Can you wash a down comforter? Here are the dos and don'ts

No need to dry clean

Down duvet in a washer / dryer taken at Reading future offices
(Image credit: Future)

So you're a feather fan? I don't blame you. Feather and down duvets are super plush and will make your bed look like it's popped out of a five-star hotel. But they can be expensive, so it's important to know how to properly look after one. 

Like the rest of your bedding, your duvet deserves a wash. But unlike any ol' synthetic, down-alternative duvets that can be popped in the washer, down or feather-filled comforters require a little more care. That doesn't mean you've got to lug your weighty duvet all the way to dry cleaners — you can wash your down comforter yourself. Warning: it does require some patience (and a few other supplies).

I asked the experts whether you can wash a down duvet in the washing machine, and they say, absolutely. Though there are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind if you want your bedding to last as long as possible. Here's everything you need to know when it comes to cleaning your comforter correctly.

Can you wash a down comforter? 

Yes, you can wash a down comforter. But forget throwing this one in the washing machine on the same setting as the rest of your laundry. Cleaning a comforter of this quality needs special attention. 

Whether you've treated yourself to a feather-filled duvet or a goose-down comforter, you'll want to check and thoroughly read the care label instructions first. Luxurious, and made to last, a down comforter is totally worth the investment. One wrong wash though and you've lost the plush, cozy feel you spent your savings on. Most care tags will recommend hand washing or dry cleaning, with some allowing for a machine washing on a low temperature and rinse speed. 

Washing machine with detergents and basket next to the washing machine

(Image credit: Getty / Credit: Cris Cantón Creative #:1400958882)

Can you wash a down comforter in the washing machine?


You can certainly wash a down comforter in your top or front load washing, but it can be risky. To prevent flattening any feathers or damaging the down when washing and drying your down comforter in a machine, you should wash it separately from other items. 

"Be sure to use cold water and wash on a gentle cycle in a front load machine," says Parima Ijaz, founder of Pure Parima. "Avoid using harsh liquid, powdered, or excess detergent as this can permanently damage the comforter and strip away the shell." She also advises to "use a low setting in the dryer and wool dryer balls to redistribute the down in the comforter."

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is the Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, specialising in sleep content so you can wind-down well. With prior PR experience working for a luxury bedding brand, Louise knows the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. Joining the other side of the desk as a full-time journo, Louise brings her bedding expertise to writing sleep buying guides, reviews, and news for Real Homes. Aside from helping readers get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, but a budget that won’t quite stretch, Louise loves nothing more than a modern designer dupe. From coloured glassware to contemporary storage, anything to upgrade the bare space of her rented East London flat.