Can You Put Down Comforter In Dryer? - A Detailed Guide

Down comforters are the best invention since sliced bread – they keep us cozy and warm on those chilly nights and relieve stress and anxiety at the end of a long day. Most of us have wondered at some point another whether we can safely dry a down comforter in the dryer. You will certainly wonder about this at the end of winter when it’s time to put the comforter away for the warmer months. After all, at that point, the comforter has been used all through winter and has probably started giving off a not-so-fresh odor.

Can You Put Down Comforter In Dryer? - A Detailed Guide

Some people take their down comforters to the dry-cleaners to have them professionally cleaned, but that is usually very expensive. So, that again raises many questions: How can I wash my down comforter at home? Can you put a down comforter in the dryer? Should I dry clean my down comforter?

Let us answer these questions and also consider other important aspects of taking care of a down comforter.

First, some basics:

What Is A Down Comforter?

Can You Put Down Comforter In Dryer? - A Detailed Guide

A down comforter is a comforter made using ultra-soft filling that comes from the feathers of ducks, geese, or other birds. The softness and warmth of a down comforter are determined by how much it is filled. This value is indicated by a number known as the “fill power” of a down comforter.

Explained simply, a down comforter’s fill power determines its warmth and thickness as well as the insulation of the comforter. The higher the value, the thicker, softer, and warmer your down comforter will be.

If you are in the market to buy a high-quality down comforter, look for one with a fill power between 400 and 800. Values over 800 offer better insulation and warmth and they are an ideal choice for people living in extremely cold regions.

Naturally, a down comforter is very thick and large, and needs proper care and maintenance. After all, it comes in contact with the skin and, over time, our body oils, sweat, etc. can rub onto it.

So let’s talk about how to wash, dry, and care for down comforters.

How To Wash A Down Comforter

Can You Put Down Comforter In Dryer? - A Detailed Guide

Things you will need

  • Commercial laundromat

Mild detergentWashing your down comforter in your home washing machine would obviously be ideal, but most of these are not large enough to handle such large loads.

So, place your large comforter in a basket and load it up in the car.

Drive down to your nearest laundromat.

Load the comforter in the washing machine.

Spread it out. It is very important that there is extra space above the comforter. Do not add any other sheets or clothing with the comforter. That extra room above the comforter is necessary for the detergent and water to be evenly distributed over the comforter.

Next, add the detergent (sparingly) into the respective compartment. Use only the mildest detergent. Harsh detergents could abrade the comforter and even cause fading and discoloration.

In case the comforter is white, add some bleach to whiten it and also eliminate germs.

Choose the gentlest cycle – warm or cold (as indicated on the down comforter’s label). Heat can destroy your comforter’s shape, fluffiness, and even cause fading.

Never use a softener or fabric conditioner as it could coat the down filling and weigh it down. This could reduce your comforter’s fluffy appearance.

Start the machine.Run errands, go shopping, or read your favorite novel while the machine’s wash cycle finishes. Be patient: most washers run for cycles of at least 45 minutes to an hour for larger loads like down comforters.

Since down comforters are very heavy and bulky, all of the detergent may not come off in a single rinse cycle. In such a case, you might have to run the cycle again. (Be patient, it’s all worth it!)

Note: If you choose to wash your comforter in a machine with an agitator, make sure the comforter does not get stuck around the agitator. Keep checking to ensure that the load is evenly balanced throughout the washing cycle.

How To Dry A Down Comforter

Can You Put Down Comforter In Dryer? - A Detailed Guide

You have two options before you when it comes to drying a down comforter:

Air-dry it

Air drying is a great choice for drying a down comforter as it protects the delicate down filling inside.

To air-dry your comforter, place it on a clothesline and attach clothespins to secure the comforter to the line. Dry it in the shade only – drying in sunlight is only recommended for a white comforter. The UV rays of the sun can cause colored fabrics to fade or get bleached. So, only dry your down comforter in the sunlight if it is of a lighter color.

Machine dry it

The downside to air drying a comforter is that it takes a lot of time – nearly 4 to 6 hours depending on its size, how damp it is, and the ambient temperature. Machine drying or electric drying can remove all of the moisture from the comforter within a few hours and give you a perfectly dry comforter.

To machine dry your down comforter:

You will need

  • Dryer balls or dryer sheets
  • Optional – a dry towel

Place the comforter in the dryer. Spread it around evenly and add the dryer balls (at least 2-3) or dryer sheets. These help absorb moisture from the comforter and dry it more evenly. Dryer sheets also impart a nice fragrance to your comforter.

You can also add a dry towel as it will absorb the moisture from the comforter and result in a more even and uniform drying.

Select hot/warm/low setting based on the comforter manufacturer’s instructions.

Start the machine.

Be patient.

If you have chosen the low-heat setting, you might need to run several cycles to ensure there are no damp spots left on the comforter.

Once dry

Once your comforter is dry, fluff it up by bringing the edges together and giving it a nice shake.

Never place wet down comforters on the bed. Always dry them fully before using.

How Often Can I Wash And Dry My Down Comforter?

Can You Put Down Comforter In Dryer - A Detailed Guide

The best way to preserve your down comforter’s softness and fluff is to avoid washing it too frequently. However, over time, comforters can acquire body oils, stains, and sweat and start smelling off. The best thing to do in such a case is use a comforter protector or duvet cover. Duvet covers come in contact with your skin and protect the down comforter from touching it. You can easily wash down comforters several times a month or at least once a month.

In case you do not use duvet covers, you must wash your down comforter once every 6-12 months at least. You can also spot clean the comforter to remove greasy stains, odors, etc.

FAQs On Can You Put A Down Comforter In Dryer

Q: Is it better to wash or dry clean a down comforter?

A: The commercial dry-cleaning process uses a lot of chemicals and that is never a good thing for the delicate down filling. That’s why it’s best to wash a down comforter. In case your home washing machine is not equipped to handle such a large load, take it to a commercial laundromat or have it washed (not dry-cleaned!) professionally.

Q: Why does my down comforter smelly after being washed?

A: It depends on the material used, but most firm pillows are still comfortable enough to sleep on without causing pain.

Q: How to deodorize a down comforter?

A: There are multiple ways to deodorize a down comforter:

Hang it in the sunlight to dry (use this method only for whites/light-colored comforters). Sunlight helps destroy odor-causing bacteria and naturally deodorizes it.Or, add dryer sheets with a mild fragrance while drying the comforter. This will impart a fresh scent to a stinky comforter. Alternatively, place it in the dryer on the “no-heat setting” with some dryer balls.

Q: Can I use OxiClean to wash my down comforter?

A: It is best to only spot-treat stains using Oxi-Clean. For white comforters, use diluted bleach. Always use diluted products and only treat the upper fabric – make sure the oxygenated detergent is not in contact with the down.

Q: Why is my down comforter turning yellow?

A: Down absorbs moisture, sweat, body oils, etc., and can turn yellow over time. Use mild bleach to wash whites, and oxygenated detergents for colored comforters, but only to treat the spots.


Can you put a down comforter in the dryer? Yes, you can, provided you use the gentle setting or low heat. While this may take time for the comforter to dry fully, and you might even need to repeat the drying cycle, it will at least be a lot gentler on the down.

We hope this guide helps you take good care of your down comforter.

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