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How To Wash Gel Pillows 🛏️

Gel pillows use cooling gel to regulate temperature and prevent heat from building up on your pillow surface. You can find different designs, including gel pads, laminated gel layers, and gel infusions in pillow materials. There are also pillows with gel toppers. It is most common to find gel in memory foam pillows, and it helps people keep the temperature neutral during the night. You may be thinking, can you wash gel pillows?

You can wash your gel pillow by hand. You shouldn’t put it in the washing machine, but you can wash the removable covers in the machine. You can vacuum dust away and use baking soda to eliminate an odor. If you find stains, you can clean them with soap and water. You will always clean gel pillows with a rag, warm water, and mild liquid soap.

If you have a gel pillow, it is important to know how to take care of it, including cleaning it.

What Kinds of Gel Pillows Are There?

Gel pillows come in different forms. There are models such as solid memory foam that include gel, and you can get shredded memory foam gel pillows. There are also microfiber gel pillows. The memory foam version is normally constructed with a single piece of gel-infused memory foam. It is then aerated with little holes to allow airflow. This type of pillow contours to your head and neck and provides extra support.

You can also get a gel pillow that is an insert in a knit cover. Gel pillows come as gel pads, laminated gel layers, gel beads, gel infusions, and more.

Can You Wash Your Gel Pillow in a Washing Machine?

Gel pillows are often memory foam pillows, and they cannot go in the washing machine. The memory foam is enhanced by having gel beads injected into it, which provides extra comfort and helps to keep the pillow cool.

No matter what kind of gel pillow you have, you cannot put it in the washer. This is also true of memory foam pillows, so people who are used to this kind of pillow won’t have much of an adjustment. However, if you are accustomed to machine washing your pillows, you will have to shift to spot cleaning.

How to Clean a Gel Pillow

First, you should remove the pillow cover and the pillowcase. You can wash the pillow cover once a month, and the pillowcase should be changed and washed every week. This is the best way to keep your gel pillow protected and as clean as possible.

When you are sleeping, your body sweats, shed dead skin cells and releases oils and chemicals in your skincare and hair products. These things make their way into the pillowcase, so it can become a health hazard if you don’t clean it.

Once you remove the gel pillow from the pillow cover and pillowcase, you should make a soap and warm water mixture. Get a medium-sized bowl, and combine one to two cups of warm water with a few drops of gentle dishwashing soap. Mix them until you have about an inch of bubbles showing on top of the water.

If the bubbles aren’t forming, you can add more liquid soap to the water. Then try stirring it more. If you notice that your pillow smells bad, you can add a tablespoon of vinegar to the mixture. Vinegar does a great job of removing odors from spills and accidents. You should use white vinegar, as it won’t leave behind residue on your pillow.

You can use a damp cloth to rub the soap bubbles on the stain or the area that needs to be cleaned. You can also use a sponge and rub the pillow in circular motions until the stain disappears. It may take some time, depending on how dirty the pillow is.

If you remove a stain and see it leaving a shadow, you can put a drop of soap directly on the pillow. Then rub it with your cloth. If it still isn’t coming off, you can take a cotton swab and soak it in hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide works well for stains that come from blood or oil. You can soak the swab, clean the stain, and move back and forth until it disappears. Once the stain is gone, use a damp cloth to remove any remaining peroxide.

Once you finish washing the gel pillow, you need to let it air dry completely before you place the cover back on it. You should find an area that is well ventilated. You should give it at least two hours to dry. Then check to see if it is completely dry. It is very important to make sure that it is completely dry before you place it back inside its cover. You can wipe the surface with a dry towel to help it along.

How to Get Rid of Odors in Your Gel Pillow

If you have a gel pillow and notice that it smells bad, you can use baking soda to eliminate the smell. Start by taking two tablespoons of baking soda and sprinkling it across the pillow. Baking soda is known for its ability to deodorize many types of objects, including your gel pillow.

You should cover the entire pillow in a thin layer of baking soda. Do one side at a time. If your pillow is large, you may need to use more than two tablespoons of baking soda.

Next, leave the baking soda on your pillow for 30 minutes. During this time, the baking soda will literally absorb the odors from the pillow. If you are able to leave the pillow overnight, this is a good idea, especially if you have tough odors.

You can also place the gel pillow with the baking soda in a large plastic bag for a day or two. Make sure that it is stored safely where your children and pets won’t be able to reach it.

When you are ready to remove the baking soda, use the brush attachment on your vacuum. Take your time and work through each part of the pillow to remove all of the baking soda. You should also make sure that the brush attachment is clean and dry before you use it.

How to Choose a Gel Pillow

People who want comfort, support, and a cool surface often choose gel pillows. They are more difficult to clean, but they are worth it for their other benefits. There are many different types of gel pillows, so consider the following when you are choosing.

Height: The height, or loft, of the pillow is important. You want a gel pillow that is the perfect height to keep your head, neck, and spine in a straight line. If you sleep on your side, you might want your pillow to be taller, but you will want it to be shorter if you sleep on your back.

Fill: The fill is a consideration on any pillow, including a gel pillow. This type of pillow has gel incorporated into the fill. You can get layers of gel that are inserted into the pillow, or it may have gel infused into the material.

Support: You want your pillow to stay firm under your weight, and consider how much it will compress when you are using it. The support is determined by the firmness and the height.

Firmness: People have personal preferences for the firmness of a pillow. If the pillow is too firm, it can cause pressure, while one that is too soft may sag and fail to give you the support you are looking for.

Relief from Pressure: Another factor is relief from pressure. Some materials mold to fit your neck and head, and they prevent pressure from building up by distributing the weight of your head and neck. The gel can provide additional pressure relief.

Shape: You can choose from many different shapes. Many pillows are rectangular, but you can find ones that are rounded or those that are designed for the shoulders, neck, and head. Choose the shape that is most comfortable for you.

Cost: You should consider what you are paying for your pillow, but know that it is worth paying a little extra for the support you need to keep your body aligned properly.

Material Quality: When you buy products made with better-quality materials, they do a better job. In the case of a gel pillow, they will last longer and provide better pressure relief and support.

Molding Capability: Another feature of gel pillows is their ability to mold the pillow to fit the head and neck perfectly. Some pillows can be molded while you are using them, so you can change your sleeping position and mold the pillow accordingly.

Ability to Regulate Temperature: One of the benefits of using a gel pillow is that it can regulate the temperature to avoid overheating while you are sleeping. Models that have ventilated holes or breathable covers are better able to reduce temperatures. You should also make sure that the cover is made of breathable materials to aid in cooling during the night.

Pros and Cons of Gel Pillows

There are both benefits and drawbacks with having a gel pillow, including the following:


  • Gel pillows pull heat away from you while you are sleeping and keep your pillow cool throughout the night
  • Gel infusion in pillows helps the pillow provide additional support
  • Gel pillows are often made with shredded memory foam and can mold when you scrunch them
  • Gel pillows are almost always made with memory foam or microfiber, so they are hypoallergenic
  • Gel pillows are resistant to allergens, including dust mites


  • You can’t machine wash a gel pillow; they are spot clean or hand wash only
  • Gel pillows may emit gassing odors
  • Gel pillows don’t always do a great job of cooling
  • Gel pillows can be too firm
  • Some people don’t like the gel feel in the pillow

How Long Do Gel Pillows Last?

Most gel pillows last two to three years before you need to replace them. Over time, the gel does lose its effectiveness, and it will eventually become compressed and fail to provide the support you need. The lifespan is also dependent on the quality of the gel as well as the other materials used in making the pillow.

Do Gel Pillows Smell Bad?

When you first get a gel pillow, they can emit off-gassing smells. These odors come from volatile organic compound emissions (VOCs), and they are standard with different memory foam or polyfoam products. The odor should subside within a few days. Gel pillows can also pick up odors from use, especially if you have an accident or a spill. You can use white vinegar or baking soda to remove odors from your gel pillows.

Who Needs a Gel Pillow?

Many people enjoy gel pillows because they offer support and they are comfortable. The fact that they can cool the pillow while you sleep is an added bonus.

People who get warm while they are sleeping benefit from using these pillows because the gel is infused into the material, so the pillow prevents overheating.

People who sleep on their sides also enjoy gel pillows because they help keep the head and neck aligned with the spine. Gel pillows reduce pressure and allow you to adjust the pillow to the perfect height.

Gel pillows are also great for people who suffer from allergies. They are often hypoallergenic, and they resist common allergens, including mold, mildew, and dust mites.

Finally, pregnant women also enjoy gel pillows. They often sleep on their sides, and the gel pillow can help support the head and neck, the legs, or the belly.

Final Words

You can use gel pillows to stay cool at night, but you can’t throw them in the washing machine. You can remove the pillow cover and pillowcase and wash them regularly, and you can spot clean them when you need to.

Make sure to use warm water, dish soap, and a clean cloth, and once your gel pillow is clean, blot away the remaining soap residue and let the pillow dry completely before putting it back inside the pillow cover and pillowcase.


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