Updated at: 02-07-2022 - By: Jane

It is possible to wash your feather and down bed pillows at home if you prefer them to polyester or foam ones. Hand-cleaning down and feather pillows is doable, but a washing machine is far more convenient and faster. When cleaning your pillow, be careful not to wring or twist it too much, since this might crush the filling and produce clumping.

Take a few minutes to inspect the pillow cover before beginning the washing procedure. Fabric should be tightly woven to keep filling contained throughout washing, and any ripped or damaged seams should be repaired as soon as possible. You’ll wind up with a feather-filled washing machine if you don’t fix your difficulties.

When is it OK to wash your feather pillow?

Only when necessary! Otherwise, you should refrain from doing so.

The number of videos on how to wash a feather pillow impresses me as a designer and maker of luxury down bedding. Even Martha Stewart has penned a “how-to” guide on the subject. She wouldn’t recommend washing your pillow if she understood what we know now about feathers and what occurs within a pillow shell after repeated use. In fact, she advises not washing a feather pillow until you’ve thrown it away after using it for a period of time.

How To Wash Feather Pillows I Sleep Advisor

In light of all of this, let’s imagine that you recently acquired a feather pillow. Once again, you’ve spent months scouring the internet for a pillow that will solve all your sleep-related problems. Mystical. It’s the answer to all of your neck and shoulder aches and pains, and it’s the perfect size to fit into all of those awkward spaces.

It’s possible that you bought a second feather pillow for your spouse after the first one worked so well for you because you hoped it would help him sleep better at night. This is a common occurrence.

Then, the unimaginable occurs. On the pillow, the cat urinates. You’ve only owned it for a little over a week. What options are available to you? This is a true emergency, by the way.

You should wash your pillow as soon as possible after your cat pees on it.

How Often to Clean Feather Bed Pillows

Feather pillows can be cleaned weekly or monthly, especially during the hottest and most humid months of the year. If you wash your pricey pillows once a year, they can last a long time.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • The washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Drier balls, tennis balls, or a pair of clean canvas shoes can be used as dryer balls.
  • Washer needs an extra pillow or two of white towels (optional)


  • Disinfectant with high efficiency and low suds


Make Sure the Washer Is Properly Loaded

Keep your top-loading washer balanced by placing two cushions on either side of the agitator when using it. Make up for it with a foam-filled pillow or some additional towels if you don’t have two feather pillows on hand.

For front-loading or top-loading washers, add two white towels to help even out the load.

Decide on a Detergent That’s Right for You

Use the delicate cycle with the water on the chilly setting. A high-efficiency, low-suds detergent should only be used in the amount of 1–2 teaspoons. If they aren’t thoroughly rinsed out, suds might damage feathers.

This can lessen the quantity of fluff in the pillow, so never use fabric softener on a pillow with feathers or down.

Increase the Number of Rinse Cycles

To remove any remaining detergent from the feathers, run the washing for an additional rinse cycle.

Inflate the Mattresses

While they’re still damp from the laundry, fluff the pillows. Put them in the dryer and set the temperature to medium heat.

Toss in some dryer sheets

If you have clumps of feathers in your dryer, try using wool dryer balls, clean tennis balls, or even clean canvas tennis shoes to break them up.

Until the pillows are completely dry, keep fluffing them.

Every 15 minutes, take the pillows out of the dryer and fluff them by hand. The amount of time it takes to dry a pillow depends on its size. Before putting them back on the bed, make sure they’re completely dry.

What’s the issue with detergent?

Feathers are a marvel of nature. The down clusters in a bird’s plumage are protected from moisture by the feathers, which have a variety of other functions in nature, one of which is to keep the bird from freezing to death in the winter. So, nature threw in a few natural oils to aid in the evaporation of moisture from the bird’s feathers, keeping it dry.

However, if you wash your feather pillow only a few times a year with detergent, you will remove this minute oil. Feathers that have had their natural oils removed may become brittle and more prone to breaking while you’re trying to sleep. There are more feathers that can pierce your skin when brittle feathers break, making them more dangerous.

To summarize, do not use detergent to clean your down pillow. You should only wash your pillow in a ’emergency’ situation. If it needs to be washed, use only water and no detergent.

For pillows, My Green Fills are an exception to the rule because they are chemical-free and do not compromise the pillow’s quality. FINALLY!

Washing feather pillows • AnswerLine • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

What Are the Differences in Feather Bed Pillows?

A down-and-feather pillow costs a lot of money. The label will tell you if the pillow is filled with down clusters, feathers, or a combination of the two. The Federal Trade Commission in the United States governs the sale of down-filled clothing and home goods in the country. Down feathers must be the only ingredient in a product labeled “100 percent down.” Feathers, down, and other fibers can all be found in “down” products.

A down-filled pillow is more expensive, but it will last longer than a non-down-filled pillow. Compared to feather-down combinations, down clusters are easier to clean and more resistant to compacting. More down fill means a better product. The 900 down fill rating is the top of the range.

Down comes in a variety of varieties and quality levels. The three most prevalent options are as follows.

Goose Down

The largest down clusters are seen in geese, with the Hungarian goose providing the best down. Larger clusters of goose down have higher loft and insulation because of the down’s size.

Duck Down

Ducks have smaller and coarser down than geese because they are smaller. In contrast, the eiderdown from the eider duck is bigger and of higher quality.

Feather and Down Combinations

For this reason, a combination of down and feathers is commonly used in high-usage products like pillows and duvets. Feathers offer structure and mass to the down, making it easier to keep it in place.

Storing Feather Bed Pillows

Feather pillows must be able to ventilate. Store them in pillow covers rather than plastic bags or bins to keep them clean and dust-free. Store them in a linen closet or another cold, dry location.

Treating Stains on Feather Bed Pillows

To avoid stains, a down pillow should always be covered with a zip-up cover and a pillowcase. Due to a buildup of body oil, sweat, and dust, pillows can turn yellow.

Combine 1 cup powdered laundry detergent and 1/2 cup borax with 4 cups of boiling water to lighten the yellow stains. Add the hot water solution to a washing machine and run the machine for 30 minutes. Wash and dry the pillow as instructed, then flip it over halfway through.

Tips for Washing Feather Bed Pillows

  • To expedite drying, wash feather pillows on a cloudy day with low humidity and direct sunlight. On a humid day, avoid drying feather pillows outside.
  • To maintain the feather pillow as clean as possible, always use a washable pillow cover. Pillowcases and pillow covers should be changed and washed at least once a week.
  • Feather pillows should be kept as dry as possible at all times. Always avoid sleeping on a feather pillow if your hair is wet.
  • Feather pillows can be freshened by putting them in a low-heat tumble dryer or using the air cycle for 10 minutes.


How often should I replace my pillow?

It’s inevitable that even the most meticulously cared-for bedding will need to be replaced at some point. Feather and Down Pillows are generally expected to last 7 to 10 years, but you should replace them when they no longer give enough support.

person changing duvet cover

What can I do to extend the life of my feather pillow?

If you’d like to get more use out of your pillow, there are various options. Your bedding might become yellow over time if it is not protected from sweat, drool, and natural body oils. Pillowcases and protectors can assist. You should dry your hair before going to bed if you wash at night because your damp hair might also add to stains.

Great, so what do you recommend?

Using a pillow protector is always a good idea (protectors have zippers)

Insist on using a pillowcase whenever possible.

Before going to bed, make sure your hair is totally dry so that you may apply any lotions or moisturizers in the morning.

Pillow protectors and pillow cases, which have been previously recommended as a defense against skin and hair oils, are your best bet.

Fluffing feather pillows is a favorite pastime of their owners. As part of your nightly ritual, you may dry your clothes by hand instead of using a dryer. Feather pillows, once crushed, often do not regain their pillowy shape. In order to improve the support of your pillow when you go back into bed, fluffing it helps’reorganize’ the feathers within the cushion.

How often should I replace my feather pillow?

When it ceases to be supporting, technically speaking. If you wake up in the morning with neck stiffness or discomfort because your feather pillow is no longer providing adequate support, it may be time for a new one.

How long should my feather pillow last?

If you don’t wash it excessively, you can expect it to last 7 to 10 years. Using a pillow scruncher or folder will reduce the lifespan of your cushion. Your pillow’s quill shaft breaks down into smaller and smaller ‘pieces’ that are sharp and can increase the number of times you’re poked by it.

What else can I do to extend the life of my luxury feather pillow?

Aside from cat urine, there are three things that can ruin a pillow, and two of them are under your control.

Compression is the first thing to consider. What we call “sleeping on the pillow” are compression cycles. Because you bought the pillow to be used for sleeping, it’s obvious that this problem is tough to solve. However, pillow protectors and pillowcases are all that is needed for the next two.

Everyone’s body chemistry is unique, and so is their use of body oil. It’s possible that some of us have oily scalps, while others have dry hair. As a result, if these oils are not carefully controlled, they might seep through the pillow’s shell over time.

Moisture is the third factor. Moisture from wet hair, especially if you’re a night bather, will discolor your pillow and eventually get into the feathers if you don’t properly dry them.


With a feather and down pillow, buyers get a luxurious addition to their sleep environment that is both comfortable and stylish. To get the most out of your investment in high-quality bedding, you’ll need to take proper care of it. Even though you must adhere to specific cleaning and drying instructions, these items can be easily maintained at home, and by taking additional care to extend the lifespan of your bedding, you’ll be able to enjoy a luxurious night’s sleep for many more years to come..

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