Puffer jackets are known for being both warming and lightweight, and have become a well-loved staple in many people’s wardrobes.
However, the constant use of these jackets means they often need a good wash to keep them in top condition.
While you can safely put most puffer jackets in the washing machine, many people are hesitant to tumble dry them for fear of accidentally damaging the material and the padding inside. So, can you put a puffer jacket in the dryer?
The simple answer to this question is yes—puffer jackets can be put in the dryer. However, you must be careful when doing so, or damage could occur.
In this article, you’ll learn the best way to dry a puffer jacket so you never have to worry about accidental damage again.
How Do You Dry a Puffer Jacket?
When drying a puffer jacket, you have two options: (1) putting it in the tumble dryer or (2) leaving it to air dry.
Both methods are extremely straightforward and will not cause any damage to your coat when done correctly. The optimal strategy for each is detailed below:
How to dry a puffer jacket in the tumble dryer
The easiest and most convenient way of drying a puffer jacket is to place it in the tumble dryer.
Although some fear that this will cause irreversible damage to the coat, there is no reason why this will occur as long as you are careful and follow the guidelines laid out below:
- Place your puffer jacket in the tumble dryer.
- Use a low heat setting to dry your jacket and set the timer for 30 minutes.
- Take the puffer out of the tumble dryer and gently massage the material to help it puff up.
- Repeat steps 1-3 until the jacket is completely dry. This typically takes around 3 hours.
If desired, you can add a clean tennis ball or dryer ball to the drum with your coat to help re-distribute the filling during the dry cycle. This will help make your jacket extra puffy and reduce the work you need to do between cycles.
Unfortunately, this process can become tedious even when using a dryer ball. However, it is highly important that you do not increase the temperature of the tumble dryer to speed it up, as this can cause damage to the jacket and melt the puffy insulation beyond repair.
How to air dry a puffer jacket
If you have washed your puffer jacket and don’t have access to a tumble dryer, don’t fret! You can also air dry your coat with very good results.
However, this method is less effective at re-fluffing your jacket, so you will have to take care to properly re-distribute the insulation.
For the best results, you will need to:
- Lay your puffer jacket out flat on a clean towel. Try to keep it in a warm part of your house, but avoid any direct sunlight.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Massage the puffer jacket to help evenly distribute the filling.
- Repeat steps 1-2 until the coat is completely dry.
- Thoroughly break up any insulation that remains clumped together until the jacket is properly puffed up.
Depending on the size of your jacket, you may need a large area to lay it out properly. If this is the case, you can also air-dry the coat by hanging it up.
However, this will take slightly longer as you cannot use a towel to absorb some of the excess moisture while the puffer jacket is drying.
What Makes Puffer Jackets Go Flat After Washing?
The main issue people encounter when washing and drying a puffer jacket is that the insulation goes flat.
This can occur when a coat is not properly fluffed up during the drying process or if the material was wrung out too thoroughly when wet.
Both of these things will cause the insulation in your coat to clump together, preventing it from puffing up.
As mentioned above, the best way to re-distribute this filling is to add a tennis ball or dryer ball to your tumble dryer alongside your jacket.
You can also massage the material yourself if you don’t have access to a dryer, but this will require much more effort for the same result.
How Do You Take Care of a Puffer Jacket?
Puffer jackets are typically filled with synthetic or down insulation to make them extra warm and lightweight.
The outer material is then stitched into a quilted design, giving the coat a puffy appearance.
Unfortunately, this unique design means that puffer jackets require a certain level of care when cleaning, storing, and using them.
Below are some of our top care tips to help you keep your jacket looking and feeling its best.
1. Avoid confined storage
Many puffer jackets come with small bags or other containers to store them in between wears.
Although these storage solutions save space, folding and squishing a puffer into these small spaces can cause irreparable damage to the insulation.
This will stop your jacket from fully expanding once you take it out of storage.
It may take up more space in your home, but we highly recommend that you always hang your coat up when not in use.
This will ensure the filling remains undamaged and evenly distributed throughout the jacket. If you’re storing the puffer jacket for an extended period, it’s a good idea to wash it before hanging it up.
2. Pack your puffer jacket last
When travelling, it can be hard to fit a large, puffy jacket in your bag or suitcase. To save space, many people place them at the bottom of their bags and then use the rest of their items to squish them down.
While this does increase the space in your case, the increased pressure on the jacket can cause damage to the filling.
Once again, this will stop your coat from fully inflating when you unpack your bag. Instead, try packing your puffer jacket last to reduce the pressure.
Not only will this protect your coat from unnecessary damage, but it will also make it more easily accessible and protect it from any accidental leaks during your travels (e.g., spilt toiletries and water bottles).
3. Repair it properly when needed
We all try to avoid it, but there will always come a time when your favourite puffer jacket gets snagged on something sharp and becomes ripped.
When you don’t have much time to spare, patching these holes with tape can be very tempting.
Unfortunately, this only causes more damage to your jacket when removed. This is why we suggest properly repairing your coat straightaway.
To do this, simply stuff the insulation back inside the jacket and sew up the hole with a needle and thread.
You need to avoid washing your puffer jacket when it is ripped, but you can spot-clean the area with a damp cloth if needed.
4. Take care when washing
Just like you must be careful when drying a puffer jacket, you must also take care when washing it.
Using a cleaner or washing cycle that is too harsh will damage the outer material and insulation, but this can be easily avoided by using the below guidelines:
- Check the care label: Before washing a puffer jacket, check the care label instructions. Although the vast majority can be placed in the washing machine, some may be hand wash only. Always follow these instructions above any other when washing your jacket.
- Use a mild detergent: No matter if your puffer jacket has synthetic insulation or down, the filling will be delicate. This means you must avoid using strong chemical detergents to prevent damage. Instead, try to use either a delicate detergent or one made of natural ingredients.
- Choose a gentle wash cycle: If you put a puffer jacket in the washing machine, you must always choose the gentlest wash cycle possible. These cycles are designed to mimic handwashing, meaning they use minimal friction that could cause damage to the jacket.
If you would like a more thorough guide to washing a puffer jacket, check out our complete guide.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.