There are few things as irritating and useless as a flat pillow. It is honestly one of the most disappointing moments of my life, when I lay my head down, only to hit the mattress underneath.
One of the worst things about a flat pillow is the fact that you have to replace it. I mean, pillows aren’t cheap. At least, the good ones aren’t.
So, to save you the cost and heartache that a flat pillow brings, we’ve got some great tips.
Why Do Pillows Go Flat?
Pillows tend to become flat after lots of use. What happens is that the filling inside the pillow becomes squashed due to repetitive use. After all, the inside is specifically chosen because it’s soft and comfortable. Naturally, this means that it’s not going to have much strength to withstand the weight of your head every night.
Another reason why pillow filling becomes flat or clumpy is because it gets wet and damp. This could be because you haven’t dried it properly, or it could be that it has collected oil and sweat over its lifetime.
To combat these issues, you can either fluff the stuffing up again or you can focus on cleaning and drying the stuffing.
Fluffing by Hand
We’re going to talk you through three fluffing techniques that you can do by hand. They don’t take long to do, which is great because ideally, you should do them every day.
If you fluff your pillows by hand every day, they will remain plump and fluffy for much longer.
To do this technique, you need to hold the pillow with one hand at each end of the pillow. Naturally, this requires your arms to be at about shoulder width apart.
To plump the pillow, bring your hands together with a fair amount of force. You then need to separate your hands, so the pillow is taught.
Repeat this motion a few times to distribute the filling around the pillow. Don’t be shy when it comes to this plumping motion. You need to use some force to get that filling moving around.
Once you’ve done it on the long sides, grab the pillow by the shorter sides and repeat. Again, don’t be afraid to put some oomph in it!
Another way to fluff your pillows is to shake them.
Start by grabbing the pillow by one end and shake it vigorously. Do this for a few seconds before adjusting your grip.
You want to work your way around all four sides of the pillow, giving it a good shake to loosen compacted filling.
Once you’ve loosened everything up, shake and shape the filling into a comfortable shape.
If you’ve got a flat filling that refuses to loosen up, hitting the pillow might be your best choice.
Hold the pillow firmly with one hand on an edge. With your other hand, beat the filling of the pillow until it breaks up.
Again, put some effort into it. You want to loosen everything up so that it can feel lovely and plump again.
If you’re struggling to hold and hit the pillow, you can lay the pillow on your bed. Just make sure that you periodically flip the pillow over, so you’re getting all the filling.
Using a Dryer
Pillows should be washed about 4 times a year. This is to remove all the sweat, oils, and grime that builds up from nightly use. Even if you use a pillow slip, you need to wash your pillows every few months.
You can also use this time to fluff up your pillows using the dryer.
Once the pillows have been washed you need to dry them out. Check whether the pillow can be placed in a dryer. Most feather pillows and foam pillows cannot be placed in a dryer, but synthetic pillows usually can.
When the pillows are dry, it is time to fluff them up.
Put the pillows back in the dryer, but this time, add a few tennis balls. We recommend you put the balls inside individual socks to avoid getting green fluff on your pillow.
Turn the dryer on to a low heat or air setting, and let it run for a few minutes.
The tennis balls will beat the filling as they tumble around. This makes sure that the filling is evenly distributed, not clumping, and helps ensure they are dry throughout.
With synthetic and cotton filled pillows, you can put the tennis balls in for up to about 20 minutes on a low heat.
If you have feather pillows, you can only get away with a few minutes in the dryer.
If you don’t have a dryer, or you have pillows that can’t go in the dryer, then you can use the warmth of the sun to fluff your pillows.
As we explained, a lot of the time pillows become flat because they have absorbed moisture over time.
If you leave your pillow out in the sun for a few hours, the moisture should evaporate. This will make your pillows much fluffier and much more responsive to the hand fluffing techniques.
You can do this whether or not you’ve washed your pillows recently. Sometimes, pillows just absorb the sweat, oils, or humidity from your room and need to be dried out.
When Should You Replace Your Pillows?
No amount of fluffing or drying is going to make your pillows last forever. Eventually you’ll need to replace your pillows.
The general advice is to replace your pillow every 4-6 years, although this has more to do with preventing and removing dust mites.
If we’re just focusing on the fluffiness of your pillows, there’s a simple test you can do to check if it’s time for new pillows.
Fold your pillow in half and then let go. If the pillow returns to the extended flat position, you’re good! If the pillow stays folded, it's probably time to go pillow shopping.