How to Care for Your Down Comforter

A fluffy, warm, hotel-quality comforter can make going to bed the highlight of your day. To keep your comforter in tip-top shape, it’s important to care for it properly. In this article, we’ll teach you how to wash, dry, and maintain your comforter so you can continue getting quality Zzzs for years to come.

Down Comforter Maintenance Tips

Let’s be honest — no one looks forward to washing a comforter. It’s bulky, takes ages to dry, and might not even fit in your home washing machine. The longer you can go between washes, the happier you’ll be and the longer your comforter will last. Use the tips below to keep your comforter as clean as possible between washes.

    • Use a duvet cover. A duvet cover goes over your comforter (also called a duvet) the same way a pillowcase goes over a pillow. It’s your first line of defense against dirt, sweat, and stains, and it can greatly extend the life of your comforter. Treat your duvet cover like the rest of your bed linens and wash it about once a week.
    • Avoid eating and drinking in bed. This keeps your comforter cleaner longer and ensures you never have to worry about food and drink stains.
    • Keep pets off the bed.
      We’re not passing judgment if you just can’t resist those puppy dog eyes or if your pet has stubbornly claimed your bed as their own. However, if you can keep pets off the bed, your comforter will stay much cleaner.
    • Vacuum and deodorize your comforter about twice a year. Remove the duvet cover, sprinkle baking soda over the comforter, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it off with a brush attachment.

How to Wash a Down Alternative Comforter

Washing a comforter can be intimidating because of its size, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Before you begin, check the label to see if there are any special cleaning instructions. Some comforters may be dry clean only, in which case you shouldn’t try washing them at home.

  1. Remove the duvet cover, if you’re using one.
  2. Spot clean any stains with your preferred stain remover.
  3. Put the comforter in the washing machine. (If you have to stuff it in there, your machine is too small and you should take it to a laundromat instead. Otherwise, the water and detergent won’t circulate properly and your comforter won’t get clean.)
  4. Wash on the gentle cycle using cold or warm water. Hot water can damage delicate comforter fillings.
  5. When the wash cycle finishes, put it through another round without detergent to help rinse out all the soap residue. Do this process again, but take the comforter out and rearrange it before putting it back into the washer. This ensures all areas of the comforter get exposed to the rinse cycle. 

How to Dry a Down Alternative Comforter

Comforters are heavy when wet, so hanging them up to air dry isn’t usually an option. Instead, use your dryer and follow these steps:

  1. Load the comforter into the dryer.
  2. To speed up the drying process, some people swear by the towel trick. If you have enough extra space in your dryer, add two or three dry towels in with the comforter to absorb extra moisture.
  3. Run the dryer on low to medium heat. (To dry down comforters, use low heat only.)
  4. Remove the comforter every 30 minutes or so during the drying cycle. Redistribute the filling evenly throughout the blanket, and rearrange the comforter before putting it back in the dryer so that all areas get fully dry. You will likely need to go through many drying cycles (about 2+ hours) to get the comforter completely dry. 

How to Wash and Dry a Down Comforter

Washing a down comforter is trickier than washing those made from down alternative or other materials. Down is delicate and expensive, so there’s a lot at stake here. In most cases, the best option is to take it to a professional cleaning service that specializes in down comforters. Professional services may be a little pricey, but if you practice good habits such as using a duvet cover and not eating in bed, you should only need to wash your comforter once every year or two.

That said, if you can’t take your comforter to a professional cleaner, you can use the same washing steps listed above with a few adjustments: 

  • Never wash a down comforter in a top-loading washer. It may get twisted up in the spindle and damaged. 
  • Whenever possible, use a commercial washing machine rather than your home washer. The extra space will help the comforter circulate more gently in the wash. 
  • The two extra rinse cycles outlined in the washing steps above are especially important for down comforters because detergent residue can flatten the down’s loft. Don’t be tempted to skip that step to save time.
  • Take your down comforter out of the dryer every 30 minutes and fluff it up. Make sure to redistribute the down evenly throughout. This will help retain its loft. 
  • Shopping tip: When buying a down comforter, look for one with stitched squares called baffle boxes. These help keep the down in place, make it easier to wash, and keep it soft and fluffy longer.)

How Long Do Comforters Last?

A good down or down alternative comforter can last 10 years or more if it's cared for properly. 

Here are signs that it’s time to replace your comforter:

  • The filling is bare in some areas and lumpy in others.
  • It’s heavily stained.
  • It has mildew or smells bad even after washing.
  • It no longer has that luxurious, comforting feel that it used to.

Find Your Perfect Hotel-Quality Comforter

You’re now armed with everything you need to know to keep your perfect comforter soft, fluffy, and clean. If you’re still searching for a comforter so good you never want to get out of bed, check out FluffCo’s hotel-quality comforters

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