How to Wash a Bamboo Pillow

Just this morning I was thinking about how much I need a new pillow. I wake up with my neck hurting with my current one and goodness knows what’s on it after using it for the past few years. While looking for an alternative, I came across bamboo pillows with all their benefits. But how do you wash them? Read on to find out how to wash a bamboo pillow.

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What is a bamboo pillow?

You may have heard of bamboo being used in manufacturing all sorts of products nowadays from clothing to kitchenware to jewelry and musical instruments. Bamboo pillows are popular too, and a great alternative to normal pillows for many reasons. 

First, it’s important to know that the pillow itself is not filled with bamboo. The material covering of the pillow is made of bamboo. The pillow filling is often cotton, buckwheat hulls, or memory foam.

Why buy a bamboo pillow?

The above fillings can provide a soft sleep surface that gives you better sleep, but bamboo pillows have added benefits:

  • Naturally cooling to keep you cool during the night
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Feels comfortable and luxurious because it’s soft and anti-static 
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Can be eco-friendly
  • Easy on skin and hair for reduced damage and breakage

These benefits make it ideal for people with allergies, sensitive skin or hair, and temperature regulating issues.

Many people choose to use a bamboo memory foam pillow. This provides the benefits of bamboo fabric and memory foam. The pillow may have shredded memory foam internally meaning that it has small shredded pieces of the foam. Or it may have one piece of solid memory foam.

No matter which you choose, it should conform to the shape of your head as you sleep. This makes it a great option as an alternative to traditional pillows that may not be as supportive.

Although bamboo pillows may cost more than other pillows, they are worth the investment for their quality. A bamboo pillow will last you a long time if properly cared for by following care instructions.

How to wash a bamboo pillow

For best results, it’s a good idea to follow the care guide or washing instructions provided with your pillow. But here are some general guidelines on how to wash a bamboo pillow. Know that you can wash the whole pillow including the memory foam filling. You’ll want a clean pillow to lay your head on every night,

  1. Remove the pillow from the pillowcase and the bamboo cover. Shake the pillow out to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. 
  1. Wash the bamboo cover. Wash the cover in the washing machine on the gentle cycle or delicate cycle. You can also choose to hand wash it to ensure it gets thoroughly clean. Be sure to wash it gently in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent. Overly hot or cold water will damage the bamboo fiber. 
  1. Air dry the cover. The best way to dry the pillow cover is by air drying it. The high temperature of the dryer can damage the fiber.
  1. Fill a clean sink or bucket with warm water. Place a couple of drops of mild detergent on the pillow and gently scrub or squeeze the pillow allowing the detergent to make its way to the middle of the pillow. The pillow should be thoroughly wet. 
  1. Gently rinse the pillow with warm water to remove any dirt, debris, and detergent. Repeat the washing process if needed. You may have to do some spot cleaning if you see a stained area. Note that you don’t want to machine wash the pillow because most pillows will not hold up to the machine’s agitation.
  1. Air dry the pillow in direct sunlight ensuring you turn it from time to time so all parts of the pillow get dry. Place it on something like a drying rack to ensure airflow. Don’t put the pillow in the dryer because the heat can damage the material, even causing foam to melt. Use your pillow only once it’s completely dry to avoid mold from growing on it.

Why it’s important to clean your pillow regularly

Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in dirty environments. They feed on dead skin cells, and so they tend to accumulate in pillows, mattresses, and carpets. If you have allergies, you’re probably very familiar with dust mites, as they are a common trigger.

Pillows can build up a lot of dust, dirt, and other allergens over time. This can cause you to develop allergies or other respiratory problems. In addition, a dirty pillow can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other organisms. Proper care of your bamboo pillow will help it last longer and remain cleaner for you.

Tips for keeping your pillow as long as possible

  • Air out a new bamboo pillow. Bamboo can have an unpleasant smell the first time you encounter it, so you might be tempted to wash a new bamboo pillow before you even use it. Washing may wear down the pillow. Set the pillow out in the sun or someplace with good airflow for a few hours or until the smell dissipates.  
  • Use a pillowcase and wash it frequently. First, use a pillowcase as another layer of protection for your pillow. Some people like bamboo pillowcases in addition to bamboo pillow cover. It’s a good idea to wash pillowcases at least once a week as you would do with your normal bedding. Once a week may seem too frequent, but you put your face on it for 6-8 hours a day, move around on it, and breathe on it. It needs frequent washing.
  • Wash your pillow regularly. Wash your pillow at least 2-4 times a year, so every 3-6 months. This will help to remove any dirt and dust mites that have accumulated on the pillow.
  • Fluff your pillow daily. Squeeze, shake, or swat your pillow to fluff it. This will help it keep its shape.
  • Flip or rotate your pillow. If your pillow is the same from top to bottom and front to back, you can flip your pillow to use the other side just like people used to do to mattresses. This spreads wear and tear throughout the pillow instead of one part or one side.
  • Air out your pillow. Pillows can retain moisture from your sweat and drool. Dry them out by airing them out in the sun for a couple of hours regularly. If you don’t have access to a sunny spot, place it in an area that at least gets good airflow.
  • Replace your pillow. Unfortunately, pillows don’t last forever. It’s generally recommended to replace a pillow every 1-2 years. If you notice that your pillow is not working well for you, it’s time to replaced it. Signs that your pillow needs replacing: you’re not sleeping well on it, you’re forced into an odd sleeping position, you wake up with shoulder pains or sore muscles, and the pillow loses its shape. 

Wrap up

Bamboo pillows are a great choice for their comfort and health benefits. You may find that it improves your breathing problems allowing you to get a better night’s sleep. Just remember to clean your bamboo pillowcase and covers and the actual pillow too. You can wash them with little more than detergent, water, sun, and some care. So if you’ve been thinking about getting a bamboo, give it a try because you may like it.

Now go get a good night’s sleep!

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