How to Wash a Comforter

We spend nearly one third of our lives in bed1, so keeping it clean should be a priority. Most of us wash our sheets regularly, but often forget about other pieces of bedding—including comforters. Comforters can be bulky and decorative, so it can feel inconvenient or even unnecessary to wash them. However, comforters can attract just as much oil and allergens as your sheets and they should be washed two or three times a year2 depending on the fabric. Lucky for you, washing a comforter doesn’t have to be hard.

The first step in learning how to clean a comforter is to read the care label. That will determine whether you need to take your comforter to the dry cleaner or if it can be washed in a washing machine. Most delicate fabrics like wool will need to be dry cleaned.

The next step is determining whether the comforter can fit in your machine at home. If it’s packed in tight, then it’s too bulky and you’ll need to hightail it to the local Laundromat to use a large-capacity machine. That’s because it’s not safe to overstuff your machine—and it doesn’t allow for a proper cleaning either.

However, if the comforter can be placed inside your washing machine and still feel fluffy, there’s a good chance you can wash it at home3. You’ll want to be sure there’s some empty space in the machine so the comforter can be fully covered in water and/or tumbled, depending on which type of machine you have.

Here are some tips for how to wash a comforter in any washing machine:

  • Wash on a gentle cycle using a laundry detergent you trust.
  • Set the temperature for the highest heat your comforter can handle. You want to wash away dust mites and that won’t happen unless the water is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you’re using a high-efficiency machine, you may want to add a bucket of water before you begin the wash, as extra-bulky comforters don’t get thoroughly soaked by the water provided by the machine.
Finally, after washing a comforter, always ensure it’s fully dry before putting it back on your bed. You can air dry it or place it inside your dryer. If using a dryer, take the comforter out and fluff it every 20 minutes. You can also add tennis balls to the dryer to prevent the comforter’s fill from clumping.

  1. SOURCE: Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem (2006). Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Retrieved August 8, 2017 from:
  2. SOURCE: When to Toss Your Linens in the Wash (Sep. 2014). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from:
  3. SOURCE: Bedding and Your Top-Load Washer (2017). Samsung. Retrieved August 8, 2017 from:!detail/cycle_options/bedding_waterproof