How to Wash a Down Pillow: Easy Steps for Fluffy Comfort

Do you often wake up with a flat and uncomfortable pillow? It might be time to wash your down pillow. Down pillows are known for their fluffiness and comfort but can become dull over time …

Do you often wake up with a flat and uncomfortable pillow? It might be time to wash your down pillow. Down pillows are known for their fluffiness and comfort but can become dull over time and lose shape. Regular washing can help restore your pillow’s loftiness and ensure a good night’s sleep.
In this article, we’ll provide easy-to-follow steps for washing your down pillow and tips for maintaining its cleanliness and comfort.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular washing can restore your down pillow’s fluffiness and shape.
  • Proper preparation, washing, and drying techniques are crucial to avoid damaging the pillow.
  • Regular maintenance and care are necessary for the longevity of your down pillow.

Why Washing Down Pillows is Important

Proper care and maintenance of down pillows are essential for several reasons. Over time, these pillows can accumulate dirt, dust, and allergens, which can cause discomfort and potential health issues for users. Washing down pillows regularly can alleviate these concerns and ensure that the pillow remains comfortable and functional for longer.
In addition to improving the cleanliness and comfort of the pillow, regular washing can also extend the lifespan of the down filling. When dirt are allowed to accumulate within the pillow, they can cause the filling to break down more quickly, leading to a loss of fluffiness and comfort. Proper washing techniques can eliminate this buildup and help to maintain the pillow’s loftiness and structure over time.

Preparing Your Down Pillow for Washing:

Before washing your down pillow, make a few essential preparations. Follow these steps to ensure that your pillow is properly cleaned and cared for:

  1. Remove any pillowcases and covers: Take off any pillowcases or covers before washing. These can be rinsed separately according to their care instructions.
  2. Inspect the pillow: Check the pillow for any signs of damage or holes. If you find any, it’s best to have them repaired before washing them to prevent further damage.
  3. Select the suitable washing machine: Use a front-loading machine for the best results. Top-loading devices can be too rough on delicate down filling.
  4. Choose the suitable detergent: Use a gentle, mild detergent for down products. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to washing your down pillow like a pro!

Machine Washing Down Pillows

Washing down pillows in a washing machine is the most effective way to eliminate dirt, dust, and allergens accumulated over time. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Place the down pillow in the washing machine and add gentle detergents, such as wool or baby shampoo, to the water.
  2. Set the washing machine to a mild cycle with warm water.
  3. Add an extra wash cycle to ensure all the detergent has been removed from the down pillow.
  4. When the process is complete, remove the pillow from the washing machine and mildly squeeze out excess water.

Tip: Do not use fabric softener or bleach on down pillows, as these can damage the material and reduce its softness.

Alternative Washing Method with Tennis Balls or Dryer Balls

You can add a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls to the washing machine for even more effective cleaning. The balls will help to fluff up the down filling and restore the pillow’s loftiness.

Note: Make sure the balls are clean and free from any dirt or debris before adding them to the washing machine.

After washing, put the pillow in the dryer and add a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls. Choose the low heat or air-dry setting and run the cycle until the pillow is completely dry. The balls will help to fluff up the filling and restore the pillow’s natural shape.

Tip: It is vital to ensure the pillow is completely dry before use, as any remaining moisture can lead to mildew or mold growth.

Drying Down Pillows

After washing your down pillow, proper drying techniques are essential to avoid damaging the delicate feathers and ensure the pillow regains its fluffy shape.

Air Drying

Air drying is the gentlest method and is recommended for most down pillows. Place the pillow flat in a well-ventilated room and allow it to air dry completely. Fluff the pillow periodically during the drying process to maintain its shape.

Using a Dryer

If you choose a dryer, use low heat and add clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the feathers. Set the dryer to low heat and check the pillow frequently to avoid overheating, which can damage the feathers.
Never use high heat when drying a down pillow, as this can cause the feathers to overheat and clump together, leading to a lumpy pillow that is no longer comfortable.
It’s essential to ensure the pillow is completely dry before use, as any remaining moisture can lead to mold or mildew developing over time and an unpleasant odor.
Following these drying techniques will help you prolong the lifespan of your down pillow and keep it fluffy and comfortable for years to come.

Fluffing and Restoring Your Down Pillow

After washing your down pillow, restoring its loftiness and shape for maximum comfort is essential. Here are some tips for fluffing and restoring your down pillow:

  • Use a gentle shaking method to redistribute the down evenly throughout the pillow.
  • Manually fluff the pillow by gently pulling and pushing the edges and corners.
  • Consider using a specialized down pillow fluffer or dryer ball to help restore the pillow’s shape.
  • Avoid compressing the pillow for an extended period, affecting its loftiness.

Remember that down pillows may take longer to dry than other pillows, so allow enough time for thorough drying before fluffing and restoring.

Regular Maintenance and Care for Down Pillows

Proper maintenance and care for down pillows can extend their lifespan and maintain their comfort. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Pillow Rotation

Rotating your down pillows weekly can help prevent uneven wear and maintain their loftiness. This means switching your primary sleeping pillow with a backup pillow.

Using Pillow Protectors

Using a pillow protector helps keep your pillow clean between washes. These protectors can be easily removed and washed, providing an additional layer of protection.

Keeping the Pillow Clean

Regularly removing pillowcases and covers to wash them can intercept the buildup of dirt and oils on the pillow. This can also help prevent allergic reactions caused by dust mites and other allergens.

Storing Your Pillow

Down pillows should be stored in an airy and dry space, away from sunlight and moisture when not in use. Avoid compressing the pillow too tightly, damaging the down and reducing its loftiness.

Additional Tips and Considerations

In addition to the recommended washing process, there are a few extra tips and considerations to remember when caring for your down pillow.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning may be practical if your down pillow has a small stain or spill. Dampen a clean cloth with water and gentle detergent, and gently blot the affected area. Wash the area thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth, and allow the pillow to air dry completely before use.

Dealing with Stubborn Stains

If a stain is particularly stubborn or the pillow has a strong odor, consider adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. This can help to break down stains and eliminate unpleasant smells. Alternatively, you could use an enzymatic cleaner designed specifically for down products.

Specific Guidelines for Different Types of Down Pillows

While the washing process outlined in this article is suitable for most down pillows, there may be specific guidelines to follow for certain types of pillows. For example, down pillows with a high percentage of feathers may require shorter washing and drying cycles to avoid damage.
It’s always a good idea to check the care label or manufacturer’s instructions before washing your down pillow, to ensure you follow the appropriate guidelines.

Replacing Your Down Pillow

Even with regular washing and care, down pillows may eventually lose their fluffiness and support. If your pillow is flattening or becoming lumpy, it may be time to replace it. Down pillows should be changed every 2-3 years.
Following these tips and considerations, you can prolong the lifespan of your down pillow and maintain its softness and comfort for years to come.

Storing Down Pillows

Proper storage is vital for maintaining the quality and longevity of down pillows. Follow these tips to store your down pillows correctly:

  • Use breathable pillowcases or storage bags to prevent moisture buildup and allow air circulation.
  • Avoid compressing the pillow excessively, as it can damage the filling and affect its shape.
  • Store pillows in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Regularly check your stored pillows for any signs of damage or pests, and replace any damaged pillowcases or bags. Proper storage will keep your down pillow in excellent condition for years to come.


Washing down pillows is an integral part of their maintenance and care. Regular washing helps remove dirt, dust, and allergens, as well as extend the pillow’s overall lifespan. Following these steps, mentioned in this article, you can ensure that your down pillow remains fluffy and comfortable for years.
Always prepare your pillow properly before washing, choose the suitable machine and detergent, and follow the recommended washing and drying techniques. Don’t forget to fluff and restore your pillow after washing and consider using pillow protectors to keep it clean between washes. And when it’s time to store your pillow, use breathable bags or pillowcases and avoid excessive compression.
By taking these steps to care for your down pillow, you can enjoy a comfortable and long-lasting sleep experience. So give your down pillow the attention it deserves and enjoy a good night’s rest!


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