How to Wash and Maintain Your Duvet

It's just a wonderful feeling to wrap yourself in a freshly cleaned comforter. For this reason, you will find here some valuable hints and tips on how to wash and care for your down duvets.

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How to extend the life of your duvet

Whether your duvet lasts for 5 or 15 years does not only depend on its quality (though it is an important factor) but also on how well the duvet is maintained. Do you want to enjoy your new duvet for as long as possible? Here are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure maximum longevity of your down duvet.

Air and Dry? Yes!

Down comforters are easy to clean: simply ventilating your comforter ensures that it stays dry, smells pleasant and maintains its fill power. This must be done in dry weather. However make sure that your duvet is not exposed to direct sunbeams. A temperature higher than 37°C will cause the down to lose its elasticity. When down clumps together, you can shake it loose by hand or put it in a dryer with a dampened (and well wrung) towel. The warm, moist air in the dryer loosens the tufts of down and creates airiness without losing fill power.

Beat and Vacuum? No!

Please do not use a carpet knocker or vacuum cleaner to shake and clean your duvet as it might cause damage to the ticking. Pores in the ticking will expand and the feathers and down might come out. The fabric cover is very tightly sewn and prevents any dust from settling in. Tapping or vacuuming can damage the down because it breaks down the delicate intertwined tufts inside. If you need to clean the surface of the duvet we recommend a light brushing and a moderate shaking.

Avoiding pressure? Yes!

Down comforters have impressive insulating properties. Delicate tufts of down are intertwined to trap a layer of air and keep you from the cold. If you want your duvet to keep it's warmth, you should not lay down on top of the duvet or apply excessive pressure to it. If the down clusters are repeatedly crushed they will eventually break down, which will diminish the fill power of the down.

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Washing Machine? It depends

While most down duvets are machine-washable, always check the washing instructions printed on the label. If it says not to wash the duvet, then don’t. A trip to the washing machine can be a very stressful process for a down duvet or down pillow. We recommend hiring a specialised company, as heat, pressure, residual moisture and chemical stress directly attack down. The comparison of the relatively low cost of a professional cleaning with the complex requirements to wash a duvet underscores our recommendation.

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Tips for machine cleaning a down duvet

  • Check the duvet for small holes and perforations before washing
  • Choose the lowest possible temperature
  • Choose the lowest possible number of revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • Optional: program fine or wool wash. If available: down program
  • Economical use of a detergent specialising in down
  • Avoid other fabric softeners or detergents
  • An additional water wash for the complete removal of detergent residue
  • Use of a sufficiently dimensioned washing machine
  • Use of a sufficiently dimensioned dryer
  • Add some clean tennis balls to the dryer
  • After the dryer cycle, check for residual moisture and, if necessary, dry again
  • Shake well -yet gentle- at the end

Cleaning an Eiderdown duvet

An eiderdown duvet differs from a down comforter in the structure of the down. Duck and goose downs generate their insulating power by creating pockets of air within the space enclosed by the ticking. In eiderdown the same principle applies but in a much smaller space because the eiderdown ducks produce a one of a kind down with micro air chambers. What this means it that they are able to trap air better for optimal insulation. Our recommendations to wash and care for your duvet do not apply directly to this kind of down. Indeed the technical requirements to wash and care for an eiderdown duvet are significantly more complicated.

All natural fillings such as down and feathers are evolutionarily optimised to protect against external environmental influences. Among other things, they have on a protective layer, their fat content which has an antibacterial effect. Therefore, any use of non-specialised detergent will chemically attack this layer. For eiderdowns, it is important to note the microstructure is even more susceptible to foreign material sticking than the structure of other down types.

Depending on the manufacturer, an eiderdown comforter is officially washable, but evaluate your own knowledge and technical equipment. The cost of professional cleaning is probably worth your peace of mind. Additionally, please keep in mind that owing to its self-cleaning power, an eiderdown duvet seldom needs to be washed. It is generally sufficient to shake and ventilate daily to restore the micro-air chambers.

How often does a down comforter have to be washed?

During the process of quality control steps are taken to ensure that the down is free from chemical or physical foreign bodies and also that it carries the optimum residual fat content. As a result, down does not absorb long-term odours. Together with the antibacterial effect, downs therefore have a natural protection against odour formation or against the accumulation of foreign substances.

As a result of these natural properties both down comforters and eiderdown blankets need to be washed quite rarely (we recommend every 3-5 years). In addition, the high-quality down-proof and breathable cover protects the filling of your duvet. The third layer of protection is your bed linen, which can be easily removed and washed by you.

Down pillows wash and care

Down pillows are basically mini down comforters. Therefore the same advice applies more or less as for down comforters.

Drying your down pillows and duvet

We advise against drying duvets or down pillows without a dryer. As with the washing of both down products, there are some challenges to overcome when drying, which require the necessary environment. If done improperly, customer feedback shows that it can lead to unpleasant odours. There are two possible causes for this:

  • The first possible cause is a high residual moisture. The associated mold growth is due to insufficient ventilation.
  • Alternatively, the down comforter or down pillows could have been exposed to too hot a heat source such as the sun. As a result, the residual moisture in the down could fall below the protection critical value and thus destroy the natural odour particle defence system of the down. Without this natural protection, unpleasant odours can easily accumulate on the down product and disrupt your restful sleep olfactory.
Go to Frequently Asked Questions.

Down Duvet Buyer's Guide

Choose your duvet in 4 simple steps

  1. Duvet size: Which duvet size do I need?
  2. Tog: Choose the right tog
  3. Fill power: What is Fill Power?
  4. Ticking: Good down belongs in a good ticking

Compare all down duvets by duvet price, size, season, brand, fill power, ticking and down.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask us!
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