why does my pillow smell so good
Kristina Davis

Why does my pillow smell so good that it always makes me want to sleep more and feel cozier? Why is it smelling extremely fragrant and comfortable even if I don’t spray anything on it?

Today, I’ll be uncovering the truth and mystery behind the reason why your pillows smell better than what you expect.

Your pillows smell good because you don’t sweat on them, the shampoo and/or conditioner you use is fragrant, and you launder the pillowcases regularly. 

If it doesn’t smell good, clean and wash your pillows and soak your pillowcases in a fragrant fabric softener or conditioner.

Your pillows smelling so good isn’t a burden, but they can be such a nuisance if they smell sour, pungent, or just plain bad.

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Do Pillows Smell Good Naturally?

pillows smells good naturally

Naturally, pillows will adapt to the smell of your hair or your body, whatever’s touching it frequently.

Brand new pillows, on the other hand, will smell depending on how it was manufactured and packaged.

There are pillows that have neutral odors, while there are those that would have smelled of a few chemicals, good or bad.

It’s safe to say that pillows do not have natural scents and odors, unless, of course, there are external influences.

For me and my family, our air-conditioning unit is never turned off, so sweating while lying down has never been a problem.

Are Smelly Pillows Rare?

No, they’re not. In fact, they’re even more common than fragrant and good-smelling pillows.

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smelly pillows rare

This is because on average, pillows are used for about 8 to 10 hours per day, and a lot of things like sweat, saliva, water, oil, and many other things could surface it.

The accumulation and combination of all these never produced great smells and scents.

So, if you think that you have smelly, discolored pillows, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Back in our old house, we had no air-conditioning unit. Then, every morning during the summer, we would wake up drenched in sweat.

Not to mention, there also are a few spillages of saliva on them, too.

Over time, our pillows had darker colors, and of course, the smells were unfathomable.

Why Does My Pillow Smell So Good?

Your pillows smell good primarily because of a few distinctive factors. Let me go through these factors clearly and thoroughly.

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They’re Kept Clean and Dry

clean and dry

One of the primary culprits of nasty-smelling pillows would be dirt and dust, sweat, tears, and saliva.

Not having any of these can absolutely make sure that your pillows are kept fresh and fragrant.

You can also make it a habit to put them under the sun every single day for 3 to 4 hours to ensure that they’re kept dry.

You Use Fragrant Hair Products

What’s the part of your body that always touches your pillow? – Your hair. Your hair’s scent will transfer to the pillow.

So, if you take care of your hair properly and you keep it fresh and fragrant, expect that your pillow will smell like it.

You Regularly Wash Your Pillowcases

wash pillows regularly

Of course, if your pillowcases are always kept clean like you wash, soften, and dry them under the sun, then they will not accumulate bad odors.

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I usually wash and launder pillowcases, blankets, and bed sheets every other week, but before, I wash them every week since sweating on them is common.

You Clean Your Face and Body Before Going to Bed

Oil can sometimes be nasty, so, what you want to do is to make sure that you clean your body and your face properly before going to bed.

I usually shower when I get home from work, and I make it a point not to get on my bed without changing clothes or washing my face.

To keep this comprehensive, let me give you a couple of tips on how you can clean your pillows to make them smell more fragrant and better.

How to Make Pillows Smell Better?

make pillows smells better

It can be extremely troublesome if your pillows smell, so, what do you do in this case?

You can find over-the-counter fabric softener sprays and spray your pillows every morning after waking up.

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Although this method works, this won’t get rid of germs and bacteria.

So, to give you a more comprehensive approach, here’s how you can wash your pillows to make them feel and smell better.

Hand Washing Your Pillows

You can wash your pillows by hand and dry them properly to avoid them from being smelly.

  1. Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts of water. Pour it into a spray can.
  2. Remove your pillow from its pillowcase.
  3. Fill a basin with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent.
  4. Rub and wring it gently just so the mixture penetrates the pillow.
  5. Rinse the pillow using cold water. Make sure to remove all leftover detergent.
  6. Spray the vinegar mixture on your pillow to eliminate smells and odors.
  7. Lay the pillow flat under the sun for about 6 to 8 hours to get rid of excess liquid.
  8. Transfer the pillow indoors and allow it to dry.
NOTE: Depending on the thickness and size of your pillow, it can take up to 24 hours to dry completely.

What I usually do is handwash smaller-sized pillows. This is because handwashing is less rigorous and is safer compared to machine washing.

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Machine Washing Your Pillows

machine wash pillows

If your pillow is machine washable, then you’re already one step ahead.

Here’s how to properly machine wash your pillows to ensure that they won’t catch bad odors.

NOTE: The mixture or concoction should be 1 cup of dishwashing detergent, ½ cup of vinegar, 2 to 3 tablespoons of laundry detergent, and about a cup of washing soda.
  1. Remove the pillowcase from the pillow.
  2. Then, put the pillows inside the washer.
  3. Put the mixture inside the washing machine.
  4. Spin the machine to wash and mix the cleaning solution.
  5. When done, run it through the machine once again to get rid of detergent.
  6. Then, dry it in the dryer or place it under the sun.
  7. During the nighttime, place indoors in a well-ventilated area to air dry.
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Check your pillows first to see if they can be machine-washed. Not all can be put inside a washing machine because the fibers could be ruined.

Check the label first and ensure the pillow’s safety and condition before throwing it inside the washer.

You really don’t need to use fabric conditioners because naturally, pillows should smell good and neutral, especially if you use fragrant hair products.


questions about pillows

Here are a few other frequently asked questions about why your pillows smell good.

When Should You Throw Away Pillows?

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), you need to throw out a pillow once every 2 years.

This is regardless of the quality because, over time, the fluffiness and the volume of the pillow deteriorate.

Why Does My Pillow Have Black Spots?

Black spots on your pillow can mean many things, but the most common reason is infestation of bedbugs.

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It can be feces or crushed bodies or shells of bed bugs. You can get rid of these stains by blotting the spots with a mixture of baking soda and warm water.

Can Old Pillows Make You Sick?

Yes and no – let me explain. An old pillow, in itself, wouldn’t make you sick. But, if an old pillow is kept dirty and unclean, it can.

Not cleaning your pillows can carry germs and bacteria, as well as insects such as bedbugs and fleas.

Final Words

In case you were asking, why does my pillow smell so good, you’re doing the right thing! I mean, who wants to lie down on stinky, smelly, moldy pillows?

It’s normal to sweat on pillows, especially if the temperature is hot and humid, but you can make sure that they’re fragrant and fresh by washing the pillowcases and pillows regularly.