Do you ever wake up with a crick in your neck or a sinking feeling in your head? It might be time to give your pillow some TLC.

Over time, pillows flatten out, losing their ability to properly support your head and neck. This can lead to sleep problems and even pain. In this article, we'll explore how to fluff a pillow to restore its comfort and support. We'll also share tips to keep your pillows fluffy for longer, ensuring a good night's sleep for many nights to come.

How To Fluff a Pillow by Hand

The easiest way to banish flat pillows is simply fluffing them by hand. However, not all pillows benefit equally from hand fluffing. This technique works best for clumping pillow materials, like:

  • Down
  • Down alternative
  • Shredded memory foam
  • Microbeads
  • Kapok

There are two main approaches to fluffing a pillow by hand: the accordion method and the massage method.

Instructions for how to fluff a pillow by hand using the accordion method and the massage method.

Accordion Method

Here’s how to fluff your pillow by hand using the accordion method:

  1. Hold the pillow on opposite ends with your hands.
  2. Squeeze the ends together, then pull them apart repeatedly, mimicking an accordion motion.
  3. Rotate and repeat to break up any clumps and redistribute the filling throughout the pillow for even support.

Massage Method

Here’s how to fluff your pillow using the massage method:

  1. Gently massage the pillow with your hands in a circular motion.
  2. Rotate and repeat this motion on all sides of the pillow to loosen up any clumps and redistribute the filling.

How To Fluff a Pillow in the Dryer

Instructions for how to fluff a pillow in the dryer.
  • Deeper clean: The heat can help kill dust mites and allergens that may be lingering in the pillow.
  • More thorough fluffing: This is especially effective for pillows with heavily clumped filling, as the tumbling action breaks up clumps more effectively.
  • Freshening effect: The dryer can help remove any lingering odors from the pillow.
  • Time-saving: This is especially true if you're fluffing multiple pillows at once.

It's important to note not all types of pillows are suitable for dryer treatment. Dryer heat can damage some materials, so always check the care label first. Down, down alternative, and some synthetic fiber pillows can typically handle the dryer.

There are two main methods for fluffing pillows in the dryer: the classic method and the tennis ball method.

Classic Method

Here’s how to fluff your pillow in the dryer using the classic method:

  • Toss the pillow in the dryer. If you’re fluffing multiple pillows, place them on opposite sides of the drum.
  • Set the dryer to its lowest heat setting for 20-30 minutes. This will help fluff the filling and remove any dust mites that may be present.

Tennis Ball Method

Here’s how to use the tennis ball method to fluff your pillow:

  • Place the pillow in the dryer with two to three clean tennis balls or dryer balls. The balls will bounce around during the drying cycle, agitating the filling and promoting even fluffing.
  • Use low heat for 20-30 minutes.

3 Benefits of a Plump Pillow

Beyond just providing a cozy cradle for your head, a properly fluffed pillow offers a surprising range of benefits. From a comfortable night's sleep to improved health and even a mood boost, a plump pillow makes a significant difference in your well-being.

Here are the advantages of keeping your pillows fluffy and supportive:

  • Better sleep comfort: A flat pillow offers poor neck support, leading to neck pain, headaches, and even restless sleep. Fluffing your pillow plumps it back up, ensuring proper neck alignment and a more comfortable sleeping position.
  • Extended pillow life: Over time, pillows flatten due to the natural compression of the filling material. Regular fluffing helps redistribute the filling, preventing clumps and extending the overall lifespan of your pillow.
  • Improved hygiene: Dust mites and allergens can accumulate in pillows over time. Fluffing helps loosen and circulate air within the pillow, potentially reducing the buildup of these irritants.

Signs Your Pillow Needs a Fluff

Flat or lumpy pillows can wreak havoc on your sleep quality and even lead to discomfort. But how do you know when it's time to give your pillow a good fluffing?

If you’re experiencing any of these telltale signs of a flat pillow, consider giving it a proper refresh before bedtime:

  • Morning aches: Waking up with a stiff neck, headaches, or general shoulder soreness can be a sign your pillow isn't providing enough support. Fluffing can redistribute the filling and restore its ability to cradle your head and neck.
  • Lack of bounce-back: Press down firmly on your pillow. If it takes a long time to regain its shape, the filling has likely clumped and lost its loft. Fluffing will help redistribute the filling and restore its fluffiness.
  • Shallow dip: If your head sinks down to the mattress when you lie down, your pillow isn't offering enough support. Fluffing can help redistribute the filling and create a more supportive loft.
  • Uneven feel: If your pillow feels lumpy or uneven, the filling has likely clumped together. Fluffing can help break up these clumps and create a more even sleeping surface.
  • Visible flatness: Over time, pillows naturally lose their shape. If your pillow looks noticeably flat, even after fluffing, it might be time to replace it altogether.

Even with the best fluffing techniques and preventative care, pillows eventually reach the end of their lifespan. As a general guideline, pillows should be replaced every one to two years, although this can vary depending on the quality and materials. If you experience a noticeable loss of support or stubborn lumps and unevenness, it might be time to change your pillow.

Tips To Avoid a Flat Pillow

Over time, even the most luxurious pillows lose their loft, leading to less comfortable sleep and potential aches and pains. This section unveils the secrets to keeping your pillows fluffy and supportive for longer.

From everyday fluffing techniques to proper care practices, learn how to outsmart the dreaded flat pillow and enjoy a cloud-like slumber night after night.

Fluff Regularly

The key to a consistently fluffy pillow lies in a simple habit: regular fluffing. Over time, pillows naturally compress under your head's weight, causing the filling to clump and lose its loft. This nightly flattening can lead to a less supportive sleep experience.

Dedicating just a minute or two each morning to fluffing your pillow can make a world of difference. This quick action helps redistribute the filling, break up any clumps, and restore the pillow's shape and support.

Use a Pillow Protector

A pillow protector is a thin layer of fabric that goes under your pillowcase, acting as an additional barrier between your head and the pillow. It shields the filling from dust mites, sweat, and bodily oils that can break down the materials over time, leading to a flattened and less supportive pillow. By trapping these elements in the protector, you can extend the lifespan of your pillow and maintain its fluffy comfort.

Plus, pillow protectors are typically washable, making them easy to keep clean and hygienic. So, for a longer-lasting, fluffier pillow that provides optimal support night after night, consider investing in a trusty pillow protector.

Wash Your Pillows

While regular washing might seem counterintuitive for preventing flat pillows, it can actually be beneficial in moderation. Dust mites, dead skin cells, and sweat can accumulate over time, weighing down the filling and contributing to a flattened feeling. Washing your pillows according to the care label (usually warm water on a gentle cycle) can remove these allergens and freshen them up.

However, washing too frequently can break down the filling and shorten the lifespan of your pillow. Aim to wash your pillows every two to three months, and always follow the care instructions to ensure proper cleaning without damaging the materials.

Air Them Out

Regularly airing out your pillows can be a simple yet effective way to combat flatness and promote longer-lasting fluffiness. Sun exposure can help kill dust mites and freshen the fabric, while fresh air helps remove moisture buildup that can contribute to flattening.

Once a month, give your pillows a breath of life by hanging them outdoors for a few hours on a dry, sunny day. Just be sure to bring them back in before the sun gets too strong, as UV rays can damage some pillow materials.

Store Them Properly

Proper storage can significantly impact the longevity and fluffiness of your pillows. Avoid damp basements or attics, as moisture can cause mildew and accelerate flattening. Instead, opt for cool, dry areas with good air circulation, like a closet shelf or a ventilated storage container. Store your pillows upright when not in use to prevent them from getting crushed or losing their shape.

Invest in Quality Pillows

Investing in a high-quality pillow made with premium materials can significantly extend its lifespan and reduce the likelihood of flattening. These pillows often use fillings like down or shredded memory foam that are naturally more resilient and resistant to clumping.

High-quality pillows typically have a denser construction, providing better support and holding their shape for longer. While the initial cost might be higher, a well-made pillow can be a worthwhile investment, saving you money in the long run by needing to replace it less frequently.

Consider Adjustable Pillows

For those who crave long-lasting comfort and personalized support, adjustable pillows offer a unique solution. Unlike traditional pillows with fixed filling, adjustable pillows allow you to customize the amount of filling inside. This means you can add more filling if your pillow starts to feel flat, restoring its loft and support to your preferred level.

Get the Support You Need From Your Pillow

Now that you know how to keep your pillows perfectly fluffy and supportive, check out the pillows we offer here at Eli and Elm. Our cooling side sleeper pillow is made with premium sourced materials and filling that can be adjusted based on your desired height and support, and our pregnancy body pillow’s ergonomic design will help you feel more comfortable and rested during pregnancy.