Home / Blog January 26, 2023

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How to Wash a Body Pillow: 3 Steps to Cozy Clean

Keeping your body pillow snuggly can be tricky, since body pillow washing guidelines vary based on the material of the pillow. Some polyester-based pillows can be machine washed, while other pillows need more specialized cleaning methods.

How to Wash a Body Pillow: 3 Steps to Cozy Clean

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Some polyester-based body pillows can be machine washed and dried.

Body pillows with removable covers are the easiest to keep clean.

Spot cleaning can help keep your body pillow fresh in between washer.

 Did you know?

It’s generally recommended to wash your pillowcases and sheets about once a week!

Commonly used as pregnancy pillows or extra support for side sleepers, body pillows are a cuddly addition to any bedroom. They can be a lifesaver when it comes to deep sleep! And like most bedding items, they should be cleaned regularly.

Alongside your sheets and blankets, a body pillow will come in regular close contact with your skin, absorbing dirt and oils each night. Over time, it might start to feel less-than-snuggly!

It’s a good idea to clean your body pillow as often as you’d wash your sheets or pillow cases, but the process might be a little more complicated depending on what kind of pillow you own. Read on to learn our favorite tips and tricks for how to clean a body pillow.

Before Washing Your Body Pillow (Things to Check)

When your body pillow or pregnancy pillow is in need of a refresh, the first thing to do is check the care instructions. You’ll want to read up on what material your pillow is made of, as well as any specific washing recommendations from the manufacturer.

Common Body Pillow Materials

You should be able to find materials information on the tags of your body pillow or from the manufacturer. Common body pillow materials include down or synthetic down alternatives, cotton, polyester, memory foam, and latex or natural rubber foam.

Washing memory or latex foam body pillows is not recommended, because these materials are more delicate. If you find the inner pillow is getting musty over time, one easy solution is to remove the cover and let the pillow air out for a day or two. A little fresh air and sunshine might just do the trick!

If there’s a particularly aggravating spill or a stain on your foam body pillow, spot cleaning can also be a good solution.

How to Wash a Body Pillow in the Washer

It’s best to avoid machine washing your body pillow altogether. For most body pillows (depending on what material lends them their comfy shape), machine washing can be harmful over time, causing the pillow to lose its shape and become less supportive.

The trick to cleaning a body pillow is to wash the cover regularly and keep the inner pillow fresh with regular spot cleaning. Because of this, it’s best to choose a body pillow with a removable cover for easy washing.

How to Wash a Body Pillow in the Washer

Washing Temperature for Body Pillows

While most body pillows don’t do well in the washing machine, there are some materials that might stand up to washing at a low temperature on a gentle cycle. But even these materials can become less-than-cuddly if washed too often.

So ultimately, can you put a body pillow in the washing machine? If your body pillow is filled with down, cotton, or polyester, it’s possible that you can machine wash it cold — but always check the manufacturer’s recommendations first.

Water temperature is also an important consideration for how to wash body pillow covers so that they stay in comfy condition. When machine washing a body pillow cover, washing temperature is one of the first things you can look for in your item’s care instructions.

Most products will contain a temperature symbol on the care label that lets you know what temperature setting to use on your washer. When a label says to “wash cold”, “wash warm”, or “wash hot”, these refer to specific temperature ranges.

In general, washing cold means washing your item between 65°F and 86°F. Washing warm and washing hot mean up to 105°F and up to 120°F, respectively.

Best Detergent for Body Pillows

Depending on the kind of pillow you have, there might also be particular detergent recommendations. If your body pillow case is made from natural textiles, a natural, mild detergent will be the best option for keeping it clean.

If you have sensitive skin, your best bet might be a detergent that is fragrance-free. Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to look for detergent recommendations in your body pillow’s care instructions.

How to Clean a Bearaby Body Pillow

Our Cuddler body pillow is made from sustainable, plant-based Melofoam™, so it’s best to skip washing the inner pillow altogether. Submerging the Cuddler in water could damage the satisfyingly squashy natural material.

Luckily, the base cover of the Cuddler and the external Cuddler Covers are completely removable and machine washable!

To keep your Cuddler clean for many snuggles to come, we recommend removing the cover and washing it cold, then tumble drying it on a low temperature while the inner pillow has a chance to air out separately.

Steps For Washing A Weighted Blanket

Steps For Washing A Weighted Blanket

  1. Treat Stains
  2. Wash Cover Alone
  3. Tumble Dry Low

Step 1: Treat Stains

Before washing your body pillow, there are a few steps you’ll want to take in order to set yourself up for a snuggly success.

After checking the care instructions for your body pillow, you’ll want to remove the inner pillow from the outer cover. If you’re using our Cuddler, the outer cover has a built-in zipper that makes it easy to take on and off.

Once you’ve removed the body pillow cover, you’ll want to check it for any stains or marks. A pre-wash spot treatment should help to make sure that any stubborn stains wash off.

Step 2: Wash Cover Alone

To help your body pillow cover maintain its shape and appearance, it’s best to wash it in a garment bag. This will prevent the fabric of the cover from catching on any of the inner mechanics of your washer or dryer.

If your body pillow cover is knitted or has any kind of raised texture, it’s a good idea to wash it separately from other garments, too. Clothes with zippers, buttons, or any rough edges could tear your body pillow cover during washing.

Choosing the right detergent for cleaning your body pillow cover is fairly simple. Since the cover will rest close to your skin, a gentle, mild detergent is usually the best choice here, and if you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to steer away from scented options.

You’ll also want to be careful to follow the temperature recommendations for washing the body pillow cover. When in doubt, wash cold — and skip the bleach!

If you do have a body pillow that can be machine washed, it’s best to wash it separately from other items on a gentle cycle and carefully follow the care instructions to avoid altering its shape.

Step 3: Tumble Dry Low

Depending on the kind of body pillow you own, you may or not be able to machine dry the cover. With our Cuddler Cover, you can put it in the dryer on a gentle or delicate cycle with low heat. If your body pillow cover can’t be machine dried, you’ll want to hang it up to dry, preferably in a warm, sunny area.

It’s important to make sure that your pillow and its cover are both completely dry before you put them back together on your bed. A wet pillowcase on your body pillow could cause mildew to grow, which definitely isn’t the cozy clean result you’re looking for!

Other Body Pillow Cleaning Methods

Besides our Cuddler’s natural Melofoam™, there are many different kinds of material that can be used to create a comfy body pillow, and each comes with its own unique cleaning considerations.

Two of the most common body pillow cleaning methods other than machine washing are hand cleaning and spot cleaning.

How to Hand Clean a Body Pillow

Hand cleaning a body pillow or pregnancy pillow involves soaking your pillow in a large basin of soapy water, rinsing it well, and leaving it to air dry.

Some body pillows or pregnancy pillows that cannot be machine washed can be washed by hand using this method. Look for a sentence in the care instructions that says “hand wash only” to find out if this could be an option for your pillow.

To get started on the hand washing process, you’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies.

The most unusual item you’ll need is a large basin that can hold the full pillow. With a pillow meant to support the full length of your body, a basin of this size could be difficult to find! A large bucket might be an option, but when in doubt, your bathtub should do the trick.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you have the right kind of detergent. Since this detergent will be coming into direct contact with your hands, it’s a good idea to go with a mild liquid detergent rather than a powder detergent.

After filling the basin with detergent and cold water, you can immerse the body pillow in the soapy water and gently scrub it with your hands. You’ll want to avoid leaving the pillow submerged for too long.

For the final step of the process, you’ll need to empty the basin and fill it with another round of cold water for rinsing. Once you rinse all of the soap out of your body pillow, you can leave it out to air dry.

Since pillows tend to absorb a lot of moisture, you might want to rest your clean body pillow in front of a fan to make sure it dries quickly enough.

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Ergonomically designed

Made from natural Melofoam™

Additional cover styles available

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How to Spot Clean a Body Pillow

Spot cleaning is the process of cleaning stains or marks off of an item one at a time. It’s typically done with warm water and detergent, though you might also use a gentle stain remover or other cleaner.

If your body pillow says “spot-clean only”, that means it’s too fragile for machine washing! Luckily, spot cleaning is a fairly straightforward process. All you’ll need are a couple of clean cloths, plenty of water, and some mild detergent.

First, identify the areas of your pillow that are looking less-than-fresh. Any stains, smudges, or smelly spots are the culprits here.

Next, dampen a cloth with water and detergent, and scrub the stain in a circular motion. Repeat for each section until the stains are removed. Using another clean cloth, apply fresh water to the sections to wipe away any soapy residue.

This same process can be used for knot pillows or any household item that needs more gentle cleaning!

Conclusion

Different pillow materials call for different washing steps. The first and most important part of how to wash your body pillow is to identify what your pillow is made of and locate the care instructions.

The care instructions will tell you whether you should machine wash the body pillow cover, hand wash the pillow, or spot clean the pillow. If you have a polyester-based body pillow, you might be able to machine wash it, but frequent machine washing could be harmful.

No matter what kind of pillow you have, there are steps that you can take towards keeping it fresh and cozy as can be for a more comfortable night’s sleep.