Can You Wash a Down Alternative Comforter?

A down alternative comforter is a good choice for those looking for a substitute for a down duvet. Knowing how to care for one can extend its life and keep it as soft and fluffy as the day you bought it. With the proper care, you can wash most synthetic-filled comforters yourself rather than paying the expense of dry cleaning.

Always follow the care instructions for your specific comforter.


Most down alternative comforters can be washed in a large front-loading washing machine, but review the care tag for yours before laundering. Set the machine to gentle cycle and cool or warm water, and add gentle detergent, such as Woolite or Le Blanc Linen Wash. The machine should not be overloaded; use a commercial one at a laundromat if yours is not large enough. Run the comforter through an extra rinse cycle to remove any leftover soap residue.


Down alternative comforters can also be dried in a large dryer on a low heat setting. Using high heat can burn the fabric or filling. To help fluff the comforter, add a pair of clean white tennis shoes or a few clean tennis balls inside socks to the dryer. To prevent damp spots, remove it and fluff every 30 minutes. Expect about three hours for the comforter to dry completely.

Protection and Storage

Comforters are time consuming to clean, so protect it from dirt and grime with a duvet cover. They can be more easily and frequently laundered in your home washer and dryer, which will help to prolong the life of the comforter. Every few days give the comforter a good shake to fluff the filling. When stored during the off-season, place it in a large breathable fabric bag in a well-ventilated area to prevent mildew.

When to Clean

Before laundering, always inspect the stitching and repair any holes so the comforter does not come apart in the wash. If a duvet cover is used, you only need to wash it once yearly or prior to storing for the summer unless it becomes soiled, or spot cleaning won't take out a stain. Also wash it prior to the first use to remove any chemicals and unpleasant odors.