how ofte should you wash a comforter

How Often Should You Wash Your Comforter?

How often you should wash your comforter is a controversial topic like asking how often you should wash your jeans. But one thing to have in mind is unlike other beddings, you should wash your comforter less often.

A comforter does not come into direct contact with your body like bedsheets and pillowcases do. If by any chance you are ignoring sheets and covering yourself with a comforter only, you are making a mistake. Most comforters are not easy to wash and dry. And depending on the size of yours and the washing option on the care label, your might part with an arm and a leg at the dry cleaners.

The body leaves oils, dead skin cells and sweat on beddings. All these create a haven for dust mites because they get ample food to keep them alive and breeding like rats.

But you might argue that dust mites are the least of your worries because you do not have them in your bed in the first place. Still, a comforter covered in a layer of body oils, sweat, skin cells and probably pet hairs is enough source of headache. It begins to stink quickly, and it is harder to wash.  

So, How Often Should You Wash Your Comforter?

Generally, wash your comforter twice a year but this should change if you have kids, pets, an allergic reaction, a bedroom that is too humid or an illness that leaves body fluids or bad odor on your beddings. Depending on which one of these factors influences how dirty or uncomfortable your comforter becomes, you might need to clean it more regularly.

If you want to cut down the times you wash your comforter significantly, consider using a duvet or comforter cover.

A linen Alley expert interviewed by thelist recommends washing a comforter twice a year. That being the case, you must always use a bedsheet underneath the comforter to keep it from direct contact with your body.

Further, you cannot maintain such an infrequent washing routine if you have pets that regularly come to bed with you. Pets tend to leave strong body odor and pet dander on beddings.

Factors to Consider When Choosing How Often to Wash a Comforter

how often should you wash a comforter

A given timeframe for washing a comforter cannot be a one-size-fits-all thing. After all, the different circumstances in our homes dictate how dirty a comforter becomes and how often we should respond to that.


If you share a bed with a small kid, or it’s your kid’s comforter, then washing the comforter regularly might be necessary. Kids are messy and that extends from their play area to the rest of the spaces in the house.

And to be honest, you cannot completely deny your kids a fun childhood just because they drag their mess wherever they go. You have to create a balance between your children’s playtime and maintaining a clean house.


Pets are like small kids. They like to be tagged everywhere including your bed. For real pet lovers, this is a non-issue that comes at a cost. You have to bear in mind that cats, dogs or any other animal you keep as a pet is likely to leave traces of pet dander and hairs on your comforter. You are also likely to battle pet odor for the long-term.

Just like dead skin cells from the human body, pet dander is food for dust mites. This makes it necessary to wash your beddings including the comforter as regularly as possible.

Shower Pattern

Different people have different shower patterns and this can influence how dirty beddings get, and how soon it happens. If you shower in the morning and go to bed in the evening without showering again, there is no doubt your comforter will get dirty quickly compared to one owned by a person who takes shower at night and retires to bed thereafter.

Allergic Reactions

If you are allergic to dust and other forms of dirt particles, then you are likely to start coughing and sneezing as soon as your comforter collects barely visible dirt. This leaves you no choice but to wash your beddings more regularly.

A great idea is to buy several comforters so that you can change each as regularly as you change your beddings.


If your bedroom is too humid, your comforter is likely to trap musty odors that can trigger coughing and sneezing. If you are allergic to molds and mildew, you are even likely to develop more serious health complications. As such, it is important to wash or change your comforter regularly, as well as to implement other measures to make the room more conducive.


If you or the person using the comforter has health challenges that leave body fluids or an unpleasant smell on beddings, then you have to wash the comforter more often.

Washing Method

Check the care label of your comforter and see the recommended washing method. If you should machine wash or hand wash your comforter, then you can do it as often as possible. However, if your comforter is dry-clean only, you cannot run to the dry cleaners every now and then. You have to handle your comforter with more care so that it does not become dirty soon after washing.

Should You Wash a New Comforter before using it?

The though of washing a dirty comforter is daunting enough let alone washing a new one. New comforters look sparking clean, and they come packaged in a way that keeps dirt at bay. So, should you wash a new comforter before using it?

Experts from Mulberrycleaners recommend that you wash new comforters and other beddings before putting them in bed because of the chemicals used in factories during the manufacturing process. Further, new beddings capture factory dirt and dust. A combination of chemicals, dirt and dust can pose skin irritation threats for some people.

How to Wash a Comforter

After you have made up your mind to wash a comforter, it is important to follow the right procedure so that you can remove dirt without ruining the original fluffiness.

Check the Care Label

Checking the care label should be the first thing you do before washing anything, comforters included. The care tag provides instructions on how you should wash and dry your comforter, as well as the kind of detergents to avoid. For example, you might see information such as “do not use bleach”.

The care label should tell you the fabric of your comforter and whether it is hand-washable, machine-washable or dry clean only. You can wash a hand-washable or machine-washable comforter at home. There are also some dry clean only comforters that you can hand-wash at home, but this is always a risky decision.

Do the Repair

Whether you are hand-washing, machine-washing or sending your comforter to dry cleaning premises, it is important to repair any torn areas. Normally, they do this at the dry-cleaners but it is a step you should consider undertaking yourself.

Repairing prevents you from tearing your comforter further as you wash it. A washer can also damage a torn comforter further by pulling apart the filling.  

Pretreat Stains

Comforters are bulky and for that reason, you are better off pretreating stains before throwing them into the washer or wash basin. It becomes so much easier to get rid of the stains once you follow this approach.

The products you use to pretreat the stains should depend on the fabric of your comforter and the kind of stains that you are pretreating. Use liquid dish soap if you are pretreating grease stains. I recommend dawn dish soap because it cuts through grease effectively.

If your comforter has protein stains, you can choose a pretreating product from a wide range of detergents and cleaners. For instance, you can use chlorine or oxygen bleach, a heavy duty laundry detergent, an enzymatic cleaner, or a stain removal product.

Lastly, treat water-based stains with a prewash stain remover or heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Hand Washing

  • Since most comforters are unlikely to fit in a wash-basin, fill a bath-tub with warm water and add regular detergent. Use your hand to cycle the water and detergent mixture so that the detergent and distribute evenly.
  • Place the comforter into the tub gently to avoid displacing the water.
  • Allow the comforter to soak for a few minutes so that it can absorb enough water.
  • Wash with your hands gently while focusing on small sections at a time. This allows you to spot all the stains and clean them gently with a toothbrush.
  • Drain the dirty water and fill the tub with clean water.
  • Rinse your comforter severally until you can no longer see soapy residue in the final rinsing water.
  • Drain the final rinsing water and lay your comforter flat to dry. Avoid wringing because it can cause lumping.

Machine Washing

  • Begin by checking the size your washer to determine whether it is the appropriate size for your comforter. Normally, most queen and king-sized comforters do not fit in small and regular-sized washers. Check out article for determining the right size washer for your comforter.
  • Presoak your comforter for at least 30 minutes so that the dirt can come off easily during the wash cycle.
  • Wash the comforter in warm water so that you can get rid of dust mites. Avoid hot water to maintain the quality of your comforter.
  • Rinse the comforter properly and transfer into the dryer if applicable.
  • Add dryer balls into the dryer if you choose this drying option to keep the comforter fluffy.

Using a Duvet Cover on a Comforter

You can use a duvet cover on a comforter to cut down the times you wash the latter. A duvet cover captures all the dirt including pet hairs and pet dander. However, you can remove and wash it anytime, because it is less bulky compared to a comforter.

On the downside, a cover does not completely eliminate the need of washing a comforter. Dust mites can still hide in your comforter, which makes it necessary to wash it at least once every year. The silver lining to all this is that washing a relatively clean comforter is not as difficult as washing a dirty one.


Generally, comforters vary significantly depending on the fabric, filling and size. These factors can influence your cleaning routine and how often you wash your comforter. Further, how you use your comforter determines whether you wash it regularly or not.

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