Sunning Pillows and Other Natural Bedding

Sunning Your Natural Bedding to Revitalize Wool and Cotton Bedding

The bright summer days bring with them the opportunity to revitalize your wool and cotton bedding, naturally. Heat, bright sunlight and the fresh summer breeze all have the ability to naturally deodorize, disinfect and bleach natural fibres, restoring and bringing back their splendour. After the passing by of the winter and spring seasons, it can feel wonderful to treat your bedding to a beautiful dose of sunshine. 

Sunning pillows is not a new concept.

For generations, people have hung their bedding outside for a revitalizing measure of nature's best cleaner and deodorizer, the sun!

Walk down any street in Europe on a warm sunny day, and you'll see puffy pillows and quilts piled on windowsills catching the morning rays.

Families everywhere brighten and refresh their pillows, sheets, comforters, and blankets by draping them over shrubs and bushes, across the grass, or on clotheslines.

Nothing compares to the delicious fragrance of bedding aired under the sun.

Want to give it a try? Follow the steps below to take part in this natural cleaning process.

The following steps will help you sun your pillows:

On a bright sunny day, remove your pillowcases and take your wool or down-filled pillows outside. Place them on a clothes-drying rack or peg them to a clothesline with clothespins. You want to be sure that air can flow through your pillows as they bask in the sun. Then, leave them out for a few hours.

After two hours, flip your pillows over and fluff them up. If you've used clothespins, unpin your pillows, fluff them up, rotate them, and pin them up again along the opposite seam. Leave them outside for a few more hours.

Sunlight on your bedding is beneficial but be careful not to leave your things out in the bright sun for too long. Ultraviolet rays can fade colours and break down the structure of natural fibres.

When the sunbath is finished, take your pillows indoors and put freshly laundered pillowcases back on them.

It's that easy!

Sunning is very good for your pillows.

Pillows are often the least washed item on your bed. After all, they are bulky, and not all pillow fillings take kindly to soap and water. Pillows stuffed with organic wool, down, memory foam or polyfill, are not inherently washable, but they love a good sunbath.

And they need one.

It's essential to wash your pillowcases and covers frequently. Laundering weekly removes oils, hair, dead skin, sweat, and dust. A clean pillowcase also protects your natural fibre pillow.

The pillow itself, however, will benefit from a lengthy airing outside in the sun a few times a year.

How does sunlight kill germs on pillows?

The sun's ultraviolet rays kill dust mites, mildew, and allergens. In addition, odours and dampness from perspiration are absorbed by sunlight - it can even lighten stains.

Just a few hours beneath the hot sun and your pillows will feel and smell as fresh as if they'd been laundered - all without the use of harsh chemicals.

How to sun your natural bedding:

  1. On a clear, hot, sunshiny day, find a place in your yard or patio to drape your bedding in full sun. During the heat of the day, from 11 o'clock onward is best. Avoid the hours just before sun-down, as moisture may begin to set in.
Make sure there is a way for air to flow through so your bedding is fully refreshed.
An all-day sunbath is best, but 4 hours will suffice.
  4. Airing a wool topper, mattress, or comforter? Halfway through, flip them over and fluff them up. Thicker bedding might require a little extra fluffing.
  5. When the time is up, bring your bedding inside. Lay it flat on your bed or find another place to drape it for an hour or so before making your bed. Any humidity from the outdoors will then have a chance to dissipate.
Make up your bed, newly refreshed, or tuck your now clean and fragrant bedding away in the closet or drawer. 
  7. Curl up, enjoy, and repeat on another hot day. Twice per year is our suggestion.

Sunning your bedding is well worth the effort. The sweet fragrance of summer and the hot sunshine permeate the natural fibres of your bed linens. When you settle down to rest in your sun-drenched bedding, the result is pure pleasure.

Reading next

Spring Cleaning Blog by Resthouse Sleep Solutions. Spring cleaning tips.
The Body Pillow for Better Alignment and Sleep