The perfect pillow is one of life’s greatest little luxuries, helping us to enjoy restorative sleep and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. To make the most of the place where you lay your head each night, follow these tips on how to care for your pillows and help them deliver sweet dreams for as long as possible.
Protecting the Puff
First things first: keep your pillows clean and dry with pillow protectors. These helpful (but too often overlooked) accessories are typically made of cotton, zipping around your pillow to give it an extra layer of security from moisture, dust, and the rigors of nightly use.
Choose a Standard or European size — whichever suits each pillow best — and simply tuck your pillow inside for added protection. Machine washable and affordable, a pillow protector can go a long way toward extending the life of the cushion beneath. Launder it every other time you wash your sheets, or at least once per month.
Another way to keep your pillows fresh is to keep a few extra pillowcases on hand — perhaps twice as many as you might normally think you need — and change them more often than you change your sheets. Because pillowcases are subjected to more residue from hair care products, moisturizers, and direct contact in the same place with your face every night, it’s wise to change and launder them at a slightly faster pace than you do your sheets. This practice keeps your pillow protector — well, protected — as well as the pillow underneath.
Washing Your Pillows
Launder your actual pillows every six months or so unless you’ve purchased a dry-clean-only, in which case, it’s advisable to send them to the dry cleaner twice per year. If your pillow tags don’t offer instructions to the contrary, follow these general rules of thumb on laundry day:
For down, feather, and combination pillows, massage in a small amount of mild powder detergent with warm water, working it gently through the pillow to make sure the feathers are reached. Run it through a gentle/delicate cycle and dry it on a no-heat setting to avoid burning the delicate interior. Be patient, as drying without heat may take a few cycles to complete.
For polyester pillows, a small amount of liquid detergent is fine, setting the water temperature to warm and running a gentle/delicate cycle. Again, dry without heat for as long as necessary to avoid damaging the interior and causing a burning smell. Memory foam and latex pillows aren’t laundry-safe and shouldn’t be dry cleaned, either, so be diligent in spot-cleaning any stains as soon as possible to maintain them for as long as possible.
Be patient in allowing them to dry, since sleeping on pillows with damp interiors is a recipe for mildew, odors, and bacteria.
Keeping Things Fresh
Even in-between biannual washing, it’s wise to periodically air out your pillows by hanging them on a clothesline or otherwise propping them up in direct sunlight for a few hours. If your pillows have deflated a bit over time, the ambient warmth and fresh air will refresh the filling, allowing the pillows to fluff back up to their former cloudlike glory.
Want to lay your head to rest on a luxurious Marriott pillow? Treat yourself to a heavenly night’s sleep with a Feather and Down Pillow.