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How To Wash a Duvet


We probably don’t need to tell you that washing your bedding is extremely important, but while most of us (we hope!) will regularly wash our sheets, far fewer of us will bother washing our duvet.

Think about everything you come into contact with during the day, and the sweat you produce in your sleep. This doesn’t only end up on your sheets. It soaks through to your duvet, too.

Washing your sheets and duvet helps prevent against:


  • Dust Mites

  • Bacterial Infections

  • Breakouts

  • Eczema

  • Skin irritation

  • Allergies

In this post we’re going to look at how to clean a duvet, and the benefits of duvet cleaning. If that sounds like a lot of effort, don’t worry - washing a duvet at home is actually really easy.

Can Duvets Be Washed?

Let’s start off by clearing something up - can duvets be washed?

You can indeed wash the vast majority of duvets, and at home, too. Check the label to be sure, but it’s very unlikely you’ll need to pay a visit to the dry cleaners to get your duvet clean.

Why Should You Wash a Duvet?

We touched upon this briefly at the top of the page. Washing your duvet (and sheets) helps prevent against allergies, dust mites, bed bugs, breakouts, skin irritation, fungal infections and more.

You may not want to believe this or are even able to, but our beds are way dirtier than we think. A study taken by North Carolina State University found that chimpanzees’ beds are generally cleaner than ours. It’s time to step up, people.

These germs, bacteria and microscopic mites build up quickly. These are transferred over from dead skin cells that rub off onto our bed in our sleep. We will also, on average, produce around 200ml of sweat every night.

Considering you’re spending around 8 hours a day in bed, this should be motivation enough to keep it clean.

How Often Should You Wash a Duvet?

Whilst it’s recommended that you should change or wash your bedsheets and pillowcases every one or two weeks, duvets are a bit different. Your sheets bear the brunt of uncleanliness. Your duvet, staying securely wrapped up, doesn’t need to be washed as often.

You should aim to wash your duvet roughly twice in a year.

How to Wash a Synthetic Duvet

Before you get started on washing your synthetic duvet, make sure you’ve checked the appropriate labels to see if there are any specific instructions for washing your duvet. Make sure you factor these in to our general step-by-step guide below.

Note that a temperature of at least 60°C is needed to kill dust mites, and a boil wash will perform the best in terms of killing as much bacteria as possible. Wash your duvet on as high a temperature as is specified on the label.

Before you begin, just double check that your duvet will actually fit in your washing machine drum. A 7kg capacity washing machine and above should be able to fit the vast majority of duvets.

Here’s how to clean your synthetic duvet:


  1. Put your duvet into the washing machine and use 30-40% of the amount of detergent you would normally use for a wash. Fabric conditioner can be used as well.

  2. Try to use a gentle spin cycle where possible, otherwise a normal spin cycle will suffice.

  3. When the cycle is complete, shake out your duvet to make sure the filling is evenly spread.

  4. You’ll want to dry your duvet as quickly as possible after the cycle. A tumble dryer will do the job in roughly 45 minutes, but look to minimise agitation. Otherwise, hanging it up outside on a hot day will work.

  5. Do not use the duvet again until it is completely dried and aired.

Washing a Natural Duvet

Washing a natural duvet is a slightly different beast. There are extra precautions that need to be taken so as not to damage the duvet. Natural duvets tend to be quite expensive as well, so you’ll want to make sure you’re washing with care.

If you’re able to, we do recommend investing in specialist cleaning for a natural duvet, but this isn’t entirely necessary.

Here’s our guide to washing a feather duvet in a machine.


  1. Place your natural duvet into the washing machine and use just a small amount of mild liquid detergent - up to 20% of what you would normally use. Do not use bleach or anything that could brighten the duvet. Do not use fabric conditioner as this coats the natural filling.

  2. Wash your natural duvet at up to 40°C. Use a delicate setting/cycle.

  3. When the cycle is complete, you can dry your duvet in a tumble dryer. Again, use a delicate setting and pause it a few times to take your duvet out and give it a shake. If you have dryer balls, or can improvise some, then this will help to beat the duvet.

  4. If you are air-drying, make sure it’s hanging in a shaded area. A natural duvet drying in direct sunlight can create undesirable smells.

  5. Do not use the duvet again until it is completely dried and aired. This is absolutely crucial for natural duvets.


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