can you wash a bamboo pillow

Can You Wash a Bamboo Pillow?

In the world of luxury bedding, bamboo pillows have carved a niche for themselves. These pillows, constructed with bamboo-based viscose outer shells and typically filled with shredded memory foam, are praised for their breathability, hypoallergenic properties, and ability to adapt to the user’s shape. Yet, maintaining their cleanliness can stir up confusion amongst users. This article seeks to clarify the best methods for washing your bamboo pillow.

Yes, you can wash a bamboo pillow. However, it’s best to hand wash or spot clean it to maintain its shape and extend its lifespan.

Let’s take a closer look a the methods we recommend

Hand Washing a Bamboo Pillow

Hand washing remains the optimal method to clean your bamboo pillow, preserving its quality while efficiently removing dirt and sweat buildup. Here’s an extended, step-by-step guide:

  1. Preparation: Start by removing the bamboo cover from the pillow. These covers are typically zippered for easy removal. Most bamboo pillows have a removable cover that can be washed separately in a washing machine on a gentle cycle.
  2. Soaking: Fill a tub or a large basin with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it can cause shrinkage to the bamboo fibers. Add a gentle, non-bleach detergent to the water. Harsh or strong detergents can damage the bamboo fibers and cause discoloration.
  3. Washing: Submerge the pillow completely in the soapy water. Using your hands, gently squeeze and knead the pillow to release accumulated dirt, sweat, and oils. This step may need to be repeated several times, depending on the pillow’s condition. Avoid twisting or wringing the pillow as it can damage the filling and cause the pillow to lose its shape.
  4. Rinsing: After thoroughly washing, drain the soapy water from the tub and refill it with clean, cold water. Submerge the pillow in the clean water and squeeze gently to remove the soap. Repeat this process several times until the water runs clear and no soap suds are left.
  5. Drying: Once the pillow is thoroughly rinsed, squeeze out as much water as you can. Remember not to twist or wring the pillow. Instead, press it between your hands or against the side of the tub to extract excess water.
  6. Air Dry: Place the pillow flat in a well-ventilated, shaded area to dry. Direct sunlight can cause discoloration. It’s essential to ensure the pillow is entirely dry before using it again to prevent mildew growth. Depending on the humidity and temperature of your area, the drying process might take some time.

By following these extended steps for hand washing, you can effectively clean your bamboo pillow while maintaining its quality and longevity. It might be time-consuming but worth the effort to enjoy the luxury and comfort of a clean, fresh bamboo pillow.

Machine Washing a Bamboo Pillow

While hand washing is the safest way to clean your bamboo pillow, we understand that not everyone has the time for such a thorough process. Machine washing, done correctly, can also be an effective cleaning method. However, this should be done sparingly as the mechanical agitation can potentially break down the memory foam inside. Here are the extended steps for machine washing your bamboo pillow:

  1. Prepare Your Pillow: Start by removing the bamboo cover from the pillow. These can usually be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cool water. Make sure to check the care label for specific instructions.
  2. Check Your Pillow’s Label: Some bamboo pillows can be machine washed while others cannot. If your pillow’s label states that it’s safe for machine washing, you can proceed with the following steps. Otherwise, stick to hand washing or spot cleaning.
  3. Select the Right Washer: It’s best to use a front-loading washer when washing a bamboo pillow. The reason being that top-loading machines with agitators can cause the pillow to wrap around the agitator, damaging the foam filling.
  4. Gentle Cycle and Detergent: Add a gentle, non-bleach detergent to your washing machine. Remember to use only half the usual amount, as too much soap can be difficult to rinse out of the pillow and can cause buildup. Set your machine to a gentle cycle with cool water. Hot water can shrink the bamboo viscose cover and damage the memory foam filling.
  5. Extra Rinse Cycle: After the regular washing cycle, it is good practice to run an extra rinse cycle. This helps ensure all soap is thoroughly rinsed from the pillow.
  6. Air Dry Your Pillow: Once the washing is done, gently squeeze out excess water from your pillow. Do not wring or twist it. Lay your pillow flat to dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Drying may take a few days, so it’s essential to ensure it’s entirely dry before use to prevent mold or mildew growth.

While machine washing a bamboo pillow is more convenient than hand washing, it should not be done frequently. Over time, excessive machine washing may break down the memory foam, affect the pillow’s support and comfort, and shorten its lifespan.

Spot Cleaning a Bamboo Pillow

Spot cleaning serves as an efficient and safe method to tackle minor stains or spills without going through the full process of washing the entire pillow. This method is especially useful when dealing with small, isolated stains that can be cleaned without immersing the pillow in water. Here is a more detailed guide to spot cleaning your bamboo pillow:

  1. Identify the Stain: Before you begin, it’s crucial to know what caused the stain as this can determine the best cleaning solution. For most stains, a mild detergent will do. However, for tougher stains like ink or wine, you may need a specialized stain remover.
  2. Preparation: Mix a small amount of mild, non-bleach detergent with lukewarm water in a bowl. If using a specialized stain remover, follow the instructions provided on the package.
  3. Applying the Solution: Dampen a clean, soft cloth with your prepared solution and gently dab it onto the stained area. Be sure to avoid scrubbing or rubbing as this can cause the stain to spread or embed deeper into the fabric.
  4. Rinsing the Area: After treating the stain, rinse out the soap by dabbing the area with a cloth soaked in clean water. Repeat this process until all soap residue is removed. Remember, leaving any detergent on the bamboo fabric can attract more dirt and cause buildup over time.
  5. Drying the Spot: Allow the spot to air dry naturally, ensuring the area is well-ventilated. If you wish to speed up the drying process, use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry the spot. Be sure not to use high heat as this can cause damage to the bamboo fibers.
  6. Check and Repeat if Necessary: Once the area is completely dry, check to see if the stain is fully removed. If any trace of the stain remains, you may need to repeat the process.

Spot cleaning is an excellent method for maintaining your bamboo pillow’s cleanliness between full washings, effectively dealing with unexpected spills or accidents. Remember to tackle any stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting and becoming more difficult to remove.


How often should you wash a bamboo pillow?

Ideally, bamboo pillows should be washed every three months. However, this frequency can vary depending on individual circumstances. For instance, if you have allergies or if the pillow is used by a child or a pet, you might need to wash it more often.

Regular cleaning removes accumulated body oils, dead skin cells, and allergens. Cleaning also refreshes the pillow, promoting a healthier and more comfortable sleep environment.

Can you dry a bamboo pillow in the dryer?

While it might seem convenient to toss your bamboo pillow into a dryer, it’s generally not recommended. High heat can cause damage to the memory foam filling, leading it to lose its unique contouring properties. The bamboo cover might also shrink and discolor under high heat.

It’s best to air dry your bamboo pillow in a shaded, well-ventilated area. If you absolutely need to use a dryer, make sure it’s on a cool setting and remove the pillow while it’s still slightly damp to finish air drying.

Should you use fabric softener when washing a bamboo pillow?

Fabric softeners are generally not recommended when washing a bamboo pillow. These products often contain chemicals that can coat the bamboo fibers, causing them to harden and lose their natural softness over time. Fabric softeners may also inhibit the breathability of the material and trigger allergies in sensitive individuals.

Can you use bleach when washing a bamboo pillow?

Bleach should be avoided when washing a bamboo pillow as it can cause discoloration and damage the bamboo fibers. This includes both chlorine and color-safe bleach. Instead, opt for a mild, bleach-free detergent or a natural cleaning solution like vinegar or baking soda.

Will washing a bamboo pillow affect its shape or texture?

The shape and texture of a bamboo pillow are largely maintained if proper washing methods are employed. Hand washing is the most gentle method that is least likely to cause deformation. Excessive machine washing, on the other hand, can cause the memory foam filling to break down over time, leading to loss of shape and firmness.

Harsh chemicals can also damage the bamboo fabric, affecting its texture and softness. Therefore, to maintain your bamboo pillow in its best condition, always follow the appropriate cleaning guidelines.


Caring for a bamboo pillow involves choosing the appropriate cleaning method: hand washing, machine washing, or spot cleaning. Hand washing is the most recommended method, ensuring the pillow’s durability. Machine washing, while convenient, should be done sparingly. Spot cleaning serves as a quick solution for minor stains.

Avoid drying your pillow in a dryer, using fabric softener, or bleach, as these can damage the bamboo material. With the right care, your bamboo pillow can provide comfort and support for years to come.