Many people consider memory foam pillows to be the holy grail of sleeping support. Back and side sleepers can find luxurious support in a classic or contour-shaped pillow, but caring for these sleep essentials can be tricky!
What makes memory foam different than a traditional pillow?
Memory foam pillows offer a firm, but contouring support that matches the shape of our body when we rest. When you move through your sleep, the foam will adjust and continue to cradle your head and neck as you change positions. This is why memory foam pillows are so popular among individuals with neck, shoulder, and back pain.
Fiberfill pillows are what you may think of when you hear the word pillow. They have more plush support, coming in a variety of densities to suit all sleep styles. They tend to be more malleable than memory foam and offer the same amount of support across the entirety of the pillow.
Historically, fiber pillows tend to sleep cooler than memory foam, but as technology advances, memory foam pillows may now be equipped with personal climate technologies that can keep you cool throughout the night while still affording you that cradlelike comfort you crave from memory foam.
Spot-Cleaning & Spills
Accidents happen! It’s likely that your memory foam pillow can recover from any minor liquid damage, assuming you take proper care to address the spill.
For minor incidents, like a spilled tea or soda, take these steps:
1. Use a clean cloth to blot as much liquid from the pillow as possible
2. Mix a small amount of mild dish detergent with cold water and apply to the pillow with a sponge, gently rubbing in a circular motion until the area is clean
3. Allow your pillow to fully dry before resuming use
For something a bit tougher, like wine or blood, here’s what you can do:
1. Remove all covers
2. Apply a 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, blotting gently with a cloth until the peroxide bubbling has subsided
For pet urine, mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide, one tsp of white vinegar and two tbsp of baking soda and apply to the affected area instead of peroxide. You may let this solution sit for several hours before resuming the cleaning process.
3. Spray with cold water and gently rub the spot with an old toothbrush
4. Allow the pillow to fully dry before resuming use
Over time, any pillow is going to accumulate dust, allergens, and bacteria in addition to dead skin cells and sweat. These factors can contribute to odor, but routinely treating your pillow with baking soda can help improve your pillow’s integrity in-between washes.
To deodorize your pillow, you’ll start by removing the outer cover (if it is removable). Put the pillow in direct sunlight and sprinkle one side with baking soda, letting it sit in the sun for 1-2 hours. After that time is up, use the upholstery attachment on your household vacuum to carefully remove the baking soda. Then, flip the pillow over and repeat on the other side!
In addition to these tips, you can also practice good pillow hygiene by washing your pillowcases weekly and using pillow protector covers in addition to your standard pillowcases. It’s important to note that memory foam pillows should never be placed in a washing machine or dryer. If you need help speeding up the drying process, a hairdryer can be used.