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How To Refluff A Pillow?

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image of how to refluff a pillow.

29 April 2024 5 min read

The lifespan of your duvets and pillows depends on the quality and how well you maintain them. You should shake the pillows every day to maintain the optimal density and elasticity of the filling.

It is possible for the pillow to shrink slightly due to moisture entering the filling. The fluffing method involves a certain technique by which you will fill the pillow with air again. There are several different ways to fluff pillows. You can opt for fluffing by hand, fluffing in the dryer, or fluffing naturally outside.

The choice of technique depends on the type of pillow filling. To do this properly, you need to plan each step of the process.

In order to allow the filling to return to its original shape, you can leave the quilt or pillow in the tumble dryer for several hours, preferably with 3 tennis balls to help distribute the filling evenly. Don't forget to read the instructions. In the end, shaking it with your hands may be enough.

Why do pillows get flat over the time?

It is impossible to say exactly how long do pillows last. A pillow provides support to our head and neck and thus directly affects our spine, so it is important that it always has the same shape. Otherwise, you risk improper spinal alignment and many other health problems. However, it can lose its shape if it is washed too often in the washing machine and if it is used for a long time. Various factors can affect its shape, and the consequence is a painful feeling in the neck and poorer quality of sleep.

It also loses its function because over time the remains of dead skin, dust and dandruff collect in it. The covers look like any pillowcase but are specially designed to protect the pillow. They prevent the penetration of dust and other allergens.

What type of pillows can be refluffed?

Different types of pillows require a different approach. For example, some of them cannot be refluffed such as memory foam pillows. Other pillows are fluffed more easily than others, and with some this method is very effective. You will find it very easy to re-fluff feather and down pillows. Such one, comfy pillow is great even for stomach sleepers.

Two Relyon pillows on bed.

How to refluff a pillow by hand?

Sometimes you don't need tools like a tennis ball and a clothes dryer to make your pillow fluffy again. First, try a simple approach by using only your hands. With hand movements, try to break the bumps inside the pillow.

Place it on your lap & push it in and out

Take a pillow in your hands and place it on your lap. You should use your movements to mimic playing the accordion by pushing the pillow in and out. Repeat the process on the long and short side of the pillow. In this way, you will break all the elements inside the pillow and allow air to flow.

Break the big chunks into smaller and redistribute them

If you were unable to get rid of large pieces with the previous method, try the following method. Put your hands into the pillow and massage it. Feel the large pieces and press them. They will become smaller and smaller until they disappear. Do this until they are redistributed inside the pillow.


How to refluff a pillow using a dryer?

Before putting it in the dryer, check the manufacturer's instructions. For example, you may not expose it to high temperatures because you will damage it. Sometimes it doesn't take a full cycle to fluff up a pillow.

Use a tennis ball in a sock to refluff the pillow

Tennis balls can also be used to restore the cushion to its original state without dents and bulges. You will also need one sock to put the balls in. Put the tennis ball inside the pillow and turn on the dryer. Turn the dryer on the lowest speed for 30 minutes. The ball should break up the ‘lumps' on the pillow, and the sock will help keep the yellow color from getting on the pillow.

Refluff your pillow outside on the sunny spot and fresh air

Try to shake your pillow every day after you wake up, and ideally put it in a window to air it out or take it out into the sun. It will help you fight against dampness, unpleasant odors and annoying mites.

An image of a young woman squeezing a pillow with her hands.

When is the time to replace the flat pillow?

You know it's time for a change if you've been using the same pillow for 3 years. By using fitted covers, this period can be doubled. Those who do not use a pillow protector or cover it with a blanket will likely need to change their pillow much sooner. If you want to be sure, take a test. There are two types of tests for different types of pillows. 

An image of a man hugging a breathing pillow.

When it comes to polyester, fold it in half and place the shoe on top of it. It's still not time to buy if it straightens up and ditches the shoe. It is recommended to fold feather pillows in half and squeeze out as much air as possible. If pillow does not return to original shape, it should be changed.

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Pillows get dirty quickly regardless of the protection provided by the pillowcase. This means that over time an increasing amount of moisture, dust mites and other debris accumulates. It is recommended to wash it twice a year. Before putting it in the washing machine, read the manufacturer's instructions. If you are not sure whether your pillow is still right pillow for you, do a test.

Simply fold the pillow in half and if it doesn't return to its original state, it's time to buy a new one. After that, you can try the popular reffluffing techniques, but if it's been a few years since you've used it, you'll need a new pillow. Otherwise, you may experience various discomforts such as back pain, neck pain, and allergy. So don't risk a good night's sleep because you are using flat pillows.

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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