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Mattress Pilling: Unraveling the Mystery and Solutions

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 3 min read.
Mattress Pilling: Unraveling the Mystery and Solutions

The phenomenon of mattress pilling is often overlooked yet is a common annoyance for many. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the causes of pilling, its impact on your mattress’s lifespan and comfort, and practical ways to tackle it.

What Causes Pilling on Mattresses?

Pilling on mattresses occurs due to friction and prolonged use. The fibers on the mattress surface tend to tangle and form small, unsightly balls. Factors contributing to pilling include:

  • Material Quality: Lower-quality fibers are more prone to pilling.
  • Usage Frequency: Higher usage can accelerate the pilling process.
  • Washing and Cleaning Methods: Harsh detergents and cleaning methods can cause pilling.

How to Remove Pilling from Mattress

Removing pilling from a mattress can rejuvenate its appearance and texture, making it feel almost new again. Here are some more detailed and effective methods to address this common issue:

  1. Fabric Shaver or Lint Remover: The most effective tool for pilling removal is a fabric shaver or a lint remover. These devices are specifically designed to safely shave off the pills without damaging the underlying fabric. For best results, gently glide the shaver over the surface of the mattress, ensuring even pressure to avoid any tears or snags.

  2. Manual Removal: For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, gently picking off the pills by hand can be therapeutic. Although time-consuming, this method allows for careful removal of each pill, ensuring the fabric’s integrity is maintained.

  3. Proper Washing Techniques: Adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines for washing and drying is crucial. Use mild detergents and avoid harsh chemicals. If the mattress cover is removable and machine washable, opt for a gentle cycle and air dry when possible to prevent further pilling.

  4. Regular Maintenance: Incorporating regular maintenance, such as vacuuming the mattress with an upholstery attachment and lightly brushing the surface, can help in minimizing the accumulation of pills.

  5. Use of Protective Covers: Utilizing quality mattress protectors not only safeguards against spills and stains but also reduces direct friction, which is a primary cause of pilling.

Choosing mattresses with higher-quality fabrics, similar to Puffy mattresses, can significantly reduce the occurrence of pilling, thus maintaining the mattress’s aesthetic and comfort.

These methods not only help in removing existing pilling but also play a significant role in preventing its recurrence, ensuring that your mattress remains comfortable and visually appealing for a longer period.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

Why Is My Mattress Pilling?

If your mattress is showing signs of pilling, it might be due to:

  • Age of the Mattress: Older mattresses are more susceptible to pilling.
  • Environmental Factors: Humidity and temperature can influence the fabric’s integrity.
  • Bed Linen Quality: Low-quality sheets can contribute to pilling on the mattress surface.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Preventing Pilling on Mattresses

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mattress pilling. Consider these steps:

  • Use High-Quality Mattress Protectors: They can shield the mattress from direct friction and wear.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regular cleaning and airing of the mattress can prevent fiber entanglement.
  • Invest in Quality: Opting for mattresses with durable, high-quality materials can significantly reduce the risk of pilling.


Mattress pilling is a manageable issue. By understanding its causes and implementing effective prevention and removal techniques, you can extend the life and comfort of your mattress.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.

Remember, investing in quality mattresses and proper care can go a long way in ensuring a smooth and comfortable sleeping surface.

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