Caring for and Washing Your Body Pillows

Written by: Rounke Anthony



Time to read 6 min

Body Pillow Care - Step by Step Guide to Caring for Your Body Pillow

Body pillows serve as more than just a bedding accessory; they are a significant investment in your comfort and sleep quality. Whether you've chosen a body pillow for pregnancy support, to alleviate back and body pain, or simply to enjoy a more comfortable night's sleep, understanding how to care for your body pillows is essential. Proper maintenance not only ensures the longevity of the pillow but also its continued support and comfort.

Unboxing and Initial Setup

The journey to maintaining your body pillow begins the moment you bring it home. Carefully remove your new pillow from its packaging, paying attention to its immediate needs. For vacuum-sealed pillows, allow them to breathe and expand. This might take a few hours to a full day, depending on the pillow's materials and size. This period allows the pillow to air out and assume its intended shape and fluffiness, crucial for providing the right level of support from the start. If your pillow arrives non- vacuum-sealed, just give it a few minutes to fully expand.

Regular Pillow Maintenance: Fluffing and Sunning

Maintaining the pillow's shape and freshness is an ongoing task. Regularly fluff your pillow to prevent the filling from clumping, which can lead to uncomfortable lumps and diminished support. For larger pillows, like those used during pregnancy or full-length body pillows, the easiest way to ensure they remain fluffy and supportive is to expose them to sunlight periodically. The sun's natural warmth helps rejuvenate the pillow's filling and eliminate any odors, keeping it fresh and inviting.

Washing Your Pillow: Is It Possible?


A common question among body pillow owners is whether these large pillows can be washed. The answer varies depending on the materials used in the pillow's construction. To avoid damaging the pillow, it’s crucial to check with the manufacturer or refer to the care instructions before attempting to wash your pillow. High-quality body pillows, such as those from Sanggol, are constructed with washable materials, allowing you to keep your pillow clean without much hassle. However, if you're unsure whether your pillow is washable, opting for a model with a removable cover is a wise choice. This allows you to easily wash the cover as needed, without risking damage to the pillow itself.


A woman feeding using a U shaped body pillow

How to Wash your Body Pillow: A Step-by-Step Guide


Washing your body pillow is one of the most significant ways to care for your body pillows. Ensuring your body pillow remains in top condition involves a careful washing process, which not only keeps it clean but also preserves its shape and comfort. As mentioned above, before attempting to wash your pillow, it's important to confirm whether it's designed to be washable. This information is typically provided by the manufacturer and is crucial to avoid damaging the pillow. 


What You'll Need:


A large or commercial washing machine: Needed to fit the big and bulky body pillows, making sure there’s plenty of space so the pillow isn’t squeezed, allowing for a thorough clean without causing any damage.

Laundry balls: These helps agitate the pillow during the wash cycle, ensuring the fill material is evenly cleaned without clumping.

Mild detergent: A gentle detergent is essential to clean the pillow without damaging the fabric or compromising the fill material's integrity.


Washing Process:


Pre-Wash Inspection: Check your pillow for any tears or loose seams and repair them to prevent further damage during the wash cycle.

Pillowcase Removal: If your pillow has a removable cover, wash it separately according to its care instructions to maintain fabric quality.

Washing Conditions: Set the machine to a gentle cycle with a low temperature (around 35 degrees Celsius) to protect the pillow's fabric and filling.

Even Distribution: Make sure the pillow is evenly placed within the machine to maintain balance during the spin cycle, preventing machine wear and ensuring a thorough clean.

Rinse Cycle: Adding an extra rinse cycle can help remove all detergent residue, which might attract dirt or cause skin irritation.


Drying Process:


When drying your pillow, it's important to ensure it dries evenly to prevent mildew or odors. Use a low or medium heat setting in the dryer to avoid shrinking or damaging the fabric and filling. Including laundry balls can help the pillow maintain its shape and prevent clumping. Check periodically for damp spots or clumps, and dry for at least two hours.

If using a dryer isn't suitable, air drying is a great alternative. Place the pillow in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight to prevent fading, and turn it regularly to ensure it dries evenly on all sides. Whether air drying or using a dryer, fluff the pillow by hand or with tennis balls on a no-heat cycle to break up any clumps and restore its original shape.

When considering the advantages of both drying systems—machine drying and air drying—for your pillow, each method offers specific benefits that cater to different needs and preferences.


Machine Drying Advantages:


1. Time-Efficient: Machine drying significantly speeds up the drying process, making it ideal for those who need their pillow ready for use quickly.

2. Convenience: With minimal setup required, it's a straightforward process—place the pillow in the dryer, select the appropriate setting, and start the cycle.

3. Consistent Results: A dryer can provide consistent heat and airflow, ensuring the pillow dries evenly throughout.

4. Reduced Labor: There's no need for manual intervention during the drying process, aside from occasional fluffing or repositioning.

5. Fluffiness: The tumbling action in a dryer helps fluff up the pillow, making it feel plush and comfortable after drying.


Air Drying Advantages:


1. Gentle on Materials: Air drying is a gentler option that reduces the risk of damaging the fabric or altering the fill material, especially for pillows that are delicate or have specific care instructions.

2. Energy-Efficient: This method doesn't require electricity, making it more environmentally friendly and potentially saving on energy costs.

3. No Shrinking or Heat Damage: Air drying eliminates the risk of heat damage or shrinking that might occur with machine drying, preserving the pillow's shape and integrity.

4. Fresh Scent: Pillows dried outdoors can gain a fresh, natural scent, especially when dried in a clean, outdoor area.

5. Flexibility: Air drying can be done anywhere with enough space and air circulation, offering flexibility for those without access to a dryer.


Each drying method has its merits, and the best choice can depend on the pillow's material, care instructions, and your personal preferences or circumstances. For optimal results, consider the pillow's care label and any manufacturer recommendations when choosing your drying method.


Advanced Pillow Care Tips


By incorporating these steps and additional considerations, you can ensure that your body pillow not only remains clean but also retains its quality and comfort, providing you with restful sleep for a long time.

Protective Covers: Using a removable and washable pillow cover can significantly reduce the need for frequent washings by protecting the pillow from direct contact with body oils, sweat, and spills.

Spot Cleaning: Address spills or stains immediately with spot cleaning, using a mild detergent and water to prevent the spread of stains and odors.

Storage Tips: When not in use, store your body pillow in a breathable fabric bag in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid material degradation and maintain the pillow's shape.


Final Thoughts: The Importance of Care


Investing in a body pillow is an investment in your comfort and health. By following this comprehensive care guide, you can ensure that your pillow remains a comforting and supportive presence in your life for years to come. Regular maintenance, proper washing, and mindful storage are key to prolonging the life of your pillow, ensuring it continues to provide the support and comfort you need for a restful night's sleep.

Through careful attention to care and maintenance, your body pillow will remain an indispensable part of your nightly routine, offering the perfect blend of support, comfort, and durability.