How to Wash a Comforter in 4 Simple Steps

Washing a comforter can seem like a daunting task, but with a few simple steps, you can keep your comforter fresh, clean, and cozy. Follow these tips for how to easily wash a comforter at home.

Gather Your Supplies

  • A large capacity washing machine or access to a commercial washer is best to handle the bulk of a comforter. Check that your washer can handle a comforter’s size and weight.
  • A mild, gentle detergent is ideal for washing delicates like down-filled comforters. Avoid regular detergents that could be too harsh.
  • Fabric softener is optional but can help fluff up the comforter after washing.
  • Large capacity dryer or drying rack/line for air drying. Make sure your dryer is big enough for the comforter or have space to air dry it flattened.

Check the Care Instructions

  • Always check the tag on your comforter for specific washing instructions. This will indicate if you can machine wash and dry it or if special care is needed.
  • Pay attention to the recommended wash cycle, water temperature, if bleach is allowed, and tumble dry settings.
  • For down comforters, a delicate cycle and low heat drying are typically recommended.

Wash in the Machine Properly

  • Shake out the comforter first to remove dust and loose debris. Spot treat any visible stains as needed.
  • Use the largest washer available and don’t overload it. Wash the comforter alone or with other large bedding.
  • Use a mild detergent and set the washer to a gentle, delicate cycle if possible based on the care tag. Warm water around 30°C is ideal.
  • Add a couple of tennis balls to the wash to help fluff up the comforter as it agitates.
  • Rinse the comforter 2-3 times to remove all detergent residue.

Dry Thoroughly

  • Move the comforter to the dryer immediately after washing to avoid mildew. Make sure the dryer is large enough for the comforter.
  • Use low heat or no heat/air dry settings. High heat can damage the filling.
  • Toss in a couple of clean tennis balls again to help break up clumps.
  • Tumble dry until completely dry, checking frequently to avoid over drying.
  • For down comforters, you may need to repeat a low heat drying cycle 2-3 times to fully dry all the down.
  • Remove promptly from the dryer and fluff the comforter well after drying.

Other Handy Tips

Can you wash a comforter in a top load washer?

Yes, a top load washing machine can work for washing comforters and other oversized items. Make sure you have an extra large capacity model (at least 5 cubic feet). Wash alone or with just a few other huge blankets or bedding. Let it soak fully in water before beginning the wash cycle.

How do you wash a large down comforter at home?

For washing large down comforters:

  • Use front loading washers if available for more room.
  • Wash on the “bulky” or “bedding” cycle at a low/delicate temperature with a mild detergent.
  • Dry with low heat, commercial machine, or air dry flattened to avoid clumping.

Should you wash a comforter before using?

It’s a good idea to launder a brand new comforter before first use. Comforters can pick up dust and debris during manufacturing, shipping, and storage. Washing before use can freshen it up and remove any residual odors or chemicals from production.

How often should you wash a comforter?

Most comforters should be washed every 2-3 months with regular use. Wash more frequently if you have kids, pets, sleep with the comforter all the time, or notice visible stains or odors developing. Delicate down comforters only need washing 1-2 times per year unless soiled.

Can I put a comforter in the washer?

You can wash most comforters in a washing machine but very large or delicate ones may require professional dry cleaning. Always check the care tag. Use large capacity washers and gentle cycles to wash comforters properly at home.

Washing comforters does take a bit more time and effort than washing sheets or other linens. However, with the right supplies and following these simple steps, you can keep your comforter fresh and cozy all year long. Proper washing will help extend the life of your comforter as well.


Washing comforters regularly is an important part of bedding maintenance. By following these simple steps – preparing with the right supplies, checking care instructions, washing properly on a gentle cycle, and thoroughly drying – you can easily wash a comforter at home. Pay attention to fabric recommendations and tackle stains promptly for best results. With the proper care, your comforter will stay soft, fluffy, and comfy to cuddle under for many years.