How to wash feather pillows to keep them fluffy and full

Sleep on a cloud with the best way to wash feather pillows

White pillows stacked in a bed with a taupe headboard and geometric knitted throw on top
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Learning how to wash feather pillows can make a huge improvement to your sleep hygiene. You'll definitely notice a difference to your snooze quality when your pillows are fluffy and fresh. 

But over time, pillows can accumulate odors, stains, and debris so it's important to to keep not only your pillow cases clean, but the inner feather pillow, too. Our experts weigh in with tips to wash feather pillows at home and still keep their shape.

You may be worried about tossing it in the washing machine as this can sometimes damage the filling or make the pillow come out lumpy. Not to fear — we asked the experts how to do laundry properly so your pillows end up feeling as good as new.

How to wash feather pillows at home

After finding one of the best pillows, you want to make sure you keep it in good shape. A lumpy, squashed pillow can cause tons of neck pain. Not only are dirty pillows pretty gross, but they harbor bacteria and can cause acne or allergies.

But don't sweat it, with a few pillow cleaning hacks from the pros, you can restore them and be sleeping on a cloud in no time.

White pillows stacked against a white background

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Step 1: Prep the pillows

Before you get started, check over your feather pillows for any dirty patches. Keep a stain remover, such as Miss Mouth's stain treater available on Amazon, on hand as part of your laundry room essentials. Let the stain remover sit for at least 20 minutes before washing feather pillows.

You'll also want to look for any tears or damage at this stage. Check the seams of the for rips as these can worse in the washing machine and the filling will spill out. If you find a rip or snag, repair it by hand sewing or using a machine. 

You'll also want to check the care label for laundry symbol meanings to be clear on the washing requirements. “You should always check the care label before washing pillows. Different materials will call for different methods and some are hand-wash only," says James Joun, laundry expert and co-founder of Rinse.

James Joun
James Joun

James Joun is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Rinse. He is a second-generation dry cleaner and has over 20 years of industry experience having first worked at his parents' store. 

Step 2: Load pillows in the wash

To machine wash feather pillows, you'll need to make sure the machine is balanced so the pillows don't come out lumpy. "Wash two pillows in the drum so it's balanced on both sides. You can also add some extra towels to help balance things out," says James. 

Check your pillow size to make sure they're about equal to each other.

Step 3: Gentle wash

To avoid damaging the feathers, wash on a cool setting with a gentle detergent or one specifically made for feathers such as the Nikwax Down Wash available on Amazon.

"To protect feather pillows, use a mild laundry detergent that won't strip the feathers of their natural oils," says Angela Rubin, a cleaning expert from Hellamaid.

You may also want to add an additional rinse cycle to get rid of any soapy residue deep within the filling of the pillow.

Angela Rubin, cleaning expert at HellaMaid
Angela Rubin

Angela Rubin works at Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Canada. Hellamaid are industry experts specializing in residential and commercial cleaning services. 

Step 4: Tumble dry

After you wash feather pillows, restore their bounce by giving them a tumble dry on a low heat. "You can toss feather pillows in the dryer but it should be on a low setting. Anything too hot can risk damaging the feathers," says James. 

Use dryer balls like these wool dryer balls available on Amazon with over 75k reviews or tennis balls to fluff up the feathers. 

Make sure your pillow is dry all the way through to avoid dampness or mold growing inside.

Pillows are an often-neglected item when it comes to doing the laundry. If you're wondering how often you should be washing your pillows, it's probably already time. 

Just avoid making common laundry mistakes like washing on high heat or using harsh chemicals. 

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.