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The Best Way To Care For Bed Pillows

Most of us are fastidious about changing bed linens, but pillows often fall by the wayside. Here’s how to keep them fresh.

deluxe-down-pillow- Linens N Things

HOME SCHOOL | Is there anything more ewww inspiring than a big perspiration stain on your bed pillow? Or knowing that in the time it took for the stain to materialize, entire nations of allergy-inducing dust mites have taken up residence inside the cushion where you lay your sweet head every night?

While most of us are fastidious about keeping sheets and pillowcases clean, pillows often fall by the wayside. Here’s what we know about keeping bed pillows fresh and in tiptop shape.

Can You Wash Bed Pillows At Home?

Yes, you can.

You can wash bed pillows at home if they fit into your washing machine, or at a coin-operated laundry if they don’t. Every four months (or six, if I’m lazy) I take all of my polyester and down bed pillows to the laundromat and wash them in very hot water, three to a machine (with a cup of vinegar in each machine to ensure the pillows smell fresh). I then dry each of them individually; putting tennis balls in the dryer if the pillow is down (CLICK HERE for our story on down in the dryer). At least once a year before washing my pillows, I put them in Space Bags and stick them in the freezer overnight to make sure every dust mite is GOOD AND DEAD!

When Should You Replace Bed Pillows?

Every two years, on average.

Every Two years appears to be the consensus on Internet forums, but if you don’t want to wash them or use pillow protectors, every six months, according to my friend Bee, who works in housekeeping. “Pillows are always on sale somewhere,” she says, “and at all times cheap at Winners.”

Should You Invest in Pillow Protectors?

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Pillow protectors prolong the life of the pillow and they’re easy to throw in the wash every week along with the rest of your bedding. —Ruth Rainey

Photos: Linens n Things

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