Can You Wash Bamboo Pillows? A How-To Guide

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Washing your sheets and pillowcases every week or two is a common chore that most of us easily accomplish. However, we tend to toss almost every bedding in the washing machine except for these things – the pillows. True enough, pillows only get washed a handful of times or when something is spilled on it. Maybe it’s because pillows take a lot more time to clean than other beddings. Or we are simply deterred by the fact that we don’t know how to wash a bamboo pillow. Besides, these cushions get all clumpy and misshapen if the washing instructions are not followed, especially if they’re composed of fragile materials like memory foam.

So, can you wash bamboo pillows? Absolutely, you just need to take some precautions and follow a few simple steps which we have conveniently outlined below.

Bamboo Pillow Basics

Bamboo pillows are labeled as such for their bamboo cover and not because of the stuffing. The pillow’s filling is commonly made of memory foam, either solid or shredded. Bamboo pillows are rapidly growing in popularity, thanks to its proven health benefits and ergonomic features.

Advantages of Using a Bamboo Pillow

  • Bamboo fabric is soft to the touch
  • Highly breathable and stays cool which helps prevent overheating at night
  • Antimicrobial and hypoallergenic, ideal bedding material for people with allergies
  • Absolutely durable and provides long-lasting support
  • Many bamboo pillows use an adjustable loft to make them highly customizable and suitable for all body types and sleeping positions

Bamboo Pillow Maintenance: Frequently Asked Questions

a woman sitting near a washing machine

Now that we know what makes bamboo pillows stand out, let’s talk more specifically about how to keep one immaculately clean and why it’s important.

1. Can you wash bamboo pillows at home?

Yes, but as we’ve mentioned before, it requires a special process to keep the material in good shape and to prolong its usefulness.

2. What happens if you wash a bamboo pillow?

It entirely depends on how you do it. If it’s done poorly, washing a bamboo pillow can damage both the cover and the memory foam filling. However, if you know how to wash a bamboo pillow properly, you’ll be rewarded with a fresher cushion for better sleep and healthier skin.

Remember that you naturally shed dead skin cells every minute of the day and night. As you sleep, these cells get trapped inside your pillow. This buildup of skin, oils, and other debris over time will leave your pillow unhygienic. More often than not, this will encourage dust mites or the growth of bacteria, both of which trigger allergies and other respiratory issues.

3. Can bamboo pillows go in the dryer?

Putting your bamboo pillow in the dryer might seem like a good idea when it comes to keeping it clean. However, you should be mindful of the stuffing. For some types of pillow filling, a dryer could actually cause a lot of damage.

The removable cover of a bamboo pillow can be tumble-dried but dealing with the filling is where it gets tricky. A solid piece of memory foam should never go in the dryer, but as for the shredded type, it’s safe to do so. In fact, some pillow companies even recommend using the dryer to help fluff the pillow and restore its original loft and fullness. One thing to keep in mind though, the dryer is only often advised for fluffing and not for drying the material when it’s wet. Make sure you double-check with your pillow’s manufacturer before throwing it in the dryer. Usually, only high-end pillows can withstand the process and on a low heat setting.

How to Wash a Bamboo Pillow

Alright, now that we are aware that bamboo pillows require some special care, this brings us to the next question – how do you wash a miracle bamboo pillow or any kind for that matter? Let’s find out!

Bamboo Pillow Washing Instructions: Step-by-Step

a lady setting a washing machine

First, you’ll have to remove the bamboo cover from the pillow because you will use a different method in washing the memory foam. Make sure you do not wash the cover and the memory foam together.

Washing the Bamboo Cover:

  • Place the bamboo pillow cover in the washing machine and wash separately to avoid friction with other materials. Scratchy fabrics like towels or items with zippers or snaps can cause the bamboo material to pill and develop imperfections.
  • Use a small amount of gentle detergent and wash the pillow cover in cold water using a delicate cycle in your washing machine.
  • When the washing machine process is done, transfer the pillow cover to your dryer. Start a delicate cycle with low heat until completely dry. Check the moisture level every 10 minutes or so to make sure you aren’t overdrying the pillow cover. You can also opt not to use the dryer and just air dry instead. However, the material will not appear as smooth as when it’s tumble-dried.
  • Remove the pillow cover from the dryer and lay it on a flat surface so it doesn’t form wrinkles.

Hand Washing the Memory Foam Filling (shredded or solid):

  • Fill your bathtub or a large sink with room temperature to warm water.
  • Add a small amount of gentle detergent to the water and whisk until fully mixed and slightly bubbly.
  • Place the pillow in the tub and completely submerge the memory foam pillow filling under the water.
  • Using gentle pressure, slowly start squeezing the memory foam in several areas so the soapy solution can penetrate the material.
  • If you have a stain on your pillow, allow it to soak for 1-5 minutes.
  • Drain the water from the tub.
  • Using cool to warm water, rinse the pillow under the faucet until the soap is completely drained from the cushion. You can also use a large pitcher of clean water but you will need to refill it several times.
  • Repeat this process a couple of times depending on how long it has been since your last wash. The water should run clear if the pillow is thoroughly clean.
  • Place your clean pillow in a well-ventilated area to air dry. You can also use direct sunlight or place it in front of a fan to speed up the drying process.
  • Rotate or flip every couple of hours so the pillow surface dries evenly. Make sure your cushion is completely dry before replacing the bamboo cover and using again.

How Often Should You Clean Your Pillows?

In order to avoid dust mites, bacteria growth, and a totally unclean sleeping surface, we recommend washing the entire pillow every 2-4 months. We know this can seem a bit daunting considering how much time is needed to fully air dry a pillow, but it’s worth the effort. Not only for health reasons but also because cleaning your pillow regularly will prolong its usefulness.

When dirt, oil, and skin build up inside a pillow for too long, it can contribute to the deterioration of the material. Of course, it’s something that we’d want to avoid since we spend a considerable amount of money on our pillows. Sure enough, we want them to last for as long as possible. So, make sure you add washing your pillow to your seasonal routine, if for no other reason than to provide a means to end purchasing new pillows frequently.


So, can you wash bamboo pillows? Bamboo may take a bit more effort but once you get the hang of it, cleaning will be a breeze! You can even do it at home without any special cleansers or props. Simply follow the instructions and you’ll find how rewarding it is to keep your bamboo pillows fresh. It certainly pays to know how to wash a bamboo pillow.

What are you waiting for? Choose a pillow or two to clean today and maybe another couple when the first set is completely dry. In this way, you won’t be left pillowless for a night. And if anyone ever asks ‘how is it sleeping with a bamboo pillow?’ You can confidently answer – ‘clean, comfortable, and cool!’

Additional Resources

Emily Alexander
Emily Alexander

Emily Melynn Alexander was born on the east coast of the USA but has called Colorado home since 2000. She has a degree in English and Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She enjoys sleeping in locations all around the world.

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