How to Fix a Lumpy Pillow Once and for All

Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be tough if your pillow is lumpy. Pillows sometimes get lumpy over time when they are not cared for properly or when the wrong methods were used when the pillow was washed and dried. In this guide, we will show you how to fix lumpy pillow so you can sleep comfortably and keep using your favorite pillow for longer. 

How to Fix a Lumpy Pillow

You can try a few techniques if you want to clear up lumps in your pillow or get it nice and fluffy again. Here is a quick look at the easiest strategies to help you achieve that fluffy and smooth feel. 

how to fix lumpy pillow

The Manual Method

It is always best to start with the manual method because you can get to sleep as soon as you fix your pillow. Massaging your pillow can help clear out or smoothen those clumps. 

Use your fingers and squeeze the lumps. Work these clumps and distribute the filling evenly as you massage the pillow. While you are massaging it, you can also fluff the pillow by patting it inward from the sides and top, or by holding it from the ends and sides so you can move and fluff the stuffing to clear the clump.

Keep feeling through the pillow and target individual clumps. Massage and press these clumps until your entire pillow is smooth.

The Air Freshen Method

Pillows sometimes form clumps when they are not properly dried, or the pillow fibers become humid over time. A bit of sunlight and warmth can clear up the humidity, which can help loosen the pillow fibers and eliminate bad odors. 

Wait for a warm and sunny day and take your pillow outside. Place the pillow in direct sunlight and flip it to a different side every 30 minutes or hourly. You can also hang the pillow on a wire and flip it around so it can thoroughly dry on all sides. 

The Dryer Method

Dryer machines can also help de-lump your pillow, but you will need to check the pillow’s care instructions to make sure your pillow is dryer compatible. Some pillows can be damaged by the dryer cycle and temperature, while others are dryer compatible.

Place the dryer on low heat or no heat setting. Next, add a few tennis balls into the dryer along with your pillow and set the dryer on a 10-minute cycle. The tennis balls will beat against the pillow to clear up and soften clumps, and the cycle action will fluff your pillow to become fluffy and bouncy again. 

The Washing Method

Pillow fibers can sometimes become sticky if they absorb too much sweat and body oils. A good wash can refresh the pillow fibers and clear sticky residue from the fibers. 

It is essential to carefully follow the care instructions on your pillow because not all pillow types can be machine washed.

While washing your pillow, avoid using a fabric softener in the machine. Fabric softeners can sometimes make pillow fibers more staticky and sticky, causing them to be more prone to form lumps.

Dry the pillow properly once it is washed since humid fibers also tend to cling together. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Most people who want to avoid damaging their luxury pillows ask many questions before they attempt DIY restoration or cleaning methods. Here is a quick look at some of the questions that are frequently asked when others are trying to get rid of pillow clumps. 

What Pillow Types Can Grow Lumpy?

Pillows filled with shredded materials are more likely to become lumpy than those with one-piece designs like contour pillows. Down pillows, shredded foam pillows, and shredded memory foam pillows are prone to clumps if they become old, humid, or if the pillow isn’t cared for properly.

What Makes Pillows Become Lumpy?

Most pillows will get clumpy over time. The pillow stuffing becomes dirty, moist, and oily as you sleep on it every night. Pillow filling like feathers, cotton, and microfiber slowly wear down and become clumpy as dirt and moisture deposit onto these fibers. You can clear up pillow lumps for a while, but all pillows will eventually deteriorate and become uncomfortable to sleep on.

Can Foam Pillows Develop Lumps?

Memory foam and latex pillows can also become clumpy over time. These foam materials last longer before they become lumpy, but once these pillows become lumpy, you will need to replace them since they are not repairable. 

Does Fabric Softener Help With Pillow Lumps?

Fabric softener and dryer sheets can make materials like fabric feel softer because it leaves behind a chemical lubricant residue on clothing items. But these products are terrible for pillows because the residue can create a static cling and sticky residue that can make fabric materials stick together. Fabric softener usually makes lumps in pillows a lot worse.  

When Should I Replace My Lumpy Pillow?

Foam pillow types like memory foam or latex pillows can’t be restored once they become lumpy. With these pillows, you should replace them when they become clumpy, as these clumps will only get worse.

The clumps in non-foam pillows like goose down pillows or feather pillows can sometimes be removed by giving these pillows a good wash, massaging the lumps, or drying the pillow properly in the sun. But if the lumps won’t clear up or if these lumps just keep returning, then it might be time for a new pillow.

Pillows that are made from materials like memory foam, shredded memory foam, feathers, or alternative down usually only last about 18-36 months. Pillows made from natural down or latex foam typically last 5-10 years. 

Bottom Line

A lumpy pillow can undoubtedly be an annoyance, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips in mind, you’ll be off to a comfortable sleep in no time.

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