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How to Wash And Dry a Feather Pillow: Step by Step Guide – The Bedding Planet

How to Wash And Dry a Feather Pillow: Step by Step Guide

This post is part of the complete feather pillow buyers guide

Even though there are so many different pillow stuffing materials out there, the traditional feather pillow is still one of the most popular choice, and for good reasons. They are durable, supportive, breathable, lightweight, easy to take care, hypoallergenic and affordable.

But, what about keeping feather pillows clean? Can you wash them? And if so, how to do so without damaging them? That’s what we are going to look at in this post. So, let’s get to it.

What Are Feather Pillows?

Put simply, feather pillows are made from feathers. These feathers comes from animals, specifically birds such as goose, duck, hen etc. These types of pillows are highly rated because of their comfortability and fluffiness.

If you are looking for a type of pillow that will make your sleep blissful and your neck-head area feel like paradise then you should opt for a feather pillow. They provide great support and cushion for the neck, helping you to sleep better. 

Can You Wash And Dry Feather Pillows?

Before proceeding to answer the question of how to wash and dry feather pillows, it is important to consider if they can be washed in the first place. The reason why this question is important is because of the nature of feather pillows. 

Because they are made with feathers, it seems risky to wash them as feathers and water don’t seem to work well together. A lot of sleepers that use a feather pillow are often scared as to whether it will lose its value and function the moment they wash it. Some of them don’t even bother to wash it and they only dispose of it to buy another.

The truth is you can wash and dry your feather pillow, but there are ways you should go about it and steps that you must follow. That brings us to the purpose of this article, which is to show you how exactly you can wash and dry your feather pillow. Following the steps in this article will help to maintain your feather pillow as well as save you a few bucks and time.

When To Wash Your Feather Pillow

Health practitioners have not stipulated a particular time frame for when people should wash their pillows. However, people have been advised by skincare experts to wash their pillows very often. A popular survey even voted for at least twice every two weeks. Although for people with special health needs and conditions, they might want to wash theirs more often.

Generally, a pillow is due for washing when it begins to show visible signs of dirt. That means that the pillow has witnessed a lot of sweat and drooling. A yellowish stain on your pillow is that red flag or alert that you need to inform you that it needs to be washed immediately.

Also, if you have animal wastes e.g urine or poop from dogs and cats on your pillow you should wash it. 

Advantages of Washing Your Feather Pillow

There are a lot of advantages to washing your pillow often. Some of them include the following:

1. To Keep Your Pillow Lightweight

Using a pillow continuously without washing it will lead to the accumulation of dirt and bacteria on it. This often makes the pillow heavier than it should be and usually, pillows should be light-weight. Hence, to achieve a lightweight pillow you might want to wash your pillow regularly. 

2. To Avoid Lumps

The accumulation of dirt and bacteria in a feather pillow can ruin its structure and fluffiness, rendering it lumpy. This defeats the entire purpose of the feather which is to provide comfort and cushion. If you want your pillow to perform better and you also want to get better sleep, wash your pillows.

3. To Keep it Clean (Duh!)

A dirt pillow is a smelly pillow. When your pillow is covered in dirt, drool, and sweat it will make you uncomfortable and can feel like you have bacteria walking over your face and head. Cleaning your pillow can help put a definite stop to this.

For people that suffer from allergies, using a dirt pillow can cause harm to your health and trigger health issues. Thus, it is advisable to keep your pillows clean.

How to Wash Your Feather Pillow

Contrary to popular perception, washing your feather pillow is not synonymous with rocket science. The feathers with which they are made serve an additional purpose of permitting easy maintenance.

They can also be washed with the aid of any type of washing machine. As a matter of fact, when you wash your feather pillow, you don’t only make it good and healthy for you but you also extend the lifespan of the pillow.

While most experts advise that a washing machine should be used to wash the feather pillow, it is also possible to hand wash it. When handwashing one should be careful not to wrinkle or squeeze it too much because it may lead to clumps within the pillow. Also, you might want to soak it in water to diffuse the dirt before washing. 

Steps by Step Guide For Washing Your Feather Pillow

1. Check The Tag Attached To The Pillow

The common rule about washing your feather pillow and in fact any pillow at all is that you must check the tag on the pillow for instructions attached by the manufacturer on how to wash it. This tag should contain the dos and don’ts as regards cleaning the pillow. This is the very first step anyone should take when it comes to washing and drying a pillow. 

For feather pillows, if the tag on it says “dry-clean only” then you should embark on a trip to see a professional dry-cleaner. Getting a dry-cleaner only feather pillow wet by yourself can be the start of a washing disaster. 

However, most people don’t buy their pillows new so the pillows don’t come with an instructional guide tag. Some tags might have also been misplaced at the store. If this is your situation, there is no need to worry, as this article will break down the steps involved in washing and drying your pillow.

2. Load The Washing Machine

You can kick start the process of washing your feather pillow by stripping your pillow. This involves removing the pillowcase and the pillow protector. After which you punch the right instructions into the washing machine.

Creating a balance in the washer while it spins is more difficult with pillows than with clothes. To deal with this balance issue, simply wash two pillows at the same time. If you don’t have two pillows, you can achieve balance with a towel.

Additionally, you are required to set the washing machine to its fastest spin speed. This will help to take out as much moisture as possible from the pillow. 

3. Make Sure You’re Using The Right Detergent

As you know by now, there are different types of detergents and some of them are not suitable for washing certain clothing items.

For instance, liquid detergents are not fit for feather pillows and might cause them to clump, taking away their fluffiness which is their core value. Do not make the famous mistake of adding fabric softener to your feather pillow while trying to wash it. Doing that will make the feather pillow lumpy and flat. 

The type of detergent that is best for washing pillows are powder detergents that have low suds. You should also take cognisance of the temperature of the water you are using to wash your pillow. experts say that hot water will damage your pillow, so it is best to stick to cold water. 

Also, regardless of the type of detergent you chose to use, you should not make the mistake of leaving soap remnants on your pillow. To avoid this, it is best to rinse the pillow thoroughly twice to make sure it is clean.

How To Dry Your Feather Pillow

Some level of care is required in the process of drying your pillow. While it is impossible to over-dry your pillow, a pillow that is not completely dried will be rendered useless eventually.

Before attempting to dry your pillow, it is important to see if it has been washed and rinsed well. After that has been checked, the next step is to check the pillow tag again for instructions about drying the pillow. These instructions must be followed. 

Whether or not there are any instructions on how to dry a pillow, the following are widely accepted practices:

First, you should check for any loose threads on the pillow and adjust them. After which, you will set the dryer to low heat and place the pillow in it alongside a towel. Wait for the first dry cycle to end and start the second one immediately. At the end of this process, your pillow should be dried completely. 

Additional Things to do When Washing Your Feather Pillow

To enjoy a better feel of your pillow after washing it, there are some extra steps you can take during the process of washing it. These include; 

1. Fluffing During Washing

Fluffing your pillow is the magic treatment the pillow needs that you are unaware of. You can fluff your pillow by using your hands or with the dryer.

To fluff your pillow with your hand, you will want to grab the edges of the pillow (bottom and top) and stretch both out before squeezing it again. Repeat this process for some time then shake the pillow and place it on your bed. 

Similarly, you can playfully punch your pillow and hit it against the bed to fluff it. If you have time to spare and desire to achieve the best result, you may separate the lumps in your pillow by kneading them individually. 

2. Fluffing In The Dryer

If you have confirmed that your feather pillow is dryer-safe, you can also re-fluff them in the dryer. All you have to do is put your dryer on low and put in your feather pillow, one at a time. It might take an entire cycle to re-fluff your pillow but it will surely come out nice. 

3. Refluffing Through Fresh Air 

It might be helpful to put your pillow outside to allow airflow in and outside of it. This will enable the separation of the material and help to achieve fluffiness. 

4. Using A Pillow Protector

One of the most efficient ways to safeguard the cleanliness of your pillow is by using a pillow protector. A pillow protector is a case that you wear for the pillow aside from the pillowcase. It is used ideally to cover the pillow when it is not in use and it helps to protect the pillow from wear and tear. 

Importantly, it stops the pillow from accumulating dirt and helps it to stay clean for longer. In addition to these, you can also spray your pillow to get rid of unwanted smells. 


When you sleep on a feather pillow, you can easily achieve a good and comfortable night’s sleep. Sleeping on unclean pillows or pillows that are not properly washed and dried can do more harm to you than you can imagine. This is why it is important to religiously follow all the steps and advice in this article. Now you can try out the tips you’ve learned!

Feather Pillows: A complete buyers guide – Parts:

1. Why Should You Use A Feather Pillow? The pros and cons
2. Down vs. Feather Pillows: What’s the difference and which is better?
3. How Long Do Feather Pillows Last? This is the replacement time
4. How to Wash And Dry a Feather Pillow: Step by step guide
5. How to Stop Your Feather Pillow From Leaking Feathers
6. Best Feather Pillows of 2021 – Full Guide and Review

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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