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Duvets and Pillows Need Cleaning Attention too!

Most of us will wash out sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers very regularly but what about those actual pillows and duvets?  Do we give them as much thought and attention?

We should actually be washing those items of bedding more frequently than we do to keep them fresh - and free from dust mites.

How often should we be washing pillows and duvets?

Ideally, this is a job that should be done every three to six months to keep these items of bedding fresh, hygienic and to prevent any dust mites.

Dust mites are very small, insect-like pests which feed on dead human skin cells and thrive in warm, humid settings.

Our beds are their perfect environment. This is why they are often found living in bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets or curtains. Dust mites can be particularly harmful to people with asthma.

But of course, regular cleaning is an easy way to reduce the dust mites in our homes and to ensure our beds remain hygienic so that we always get a good night's sleep!


We share six steps for laundering our pillows and duvets

Most cotton, down, and synthetic pillows and duvets can be put in the washing machine, but do make sure to read the care instructions first.

  1. Keep your pillows in a pillowcase or pillow protector when putting them in the washing machine to avoid them ripping.  Wash two pillows at a time to balance the load.
  2. You can use your normal detergent but replace fabric conditioner with vinegar to keep the pillows or duvet fluffy and neutralise any odours.  The acidity of vinegar also works as a natural disinfectant.
  3. Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine when washing bedding and add an extra spin after the main wash to speed up the drying process.
  4. Once the washing and drying cycle is complete, allow the pillows and duvet plenty of time to dry fully to avoid any bacteria or mould growth. 
  5. Ideally, choose a sunny day so you can put them outside in the sun but if this isn't an option, most duvets are perfectly suited to tumble drying, especially those with synthetic fillings. Pillows and duvets should be placed in the tumble dryer on low heat.
  6. After tumble drying, allow your pillows to thoroughly dry out by placing them in a warm place for a couple of days.

A few extra tips on caring for your bedding

  • Prevention is always better so it is a good idea to use a pillow protector, before adding your pillowcases, helping to keep them clean for longer.
  • Should your pillows or duvet become stained, spot-treat the area using your usual detergent or stain remover before putting into the washing machine.
  • If the pillow or duvet filling is feather or down, shake the feathers away from the affected area to isolate the stain before treating.


Bloch KE, et al. (2015). Sleep at high altitude: guesses and facts. 
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26229000/. (Accessed 12 September, 2021)

Brinkman J, et al. (2021). Physiology of sleep.
statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/29132. (Accessed 12 September, 2021).

Healthy sleep habits. (2020).
sleepeducation.org/healthy-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits/ (Accessed 12 September, 2021). 

Nasca TR, Goldberg R. (n.d.). The importance of sleep and understanding sleep stages.
sleephealth.org/sleep-health/importance-of-sleep-understanding-sleep-stages/ (Accessed 12 September, 2021)