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Revive Your Flat Pillows: How To Dry Pillows In Dryer Without Tennis Balls

Your pillows are starting to look a little flat. You could try using tennis balls to fluff your pillows in the dryer, but if you don’t have any on hand. So, How To Dry Pillows In Dryer Without Tennis Balls?

Discover effective methods to bring life back to your pillows without the need for tennis balls. Tennis balls may be replaced with clean socks stuffed with grains or beans. Another is to use your household drying machine on a low setting for a short period. Or, you could simply air dry them.

Read on for more detailed instructions on using these methods in this post!

Why Tennis Balls Can Fluff Pillows In Dryer?

The reason to use tennis balls to fluff pillows in a dryer is that they bounce around during the drying cycle and create agitation.

This agitation helps to break up any clumps or lumps that may have formed in the pillow filling, which can restore the pillow’s shape and fluffiness. Moreover, the texture of the tennis balls can help to massage and loosen the fibers in the pillow, further enhancing its fluffiness.

The balls help to circulate air within the dryer more efficiently. As they move around, they create pockets of space, allowing hot air to flow more freely and reach all parts of the pillow.

However, you should note that while tennis balls can be a useful tool in fluffing pillows, they only are used in dryers that do not have an automatic moisture sensor. This is because the moisture sensor can mistake the bouncing of the tennis balls for dampness and prematurely end the drying cycle, leaving the pillows still damp and potentially prone to mold and mildew growth. 

How to fluff pillows in dryer without tennis balls? - There are 3 ways to support this

If you’re also wondering about other pillow-related queries, such as how to remove yellow sweat stains from pillowcases, we’ve got you covered.

Detailed Guide on How to Dry Pillows Without Tennis Balls ?

You might be worried if without tennis balls, the pillows could be fluffed or not. Here are 3 methods to make flat without using tennis balls:

Method 1: Using An Alternative

You can use an alternative to a tennis ball

There are several ways to dry pillows without using tennis balls. One way is to use an alternative, such as small stuffed animals, a pair of clean slippers, a sock filled with rice or beans, or a rolled-up towel.

  1. Sock-filled Rice: Fill a couple of socks with rice and tie the ends. These makeshift balls will agitate the pillows, helping to fluff them up. The rice adds the necessary weight for effective agitation.
  2. Balled-up Socks: If you don’t have rice or prefer another method, just balling up some socks can work. While they won’t have as much impact as heavier objects, they can still help aerate and fluff up your pillows.
  3. Dryer Balls for pillows: These are specially designed for use in the dryer to help separate laundry and allow hot air to circulate more effectively. They are typically made of wool or rubber.

In some cases, other materials of the balls will also help, such as when you tumble dry add wool dryer balls, or some eco egg dryer eggs

It is the best way to fluff a pillow because you only need to find a replacement for the tennis balls, and you don’t need to check your pillow while waiting for it to dry constantly.

Note: Use white stuffed animals and white beans to avoid discoloring and staining them.

You can follow the detailed step-by-step below for this method:

  • Step 1: Place your pillows in the dryer in the lowest setting possible.
  • Step 2: Add a couple of small stuffed animals, a pair of clean slippers, a sock filled with rice or beans, or a rolled-up towel to the dryer along with them
  • Step 3: Allow the drying machine to run for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Step 4: Remove the pillows and fluff them by hand to help them regain shape.

Read more: How To Keep Pillows From Falling Between Mattress And Wall

Method 2: Using A Household Dryer

Using a household dryer at low temperature

If you do not want to use tennis balls, you can try using a household dryer. This method is simple and does not require any special equipment. All you need is a drying machine and a few minutes of your time.

The main advantage of using a household dryer is that it is quick and easy. Additionally, this method is gentle on your pillows and will not damage them. However, we have a few tips to remember when using this method.

First, ensure your dryer is set to a low heat setting. High heat can damage your pillows and cause them to become misshapen. Next, only fluff for a few minutes at a time. Overfluffing can also damage them and cause them to lose their shape.

Here are step-by-step instructions for this method:

  • Step 1: To fluff your pillows in the dryer, simply place them in the dryer on a low heat setting (you should set the temperature at 30°C)
  • Step 2: Let the machine run for a few minutes (3-5 minutes is usually sufficient).
  • Step 3: Remove them from the dryer and fluff them by hand.
  • Step 4: Place your pillows back in the drying machine and let them run for another few minutes.
  • Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until they are satisfactorily fluffed.
  • Step 6: Once they are fluffed, remove them from the dryer and allow them to cool for a few minutes before using them.

Read more: How To Prevent Feathers From Coming Out Of Pillow

Method 3: Air Drying

Another method that doesn’t require any balls and takes up very little space- is air drying your pillows. We have two ways that you can do this drying on the clothesline or a monobloc chair.

This method will take the longest to dry your pillows, but it is gentle and will help preserve their shape.

You can use our step-by-step guide below for this method:

  • Step 1: Give your pillows a good shake to loosen up the filling.
  • Step 2: Spread out them on a clothesline or drying rack, ensuring they have plenty of space between them.
  • Step 3: Leave them to air dry for a few hours. The fresh air will help to fluff them up and make them softer. You should flip them constantly so that they dry evenly.
  • Step 4: Once completely dry, fluff them up and put them back on your bed.

In case, you don’t have a clothesline, you can also lay your pillows on a monobloc chair in the sunlight.

Post-Dryer Tips: Maximizing Fluffiness

After removing your pillows from the dryer, you might think the job is done. However, a couple of post-dryer actions can make all the difference in ensuring your pillows are at their fluffiest.

The Power of a Good Shake

  1. Redistribution of Filling: Over time and with use, the filling in pillows, whether down, synthetic fibers, or foam, can become unevenly distributed. A shake helps to move the filling back into its original place, ensuring an even and comfortable surface to rest your head.
  2. Breaking Up Clumps: The drying process, even with the help of tennis balls or other agitators, might not break up all the clumps, especially in down or feather-filled pillows. Shaking helps separate any remaining clumps, restoring the pillow’s loft.

What Should I Do While Shaking?

  1. Grip: Hold the pillow by the opposite corners. This will give you better leverage and control while shaking.
  2. Motion: Use a side-to-side and up-and-down motion. This ensures the filling is moved in all directions inside the pillow.
  3. Rotate and Repeat: After the initial shake, rotate the pillow to hold it by the other two corners and repeat the shaking process.

Duration: Shaking each pillow vigorously for about 30 seconds to a minute should be sufficient for most pillows. However, for particularly large or dense pillows, you might want to shake for up to 2 minutes.

How To Maintenance Your Pillow In A Long Time?

Pillows can last for years when properly taken care of. Here are some tips for everyday maintenance to last their quality:

  • To keep your pillow clean and dust-free, regularly vacuum it with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
  • To prevent stains, promptly spot-clean ( a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water )any spills with a mild detergent.
  • Every few months, launder your pillow using the gentle cycle on your washing machine and air dry it thoroughly before using it again.
  • Fluff them up regularly to keep the filling evenly distributed. You can do this by hand or in the drying machine.
  • To keep them smelling fresh, sprinkle some baking soda on them before vacuuming.

Read more: Why Are Pillows So Expensive

You might need some tips to last the lifespan of your pillows

Are there any pillow types that shouldn’t be placed in a dryer?

While it’s tempting to toss every pillow into the washing machine and then the dryer, not all pillows are made equal. Some types might not be suited for the high heat and tumbling of a dryer.

Memory Foam and Latex Pillows: Too Sensitive for Heat

Memory foam and latex pillows are loved for their contouring abilities and neck support. However, when it comes to drying, they can be tricky. The heat from the dryer can distort their shape, making them lumpy or uneven. Moreover, the dense structure of these pillows traps moisture, making them hard to dry thoroughly, and risking mold or mildew growth.

Buckwheat Hull Pillows: A Natural Filling

Buckwheat hull pillows provide excellent support and are naturally breathable. But placing them in a dryer is a no-go. The heat can damage the buckwheat hulls, reducing their lifespan.

Water or Gel-filled Pillows: Risk of Leaks and Damage

Water or gel-filled pillows are great for those who need adjustable firmness or cooling properties. But exposing them to the dryer’s heat can cause the pillow casing to rupture, leading to leaks. The gel can also become unevenly distributed, affecting the pillow’s comfort.


There are three methods for fluffing a pillow without tennis balls: An alternative tools, a household drying machine at low temperatures, and air drying. Each method has pros and cons that you should consider before deciding which is the best for you.

Next, you can follow our tips will help keep them looking and feeling great for a long time!

Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand how to fluff your pillows in the dryer without tennis balls to make the best decision for your needs.

Thank you for reading!


How to fluff pillows without tennis balls in your drying cycle?

To fluff a pillow without tennis balls, there are three options: an alternative, a home drying machine set to low heat, and air drying. Besides, you also can simply take them out of the dryer periodically and give them a good shake or fluff by hand.

How can you wash pillows without making them lumpy?

Always wash two pillows along with some sheets or towels to ensure the load is balanced in the washing machine and prevent your pillow from becoming lumpy in the wash. Please note that utilizing a gentle cycle and a warm or cold water temperature for washing pillows.

What causes the yellowing of pillows?

The cause of yellowing pillows is sweat turns. Other causes of a pillow turning yellow include wetness, sleeping with wet hair, and applying lotions/oils to the surface. The color of the pillow will change to yellow if moisture or sweat is left on it for an extended period of time.

David Elkie

David Elkie

David Elkie is the CEO at Banner Mattress. He has been in the writing and editing business for the mattress, bedding accessories and décor industries for over 20 years.