Electric blanket

Can a pillow go in the dryer?

22 Nov, 2023
Johnno van den Brink

Your pillow is washable? And did you wash your pillow in the washing machine? Then you would then prefer to let the pillow dry in the fresh air but unfortunately this is not always possible due to weather conditions. Fortunately, you can often dry the pillow in the dryer. In this article, you’ll read more and we’ll get into it a little more practically.

Guidelines for your pillow in the dryer – Roadmap

It is best not to wash a pillow too often; use a pillow protector that you do wash regularly. Are you feeling up to it after a period of being sick or after a very sweaty summer? Then you can wash the pillow, if possible. In general, it is often possible to dry your pillow in the dryer afterwards. We recommend that you follow a few helpful guidelines in doing so. This ensures that your pillow dries optimally without damage:

1. Check the label

First of all, it is wise to read the label, on it are various instructions for washing and drying your pillow. For example, some pillows, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, can only be hand washed or must be dried at a lower temperature. There is an international agreement regarding laundry labels via cleanpedia, for example, you can find an overview with a helpful additional explanation.

2. Add tennis balls

It may happen that the filling of your pillow will clump or crumble into large chunks during drying. Prevent this by placing some tennis balls with the pillow in the dryer. They actually pat the filling and also ensure that your pillow dries evenly. Do you use colored tennis balls? Then put the tennis balls in a tightly bound washcloth to avoid possible color exchange. However, avoid setting too high a speed, this way you avoid too rapid wear of the fibers or down feathers in the pillow.

3. Use dryer balls

Another option is to add dryer balls to the load in your dryer. These help whip up the filling and reduce drying time. They also help dry your pillow more evenly. There are quite a few types of dryer balls available, you can choose plastic varieties or you can opt for a completely natural set made of wool. Often a (cotton) bag is included with the purchase to put the balls in before you put them in the wash drum.

4. Wash at a lower temperature

In addition, it is wise to wash at a lower wash temperature and also set the dryer to a lower temperature. Too high temperatures can damage or shrink the padding. If you suffer from an allergy and really want to wash away the house dust mite allergens, it is important that your pillow’s laundry label indicates boil-wash (up to 95 degrees) or that the pillow is at least washable above 60°C anyway.

5. Choose the right drying time

You should not dry your pillow for too long, as this can result in overheating. Therefore, check the cushion regularly to make sure it does not get too hot. It is important, especially if you have a down pillow, that the pillow is really dry before you put it back in use. If it still remains slightly moist in the core, you can get mold and unpleasant odors. And that’s just what you want to avoid after a wash-and-dry, right?

How long pillow in the dryer?

So now you know that it is often possible to dry your pillow in the dryer, but even so, it can still go wrong. This is the case, for example, if you don’t remove your pillow quickly enough. This makes the pillow too warm, which can cause it to shrink or overheat, for example.

Therefore, make sure you take the pillow out of the dryer on time, but approximately how long does this take? Well, that depends on a number of factors. For example, the set drying temperature affects this, as does the use of tennis or dryer balls. The size and material of the pillow also affects the drying time.

Even so, we can still estimate how long your pillow should be in the dryer:

Type of pillowDrying time
Feather pillowsFeather pillows often have a long drying time of 1 to 2 hours. Sometimes it takes even longer.
Down pillowsDown pillows have about the same drying time as feather pillows.
Synthetic pillowsSynthetic pillows tend to dry faster. Often they are dry within an hour.

You now know approximately how long your pillow should be in the dryer, but it is still wise to check this regularly. For example, open the dryer every half hour to check if your pillow is completely dry yet.

How long pillow in the dryer

Can all pillows go in the dryer?

No, unfortunately you cannot dry all pillows in the dryer. While this is true for many, some materials and types are still not suitable for this device. Below you will find them:

  • Memory foam pillows: This material can deform or even decay when exposed to high temperatures. So the pillow then suffers damage. The pillow is not suitable for washing, however, can’t you do otherwise? If so, always allow a memory foam pillow to dry naturally and for a long time.
  • Latex pillows: Latex pillows are also not washable. They become very heavy because they absorb the water. You can also do damage to your latex pillow by drying it in the dryer. Can’t you do anything else? Then let them dry very long and naturally. Do not place them on a heater, they will dry too quickly and grain away completely.
  • Gel-filled pillows: These pillows are also not washable. However, can’t you do otherwise? Pillows with gel filling are also better left to air dry. This is because the heat from the dryer can damage the gel.
  • Delicate pillows: Some pillows feature decorative elements or are made of delicate fabrics. Then do not place them in the dryer as they can be damaged by the agitation in the unit. It is safer to dry such pillows in a gentler way.
  • Special coatings: Has your pillow been given a special coating? If so, do not place it in the dryer to avoid damage to this treatment. For example, the coating can make the pillow water-repellent, antimicrobial and/or allergy-friendly.

So all of these pillows are generally not suitable for washing and therefore not for the dryer, but it is still wise to check. The manufacturer has given instructions about this on the washing label. So read this before deciding how to dry the pillow.

Frequently asked questions about can a pillow go in the dryer?

How long your pillow should go in the dryer, we don’t really dare say. In fact, this depends on your pillow. Therefore, we recommend that you open the dryer every 30 minutes to check if the pillow is drying properly.

After you wash your pillow, of course, it must then dry. For this, it is best to place your pillow in a dry place outdoors so that the fresh air dries it. Of course, this is not always possible, choose to dry the pillow in your dryer.

It is certainly possible to wash a pillow in the washing machine. We recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions here, always check the label for this. This will ensure that you wash the pillow properly and do no damage.


Can a pillow go in the dryer? So it is certainly possible to dry your pillow in the dryer if the weather conditions are not favorable. We recommend putting dryer balls or tennis balls in the dryer when doing this. In addition, it is best to set the dryer to a low temperature. This does prolong the drying time, but also ensures that your pillow is not damaged.

It is also important to check whether your pillow can actually go in the dryer, as this depends on the material. So read the label before turning on your dryer to dry your pillow. This may also state the drying time, which again depends, among other things, on the material.