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How to Keep Pillow Stuffing From Clumping up in the Dryer

A comfortable pillow can be essential to a good night's rest. Now that it is time to wash your favorite pillow, you worry that the stuffing will clump and flatten. The pillow will keep its shape if dried properly.

Things You'll Need:

  • A dryer
  • 2 tennis balls

How to Keep Pillow Stuffing From Clumping

Remove your freshly washed pillow from the washer. If it is dripping wet, gently press the extra water out with the open palms of your hands over a sink. Do not wring the pillow because it will cause lumps.

Place the pillow in the dryer with two tennis balls. The tennis balls will help keep the stuffing fluffy and remove extra water during the drying cycle.

Select the heat setting recommended by the manufacturer on the tag. Medium heat is generally used for most polyester, fiber-filled pillows. Use low heat for down pillows. Turn on the dryer.

Check the pillow every 20 minutes for dampness. Remember the pillow's outer fabric will dry faster than the stuffing. Carefully press on the pillow to test the stuffing. Damp stuffing may feel lumpy. If the pillow is still wet, gently shake the pillow to fluff the stuffing and return it to the dryer. Repeat the test for dampness until the pillow is dry. Be sure to always fluff the pillow before returning it to the dryer. Pillow drying times can vary between one to three hours depending on the pillow's size and thickness.

Once dry, remove the pillow from the dryer immediately. Fluff the pillow to full thickness. Your favorite pillow should now be free of lumps and comfortable.


Dry two pillows at a time to avoid throwing your dryer off balance. Place your pillow in the dryer on the air dry cycle to freshen and fluff the pillow between washings. Use pillow protectors to avoid washing frequently.


  • Follow the manufacturer's care instructions because some pillows should be dry cleaned. Make sure your pillow dries completely before resuming use to avoid mildew. Do not use fabric softeners on pillows because they can flatten stuffing and cause lumps.
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