Laundry room featuring Maytag® washer and dryer


As the fluffiest of the bed linens, you might think that the process of washing and drying your down comforter would require a trip to the dry cleaners. Rest easy–while some comforters with delicate fabrics may need to be professionally cleaned, you can typically wash most down comforters in your washing machine.

Read on to find out how to clean a down comforter.

Laundry room featuring Maytag® washer and dryer. Laundry room featuring Maytag® washer and dryer.

What is a down comforter?

A down comforter is a comforter filled with the undercoat feathers of a goose or duck for a cozy night’s sleep. The fluffy filaments are lightweight and trap heat to keep you warm when the temperature dips. It’s also breathable which allows moisture to escape. Down alternative fill offers a synthetic, animal-friendly option that has similar benefits to traditional down feathers.

Can down comforters be machine washed?

Most down comforters are typically machine washable and to be sure, always refer to the care tag for washing instructions. Washing machines with the capacity of at least 5.0 cu. ft. are generally equipped to handle larger loads, which is ideal for cleaning most types of comforters. Your down comforter should have plenty of room in the washing machine for the agitate and spin cycles, which helps give it a more thorough cleaning.

Person turning Maytag® dryer knob and smiling at their pet cat. Person turning Maytag® dryer knob and smiling at their pet cat.

How often should you wash a down comforter?

When it comes to washing your down comforter, it depends on if you are using a protective layer or not. Using a top sheet or a duvet cover is recommended for your down comforter. That way, you can wash the cover more frequently and only need to wash the comforter itself every year or two.

The Best Way to Wash a Down Comforter

Before washing a down duvet read the care label to ensure the fabric doesn’t require dry cleaning. If it’s safe to machine wash, pretreat any stains (if necessary) and remove excess debris. Then, select the correct temperature and cycle settings for the washing machine. Finally, dry your comforter in the dryer on low or no heat, and hang it to air dry after the cycle completes until completely dry. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause colors to fade.

  • Gentle laundry detergent

  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Wash balls or clean tennis balls (optional)

Person loading a Maytag® Washer.

Step 1: Load the washer

Before washing your down comforter, take the time to look for any small stains or collections of lint. That way you can pre-treat and eliminate stains, and shake off any stubborn lint and dust. If washing a duvet, take off the duvet cover first and only insert the down filling in the washer. Use wash balls or clean tennis balls to prevent the down material from bunching.

Person selecting cycle settings on their Maytag® washer.

Step 2: Select Gentle Cycle Settings

To maintain the fluffiness of your down comforter, use a gentle cycle setting and detergent like Swash® Free & Clear Laundry Detergent1. Most washers are equipped with a ‘bedding’ or ‘bulky’ setting—ideal for down and down alternative comforters. If your washer doesn’t have this feature, simply choose a ‘gentle’ or ‘delicate’ setting.

Person loading a down comforter into the dryer.

Step 3: Dry thoroughly

Some washers and dryers have a large load capacity, making it tempting to add ‘a few more’ clothes for an efficient load. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dry your comforter separately so it has plenty of room to dry. In addition, select the lowest heat setting to maintain the quality of your comforter. If necessary, hang on a rack to dry completely.

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How long does it take to dry a down comforter?

Since it can take multiple steps to fully dry a down comforter, the drying process can last around 2-3 hours. After the drying cycle is complete, remove the down comforter and allow it to air dry in a clean, flat area of your home or hang to dry if you have the space.

How do you fluff up a down comforter after washing?

Gently shake your down comforter to encourage uniform drying. This is an essential step to ensure the clusters of down feather or alternative fill are evenly dispersed to keep your comforter fluffy.

Explore Maytag® Washers and Dryers

Maytag® washers and dryers offer the powerful cleaning capabilities to fit your family’s needs. Stay ahead of the game with smart capable appliances, front load washers, and select electric dryers with Advanced Moisture Sensing®.

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1. Swash: Swash and the recommending brands are owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.