How Long Does it Take a Pillow to Dry?

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Pillows get dirty, right? Whether it’s a pillow on your bed or your sofa, there will be a point where the pillow has to be cleaned. But how long does it take a pillow to dry, and does the amount of time vary depending on the type of pillow? We’ve done some searching for you and have the answer to these questions.

It takes a pillow approximately one hour to be dried in a dryer, and potentially several hours of leaving the pillow to air dry. Regardless of the drying method your pillow requires, you must ensure it is completely dry before using it again. Leaving your pillow damp encourages the growth of mold and bacteria. 

So now, you know it will take some time to get that pillow dry, but this timeframe can vary based on the material of which your pillow is made. Read on to find out more about cleaning and drying your pillows and how to get the best, most efficient results!

Leaving pillows outside in the sun to dry, How Long Does it Take a Pillow to Dry?

How Do You Dry a Pillow?

Four white pillows with flowers placed on top and the side

There are a few different methods to dry your pillow, namely using a dryer or allowing your pillow to air dry. Whichever method you choose, be sure to get those pillows all the way dry. 

Using a Dryer

When using a dryer, make sure you are using either dryer balls, t-shirts tied into balls, or tennis balls along with the pillow. This keeps the stuffing from wadding up and losing fluff. If this is skipped, you run the risk of extremely lumpy pillows. Additionally, do not use a high heat setting. Be patient and run the dryer longer instead of using high heat. Too much heat could ruin the stuffing of your pillow.

View these dryer balls on Amazon.

The way you run the dryer will vary depending on the material of your pillow. The temperature does vary, so read on while we discuss these in full. 

Synthetic Pillows

If the pillow is made of synthetic materials (man-made), you’ll want to use medium heat. Don’t use the automatic sensor on your dryer, as these generally just detect surface moisture and will leave the pillow wet. Begin by setting the dryer on timed dry for about an hour. After the time has been completed, alternate fluffing and squeezing the pillow to check for any remaining dampness. If any dampness is detected, run the pillow for longer.

View this pillow on Amazon.

Feather/Down Pillows or Other Natural Fibers

Pillows filled with natural fibers or feathers must not be dried with heat. Although these can still be dried in the dryer, you will need to ensure it has a “no heat” setting. Due to no heat, the drying cycle will take longer compared to drying synthetic fibers. Again, begin with an hour and then test the dampness of the pillow after this time. Repeat as needed until the pillow is dry. 

View this deluxe down pillow set on Amazon.

Memory Foam

Memory foam will become brittle and crumble if you use high heat on it, so ensure you do not do this accidentally. These pillows are extremely absorbent, so it will take several cycles to dry this pillow completely. It is essential to check for excess moisture since they like to hide in these pillows. Dry these on “no heat” as with the natural material pillows, but it would be best to let memory foam air dry. 

View this memory foam pillow on Amazon.

Air Drying

Allowing a pillow to air dry can be done regardless of the type of material. The thickness and material of the pillow will cause the timeframe to vary. If at all possible, allow these pillows to dry in the sun, as the warmth will help speed up the process. If you have a clothesline, pin the pillows to the clothesline along with your other laundry so the fresh air and sunshine can speed the process. 

View this clothesline on Amazon.

Pay Mind to How You Wash the Pillow

Hopefully, when you go about drying your pillow, the method in which you chose to wash your pillow will help in the drying process. If you use a washing machine for your pillows, make sure to wash at least two pillows at once, so there’s an even distribution in your washer. This helps the pillow to remain lump-free and avoids problems that could worsen in the drying process. 

Does Putting a Pillow in the Dryer Kill Dust Mites?

Putting a pillow in the dryer can kill dust mites as well as other potential allergens. Run the pillow in the dryer for at least 20-minutes on high heat. If your pillow is made of natural fibers, this method is not recommended. Even with this shorter timeframe in the dryer, opt to use tennis balls in socks, balled up t-shirts, or dryer balls to ensure the integrity of your pillow fluff. 

Can You Put a Soaking Wet Pillow in the Dryer?

It would be best if you didn’t put a soaking wet pillow in the dryer. If the pillow is visibly dripping, run it through another spin cycle in the washing machine. Repeat until as much excess moisture as possible has been removed. As touched on above, washing two pillows at a time can help this problem to be prevented.

What Happens to a Damp Pillow?

Pillows can get damp from more than just washing. It’s tempting to just lie down with wet hair and go to sleep, or you might drool a bit in your sleep. However, allowing this kind of dampness to linger or build-up can be hazardous to your health. The warmth from your head and the dampness from your mouth or hair create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, especially mildew, which is an allergen. Make sure to never sleep on your pillow with wet hair and wash your pillows frequently. 

How Often Should You Wash and Dry Your Pillow?

So all this talk of bacteria begs to ask, “How often should you wash and dry your pillow?” Consumer Reports advises washing your pillow at least two times per year. Spot cleanings in between can prevent needing an overall wash. If you sleep with wet hair or drool a lot, these washings should be more frequent. Washing your pillowcase at least once a week (or every few days) can help circumvent some of the bacteria’s growth. 

Want to know about cleaning your throw pillows specifically? Read our post, “How to Clean Throw Pillows that Have No Zipper.”

In Closing

Leaving pillows outside in the sun to dry

The drying time for pillows can vary depending on a lot of factors and methods. Try any of the methods we’ve laid out for you to find what works best for your pillows. Just remember whatever you method you go with, make sure that pillow is 100% dry before sleeping on it at night. Sweet dreams!

Read more about pillows in our post, “27 Types of Throw Pillows: A Guide for Home Decor Lovers”.

 

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