Most people don’t think much about their pillows. We take them for granted, using them every night without a second thought. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why your pillow might turn yellow? It’s not a natural color, so what’s going on?
Turns out, there are a few reasons why your pillow might turn yellow. In this blog post, we’ll explore those reasons and talk about how to keep your pillows looking new for as long as possible.
Pillows can turn yellow for a number of reasons. One reason may be that the pillowcase is not breathable and does not allow air to circulate, which causes sweat and body oils to build up on the surface of the pillow. Another reason may be that the pillow filling is made of an absorbent material, such as down or wool, which can absorb moisture from the atmosphere and cause the pillow to yellow over time. Finally, some people simply produce more oil on their skin than others, which can transfer to the pillow and cause it to turn yellow.
To prevent your pillows from turning yellow, try using a pillowcase made of a breathable fabric like cotton, and fluff your pillows regularly to allow them to air out. You can also try using a pillow protector, which will help keep your pillow clean and dry. If your pillows do turn yellow, you can try spot-cleaning them with a mild detergent or bleach solution.
Is it normal for your pillow to turn yellow?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for your pillow to turn yellow over time. This is because the natural oils from your skin and hair accumulate on the pillowcase and eventually transfer to the pillow itself. While this may seem like a gross idea, it’s actually quite common and nothing to worry about. Just be sure to wash your pillows regularly to keep them clean and fresh. If you notice that your pillow is turning yellow more quickly than usual, it could be due to a build-up of sweat or other body fluids such as spittle. In this case, you may want to consider using a pillow protector or changing your bedding more frequently.
Why do pillows turn yellow?
Pillows can turn yellow for a number of reasons.
Oils from your skin and hair
The most common reason for a pillow turning yellow is because of the natural oils from your skin and hair. These oils accumulate on the pillowcase and eventually transfer to the pillow itself, which can cause the pillow to turn yellow over time.
Make up or lotions on your skin
If you sleep with your makeup on or don’t wash your face before bed, the makeup or lotions can rub off on your pillowcase and eventually cause the pillow to turn yellow.
Sweat and saliva
Sweat and saliva can also cause pillows to get yellow and brown stains more quickly. This is because these substances can breed bacteria and cause an unpleasant odor. If you notice that your pillow is getting stained more quickly than usual, it may be due to a build-up of sweat or saliva. In this case, you may want to consider using a pillow protector or changing your bedding more frequently.
Lack of air circulation
Pillows that are not regularly fluffed or aired out can also turn yellow from a lack of air circulation. This is because the build-up of oils and sweat can create an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. If you notice that your pillow is starting to look yellow, be sure to fluff it and allow it to air out for a while. You may also want to consider using a pillow protector to keep the pillow clean and free of bacteria.
Leaving pillows in direct sunlight for long periods of time can also cause them to fade and turn yellow. This is because the ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can break down the fibers in the fabric, causing them to lose their color. To prevent this, try not to leave your pillows in direct sunlight for too long, and be sure to rotate them regularly so that they all get a break from sunlight coming through your window.
It’s important to keep in mind that pillows will naturally yellow over time. This is due to a combination of the factors mentioned above, as well as the materials used in the pillow filling. Down and wool are particularly susceptible to yellowing, so if you have a down or wool pillow, you may notice that it yellows more quickly than other types of pillows.
If you are thinking of getting a new pillow, and can’t decide what type to buy, look at our guide on Foam Pillows vs Fiber Pillows.
Not using a pillowcase
If you don’t use a pillowcase then you will notice your pillows turning yellow much more quickly than if you use pillow covers.
Why do feather pillows turn yellow?
Feather pillows can actually turn yellow more quickly than other pillow types, because the feathers themselves can give off oils which will eventually stain the pillow. Any moisture which comes into contact with the pillow will speed up this process and make the yellow stain worse.
Moisture in the air
Moisture in the air, such as from humidity, can also cause your feather pillow to turn yellow. If you live in a humid climate, it’s best to keep your feather pillows in a zippered plastic bag when not in use, to prevent them from absorbing too much moisture from the air.
If you have wet hair when you lay down on your feather pillow, the moisture can seep into the feathers and cause the pillow to yellow. It’s best to let your hair dry completely before going to bed, or to sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet to protect your pillow.
Sweat and saliva
Your body sweat and saliva can also contribute to a yellow feather pillow. If you suffer from night sweats, it’s best to use a different type of pillow that won’t absorb your sweat and become stained. And if you drool in your sleep, be sure to use a pillowcase that can protect your pillow from the moisture.
Not using a pillowcase
If you don’t use a pillowcase with your feather pillow, it will be more likely to turn yellow over time. The fabric of the pillowcase will protect the feathers from body oils and sweat, as well as moisture in the air. Be sure to wash your pillowcase regularly to keep it clean and fresh.
Why do foam pillows turn yellow?
Foam pillows can turn yellow for a couple of reasons.
First, the foam itself may be yellowing with age. This is especially true of lower-quality foam that wasn’t properly treated when it was manufactured.
It’s not unsafe to use a pillow that has yellowed with age, as long as you have cared for it properly and kept it clean. However, it is unsightly so you may decide to invest in a new pillow.
Find out here – can you put pillows in the recycling bin?
Sweat and oils from the skin and hair
Another reason foam pillows may turn yellow is because of sweat and skin oils which have been absorbed by the pillow over time. If you tend to sleep hot or tend to sweat at night, your foam pillow is more likely to become stained as a result.
Are yellow pillows bad?
No, yellow pillows are not bad, but they may be an indication that the pillow is getting old or needs to be cleaned. It’s always good to care for your pillows to prevent dust mites and bacteria from building up within the pillows.
How do you keep pillows from turning yellow?
While it’s normal for your pillow to turn yellow over time, there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening.
Use a pillowcase
Use a pillowcase made of a breathable fabric
One way to prevent your pillow from turning yellow is to use a pillowcase made of a breathable fabric like cotton. This will allow air to circulate around your pillow and will help prevent sweat and body oils from building up on the surface of the pillow.
Using a silk pillowcase makes you sweat less and will not absorb as many oils from your skin as other pillowcases.
Use a pillow protector
Another way to keep your pillow from turning yellow is to use a pillow protector. This is a thin, washable cover that goes over your pillow and can be removed and washed when needed.
Wash your pillows regularly
Finally, be sure to wash your pillows regularly to remove any dirt, dust, or sweat that may have built up on them.
Most synthetic pillows can be machine-washed in warm water on the delicate cycle.
However, feather and down pillows should generally be dry cleaned to prevent damage.
Also, memory foam pillows should only be washed with great care. Read our full guide on how to wash a memory foam pillow.
Fluff your pillows regularly
Another way to prevent your pillow from turning yellow is to fluff it regularly. This will help the pillow maintain its shape and will also allow it to air out, which will help prevent the build-up of sweat and body oils.
You should fluff your pillow every few days to keep it in good condition.
Can you wash the yellow out of pillows?
If your pillow is starting to yellow, you can try spot-cleaning it with a mild detergent.
Depending on the type of pillow you have, you may be able to wash it in the machine. Check the manufacturer’s care instructions to see if it can be washed and use a mild washing detergent if it can.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to invest in a new pillow.
How to clean a synthetic (non memory foam) pillow
To clean a yellowing synthetic foam pillow, spot-clean it with a solution of water and vinegar. You can also try washing the entire pillow in your washing machine, if it is synthetic foam or synthetic down, using hot water and a mild detergent. Be sure to dry the pillow completely afterwards by airing it in the sun, not in the dryer. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines if you do decide to wash your pillow.
How to remove yellow stains from a memory foam pillow
To avoid damaging your memory foam pillow, you should first try using spot cleaning.
You can use an anti-bacterial wipe or a very slightly damp cloth with a solution of water and anti-bacterial spray.
Alternatively, sprinkle baking soda on your pillow and then leave it out in the sunshine for a few hours. Then, vacuum the baking soda off and you should have a refreshed pillow.
How do you get yellow stains out of feather pillows?
If your feather pillow does turn yellow, you can try spot-cleaning it with a solution of water and vinegar. If this doesn’t work then you will likely need to get the pillow professionally dry cleaned, as most natural feather pillows are not machine washable.
How do you get the yellow out of pillowcases?
If your pillowcase has turned yellow, you can try washing it in the machine with hot water and a mild detergent. You can also add one cup of vinegar to the wash cycle, which will help remove any stains. Be sure to dry your pillowcase completely after washing it.
Conclusion: Why do pillows turn yellow?
Pillows can turn yellow for a variety of reasons, including sweat, body oils, saliva, and even just the aging process. While it’s not unsafe to use a yellowed pillow, it is unsightly. There are some things you can do to prevent your pillow from turning yellow, such as using a pillowcase and washing your pillows regularly.