How to Wash a Duvet at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated On April 18th, 2024
How to Wash a Duvet at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Key Takeaways

  • Preparation is Key: Before washing your duvet, remove the duvet cover and spot clean any stains. Check the care label for specific instructions and maintain a clean lint filter in your washing machine.
  • Machine Washing Tips: Use a large capacity washing machine and choose the appropriate water temperature and cycle for your duvet’s material. Ensure even loading and consider using wool dryer balls or clean tennis balls for efficient drying.
  • Alternative Cleaning Methods: If machine washing isn’t suitable, consider dry cleaning or professional laundering. Regularly rotate and store your bedding properly to maintain freshness, and use baking soda to deodorize your mattress for a clean sleeping environment.

Have you ever wondered how to properly wash your duvet at home? Do you know the best techniques for cleaning different types of duvets, whether they are made of down and natural materials or synthetic materials? And what about the importance of using a duvet cover and choosing the right laundry detergent for machine washing?

If you’re ready to discover the secrets to keeping your duvet fresh and clean, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to wash a duvet effectively. We will also share tips on air drying your duvet and using wool dryer balls for more efficient drying.

Save $450 On Any Mattress

Plus free shipping

Get $450 OFF Mattresses

Preparing Your Duvet for Washing

Before you start washing your duvet, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare it for cleaning. This process includes spot cleaning any stains, checking the care label for specific instructions, and using a duvet cover for added protection.

Remove the Duvet Cover

Using a duvet cover is an excellent way to protect your duvet and extend its lifespan. A duvet cover is a barrier against stains, dirt, and dust, making it easier to keep your duvet clean and fresh. When choosing a duvet cover, opt for one that is machine washable and matches your bedroom decor.

For a through cleaning of your duvet insert, take it out of the duvet cover and wash the cover separately. Otherwise, you’re unlikely to adequately clean the duvet.

Spot Cleaning Stains

If you notice any stains on your duvet, it’s a good idea to spot clean them before washing. Gently blot the stain with a mild stain remover or a mixture of water and gentle laundry detergent. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this may cause it to spread or set further into the fabric.

Checking the Care Label

Before proceeding with washing, always check the care label on your duvet for specific instructions. The care label will use laundry washing symbols to provide guidance on the appropriate water temperature, washing machine settings, and any other special considerations.

Following the care label instructions will help prevent any damage or shrinkage to your duvet.

Maintaining a Clean Lint Filter

Before starting the wash cycle, make sure to clean the lint filter in your washing machine. A clean lint filter allows for better water circulation and prevents lint or debris from being trapped in your duvet during the wash cycle.

Conversely, a clogged lint filter can restrict airflow, resulting in longer drying times and less efficient drying. Regularly cleaning the lint filter not only improves the drying process but also helps prevent any lint or debris from transferring back onto your freshly washed duvet.

Machine Washing Your Duvet

Machine washing your duvet can be a convenient and efficient way to ensure a thorough clean. Follow these step-by-step instructions to properly wash your duvet in a large capacity washing machine:

Check the Capacity

Make sure your washing machine has a large enough capacity to accommodate your duvet. A large capacity washing machine is ideal for effectively cleaning bulky items like duvets.

Choose the Right Water Temperature

For down and natural materials, use warm water to maintain their integrity and keep them fluffy. Synthetic materials can be washed in cold water to prevent damage.

Load the Duvet Evenly

Evenly distribute the duvet in the washing machine to ensure balanced cleaning and prevent tangling. This will help maintain the shape and quality of your duvet.

Select the Proper Settings

Choose a gentle or delicate cycle and adjust the settings according to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. These settings will help protect the duvet during the washing process.

Allow for Air Drying

After machine washing, it’s best to air dry your duvet whenever possible to preserve its quality. Find a well-ventilated space and lay the duvet flat or hang it up to dry naturally.

Meanwhile, a duvet insert may need up to three hours to fully dry in a regular dryer. The drying time depends on factors like the dryer’s size, the duvet’s size, whether you use dryer balls, and the heat setting you select.

Drying Your Duvet

After washing your duvet, the next vital step is ensuring it is dried properly to avoid any damage or unpleasant odors. We will guide you through the process of drying your duvet to achieve the best results.

Choosing the Right Heat Setting

When it comes to drying your duvet, selecting the appropriate heat setting is crucial. Too much heat can damage the filling, while insufficient heat may leave your duvet sopping wet.

If your duvet has specific care instructions, follow them accordingly. For most duvets, it is recommended to use low or medium heat when tumble drying. Avoid using high heat as it can cause shrinkage or damage the fabric.

Using Wool Dryer Balls or Clean Tennis Balls

To facilitate efficient drying, consider using wool dryer balls or clean tennis balls. These items help distribute the duvet’s weight evenly and prevent clumping, ensuring a thorough and even drying process.

Place a few wool dryer balls or clean tennis balls in the dryer along with your duvet to help fluff and separate the filling. This will improve airflow and promote faster drying.

Ensuring Efficient Drying

To ensure efficient drying, it is essential to check your duvet periodically during the drying process. Take note of any clumps or wet areas and redistribute the filling to promote even drying.

For optimal results, allow your duvet to dry completely. This may take several cycles in the dryer, especially if your duvet is thick or made of natural materials.

Considerations for Different Materials

Depending on the materials used in your duvet, there are specific considerations to keep in mind. Synthetic materials, such as polyester, can withstand higher heat settings and tend to dry more quickly.

On the other hand, duvets made from down and other natural materials require extra care. It is advisable to use a low heat setting and allow for sufficient drying time to avoid damaging these delicate materials.

Alternatives to Machine Washing

While machine washing is a common method for cleaning duvets, there may be situations where other methods are more suitable. These alternatives can be beneficial in certain scenarios, offering advantages and convenience that machine washing may not provide.

Dry Cleaning Services

Dry cleaning is a process that uses special solvents to clean delicate fabrics without the use of water. This method is especially useful for duvets made of materials that may not respond well to machine washing. Dry cleaning can help preserve the quality and longevity of your duvet, while also effectively removing dirt, stains, and odors.

Professional Laundry Services

Another alternative is professional laundering for your duvet. By entrusting your duvet to a professional laundry service, you can ensure that it receives the care and attention it deserves. These services have specialized knowledge and equipment to clean and handle duvets, ensuring they are thoroughly cleaned and maintained.

Maintaining a Freshened-Up Bed

Maintaining a clean and comfortable bed goes beyond simply washing your duvet. By following a few tips and suggestions when making the bed, you can keep your bed fresh and inviting for a restful night’s sleep.

Regularly Wash Your Bed Linens

One of the essential steps to making a bed is to regularly wash your bed linens, including your duvet cover. Bed linens can accumulate dust mites, dirt, and sweat over time, impacting the cleanliness and freshness of your bed.

By washing them frequently, you can eliminate these allergens Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source and maintain a hygienic sleeping environment.

Storing Bedding

Always wash your bedding before putting it away to ensure it’s free from dirt, sweat, and allergens. This prevents any odors or stains from setting in during storage. Make sure your bedding is thoroughly dry before storing to prevent mold and mildew.

Store your bedding in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Avoid storing in damp basements or humid attics.

Place your bedding in airtight containers, such as plastic bins or vacuum-sealed bags, to protect against dust, insects, and moisture. Do not store heavy items on top of your bedding to prevent compression and damage to the fibers.

If you have multiple sets of bedding, rotate them regularly to prevent prolonged storage and ensure even wear. To maintain a pleasant smell, place dryer sheets, lavender sachets, or cedar chips in the storage containers with your bedding.

Maintaining Pillows

Pillows are an essential component of a comfortable and fresh bed. To maintain their shape and fluffiness, regularly fluff your pillows by hand or in the dryer on a low heat setting. This helps redistribute the filling and prevents clumping.

For an extra touch of freshness, consider using pillow sprays or mists. These products are designed to eliminate odors and add a pleasant scent to your pillows. Simply spray a light mist over your pillows before bedtime for a relaxing and refreshing sleep experience.

Deodorize Mattress with Baking Soda

To freshen up your mattress and eliminate odors, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire surface. Allow the baking soda to sit for several hours, or even overnight, to absorb any moisture and odors.

After the baking soda has been left alone long enough, vacuum the mattress thoroughly to remove the baking soda and any debris.

For an extra level of freshness, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda before sprinkling it on the mattress.


Can you put a duvet in the washing machine?

Yes, you can generally wash a duvet in a washing machine. However, it’s important to review the care label and any manufacturer’s instructions beforehand to ensure it’s suitable for machine washing. Additionally, consider the size and capacity of your washing machine to ensure the duvet can move freely for thorough cleaning without risking damage.

How do you wash a duvet without ruining it?

Washing a duvet without ruining it involves using a gentle cycle with mild detergent and avoiding harsh chemicals like bleach. We also recommend washing the duvet in a large-capacity machine to allow for proper agitation and rinsing, based on our experience.

After washing, ensure the duvet is thoroughly dried on a low heat setting in the dryer to prevent damage to the filling and fabric.

Can duvets go in the dryer?

Yes, duvets can typically be dried in a dryer, but it’s crucial to use a low heat setting to prevent damage to the filling and fabric. We also advise you to periodically check the duvet during drying to ensure it doesn’t overheat or clump, drawing upon our own personal experiences. Using dryer balls or clean tennis balls can help fluff the duvet and maintain its loft during drying.

How often should you wash a duvet?

The frequency of washing a duvet depends on factors such as usage, personal preference, and whether it’s used with a cover. Typically, washing a duvet every 6 to 12 months is sufficient to keep it clean and fresh. However, if the duvet becomes visibly soiled or develops an odor, it may need washing sooner.

Is it better to dry clean or wash a feather duvet?

When cleaning a feather duvet, it’s generally better to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. While some feather duvets may be suitable for machine washing, others may require dry cleaning to maintain their loft and integrity. Always check the care label for specific instructions tailored to your duvet’s material and construction.

Do you wash the whole duvet or just the cover?

Typically, you only need to wash the duvet cover regularly as it acts as a protective barrier for the duvet itself. Washing the cover maintains cleanliness and freshness without the need to wash the entire duvet frequently. However, if the duvet becomes soiled or develops an odor, it may be necessary to wash the entire duvet.

While it’s important to keep all your bedding fresh and clean, you don’t need to wash them as often as your sheets. Washing duvets or quilts about once a year will do the job.

How often should a duvet cover be washed?

The frequency of washing a duvet cover depends on personal preference and usage. However, we generally recommend washing it every one to two weeks to remove dirt, oils, and allergens. Regular washing of your bedding helps maintain a clean and hygienic sleeping environment.


Washing your duvet at home is a simple and effective task when following the proper steps and techniques. Whether you choose to machine wash your duvet or explore alternative methods like dry cleaning or professional laundering, it is crucial to ensure that your duvet is cleaned thoroughly and dried properly.

Remember to follow the care instructions provided with your duvet and make informed choices to ensure the longevity and cleanliness of your bedding. With these tips and techniques, you can confidently care for your duvet and create a cozy, freshened-up bed for a restful sleep.

More Mattress & Bedding Cleaning Guides

For mattresses:

For pillows:

For sheets:

For blankets and other coverings:

For other bedding items:

About the author

April Mayer is a sleep expert and writer with a degree in exercise physiology. She has dedicated her career to exploring the relationship between sleep and productivity. Her insightful articles, such as "The Surprising Way Your Mood Might Be Messing With Your Productivity" and "Wake Up to More Productive Mornings," have been featured in reputable publications like Forbes, Greatist, Real Homes, Thrillist, Tom's Guide, and Eat This, Not That. With a passion for helping others lead more productive lives through restful sleep, April offers valuable expertise on foods and vitamins for better sleep. As a trusted member of the Early Bird team since March 2020, she continues to provide informative and well-researched content.

View all posts

Discover the ultimate sleep system

Choose your mattress

Shop top-rated mattresses with proven sleep-boosting materials.

Get a pillow

We have the perfect pillow to pair with your mattress.

Browse Pillows

Pick out bedding

Bring out the best in your mattress with our soft and breathable bedding.

Browse Bedding