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How To Wash A Comforter At Home: Easy Step-By-Step Guide

How To Wash A Comforter At Home: Easy Step-By-Step Guide

How To Wash A Comforter At Home: Easy Step-By-Step Guide

When temperatures drop and icicles start to collect, you might find yourself yearning to get home and snuggle under your comforter. There’s no denying that comforters are a wintertime (and even a year-round) essential, but figuring out how to wash a comforter can pose a few distinct challenges.

The unfortunate reality is washing a comforter might not always be as straightforward as tossing them in a washing machine and going about your life. Unlike sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, comforters are bulky, voluminous, and usually filled with ultra-delicate materials, such as down feathers.

Throwing them in the wash without sparing a second thought is usually a recipe for wreckage. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect washing comforters altogether.

In the same way that it’s essential to wash your sheets, duvet covers, pillows, and even your mattress on a regular basis, it’s also imperative to learn how to wash a comforter so that you maintain good hygiene and protect yourself from allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold.

Though washing bed comforters might seem challenging, we’ve got the answer to your questions. This detailed guide covers the steps that’ll teach you how to wash a comforter safely and some tips to keep it fresh in between washes.

Table of Contents

Can You Wash A Comforter?

Can You Wash A Comforter? | Puffy

Stains and spills don’t just magically disappear without some extra care and attention, so you know you need to clean comforters at some point, but can you actually wash them? The answer to that question depends on the care label of your comforter.

Some comforters, particularly down comforters, might have a tag that says it can only be dry cleaned. While you should err on the side of caution and follow the instructions on the care label, dry cleaning might not always be necessary for comforters.

A dry-clean-only tag is generally meant to protect the manufacturer from liability in case the washing process goes awry. Not only that, but the dry cleaning process utilizes harsh chemicals that can affect the softness of your down comforter.

If you’re worried about ruining your comforter by putting it in the washing machine and dryer, you could also consider handwashing it and leaving it to dry. But before you wash a down comforter at home, heed the care instructions because it will most likely specify a dryer cycle and water temperature that you’ll need to follow.

How Often Should You Wash A Comforter?

Washing a bulky comforter might seem like a daunting, time-consuming task, but the good news is comforters don’t need to be washed nearly as often as sheets or other linens. Cleaning experts suggest washing comforters two to three times a year to keep them fresh. However, there are exceptions to this recommendation.

If you’re prone to allergies or have a pet that sleeps in bed with you, then you may want to consider washing your comforter a few more times in a year to ensure you’re protected against dander, dust mites, and other allergens. Another thing to remember is that if your comforter has a protective cover on top, then the comforter cover needs to be washed weekly since it comes in direct contact with your skin.

What You’ll Need

How Often Should You Wash A Comforter? | Puffy

Before you endeavor to wash your comforter at home, it’s essential to gather the right supplies. Here are some of the things you’ll need.

How To Wash A Comforter At Home: Step-By-Step Guide

Dry cleaning might burn a hole in your wallet, but washing your comforter at home won’t. Here are the steps you need to follow to learn how to wash a comforter so that it stays clean and fresh.

Step 1: Check for holes and rips

A comforter that’s falling apart may not necessarily survive the wash. Before you take the plunge, be sure to check your comforter for any holes and rips. If you notice any loose threads or tears, it’s imperative to fix it before you load it into the washing machine so that it doesn’t sustain further damage.

Step 2: Spot treatment

Whether it’s a wine or coffee stain, accidents happen, but they aren’t always addressed immediately. Old stains might not always come out if you simply put your comforter in the washing machine, so it’s important to kickstart the washing process with some spot treatment.

You can easily make a homemade spot remover by creating a paste made of baking soda and water or baking soda and vinegar. Spray the mixture onto the stain and rub it on there to ensure it’s evenly distributed. Some stains are tougher to get out than others, so for best results, you might want to consider leaving the spot remover solution for at least a few hours or overnight, if possible.

Step 3: Pick the right machine, detergent, and settings

Step 3: Pick the right machine, detergent, and settings  | Puffy

Not all washing machines are created equal, and they’re certainly not all fit for the job of washing a comforter. The machine you choose should ideally have more than enough room to accommodate your comforter. A laundromat might be your best bet if you don’t have access to a commercial machine.

Additionally, be sure to pick a gentle detergent. Much like the dry cleaning process, many detergents contain chemicals that can be harsh on your comforter, particularly if you have an all-natural down comforter.

When you load the washing machine, it might seem like a no-brainer to opt for the bulky cycle, but that can cause your comforter to wear out soon. Instead, be sure to select the gentle or delicate cycle to ensure you don’t risk ruining your bedding. Use cold or warm water to wash your comforter, depending on the temperature instructions on your care label. Cold water will protect the softness of down comforters, but warm water can effectively get rid of dust mites and other allergens.

Step 4: Wash thoroughly

Maybe your comforter’s seen better days, or maybe it looks spick and span even though you haven’t washed it in a year. Either way, it’s going to need a thorough washing.

After you load the washer and run your comforter on a gentle cycle, wash it again without soap. This is a great way to ensure you rinse off all the detergent and it might even be effective at tackling the more stubborn stains. If you’re in doubt about the water temperature during this step, cold water is a safe bet.

Step 5: Dry your comforter

For this step, you can either use the dryer or choose to air-dry it. Because a comforter is a bulky piece of bedding, it’s imperative to dry it well using a delicate cycle and lower temperature. It’s also worth noting that it may take a longer time to dry than your other bedding.

Much like choosing a suitable washing machine, you also need to ensure that your dryer is equipped to accommodate the size of your comforter. One trick to speeding up your drying time is to put a few new tennis balls in your dryer. This can be especially useful when you’re washing down or alternative comforters because the tennis balls can help retain their fluff, reduce wrinkles, and prevent static. Alternatively, you can also use dryer balls to reduce the drying time.

If you decide to air dry your comforter, you may have to lay it out on a drying rack for a few days to ensure it’s completely free of moisture. After it’s completely dry, you can also put it in the dryer again with a few tennis balls to regain the fluff.

How To Clean A Comforter Without A Washer

How To Clean A Comforter Without A Washer | Puffy

Just because you don’t have a washer at home doesn’t mean you have to bear a hefty dry cleaning price tag or, worse, forgo cleaning your bedding thoroughly. Handwashing your comforter can be just as effective and maybe even gentler on the materials.

To clean your comforter without a washer, fill your bathtub with lukewarm or cold water. Next, pour some detergent into the water and soak your comforter for a few minutes. Swirl it around to ensure every part of the comforter is clean. After 15 to 30 minutes, drain the soapy water and refill your bathtub with cold water to get rid of the excess soap.

When you take your comforter out of the bathtub, be sure not to wring it. Instead, lay it flat to dry.

If the fabric doesn’t require a deep cleaning, you can also just use a spot remover to address stains and spills.

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Tips To Protect Your Comforter In Between Washes

Your bed is freshly made, and your comforter is looking cleaner than it has in months. Now what? One of the best ways to avoid too-frequent washes is to use duvets.

Though the terms “duvet cover” and “comforter” are often used interchangeably, they are actually two different types of bedding. As the name suggests, a duvet is essentially a cover that requires a filling, while a comforter can act as a standalone piece because it comes with filling. This is the main difference between a duvet and a comforter.

However, you can also use a duvet cover on top of a comforter to minimize washes and protect your comforter from spills and stains. A duvet cover is also not as bulky as a comforter, making it a comparatively easy piece of bedding to wash.

Another way to extend the lifespan of your comforter is to treat it well in between washes. Spot-treat it regularly whenever you notice a stain or spill. You can also put it directly in a dryer every few months to kill dust mites and get rid of dander.


How do you wash a comforter without it getting lumpy?

The key to avoiding a lumpy comforter is to ensure it has enough room in the washing machine and dryer. After drying, you can also give your comforter a thorough shake to get the clumps out.

Why does my comforter smell strange after washing it?

If your comforter has a strange odor after you washed it, then it’s likely that you didn’t dry it for long enough. When a comforter doesn’t dry properly, it becomes susceptible to mold and mildew, which is why it smells bad.

How do you dry a comforter quickly?

Tossing some tennis balls in the dryer might sound odd, but this trick really does help your comforter dry faster.

Can you dry a comforter in the dryer?

Yes, but only on a low-heat setting and a gentle cycle. In general, comforters take a few hours to dry, but check your comforter’s label to see how much heat it can withstand.

Are most comforters dry clean only?

The care label for many down and alternative comforters might say “dry clean only,” but you can also wash your comforter at home, either by hand or by using a washer and dryer. Dry cleaning can also expose your bedding to many harsh chemicals, so it might even be a good idea to opt for an at-home cleaning solution. The key to washing your comforters safely is to pick the right machines, detergent, and settings.


Clean bedding is imperative for a good night’s sleep and overall health. Though figuring out how to wash a comforter may seem challenging, the truth is that you can easily do it at home by taking the necessary precautions. Comforters also don’t need to be washed that frequently, making it a reasonably low-maintenance investment.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

The Puffy Comforter is not only hypoallergenic, breathable, and fray-resistant, but it’s also machine washable and dryer safe. The comforter uses high-quality, virgin microfiber fill for the perfect amount of softness and fluff. The best part is you can trial the Puffy Comforter in your home for 101 nights to ensure it meets your expectations.

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