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Can You Wash Bamboo Pillows? How?

A collage of bamboo pillows.

I was trolling the Internet one day in search of a pillow that didn’t go flat in no time. I stumbled across bamboo pillows at one of the three big shopping sites.

I was intrigued by the hypoallergenic nature of the pillows, and the fact that they support the head and neck for proper posture, so to speak, during sleep. I bought two and never looked back.

Of what are bamboo pillows made? Can you wash them? I’ve washed mine for three years now, and they retain their shape, firmness, and hypoallergenic nature. Here’s how. 

Wait, What? Are Bed Pillows Made Of Bamboo? Isn’t That A Little Rough?

Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow (2 Pack Queen - 28" x 20") - Adjutable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow for Side, Back and Stomach Sleepers - Premium Pillows for Sleeping with Washable Pillow Case

That’s the mistake lots of people make when the word bamboo enters the conversation. They picture bamboo forests with panda bears rolling around among them and eating them. The explanation is actually quite ordinary. 

The fibers from the bamboo stalk are separated, washed, and processed into a textile. The material is also otherwise processed into hardwood for floors, bed linens and towels, water bottles and matching straws, toilet paper, computer parts, sunglasses, toothbrushes, and the list just goes on. 

My pillows are encased in a soft shell. Inside that is the actual pillow. A small zipper holds in the memory foam pillow stuffing.

They never lose their shape, don’t go flat after some length of time, and keep my head and neck in their proper places throughout my sleep. I love mine so much, I bought my daughter and granddaughter one as Christmas gifts.

Related: Can You Wash Pillows in the Washing Machine | Can You Wash Couch Pillows | Types of PillowcasesTypes of Pillow Filling

I’ve Heard Of Bamboo Flooring, But Not The Other Things. What Properties Does Bamboo Have?

Memory Foam Pillows Queen Size Set of 2 - Cooling Bed Pillows for Sleeping for Back, Stomach and Side Sleeper - Firm Luxury Extra Comfy Cool Shredded Memory Foam 2 Pack Queen Pillows Sets

Bamboo is porous, so it wicks away sweat at night. Fabrics made from bamboo (yes, there is bamboo clothing) breathe, so the plant makes the perfect clothing and pillowcases. Other benefits include:

Latex and memory foam

These bamboo pillows keep the shape of the head and neck, no matter how much you flip and flop in your sleep. Consistent support for the neck is a must, and bamboo pillows offer it.


A properly aligned neck means a properly aligned spine. This means no crick in the neck, no stretching in the morning and getting stuck in the stretch, and no lower back pain from “sleeping wrong” in the night.

Wicks away moisture

When we place our heads on the sofa cushions for a nap or our pillows for a good night’s sleep, the bacteria inhabiting these places move onto our skin. We scratch, get bumps, or otherwise suffer from these bacteria. Bamboo pillows wick away moisture. Bacteria have nowhere to wait for us to lie down.


When you choose your pillow, make sure you choose memory foam over latex. While both are excellent and hold the shape of your head and neck well, they won’t last indefinitely. I’ve had mine for three years, and I’m expecting to replace them in a couple of years. Latex lasts less than that.

Sounds Good. So How Do You Wash Bamboo Pillows?

Bamboo Pillow for Sleeping, JJDANFILL Shredded Memory Foam Adjustable Pillows Standard Size (2 Pack), Bed Pillow for Side Back Stomach Sleepers with a Washable Breathable Bamboo Cover 20x26

The usual instructions from the manufacturer recommend washing in cold water or hand washing it. I don’t know if you’ve ever hand washed a pillow, but it takes a lot of squeezing to get the water out and several days inside or several hours outside to dry thoroughly. Just so you know what’s involved.

I once had a problem with bed bugs, so nothing that comes into my house is used before it’s washed in the hottest water and dried at the hottest temperature.

I have to laugh because I took my brand new bamboo pillows to a nearby laundromat to do just that in their huge machines. The stuffing came out of one pillow and had to be stuffed back in before I could dry it, so beware of the stuffing!

To wash a bamboo pillow:

    • Unzip the pillow cover and take out the actual pillow.

    • You can take the stuffing out to wash the pillow covers, but that’s a lot of work. It can be done, though.

    • Wash the bamboo pillow cover in warm water and mild laundry soap. Wash it on a gentle cycle to avoid damage.

    • Dry the bamboo pillow cover on medium heat for not more than ten minutes or so. If you’re drying the cover with other bed linens, then let it dry for perhaps 15 to 20 minutes.

    • If you take out the stuffing, then re-stuff the pillow. This is recommended so the memory foam, especially latex, doesn’t lose its shape. Mine never did, but you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

    • Put your pillow back together.

There Is Some Cool Stuff You Should Know About Bamboo Pillows Before You Open The Package

Pillows for Sleeping 2 Pack Bamboo Standard Ultra Soft Bounce Back Standard Size 18 x 26 inches Pair Set of 2 Cool Washable Over Filled Pillows

Relax, it’s all good: 

    • Bamboo pillows come in a tightly rolled-up package for shipping savings. You’ll unroll the package and allow the pillows a couple of hours to “plump” up. Once they do, you’ll have an amazing pillow for years to come.

    • You don’t need to use pillowcases with bamboo pillows. I do, every now and then, just to use the whole bedding package, but it’s not necessary.

    • You can “fluff” up your bamboo pillow by taking it by the sides and bringing the sides together, by punching it like a kickboxer, or by putting it in the dryer on “fluff.”

    • Bonus: bamboo is smooth as silk and won’t disturb your hair. No more “pillow hair!”

Can You Wash Bamboo Pillows FAQs

Are Bamboo Pillows Comfortable?

You’ll read stories online of people in accidents or people with surgeries, keeping them awake with pain. The stories go on to say that they got bamboo pillows. Now they don’t hurt and sleep through the night, waking refreshed and ready to take on the day. I don’t laugh at them because my bamboo pillow experience made me a believer.

Do Bamboo Pillows Get Dust Mites?

Nothing on this planet, repeat nothing, is impervious to dust mites. Unfortunately, so is your bamboo pillow and the pillowcase you use with it to prevent dust mites. 

Are Bamboo Pillows Cool?

2 Pack King Bamboo Pillows for Sleeping, Shredded Memory Foam Adjustable Bamboo Bed Pillow with, Removable/Washable Bamboo Rayon Zipper Cover (King 2 Pack)

To remain cool throughout the night, pillows should have (a) shredded foam fill and (b) air circulation that draws and retains body heat. Bamboo pillows check off both these points. This is a good choice for sleepers in very hot or humid cities.

Can Bamboo Pillows Cause Allergies?

Fist bumps, allergy sufferers! Bamboo pillows are hypoallergenic, but, unfortunately, the memory foam or latex might not be. You should take that into consideration before buying one. I’m asthmatic, and my bamboo pillows don’t bother me at all.

How Do You Know How High The Pillow Should Be?

As I wrote above, I’m asthmatic and need pillows that keep my head and neck well above my chest to facilitate a clear airway. Lying flat is a frightening thing for me. So look for bamboo pillows that are four to six inches thick to give your head and neck the best support.

How Good Are Bamboo Pillows For Snoring?

They’re wonderful! The pillows are organic, breathable, adjustable with the removal or addition of foam or latex pieces, and comfortable. The support of the head and neck assures good airflow, so snoring just went out the window.

Should The Shoulders Be On The Pillow?

A woman sleeping peacefully.

No. The natural alignment of the spine would suffer if the shoulders were on the pillow. The pillow should be thick enough to give the head and neck good support. 

There are sleepers, though (and I’m one of them) who sleep on two pillows. One is for the shoulders to snuggle into or onto, and the other is for keeping the head and neck supported. This comes from piling another pillow onto one gone flat. The support is gone, so the stack of pillows grows higher. I feel for you because that’s how it happened to me.

How Long Do Bamboo Pillows Last?

Most manufacturers will tell you that bamboo pillows last for two to three years. They’ll say you should replace the pillows frequently to keep the support for your head and neck consistent. They have a point, but on the other hand, mine has hung in there for three years and is still supportive. I’d call that one up to you.

Does Bamboo Repel Bed Bugs And Pests?

Bamboo is antibacterial and anti-fungal. Dust mites have trouble with bamboo bed linens and pillows, as well as bed bugs and mold, which should thrill asthmatics and allergy sufferers. 

How Long Does The Body Take To Adjust To A New Pillow?

That’s up to the individual. Some folks take up to a month to adjust to a new pillow, while other sleepers take a week or two. Manufacturers recommend four weeks to get used to your new bamboo pillows.

What’s This I’m Reading About The Smell Of A Bamboo Pillow?

If it’s made by a human being, it’s going to have materials that need to be off-gas. Furniture is notorious for off-gassing. It’s not that your organic bamboo pillow has gas, but the manufacturing process or the fill might. Just air it out for a couple of hours, and you should be good to go.