Can You Wash A Shredded Memory Foam Pillow? (Find Out Now!)

Brigid Levi
by Brigid Levi

In recent years, memory foam has become the pillow material of choice because of its long lifespan. Memory foam pillows can either be one solid piece or shredded pieces of foam.

If you’ve recently switched to shredded memory foam pillows, you might be wondering if they can be washed. Regular pillows are replaced so often the thought of washing them may never have occurred to you.

Shredded memory foam pillows can be washed by hand or in a washing machine with gentle detergent. But it’s important to check your pillow’s label for care instructions as some are hand wash only. Some pillows can go in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.

Why Clean Your Pillow?

Sure, we clean our pillowcases, but do we really need to clean our pillows? You sure do! The pillowcase only protects so much.

Have you sneezed, coughed, or sweat while lying on your pillow? Let’s not pretend you’ve never woken up to a drool stain. Dirt, bacteria, skin cells, oils, even bugs—all of it penetrate into our pillow. And the longer we go without washing it the more pathogens and allergens build-up to the detriment of our health.

Shredded memory foam pillows are no exception. How you wash them depends on what their label suggests.

Hand Washing Shredded Memory Foam Pillows

For certain memory foam pillows, hand washing is the recommendation. Even if your pillow is made with shredded memory foam, it’s still memory foam. So, extra care is required to maintain its long life. Even if your pillow allows machine washing, you may choose to hand wash it out of an abundance of caution.

Step 1: Wash

First, remove the pillowcase and wash that separately. Find a large tub in which to submerge the pillow and add gentle detergent and lukewarm water. If the detergent is too abrasive and the water too hot, you can damage the foam. Place the pillow completely underwater.

Gently squeeze the pillow while it’s underwater to allow the detergent to go through the shredded foam. Take care not to crush the foam or you risk damaging the pillow.

Step 2: Rinse

Replace the sudsy water with clean water or fill a second tub. Submerge the pillow again and gently squeeze it to get out the suds. Repeat this step as often as you need until the pillow is completely free of soapy residue.

It’s important to rinse out all of the detergent as any residual soap can lead to the growth of mold. You can also use this step to gently scrub the pillow’s surface.

Step 3: Dry

Carefully squeeze out excess water from the shredded memory foam. Avoid wringing the pillow. This can damage and deform the foam.

Hang it in direct sunlight or in a room with circulating air. Wait to use the pillow until it is completely dry.

Machine Washing Your Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

In some instances, your pillow’s care label says machine washing is acceptable. Even so, there are still a few parameters you must abide by to avoid ruining the pillow.

Step 1: Wash

Once again, you’ll want to remove the pillowcase before washing. Use warm (not hot) water and gentle detergent and wash the pillow on a gentle cycle. If you have a cycle for bedding or bulky items, wash your pillow on that.

Step 2: Rinse

Even if your washer does an automatic rinse and spin at the end of each cycle, it’s best to rinse your pillow one or two more times. This ensures you get all the detergent out of the shredded foam.

Step 3: Dry

You have several options here. Some shredded memory foam pillows are allowed in the dryer. If yours allows, dry it on the lowest heat setting. But first, gently squeeze out any excess water to ensure a faster drying time. It may still take a while to get the foam thoroughly dried.

If you’re extra cautious but still allowed to use the dryer, run the pillow through until it’s mostly dry. Then, let it finish outside or in a room with circulating air. Shredded memory foam pillows can benefit from the dryer because they get a nice fluffing in the process.

Your third option is to hang dry in the manner stated above.

Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Maintenance

Hand washing and machine washing are methods best left for when your pillow needs a deep clean. Some pillows get dirtier than others, but deep cleaning every six months should be enough.

There are other ways to ensure your shredded memory foam pillow stays clean without running it through the washer and dryer too often.

Change Your Pillowcase Frequently

The pillowcase is the first to absorb all the yucky stuff. So, changing it frequently means the stuff will take longer to absorb into the actual foam. It’s recommended to change your pillowcase every 7-10 days or sooner if you wish.

In some cases, people choose to double up on pillowcases to protect the pillow even further.

Wash the Pillow Cover

After the pillowcase, the pillow cover is next to absorb the pathogens and allergens. The pillow cover is what encases the shredded memory foam.

Remove the shredded foam from the pillow cover and wash the cover according to the instructions. Make sure it’s thoroughly dried before refilling it. You can wash the cover as often as you wash the pillowcase, although it could probably go a bit longer.

When You Can’t Wash a Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Some brands state you can’t wash the pillow under any circumstances. Rather, you should replace the foam interior to keep it sanitary.

Related Questions

How do you revive a memory foam pillow?

Gently squeeze and shake the pillow to bring it back to its original shape. If the instructions allow, you can also put it in the dryer on the lowest heat setting. The heat reinvigorates the shredded memory foam to give a nice fluff.


Most shredded memory foam pillows can be washed by hand or in a machine. Always check the care instructions to see the manufacturer’s suggestions.

Brigid Levi
Brigid Levi

Brigid Levi is a wife, mother, and freelance writer who enjoys a good DIY project and creating beautiful spaces within her home. From cleaning and organization hacks to home decor ideas, she loves helping people in their quest to turn a house into a home. Her hobbies include pretending to be Joanna Gaines while updating her home with her husband and performing in local theater productions.

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