Washing a duvet can be a challenge, as the washing instructions depend on the duvet's material, filling and quality. Depending on weight and size, it can be difficult to fit the duvet in the washing machine, as the washing drum of standard washing machines isn’t big enough. In this case, you should consider taking your duvet to the cleaner’s in order to make sure that it’s really clean.
As a general rule, duvets should not be washed together with your clothes or the rest of your laundry. Down and feather duvets can even be professionally cleaned in some bedding shops, as broken feathers should be removed and the duvets refilled.
How often should a duvet be washed?
Duvets should generally be washed once or twice a year. When you wake up in the morning, you should air your duvet out to allow the moisture which has collected in it to dry. It is best to hang the duvet over a clothes rail so that both sides can dry out. As many mites can accumulate, especially in the pillow, this should also be washed once a year.
Bed linens should be changed at least every two weeks. In the summer, however, it is a good idea to change your bed linens once a week, as you sweat more on warm summer nights. People who sweat a lot at night should logically change their bed linens more often.
Why is it so important to wash duvets and pillows?
If duvets and pillows are not washed properly, they will attract dust mites and bacteria. But why do mites like our beds and bedding so much? There are several reasons for this:
Sweating is a natural process in which the body conducts excess heat from the inside to the outside, thereby achieving and maintaining a balanced temperature. We also sweat when we sleep. We can release up to two litres of sweat per night. While it’s perfectly normal to sweat at night, some factors can cause our body to sweat even more.
These factors include a bedroom that is too warm, alcohol consumption, eating too spicy food in the evening and a duvet that is too thick. However, certain drugs can also stimulate the metabolism and lead to more sweating during sleep. Stress and certain illnesses also cause more sweating. As excessive sweating can be a symptom of certain organic and neurological diseases, you should consult a doctor if you often wake up sweating at night.
Your hair can easily get tangled in your pillows and fitted sheets, especially if it’s long. As bed linen absorbs moisture, your hair also may be drier even after waking up. Pillowcases made of satin or silk are particularly gentle on the hair; the hair is less likely to stick to them.
House dust mites
The house dust allergy is one of the most common indoor allergies. People with a house dust allergy do not react to the mites themselves, but rather to the excrement that the mites leave in our bed. It’s particularly important for allergy sufferers to take care of their bed linens properly. Irritated eyes, cough and sniffles are among the usual symptoms of a house dust allergy. But mites can also cause rashes and irritation to the skin.
Mites accumulate mainly in your pillow, as mites feed on the dead skin cells that fall from your body at night. In addition to the moisture your body releases, dandruff can also fall from your head onto your pillow and sheets. To reduce the number of mites in your bedroom, keep the temperature below 20 degrees. You’ll sweat less and the mites won’t like the lower temperature.
Bacteria and mould
If our bed linens stay damp for too long, mould or so-called mildew stains can form. The average pillow contains about 1 million fungal spores, which can weaken our immune system if we’re exposed to them over a long period of time. Mould can cause illnesses, which in turn can infect our respiratory system.
To prevent mould build-up in your bedding, you should wash and air the pillows regularly. The mattress should be vacuumed weekly, preferably with a special HEPA hoover. Synthetic pillows should be replaced every two years. Make sure that the material used for the pillowcase is breathable so that the pillow doesn’t retain so much sweat.
How should I wash my duvet?
Before you wash your duvet, you should first have a look at the washing instructions. The manufacturer's label can give you information on how to wash and dry the duvet properly. Make sure you know what materials your blanket is made of, as washing it incorrectly can damage them.
How to wash down duvets
Down duvets can become lumpy over time, as the down filling absorbs moisture extremely well. When down clumps together, it can no longer insulate heat or cold as well and feels less comfortable when we sleep with it at night.
As a rule, down duvets can be washed in a washing machine, but this has to be large enough. You should also put your duvet in the tumble dryer after washing and dry it several times. If the down duvet is not 100% dry, mould can develop.
Heavy-duty detergent is too aggressive for down and can make the down brittle. It is therefore better to use a mild detergent or special detergent for down. To keep down duvets or quilts free of mites, wash them at 60 degrees. You can also do without fabric softener, as this can make the down stick together.
How to wash feather duvets
Duvets are usually filled with a combination of down and feathers. So, what’s the difference between a down duvet and a feather duvet? To be considered a down duvet, the product contain at least 60% down. Consequently, all duvets that are filled with less than 60% down are feather duvets.
Before you put the feather duvet in the washing machine, you should check whether there are any tears or holes in the duvet, as loose feathers or down can damage your washing machine. As with the down duvet, you should completely avoid using heavy-duty detergents and fabric softeners.
Tip: It is always a good idea to put clean tennis balls in the dryer to give the feather duvet or down duvet extra looseness.
How to wash wool duvets or wool blankets
Wool duvets should be washed at a maximum of 30 degrees, either in the washing machine or by hand. For woollen items, you should use a special wool detergent to prevent the wool fibres from becoming matted. Alternatively, you can even use a mild shampoo to gently wash your wool blanket.
After washing, the blanket should be dried as soon as possible. You should never put a wool duvet in the dryer or leave it in direct sunlight for too long. It is best to stretch the blanket over the clothesline in a shady place.
How to wash synthetic or microfibre duvets
Microfibres are synthetic or artificially-produced fibres. They consist of polyamide, nylon and acrylic. Microfibres are extremely fine, about three times finer than cotton. They also have a very high absorbency and high breathability.
Blankets made of synthetic materials such as microfibre and polyester can normally be washed at 60 degrees. Again, you should not use fabric softener on synthetics, as this will prevent any dirt or sweat from being removed from the synthetic fabrics. Microfibre blankets don’t need to be put in the dryer either, as they dry very quickly by themselves. All the dryer will do is statically charge your blanket.
At Zizzz, we have down duvets made from either goose or duck down. We are convinced that natural products are better and more durable than synthetic ones, which is why we have chosen down. All our down products have been awarded the DownPass certificate, which means that the down has been ethically sourced. Our goose down duvets are made right here in Switzerland, while our duck down duvets are made in the Black Forest region of Germany.
Besides down duvets, we also have duvets made of sheep wool. The wool comes directly from happy sheep raised in the Swiss Alps. As with our goose down duvets, are wool duvets are made in Switzerland.