If you follow the recommendations of healthcare officials, you will spend a third of your life sleeping. If you don’t sleep well during this time, it can wreak havoc on the other two-thirds of your life because it can leave you unrested and stiff. Your pillow plays an instrumental role in helping you get a good night’s sleep, and one popular type of pillow is the memory foam pillow.
You should never place your foam pillow in the washing machine. No matter what type of washing machine you have, the spinning cycle is too harsh and is likely to cause the foam to break apart. When you need to wash your foam pillow, you need to hand wash it in a solution of mild soap and warm water. Then you must make sure that it is completely dry before returning it to your bed.
It is important to understand how a foam pillow works and how to wash it correctly so that it does its job for you and gives you the support you need while you are sleeping.
What Is Memory Foam?
Memory foam pillows are a popular type of pillow that is made with polyurethane. It is a material that is plastic, and it can change its shape with pressure, but then it can adjust to its original shape once the pressure is removed. This material allows your pillow to adjust to the shadow of your head and neck and provides extra support while you are sleeping.
Can You Wash Foam Pillows in a Washing Machine?
You can’t ever wash your foam pillows in a washing machine. It doesn’t matter what kind of washing machine you have; any type of washing machine is too rough for this material and can cause the foam to break up during the final rinse.
While the foam is strong enough to mold and function as you sleep on your pillow, the spinning and agitation in the washing machine are too harsh for the structure, and it will break into little pieces in the washing machine.
How to Wash Foam Pillows
Whether you are using latex foam, memory foam, gel-infused memory foam, or memory foam with gel inserts pillow, you can follow these steps to wash it.
Start by gathering what you need to hand wash the pillow. You need a bucket, the sink, or your bathtub, and you will fill it with warm water. You can also use a large plastic container; anything you use needs to be large enough to submerge your pillow. You should mix in gentle detergent that you would use to wash delicate clothing. Measure out one teaspoon of detergent for each gallon of water you use.
Once your container is filled, you should submerge your pillow in the solution. While you have it underwater, squeeze it so that the cleaning solution moves through the foam. You should continue squeezing it throughout the pillow for around ten minutes.
Next, you can drain or pour out the soapy water. Make sure you rinse it out thoroughly and refill it with clean water. Place the pillow in the water and squeeze the soap out of the pillow. You may need to empty the container and refill it with fresh water several times to get rid of all of the soap. You shouldn’t wring the foam as this can easily break it. You need to gently squeeze the foam all over the pillow until you get all of the soap out.
Next, you need to dry the pillow. The best way to do this is to lay it on a flat surface that is ventilated but make sure it is out of direct sunlight or heat. You should never put your foam pillow in the dryer because heat can cause the foam to break into little pieces. You can take a portable fan and circulate the air to speed up the drying process. It may take as long as 24 hours for your pillow to dry completely.
How to Spot Clean Your Foam Pillow
There are times when you may need to clean a stain or a spot where something spilled on your pillow, but you don’t need to clean the entire pillow. If you want to spot clean a stain, start by mixing a tablespoon of dish soap and two cups of warm water in a medium-sized bowl. Make sure that you use mild dish soap so that you don’t damage the pillow.
Then take a clean cloth and dip it in the cleaning solution. Blot the stain on your pillow, starting at the outside and working your way to the center. Keep moving to a new area on the cloth until the stain is clean.
Once you remove the stain, you can get another clean cloth and dip it in warm water. Blot the pillow to remove any soap that is left on the pillow. Then let the pillow air dry. Leave it out until it is completely dry. You can speed up the drying by using a hairdryer set on cold air or a fan.
How to Freshen up Your Foam Pillow
If you don’t have time to wash your foam pillow but you want to freshen it up, you can sprinkle baking soda over the entire pillow. Make sure that you cover the entire pillow, and then let it sit for about an hour. You can use the brush attachment on your vacuum to vacuum it. Baking soda can absorb odors as well as pet hair or dust mites. Make sure that you do one side at a time to freshen the pillow.
Pros and Cons of Using Foam Pillows
There are both benefits and drawbacks to using foam pillows. Take a look at the following:
- Foam pillows contour to your head, neck, and shoulders, keeping them aligned
- Keeping your head, neck, and spine aligned may reduce or prevent snoring
- Foam pillows help relieve neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Foam pillows provide relief for pressure points by evenly distributing your weight
- Foam absorbs motion and creates stability
- Foam is made of more breathable material
- Foam can emit VOCs when it is unwrapped
- Foam pillows are flame-retardant, but contain harsh chemicals to make it happen
- Foam can retain body heat
- Foam is slow to change shape when you move in the night
- External temperature can change the firmness of the material
Do Foam Pillows need a Pillow Case?
You should always use a pillow cover and a pillowcase with any pillow, including a foam pillow. You may not realize it, but your head sweats while you are sleeping, it may not drip water, but the follicles release moisture to control the temperature in your head. The sweat has salt in it, and it brings dead skin cells and any particles or dirt into your pillow. Over the course of the night and continuing night after night, the sweat, particles, oils, dead skin cells, chemicals from cleansers, and more seep into your pillow.
When you double protect your pillow, you are doing yourself a favor. This is especially the case with a foam pillow. You need to wash your exterior pillowcase once a week, and the pillow cover should be washed every month. Having these two layers of protection means that you can go as long as six to twelve months without washing the pillow itself unless you spill something or have some kind of accident.
If you don’t use a pillow cover and a pillowcase, you will need to set time aside to wash your foam pillow more frequently. Otherwise, your pillow can store dirt and germs, and they can lead to allergic reactions, skin rashes, and acne.
Types of Foam Pillows
There are several different types of foam pillows, and each one has its own benefits. You will wash them all the same way, no matter which one you choose. Take a look at some of your options:
Natural Memory Foam: This is the type of memory foam that is used in hypoallergenic pillows. They are antimicrobial, so you will have fewer dust mites, bed bugs, and other allergens. They are made with mostly natural ingredients, and they are considered eco-friendly.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam: This type of foam has gel-infused to help control the heat in the pillow. It is great for people who get hot when they sleep. It is also antimicrobial, so it helps to prevent allergies.
Shredded Memory Foam: This type of pillow is filled with shredded pieces of memory foam. This type of pillow is more moldable and flexible, so it can be shaped and molded to your body very easily. They are also more breathable than other types of foam pillows.
Multi-Foam: Multi-foam pillows use a combination of types of foam to give you the most benefits from the different types that are available. You can get the best pressure relief, cooling, and conformity.
Features of Memory Foam Pillows
It is important to understand the features of memory foam pillows so that you can choose one that fits your needs. Take a look at the following:
Temperature Regulation: When foam pillows were first made, they ran hot and made people get hotter during the night. Today, they have cooling technology so that they don’t trap heat. They can help release it while you are sleeping.
Temperature Sensitivity: Foam pillows react to external temperatures. They can get softer when they are heated and more firm when they are cooled.
Breathability: Foam pillows are breathable because they use open-cell technology, and this allows more air circulation and assists in cooling.
Responsiveness: Foam responds to pressure and takes its original shape when the pressure is removed. The responsiveness depends on several factors, including the composition, elasticity, and resilience of the materials.
Durability: The durability of a foam pillow is mostly based on how dense it is.
What Is the Difference Between Block and Shredded Memory Foam Pillows?
The main difference between block and shredded memory foam pillows is that block pillows are solid pieces of foam, while shredded foam pillows are hundreds of pieces of foam inside of the pillow. Block pillows are usually shaped like a rectangle, and they can also come in other shapes to support your head, neck, and shoulders.
The solid foam pillows are firm, durable, and hold their shape, but they are slow to respond to pressure. They are less breathable and they don’t require any fluffing.
Shredded foam pillows are made up of hundreds of pieces of foam and they can be blended with polyester, fiberfill, and latex. This type of pillow is customizable. They are easy to mold to the ideal shape for you while you are sleeping. They have more breathability because air can pass through between the pieces of foam.
What to Consider When You Are Choosing a Foam Pillow
When you are choosing the best foam pillow for you, you need to first consider whether you want a shredded or solid foam pillow. If you tend to get hot when you are sleeping, you might prefer the shredded foam pillow.
Another consideration is your sleeping position. If you sleep on your side, you might want a pillow with a higher loft or height to keep your head aligned with your neck and spine. The block foam pillows tend to have a higher loft than shredded foam.
Those who sleep on the back will want a lower loft, and a shredded foam pillow might be softer. People who sleep in both positions might also prefer shredded foam because it is quicker to adjust.
The next consideration is whether you have neck pain. If you do, foam is a good option because it can help relieve the buildup of pressure. It will support your neck so that you sleep more naturally.
When you choose a foam pillow, you are getting a pillow that can help align your head, neck, and shoulders with your spine while you are sleeping. This can relieve pain and pressure, and you can wake up feeling better rested.
However, you can’t wash this type of pillow in the washing machine. It must be hand-washed, and it takes some time to thoroughly wash and dry it. Make sure that you protect it with a pillow cover and a pillowcase so that you don’t have to wash it more than once or twice a year.