Guide to Washing Feather Pillows

Guide to Washing Feather Pillows

Feather pillows are a luxurious addition to your bedroom. They’re affordable, beyond comfortable and they add a bit of cosiness to your room at night!

Their only weakness is that they do get dirty… but that is kind of inevitable. So, how do you wash feather pillows correctly?

Follow our guide on how to wash feather pillows, and you’ll be back to sleeping soundly in luxury in no time at all.


Before We Begin

If you have done some further reading into washing feather pillows, you may have come across some articles that argue that you shouldn’t wash feather pillows at all, or you shouldn’t use detergent to wash feather pillows.

Here’s an example of what some articles have to say:

Feel free to read the above-linked articles.

But remember that it’s entirely your choice on whether or not to follow our guide below. If you do follow the guide below, you do so at your own risk.


Benefits of Cleaning Feather Pillows

Keeping a feather pillow clean has its perks, check out the benefits of doing so below:

  • Hygiene – By far the biggest benefit of keeping feather pillows clean is for hygiene reasons. Like any other pillow, a feather pillow collects all of the dust, dirt, oil and saliva we lose during the night from our head and mouth. And, although we have pillowcases and protectors on our pillows, it’s always a good idea to wash the feather pillow itself from time to time because dirt still gets there.
  • Extend the pillows life – Keeping your feather pillow clean will extend its life. Unlike synthetic pillows that lose their shape and end up going all horrible after one wash, feather pillows are actually great after having a wash. A simple and quick wash and fluff keep the pillow not only in a good hygienic condition but also make it more comfortable and suitable for the sleeper.
  • Goes back to looking like new – A quick wash is all a feather pillow needs to get right back to tip-top condition. Plus, it’ll look fresh too.


How Often Should You Wash Feather Pillows

How Often Should You Wash a Feather Pillow?

A feather pillow should be washed at a minimum every six months. Although you can do it every 3 to 4 months if you prefer. For example, feather pillows may need to be washed more frequently during warmer months.

Your pillowcase, and protector (if you have one), will do a very good job of keeping your feather pillow clean. Basically, the pillowcase and protector act like an extra barrier between your head and the feather pillow inside, so they stop a large proportion of the dirt from your head from passing through.


Washing Feather Pillows

Here’s what you need to do to wash your feather pillows:

  1. Grab two of your feather pillows.
  2. Remove the pillowcases and protectors from each pillow.
  3. Check and repair any damages to the pillows.
  4. Put the two pillows into your washing machine – always two pillows at a time because it helps to balance the washing machine.
  5. Choose a cool-warm temperature on your washing machine – don’t pick a temperature that is extremely hot because this could shrink your feather pillows.
  6. Make sure you choose a gentle or delicate cycle.
  7. Pick a spin speed that’s quite fast – this will help to get a lot of the water out of the pillows at the end.
  8. Pop a tiny amount (not the amount you’d usually put in) of gentle liquid detergent into the detergent slot – nothing too harsh.
  9. Start the washing machine.
  10. Do a second rinse cycle to make sure all the detergent has been washed out.
  11. Wait for the spin cycle to finish, so that you get the water out of the feather pillows.
  12. Optional: Run a second spin cycle to get any extra water out of the feather pillows.

Avoid Fabric Softener!

Try to avoid using fabric softeners in the washing machine as this could interfere with the feathers in the pillow. The pillow could also become less fluffy if you use such a product.


Drying feather pillows

Drying is an absolutely essential part of this whole process. Not drying your feather pillows properly will make them very smelly, mouldy and in some cases, rubbish bin worthy.

Before drying

  • Check for any loose threads – this could be a sign that the pillow has broken, but you can repair the pillow’s holes with a needle and thread.
  • Make sure the pillow is as dry as possible after the washing machine has completed its spin cycle(s).
  • Fluff the pillows gently.


  1. Grab two towels.
  2. Lay the two towels out flat on a surface.
  3. Put one feather pillow in between the towels.
  4. Fold the towel over the pillow.
  5. Press down on the pillow to get any excess water out – no twisting the pillow.
  6. Repeat with pillow two.
  7. Set your dryer to a very low heat.
  8. Pop either a medium-sized bath towel, tennis ball or drying ball into the dryer as well – this will aid the drying process.
  9. Put the two feather pillows inside the dryer.
  10. Start the dryer.
  11. Fluff the pillows by hand after each drying cycle.
  12. Run an additional drying cycle if the feather pillows are still wet – it’s essential that you do this immediately. And do not leave the pillows sitting in the machine because they will start to smell very quickly.
  13. Fluff the pillows by hand after the drying cycle has ended.
  14. Run an additional drying cycle if the feather pillows are still wet.
  15. Fluff the pillows by hand again when the cycle has been completed.
  16. Hold one pillow up with two hands at the corners.
  17. Give each individual feather pillow a gentle shake.


Plump Feather Pillows to Keep Them Fluffy


  • It may take some time for your feather pillows to dry. But always make sure that they are dry before you use them.
  • If the pillows are stiff or smelly they’re still wet, so continue with the drying phase.
  • More drying time is far better than not enough drying time.
  • Don’t cover the pillows up until they are dry.



Whether they are made of goose or duck feathers, feather pillows are an excellent addition to any home. They bring about many great nights of sleep, comfort and they ooze luxury. But, like with any other household product, they need to be looked after and maintained.

Carefully wash your feather pillows and dry them as instructed above. Or, if you don’t think washing them is for you, you could always buy some new feather pillows.



Why is my pillow yellow?

Pillows turning yellow is quite common and it’s usually caused by sweat. During the night, and for many health reasons, people start to perspire from the head region and this moisture seeps into the pillow. This then causes the pillow to turn a yellow-like colour.

Additionally, our skin and hair carry various oils which go onto the pillow and can cause yellowing.

Should I buy a pillow protector?

There are benefits and negatives to having a pillow protector on your pillow. Benefits include, it keeps the pillow clean and they’re cheap. Negatives include, it can interfere with the feel of the pillow.

But, on the whole, it’s an individual preference.

How can I freshen up my feather pillows?

You can freshen feather pillows up by placing them into the tumble dryer for 10 minutes, every so often.