How to Wash a Feather Pillow: Easy, Step-by-Step Guide

Feather pillows are a luxurious addition to any bedding ensemble, offering comfort and support for a peaceful night’s sleep. However, these pillows can accumulate sweat, skin oils, and dust mites over time, affecting their hygiene …

Feather pillows are a luxurious addition to any bedding ensemble, offering comfort and support for a peaceful night’s sleep. However, these pillows can accumulate sweat, skin oils, and dust mites over time, affecting their hygiene and quality. To maintain the comfort and longevity of your feather pillow, it’s essential to wash them regularly with the proper techniques.
This article provides a step-by-step guide on effectively washing a feather pillow at home. We’ll cover everything from preparing your pillow for washing to drying it properly to alternative cleaning options. We’ll also share tips on how to store and refresh your feather pillows between washes, ensuring they remain clean and comfortable for years to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • Feather pillows need regular washing to maintain their hygiene and comfort.
  • Preparation is vital when washing feather pillows, including checking the care label and ensuring the pillow is in good condition.
  • Hand washing and machine washing are both viable options for cleaning feather pillows, with proper techniques and detergent selection being essential.
  • Drying feather pillows correctly is crucial to avoid clumping and mildew, with air-drying methods being the most effective.
  • Storing feather pillows properly and refreshing them between washes can help extend their lifespan and maintain their freshness.

Why Wash Feather Pillows Regularly?

When was the last time you washed your feather pillows? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “never.” However, washing your feather pillows should be part of your bedding maintenance routine. Here’s why:

  • Feather pillows can accumulate sweat, skin oils, and other bodily fluids over time, making them less comfortable and more unhygienic.
  • Feather pillows also attract dust mites, which can exacerbate allergies and cause respiratory issues.
  • Regularly washing your feather pillows can help keep them clean, fluffy, and comfortable, extending their lifespan and improving your overall sleep experience.

To ensure your feather pillows continue to provide optimal comfort and hygiene, it’s important to follow appropriate cleaning and care guidelines. Here are some tips to help you clean your feather pillows effectively:

Preparing Your Feather Pillow for Washing

Before you begin washing your feather pillow, it’s essential to prepare it properly to avoid damaging the delicate down and feathers inside. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your pillow is ready for a thorough cleaning:

  1. Check the care label on your feather pillow. It may have specific instructions regarding washing and drying methods, which you should follow to prevent damage.
  2. Remove any pillowcases or covers from your feather pillow and set them aside to wash separately.
  3. Inspect the pillow for any holes or weak spots. If you notice any, repair them before washing them to prevent further damage.
  4. Fluff the pillow to redistribute the feathers and down inside. This will help ensure an even washing and drying process.

By following these simple steps, you can help ensure your feather pillow is ready for a thorough cleaning and will come out of the wash looking and feeling as good as new.

Hand-Washing Feather Pillows

If you prefer to hand wash your feather pillows, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Remove the pillow from its casing and submerge it in the water, gently squeezing it to remove dirt and stains.
  3. Strain the soapy water and refill the tub or sink with clean, lukewarm water.
  4. Rinse the pillow thoroughly, gently squeezing out any excess water.
  5. Repeat the rinsing process until the water runs clear and all soap residue is removed.
  6. Gently press on the pillow to remove as much water as possible, then transfer it to a clean towel.
  7. Roll the towel and pillow together, pressing firmly to remove any remaining water.
  8. Unroll the towel and move the pillow to a well-ventilated area to air dry completely.

Note: Avoid wringing or twisting the feather pillow, as this can damage the delicate feathers and cause clumping.

Machine Washing Feather Pillows

Machine-washing feather pillows are convenient for those who prefer not to hand wash. Follow these step-by-step guidelines for the best results:

  1. Check the care label on the pillow for specific washing guidelines.
  2. Place the feather pillow in the washing machine and a few towels or other soft items to balance the load.
  3. Use a gentle detergent and a slight cycle on the washing machine.
  4. After completing the process, run additional rinse cycles to remove all detergent.
  5. Remove the pillow from the device and gently squeeze out excess water to avoid clumping.

Proper drying techniques are essential for machine-washed feather pillows. Consider using a dryer on low heat, along with tennis balls or other soft items to help fluff the feathers. Alternatively, air-drying is an option, but it may take longer to fully dry. Regularly fluff the pillow and rotate it during drying to maintain its shape and fluffiness.

Drying Feather Pillows Properly

After washing your feather pillow, it’s essential to dry it properly to avoid clumping and the development of mildew. Choosing the proper drying method is crucial to ensure your pillow retains its shape and comfort.

Air Drying

The best way to dry a feather pillow is to hang it outside on a clothesline. Make sure you choose a dry and sunny day to speed up the process. If weather conditions aren’t ideal, place the pillow in a well-ventilated room and periodically fluff and rotate it until it’s scorched

Machine Drying

If you machine dry your feather pillow, use the low heat setting and add up a few clean tennis balls to fluff the feathers. This will also prevent the feathers from clumping together. Be patient and let the pillow dry completely, doing additional cycles if necessary.
Remember that high heat can damage the feathers and affect their loft, so avoid using hot dryer settings.
Once your feather pillow is dry, fluff it up by hand and give it a good shake to distribute the feathers evenly. Your pillow should be as good as new, clean, and comfortable for a night’s sleep.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Feather Pillows

Aside from washing feather pillows, other methods exist to clean and maintain their quality.

Spot cleaning

If you notice a stain or mark on your feather pillow, spot cleaning can help remove it without washing the entire pillow. Use a mild detergent and water solution and mildly dab the affected area with a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can lead to spread further.

Natural remedies

Natural remedies like baking soda or vinegar can be effective for tougher stains or odors. Sprinkle baking soda on your pillow and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it off. Alternatively, spray the affected area with equal parts of water and vinegar. Let the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before blotting it with a clean cloth.

Regular maintenance

Regularly fluffing and rotating your feather pillow can help intercept clumping and ensure even distribution of the feathers. A pillow protector or cover can help protect your pillow from sweat, skin oils, and dust mites, prolonging its lifespan.

Pro tip: Place your feather pillow in the dryer with a couple of clean tennis balls to help fluff and redistribute the feathers.

How Often Should Feather Pillows Be Washed

The recommended frequency for washing feather pillows may vary depending on several factors. While some prefer to wash their feather pillows infrequently, others may only need to wash them less frequently. Ultimately, the decision of how often to wash feather pillows comes down to personal preference, allergies, and the overall cleanliness of the sleeping environment.
As a general guideline, washing feather pillows at least every six months or twice a year is recommended. However, if you have allergies or asthma, you might need to wash your pillows more frequently, at least every three months or four times a year. Additionally, if you live in a humid or dusty environment, you might need to wash your feather pillows more often.
It is important to note that washing your pillows too frequently may cause damage to the feathers and affect their quality and comfort. On the other hand, not washing them often enough may lead to the buildup of sweat, skin oils, and dust mites, negatively impacting your health and sleep quality.

Alternative Cleaning Options for Feather Pillows

Aside from hand washing and machine washing, there are alternative cleaning options for feather pillows. These methods can help refresh the pillows and eliminate dust and dirt without a complete wash.

  • Vacuum cleaning: You can use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to eradicate dust and dirt from your feather pillows. Be gentle when vacuuming, and avoid pressing too hard to prevent damaging the feathers.
  • Dry cleaning: Professional dry cleaning services can also clean feather pillows. This method is suitable for older or heavily soiled pillows that may require specialized cleaning. Be sure to check with the dry cleaning service to ensure they can clean feather pillows.

It’s essential to note that these alternative cleaning options do not replace regular washing. Instead, they provide an additional cleaning option or a way to prolong the time between washes.

Storing Feather Pillows Properly

Properly storing feather pillows is essential in maintaining their quality and prolonging their lifespan. Here are some practical tips on how to keep feather pillows:

  • Ensure the feather pillows are completely dry before storing them.
  • Store feather pillows in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated space. Avoid keeping them in wet or humid areas, leading to mold and mildew growth.
  • Avoid storing feather pillows in direct sunlight, which can cause the feathers to become brittle and yellow over time.
  • Place feather pillows in a cotton or linen pillowcase to protect them from dust and dirt. Avoid plastic bags, as they trap moisture and prevent proper ventilation.
  • If storing feather pillows for an extended period, periodically fluff and rotate them to prevent the filling from settling or clumping together.

Following these simple tips, you can make sure that your feather pillows remain fresh, clean, and comfortable for years.

Refreshing Feather Pillows Between Washes

In addition to regular washing, there are several strategies to refresh feather pillows between washes. These techniques will help maintain their freshness and ensure a good night’s sleep:

  • Air pillows out by placing them in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated space for a few hours.
  • Use fabric sprays or sachets to neutralize odors and add a pleasant scent to pillows.
  • Fluff the pillows daily to maintain their shape and comfort.

Following these tips, you can extend the time between washes and keep your feather pillows clean and fresh.


Washing feather pillows may seem daunting, but with the proper methods and tools, it can be an easy and effective way to maintain their comfort and quality. Regularly washing your feather pillows can remove sweat, skin oils, and dust mites that accumulate over time, improving their hygiene and longevity.
Follow our step-by-step guide on hand washing or machine washing feather pillows, depending on your preference and convenience. It’s essential to take care while drying your pillows, as improper methods can lead to clumping and mildew. Use our tips to air-dry, fluff, and rotate your feather pillows to ensure they dry thoroughly and maintain their shape and fluffiness.
Remember to store your feather pillows properly in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated space, away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. And if you need to refresh your pillows between washes, use our strategies, such as airing them out, fabric sprays or sachets, and regular fluffing to maintain their freshness.
Maintaining your feather pillows is crucial for a comfortable and healthy sleeping environment. Follow our guide and tips for effective cleaning and quality maintenance, and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep on clean and fresh feather pillows.


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