Can You Tumble Dry Memory Foam? (is it safe or will it damage it)

You should never tumble dry memory foam because exposing the memory foam to high heat could damage the structure of the memory foam. 

Plus the rough and tumble action could also damage the memory foam.

Of course as with all things you should check the care label on your memory foam pillow, mattress or mattress topper for specific washing and drying instructions.

If your memory foam item has a removable cover, this can usually be dried in a tumble dryer, but check the care label first.

In many cases, memory foam doesn’t need to be washed, it can often just be treated to a spot wash to remove stains.

You can freshen up memory foam by sprinkling baking soda on it and allowing it to settle for 1-2 hours in direct sunlight. Then remove using a vacuum cleaner with the upholstery attachment. Then repeat the whole process on the other side.

Why Memory Foam Shouldn’t Be Tumble Dried

Memory foam mainly consists of polyurethane with other chemicals added to increase its density and viscosity. It is also known as Viscoelastic or low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu).

As with many man-made substances, memory foam can melt if exposed to high temperatures. 

Added to which if memory foam is subjected to the rough twisting and turning action that is a part of the tumble drying process it is likely to break apart.

What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Memory Foam

Tumble Dryer Symbols On Clothes

If you look on the memory foam care label, probably the only symbol you will find that relates to tumble dryers is the do not tumble dry symbol.

However, we have included a list of all the symbols relating to tumble dryers for information purposes.

  • Square With A White Circle And A Black X On Top – This is the Do not tumble dry symbol. This is the symbol you’re most likely to find on memory foam.
  • Square With White Circle – This is the symbol which indicates that you can tumble dry the item.
  • Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle – This symbol indicates you can dry on low heat.
  • Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle – This symbol indicates you can dry on medium heat.
  • Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle – This symbol indicates you can dry on high heat.
  • Square With Black Circle – This is the symbol that indicates that the item can be tumble dried on a no heat setting.

How To Dry Memory Foam Without A Tumble Dryer

If you have washed your memory foam it should be allowed to air dry. There are a few ways to air dry your memory foam and you will need to allow adequate drying time.

One of the main issues here is size, memory foam pillows take up far less room than full size memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers.

Air Drying Memory Foam

The recommended way to dry memory foam is outside in direct sunshine. If the weather is too bad for outdoor drying it is possible to dry memory foam indoors but it will take far longer.

Outdoor Air Drying memory Foam

Drying techniques differ depending on what memory foam item is being dried.

Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows can be laid flat on a bench, chair, an airer or even on the floor on top of a dry towel or sheet.

Remember to turn the pillow after a while and allow 2-4 hours to dry in direct sunlight.

Memory Foam Mattresses & Mattress Toppers

Memory foam mattresses and Mattress toppers need to be dried flat. This is best done by placing the mattress/topper on a dry sheet on the ground in full sunlight.

The mattress/topper will need to be turned after a while and you should allow 6-8 hours drying time.

Indoor Air Drying Memory Foam

Drying memory foam indoors can take longer but keep reading for some helpful hints and tips on ways to speed up drying times indoors.

Memory Foam Pillows Indoor Drying

The best way to ensure memory foam pillows dry indoors is to lay the pillow on the rack of an airer. This allows a decent air flow all around the memory foam and will help the pillow to fully dry.

Drying Memory Foam Mattresses & Mattress Toppers Indoors

These large memory foam items need to be laid flat to maintain their integrity and shape. This means laying your memory foam mattress or mattress topper on the floor preferably on a clean sheet.

The mattress/mattress topper will need to be turned over to allow both sides to dry evenly.

Using A Dehumidifier To Speed Up Drying Times Indoors

If you place a dehumidifier in the room with your memory foam, you can dramatically reduce drying times. This is because the dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air.

This allows the memory foam to release more moisture into the air at a faster rate.

SEE ALSO: Great Dehumidifiers For Drying Memory Foam 

Decrease Indoor Drying Time Using An Electric Fan

You can simulate a gentle breeze by placing an electric fan in the room with your drying memory foam.

Remember to open a window to allow a steady air flow to create a gentle drying breeze.

SEE ALSO: Bladeless Fans Worth Buying

What Happens If You Tumble Dry Memory Foam

Always check the wash care labels

If you tumble dry memory foam against the advice of the care label you are likely to get the following;

Damaged Items

The rough action in the tumble drier will cause your memory foam pillows, mattresses or mattress toppers to become damaged. Either by ripping, tearing or warping out of shape. This damage will be permanent and cannot usually be reversed.

Melted Memory Foam

If memory foam is subjected to high temperatures, it can melt. This can cause damage not just to the memory foam, but also to your tumble dryer.

Misshapen Memory Foam

Due to either the heat or the rough treatment of the tumbling action, or a combination of the two, memory foam can become misshapen in a tumble dryer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take a memory foam pillow to dry?

It can take anywhere between 2 to 6 hours to dry a memory foam pillow depending on the temperature, the wind speed and the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.

Is it safe to put memory foam in a tumble dryer?

It is not safe to put memory foam in a tumble dryer. Doing so could damage the memory foam.

How can I dry memory foam without a tumble dryer?

The best way to dry memory foam is air drying either outdoors in sunlight or indoors in a well ventilated room.

Does memory foam deteriorate over time?

Memory foam does deteriorate over time, too much pressure, too much moisture and too little ventilation can all affect the longevity of memory foam.

What is the life expectancy of a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses should last anywhere between 6 to 10 years on average.

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