How to Clean Feather Pillows: Essential Tips and Tricks

How to Clean Feather Pillows: Essential Tips and Tricks

Indulging in the luxurious comfort of down and feather pillows is a delightful experience, but to maintain their plush and fresh allure, regular washing is a must.

The key to ensuring your down pillows remain clean and fluffy lies in the gentle handling throughout the washing process, whether you opt for machine or hand-washing. Preserving the soft, feathery texture is paramount, and this involves careful attention to prevent any damage.

While the idea of cleaning these pillows might seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. For specific and effective guidance, always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer on the label.

Understanding How to Clean Feather Pillows is essential and determining how often to wash them is crucial. In addition to this, we’ll provide you with some general guidelines for washing down and feather pillows, whether you choose the convenience of a washing machine or the hands-on approach.

How to Wash Down and Feather Pillows

Given the delicate nature of feathers and down, extra care is paramount when washing pillows filled with these materials. Prioritize checking the manufacturer’s care instructions, as they provide specific guidelines regarding the appropriate washing method and temperature.

Initiate the process by removing the pillowcase and conducting a thorough inspection for any rips or damage. Optimal results are achieved when washing two pillows simultaneously, ensuring a balanced load in the machine.

For those using a top-load washer with an agitator, a vertical loading of pillows is recommended to minimize the risk of potential damage. Employ a mild detergent or opt for a low-sudsing detergent specifically formulated for feathers and down.

To prevent soap residue and clumping, it is advised to use a modest amount of detergent. Maintain the integrity of the down by selecting cool or warm water settings, as hot water has the potential to cause damage.

Safeguard the fill by consistently opting for the delicate setting during the wash cycle. To eliminate any lingering soap residue and excess water, include an additional rinse and spin cycle in the washing process. These meticulous steps will help ensure that your down and feather pillows receive the care they deserve, preserving their softness and longevity.

How to Dry Down and Feather Pillows

Once your pillows have been treated to a refreshing wash, the next step is to ensure they are properly dried. Again, consulting the manufacturer’s care instructions is crucial for optimal results, as they provide tailored recommendations. Thankfully, many pillows are suitable for machine-drying.

Begin by eliminating excess water from the pillows, employing a gentle squeeze or by pressing them between two towels. It’s important to refrain from wringing the pillows, as this action can potentially damage the delicate fill.

Utilize the delicate setting on low heat or, for some pillows, the no-heat option for several cycles. To maintain their fluffiness, take the time to fluff the pillows in between cycles or introduce dryer balls to break up any clumps that may have formed.

Exercise diligence in checking for any lingering odor or clumps, as these could indicate remaining moisture. Complete drying is crucial, as mold may develop if the pillows are not thoroughly dried. If needed, run additional dryer cycles or, for a more natural approach, hang the pillows on a clothesline to finish air-drying. By following these meticulous steps, your down and feather pillows will not only be impeccably clean but also perfectly dried, ensuring their continued comfort and longevity.

Washing Down and Feather Pillows by Hand

If the idea of machine-washing your down or feather pillows feels uneasy, an alternative method is hand-washing, offering a similar cleaning outcome with a bit more hands-on effort. Before embarking on this process, it’s imperative to review the manufacturer’s care instructions, particularly regarding the appropriate water temperature.

Commence the hand-washing procedure by removing the pillowcase and meticulously inspecting the pillow and its seams for any tears or damage. Fill a tub with cool or warm water in accordance with the care instructions and add a small amount of mild detergent, stirring until well mixed.

Submerge the pillow in the water, ensuring it becomes thoroughly wet. Gently squeeze the pillow to effectively remove dirt and stains. Repeat this process, moving the pillow back and forth in the water while squeezing gently to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Once the pillow is free from the dirty water, rinse it in clean water until the water runs clear. To remove excess water, gently squeeze the pillow with your hands or press it between two towels. It’s essential to avoid wringing the pillow, as this action could potentially damage the delicate down or feathers.

For the air-drying phase, hang the pillow on a clothesline by the long side or lay it on a flat surface in the sun. To prevent clumping, fluff the pillow every hour and be vigilant for any lingering odor caused by dampness. Though hand-washing requires a bit more effort, it ensures a thorough and gentle cleaning process for your cherished down or feather pillows.

How Often Should i Wash Feather Bed Pillows

As feather pillows age and their support begins to wane, there may be a need for more frequent washing to revitalize them. However, it’s essential to note that a paradox exists – the more you wash feather bed pillows, the higher the risk of developing feather clumps, ultimately resulting in inconsistent support.

This conundrum arises from the delicate nature of feathers. While washing is necessary to maintain cleanliness and freshness, excessive washing can lead to the aggregation of feathers, forming clumps that compromise the even distribution of support within the pillow.

Balancing the need for cleanliness with the desire for sustained pillow support requires a thoughtful approach. Regularly fluffing the pillows and employing preventive measures, such as using pillow protectors or covers, can help extend the intervals between washes. Additionally, following the recommended washing guidelines and using mild detergents in moderation can mitigate the risk of clumping.

How to Take Care of Your Feather Pillows

Maintaining the longevity of your feather pillows requires a delicate yet consistent approach to cleaning. It is advisable to limit machine washing to twice a year, and when undertaking this task, a gentle method is essential. Opt for low heat settings and use a minimal amount of detergent this approach may not eliminate a substantial number of dust mites or tackle tough stains, but it serves to refresh the pillows without compromising their integrity.

It’s crucial to understand that washing down and feather pillows serves to refresh rather than revive them. The primary goal is to prevent the accumulation of dirt, dust mites, and microbes that can compromise the quality of the pillows over time. By adopting a proactive strategy to keep these elements at bay, you contribute to the extended lifespan of your pillows, ensuring they remain a source of comfort for the long haul.

Always Use a Pillow Protector:

Invest in a pillow protector, a zip-on cover that goes beneath your pillowcase. This protective layer acts as a barrier against fluids, dead skin cells, dust mites, and allergens, preventing them from penetrating your pillow. Not only does it maintain a cleaner pillow, but it also contributes to a healthier night’s sleep. Look for protectors that are heat-deflecting and breathable to enhance your comfort.

Fluff Your Feather Pillow Occasionally:

Maintain your pillow’s loft and remove built-up moisture by occasionally fluffing it in the dryer between washes. Place your feather pillows in the dryer with dryer balls or tennis balls, and add a damp cloth along with dryer sheets if desired. Run the dryer on low heat to ensure the pillow is thoroughly dry. Hand fluff the pillow before returning it to your bed. This step is particularly useful for dehumidifying and creating an environment less favorable for dust mites.

Storing Feather Pillows:

Store feather pillows in a dry and well-ventilated space. Keep humidity levels below 50% to inhibit dust mite growth. During humid days, consider using a dehumidifier, and include desiccant packs in your closet where the pillows are stored. Avoid using plastic storage bags, as they can trap moisture.

Don’t Go to Bed with Wet Hair:

While clean hair can prevent body oil stains, it’s essential to time your shower correctly. Avoid going to bed with wet hair by showering a few hours before bedtime or waiting until the morning. If you must go to bed with damp hair, consider using an absorbent cover like the DryZzz Absorbent Microfiber Pillow Case to protect your luxury pillows and your hair while you sleep.

By incorporating these tips into your pillow care routine, you can maximize the lifespan of your feather pillow and enjoy a comfortable and hygienic sleeping experience.


In conclusion, the indulgence of luxurious down and feather pillows is complemented by a commitment to their care, ensuring a prolonged life of comfort. Whether opting for machine or hand-washing, the delicate nature of these pillows demands meticulous attention to detail, with a focus on manufacturer-provided care instructions. Understanding the balance between cleanliness and the potential risk of clumping due to excessive washing is key. Additionally, adopting proactive measures such as using pillow protectors, occasional fluffing, proper storage, and mindful shower habits contributes to the overall well-being and longevity of these cherished pillows. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you not only preserve the plush allure of your down and feather pillows but also elevate your sleep experience to new heights of comfort and hygiene.