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How to Fluff a Pillow – Different Effective Methods

How to Fluff a Pillow – Different Effective Methods

If you are like me, you want to sink your head into a fluffy and comfortable pillow after a hectic workday. However, not knowing how to fluff a pillow the right way can cost you a restful night.

There are three main ways to fluff a pillow. You can fluff it using your hands, a dryer, or sun-drying it for fresh air. Before tumble-drying, read the instructions on the pillow's tag for the manufacturer's go-ahead.

Some new pillows require fluffing to get to their needed softness, loft, and bounciness. While different materials may require other pillow-fluffing techniques, fluffing a pillow will improve comfort, breathability, and support.

Whether your pillow is straight out of the shipping box or requires some shushing, fluffing will cause a huge difference. Here are the different effective methods we recommend for fluffing a pillow;

men with pillowFluffing a Pillow Using Your Hands

Fluffing your pillow using your hands is the easiest way to bring life into your pillow. Start by placing the long side between your laps before pushing it in and out in a continuous motion. We advise spending about thirty seconds doing this.

Once done with the long side, rotate to the short side and repeat the process. After continuously pushing it in and out, lay it on your bed and punch it. The pillow beginning to swell is a clear indication of its fluffing up.

If your pillow has huge chunks, knead or massage it to even it out and improve air circulation. You will notice an improvement in the pillow's loft as it becomes softer, bouncier, and airier.

Fluffing a Pillow in the Dryer

If the hand-fluffing method does not work, try using the dryer instead. However, before putting your pillow in the dryer, check the product label or the manufacturer's instructions for safety and suitability.

For instance, most down pillows discourage tumble drying. Those that allow encourage you to use no heat or low heat modes only to avoid burning your pillow. Therefore, you will need to practice high patience to have your down pillow completely dry from tumble-drying.

There are two ways to fluff your pillow in the dryer;

  • Fluffing with a tennis ball in a sock.
  • Fluffing without a tennis ball.

Fluffing with a tennis ball in a tube-sock

While a dryer can dry and fluff your pillow on its own, adding a tennis ball will hasten the process and improve the outcome.

Start by tossing your pillow into the dryer before adding a few clean tennis balls, each covered in a sock. The tennis balls will work as agitators, where they will knead the pillow to break out any vast lumps. In addition, the bouncing and pounding improve the pillow's aeration, which builds up to its fluffiness.

Fluffing without a tennis ball

If you do not have a tennis ball, reach for dryer-safe items instead. They include a cotton t-shirt rolled into balls, clean flip-flops, or stuffed toys or animals. Whatever thing you go with, ascertain its size and safety before adding it to the dryer to avoid damage.

These items will bounce on your pillow, breaking any lumps and knots. It also increases the airflow in the pillow, which improves its breathability. As a result, your pillow becomes fluffier.

Please note that it is almost impossible to have your pillow get to the desired level of fluffiness after the first drying round. For desired fluffiness, this method calls for patience and dedication.

Also, while washing your pillow may seem like a good idea before drying, it is unnecessary. We recommend fluffing it in the dryer with no prior washing if you are short of time. If not, it could be damp on the inside, leading to odor and health-hazardous bacteria.

Fluffing a Pillow by Air-drying

Another way of fluffing your pillow is by putting it out in nature. This method is ideal for new pillows that need to be off-gas. Putting your new pillow out in fresh air allows it to decompress and emit any chemicals used in manufacturing and storage.

Once you take your pillow out of the dryer, put it out under direct sunlight. The breeze and sun will dry out any moisture present to avoid odor. It will also promote the separation of lumps to improve the pillow's aeration, making it more breathable and fluffier.

Before putting your pillow out in nature, check the rain forecast to avoid wetting and ruining it.

Why you should Fluff your Pillow Regularly

The following are the benefits of fluffing a pillow;

To Improve its Breathability

Fluffing a pillow promotes air circulation in the pillow, making it more breathable. It comes in handy for night sweaters and those whose bodies heat up during sleep. You have excellent, comfortable, and well-aerated sleep by fluffing your pillow.

To Improve its Firmness

A flattened pillow is irregular and uncomfortable due to the filling material clumps. When you fluff it, you even out the chunks and lead to a softer, firmer, and even headrest. It cushions your head, neck, and shoulder, preventing neck and head pains or injuries in your sleep.

A firm and comfortable pillow also alleviates your neck and shoulders and offers spinal alignment. It relieves bodily pressure and counterbalances your body points for a restful sleep session. If you are a side sleeper, fluffing your pillow will help you avoid waking up with body aches.

To Improve its Durability

Fluffing a pillow elongates the life of your pillow by allowing the filling to decompress. It eliminates any odor in your pillow, making it ideal for people who are sensitive to scents. Also, it dries out any moisture, preventing molds or mildew from breeding and damaging it.

As a result, your pillow stays in excellent condition for longer.

When to Replace Your Pillow

While fluffing improves the softness, comfort level, quality, and longevity of the pillow, a worn-out pillow is beyond repair. At this point, no technique or amount of fluffing can improve your pillow. Look out for the following features to know it is time to replace your pillow;

It is too Flat

If you compress your pillow and place it on your bed, yet it fails to swell back to its initial size, you need to replace it. In addition, if you try folding it and it lies flat, it shows that the pillow has lost its bounce, and it is time to toss it away.

Also, if you try re-fluffing your pillow several times and it fails to swell, it has lost its body. Sleeping on it will hurt you further.

It has Visible Lumps and Clumps

If your pillow has solid clumps of material filling like down or memory foam even after fluffing, you need to replace it. The surface is uneven and can lead to neck, joint pains, and even headaches. Also, sleeping on it is uncomfortable and makes you wake up feeling tired.

To prioritize your bodily health and sleep quality, ensure that your pillow has fine fillings. It will offer a comfortable and firm surface for a hassle-free night's sleep.

pillows bed whiteIt Stinks and Causes Acne

Dispose of it if your pillow stinks even after washes, multiple rinses, and hours of drying under direct sunlight. The foul smell could result from a build-up of sweat, facial oils, hair moisturizing oils, and moisture. In addition, it could be an overgrowth of molds that have damaged your pillow.

You may start noticing facial breakouts where they were none. If this happens, the gross build-up could be the cause. You may argue that a change in pillow cover may solve the problem. However, remember that the issue is in the pillow itself; hence, a cover change will not be a long-term solution.


Fluffing a pillow improves its firmness, comfort, and breathability and elongates its life. While using a dryer is a viable way to fluff a pillow, first read the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage. If your pillow shows signs of wear or spoilage, consider replacing it.

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