How to Repair Lumpy Pillows

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Restore your favorite pillow to its former glory.

If your favorite pillow becomes lumpy and uncomfortable, you can restore it to its original state. Pillows get lumpy over time as their stuffing collects dirt, debris and moisture. These materials cause the pillow stuffing to clump together. No amount of scrunching or stretching will repair these lumps. To restore your pillow to its original shape, you must get rid of the moisture and the dirt inside. The best way to do this is with a washing machine and dryer.


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Memory and other foam pillows get lumpy as they deteriorate and can't be washed or repaired. If your foam pillow is lumpy, simply replace it rather than trying to fix it.

Machine-Washable Pillows

Step 1

Wash your pillow in the washing machine. For a balanced load, wash one pillow with some towels or place two pillows in the washer. If your machine has an agitator, stand a pillow on either side of it. Use the manufacturer-recommended amount of liquid detergent for a light load and warm water.


Always read the care label on your pillow before washing it. If it isn't washable, skip to Step 3 and fluff it up in the dryer.

Step 2

Run the pillow through a second rinse cycle to remove any residual soap.

Step 3

Dry the pillow in the dryer on low heat or no heat. Place a tennis ball wrapped in a sock in the dryer to beat the lumps out of the pillows as they dry. It may take more than one drying cycle to completely dry the pillow. Most pillows lose their lumps at this point. However, if it's still lumpy, move on to Step 4.


Step 4

Remove the stitching on one side of the pillow. Pull out the stuffing and spread it on a table.

Step 5

Pull apart any clumps of stuffing and fluff them with your hands. Re-stuff the pillow and sew the opening shut.

Step 6

In between washings, place your pillow out in the sun once in a while. The fresh air and sunlight will help dry out the moisture your pillow naturally absorbs during periods of high humidity and when you sweat at night.



Meg Butler

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.