How to Break in a New Pillow in a Few Easy Steps

Getting used to a new pillow can be difficult. This is especially true if you’re used to a soft, squishy down pillow and you make the switch to something harder, like a memory foam pillow. Breaking in and getting comfortable with a pillow can take a while, but it doesn’t have to if you know how to break in a new pillow with these easy tips and tricks.

Different types of pillows will need different ways and periods of time to break in. For example, memory foam pillows are stiffer and harder in the beginning than down or feather pillows. They also respond better to heat, which gives you a convenient way to break them in. 

If your pillow is not properly broken in, you might notice some stiffness in your neck when you wake up in the morning. Molding your pillow to the contour of your head and neck is crucial in offering you enough support during the night. 

In this article, we’ll talk about how to break in a new pillow.

how to break in a new pillow

How to Break in a New Pillow

The best way to break in a new pillow is by sleeping on it. High-quality pillows will get soft and squishy around the middle according to the shape of your head, but this might take a while. 

It should take about a week of sleeping on it to break in your pillow by using this method. However, if you want to speed up this process, or if your pillow still feels stiff after this period, you might want to take some extra steps to make it feel more comfortable. 

How to Break in a Down Pillow

Down pillows tend to get softer with use. However, there are a lot of down pillows that have a combination of down and feather in them, which means that they will be slightly more difficult to break in. Down is much softer and fluffier than whole feathers, which means that pure down pillows are easier to break in. 

The way to break in a hard down pillow is to check the label and see if it can be machine dried. If it cannot, leave the pillow in direct sunlight or near an indoor heat source, such as a radiator or a space heater. However, make sure that you do not place the pillow too close to the radiator, as they might be flammable. You also should not leave dry pillows in direct sunlight for more than an hour.

The slight heat obtained from sunlight or the space heater will soften up your pillow and make it easier to sleep on. This is especially true if you live in a cold place, as pillows tend to get harder in colder environments. 

If your pillow can be machine dried, you can soften it up by tossing it in a dryer. Always use the low tumble, low heat setting on the dryer so that the pillow doesn’t get damaged. Too much heat can cause clumps in conventional pillows which can be difficult to get rid of. 

Once you’ve used this method to soften your pillow, breaking it in by sleeping on it can be much easier.

How to Break in a Feather Pillow

Feather pillows are similar to down pillows, but they are not as soft or fluffy. If your feather pillow is too stiff or thick, using some weight on it can help break it in.

If sleeping on a conventional feather pillow is not breaking it in, you can leave some weights on it during the day to make it flatter in the middle. Leaving some heavy books or a bag full of them in the middle of the pillow throughout the day might break it in more quickly. 

Feather pillows might not react well to direct heat or sunlight, so try not to toss them in the dryer or keep them under direct sunlight for too long. 

How to Break in a Memory Foam Pillow

how to break in a new pillow

Memory foam pillows can be quite hard when they’re new. This is because these pillows come in the form of a single block. However, the cellular structure of the pillow makes it softer when it’s exposed to heat. 

Remember that memory foam pillows are very sensitive. This means that these pillows can use your body heat to mold themselves to the exact contour of your body. This is why the material is known as “memory foam.” 

To break in a memory foam pillow, you can use either of the following methods. 

Method #1

You can use this first method right before you go to sleep. If your pillow is stiff and uncomfortable, use your hands or a weight to push in the middle of the pillow. Before the pillow regains its original shape, put your head down in the depression formed. 

This way, the pillow will regain its shape around the outline of your neck and head, making the break-in process quicker.

Method #2

If method one doesn’t work even after a few days and you want to soften up your memory foam pillow even more, applying some heat to it can help soften it up. Leave the pillow somewhere near an indoor source of heat for an hour. This should help soften up the cellular structure of the memory foam. 

However, keep in mind that memory foam pillows are extremely flammable because of their gel-like structure. Do not touch the pillow to the radiator grills or it will end up catching fire.

Bottom Line

If you don’t break in your new pillows properly, you might end up with ruined nights, poor quality of sleep and stiffness in your neck and back. Depending on the type of pillow that you bought, breaking it in can be a tricky and time-consuming task. Knowing the right way to break in a pillow can help improve your quality of sleep.

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