Safe Ways to Dry Pillows to Kill Bed Bugs: Step-by-Step Guide

Do you ever wonder if your pillows could be hiding unwelcome guests? Imagine a cozy night’s sleep interrupted by tiny intruders. What if there was a simple solution to this common problem? In this article, we’ll explore whether putting pillows in the dryer can help eliminate bed bugs, offering you peace of mind and a bug-free sanctuary. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to a bug-free sleep environment.

Understanding Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep. They are known to be elusive pests, hiding in cracks and crevices during the day and emerging at night to feed.

Key characteristics of bed bugs include their oval-shaped bodies, six legs, and a distinctive musty odor. These pests can multiply quickly, with females laying hundreds of eggs in their lifetime.

Signs of infestation may include red, itchy welts on your skin, small bloodstains on your sheets, or dark spots of bed bug excrement on your mattress. Knowing these signs can help you detect an infestation early.

Prevention is crucial when it comes to dealing with bed bugs. Regularly washing your bedding in hot water and vacuuming your mattress can help reduce the likelihood of an infestation.

Fact Information
Bed bugs can live several months without a blood meal. Bed bugs are persistent pests that can survive for months without feeding.
They are excellent hitchhikers, often traveling on luggage or clothing. Bed bugs can easily travel from one place to another by hitching a ride on your belongings.
Infestations are not necessarily linked to poor hygiene. Bed bugs can be found in clean environments as they are attracted to warmth and the carbon dioxide we exhale.

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Can Bed Bugs Survive in Pillows?

When it comes to bed bugs, you may be wondering if they can survive in pillows. These sneaky pests are known for finding hiding spots in various crevices, including pillows. Here’s a closer look at whether bed bugs can persist in your cozy cushions:

Bed Bugs’ Survival Abilities:

  • Bed bugs are resilient creatures that can withstand a wide range of temperatures.
  • They can go for months without feeding on blood, allowing them to stay hidden for extended periods.

Pillow Infestation Potential:

  • Pillows, with their fabric folds and seams, can offer ideal hiding spots for bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide and warmth our bodies emit while we sleep, making pillows a viable target.

Detecting Bed Bugs in Pillows:

  • Look out for small red or brown stains, which could indicate bed bug fecal matter on your pillows.
  • Itchy welts on your skin after waking up may also hint at a bed bug presence in your pillows.

Treating Pillows for Bed Bugs:

  • One method to combat bed bugs in pillows is to place them in the dryer on a high heat setting.
  • Heat is an effective way to eliminate bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle.
  • Encase your pillows in protective covers designed to prevent bed bug infestations.
  • Regularly inspect and clean your bedding to catch any signs of bed bugs early on.

With these insights, you can better understand the potential for bed bugs to hide in your pillows and take proactive steps to keep your sleeping space bug-free.

Using the Dryer to Kill Bed Bugs

Sometimes, throwing your pillows in the dryer can be a quick and effective way to kill bed bugs if you suspect an infestation. Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Take your pillows and put them in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
  • The high temperature in the dryer can help eliminate the bed bugs and their eggs that might be hiding in the pillows.
  • Be sure to check the care instructions for your pillows to ensure they can withstand the heat from the dryer.
  • Consider placing pillows in a plastic bag before putting them in the dryer to contain any bed bugs that might try to escape.

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Remember, consistently washing and drying your pillows on a regular basis can help prevent bed bug infestations and keep your sleeping space clean and bug-free.

Steps to Safely Dry Pillows

When dealing with bed bugs, safely drying your pillows is crucial. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Remove Pillowcases and Pillow Protectors: Strip your pillows of any covers before starting the drying process.
  • Check the Pillow Label: Verify the care instructions to ensure your pillows can withstand the heat of the dryer.
  • Pre-Treat if Necessary: If you suspect bed bugs, consider pre-treating your pillows with a product specifically designed for bed bug elimination.
  • Place Pillows in the Dryer: Put your pillows in the dryer and set it on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
  • Monitor the Drying Process: Regularly check on the pillows to ensure they are exposed to the heat for the necessary duration.
  • Consider Adding Dryer Sheets: Adding dryer sheets can help freshen up the pillows while they undergo treatment.
  • Wait Before Using: Allow the pillows to cool down before using them again to avoid any potential heat-related issues.

Remember, consistently washing and drying your pillows can help maintain a clean sleeping environment and combat bed bug infestations effectively.


Drying pillows in the dryer to kill bed bugs is a simple yet effective method to ensure a clean sleeping environment. By following the recommended steps of removing pillowcases, using high heat for at least 30 minutes, and monitoring the process, you can effectively combat bed bug infestations. Remember to check care labels, pre-treat if necessary, and wait for the pillows to cool down before use. Adding dryer sheets can enhance the process. Consistently washing and drying pillows is essential for maintaining a hygienic sleeping space. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can keep bed bugs at bay and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How should I safely dry pillows to eliminate bed bugs?

To safely dry pillows to eliminate bed bugs, first remove pillowcases and protectors. Check care labels and pre-treat if necessary. Use high heat in the dryer for at least 30 minutes. Monitor the process and add dryer sheets. Allow pillows to cool down before use to avoid heat-related problems.

Why is it important to consistently wash and dry pillows in combating bed bug infestations?

Consistently washing and drying pillows is crucial in combating bed bug infestations because it helps maintain a clean sleeping environment. Regular washing and drying of pillows can effectively eliminate and prevent bed bugs from infesting your bedding, promoting better sleep hygiene and overall well-being.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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