We spend every night with our head against our pillow, which results in a build up of dead skin cells and dust mites. Even memory foam pillows, which are designed to reduce allergies and therefore naturally resist dust mites, will start to get dirty after sleeping on it for a few months.

Sweat can also leave unpleasant stains and odours behind, which are more obvious to spot. Or you might accidentally spill food or drink on your pillow after enjoying breakfast in bed!

It’s important to keep your pillows clean. A fresh pillow can reduce allergy symptoms, improve your skin and will give you a better night’s sleep. However, they aren’t machine washable.

See how to clean your memory foam pillow in six simple steps below.

6 steps to clean your memory foam pillow

Step 1. Remove the pillowcase

Remove the pillowcase and put it in the washing machine with the rest of your bed sheets according to the instructions on the fabric care labels.

Step 2. Deodorise the pillow with baking soda

Generously sprinkle baking soda onto one side of the pillow and leave it to set for around half an hour. This helps to remove odours and gives it a boost in freshness.

Step 3. Vacuum the baking soda away

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda from your pillow. This will also vacuum any lingering dust or hair. Repeat steps two and three on the other side of your pillow so it’s completely fresh.

Step 4. Remove stains using a gentle detergent solution

In a bowl, mix lukewarm water with a small amount of mild detergent. Choose one that’s gently scented with lavender, which is proven to help you sleep better. You shouldn’t use hot water, as this can damage your memory foam pillow.
Dip a clean, white microfibre cloth into the detergent mixture and gently rub stains in a circular motion. Repeat this step until the stains have gone.

Step 5. Remove leftover detergent

Empty your bowl and fill it with fresh, lukewarm water. Using another clean, white cloth, carefully dab at any leftover detergent with the clean water until your pillow is soap-free.

Step 6. Let the pillow dry

Leave your memory foam pillow to fully air dry before putting on a clean case and bedding. You can place it in the sun to speed up the drying process.

Deep cleaning a memory foam pillow

If you want to deep clean your memory foam pillow, you can wash it by submerging it in a bath of lukewarm water and a small amount of gentle detergent. Delicately squeeze the pillow under the water a few times so that the soap cleans inside the pillow. Then, empty the bath and refill with clean water. Submerge the pillow again and rinse away the detergent. Take your pillow out the bath and gently squeeze out the excess water. Allow your pillow to completely air dry before using it.

How to clean shredded memory foam pillow?

Shredded memory foam pillows can be cleaned like other pillows. They can be deodorised with baking soda and then spot-cleaned with a small amount of water and detergent. However, you should avoid submerging your shredded memory foam pillow in water unless it’s absolutely necessary, as it can be difficult to dry. Never put it in the washing machine.

How often should I clean my memory foam pillow?

You should clean your memory foam pillow every two to three months. Deodorising it with baking soda every few weeks will help to keep it fresh, particularly if you sweat a lot overnight. If you stain your pillow, or you have been ill, it’s a good idea to clean it straight away.

When should I replace my memory foam pillow?

Memory foam pillows should be replaced every 18-36 months. If you have cleaned your pillow thoroughly but it still doesn’t feel fresh, you might need a new one.