherapy to their pillow drying routine. Just add two to three dryer balls to your pillows, and you should be good to go. 

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Click here to get dryer balls from Amazon.

Can You Add Dryer Sheets To Your Dryer When Drying Pillows?

While dryer balls are increasingly popular, it's common enough to hear people swear by dryer sheets due to the fresh scent they impart. Unless the exterior of your pillow is specifically labeled with a warning against dryer sheets, there's no reason why you can't use a dryer sheet alongside dryer balls. 

If you want to add an element of aromatherapy to your pillow care, buy a box of aromatherapeutic dryer sheets for your next laundry session. Lavender, in particular, is a great choice. 

Click here to get dryer sheets from Amazon.


Drying your pillow is a much bigger deal than you'd expect it to be, especially if you want to place your pillow in a dryer. It's clear that you need to be careful when you decide to dry your goods. If you want to be cautious, just leave your pillows to air dry and follow up with a hand fluffing session. Otherwise, check the material to see if the pillow is actually capable of being dried.  

By keeping a watchful eye on your pillow's materials and understanding how pillow care works, you'll be able to maximize your pillow's lifespan. 

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