Why you should be washing your duvet and pillows at least twice a year

You need to read this

washing duvet
(Image credit: Business Images/REX/Shutterstock)

You need to read this

We already know how often you should wash your bedsheets (and how this changes when you're washing bedsheets in summer) but do you actually ever wash your duvet or pillows?

Yeah, we're guilty of ignoring them too.

According to The Fine Bedding Company expert Sara Wadsworth, you should actually be washing your duvets every few months (at least twice a year) and your pillows every other month.

Why? Because your pillows and duvets are housing microscopic mites that can be present in their thousands since they live on the dead skin cells we all lose in our beds. And, since it's estimated that we sweat out around 200ml every night, there's a whole load of accumulated dirt, moisture and dust in bed with you too.

How to wash your duvet and pillows

'The first thing to check is whether your duvet is synthetic or natural (feather/down).'

Synthetic pillows and duvets

'Look for care labels on synthetic products that show how best to wash individual products, but as a guide the best synthetic products can be washed at 60 degrees. Wash as high as the care label allows.'

'Check that your duvet actually fits into the machine – allowing enough room for fabric and fibres to agitate inside and get thoroughly clean. We recommend larger togs and sizes, e.g.13.5 tog king and superking size duvets, should be washed in a large capacity machine (the majority of modern washing machines now have a high capacity drum as standard).'

'It’s wise to use about one third of your usual amount of detergent; use a normal spin cycle and after the cycle, shake out the duvet while it’s damp to redistribute the filling evenly. Again check the care label, but drying a duvet as quickly as possible is advisable - in a tumble dryer for 45 minutes – or outside on a hot sunny day! Air the duvet before placing back on a bed.'

Natural pillows and duvets

'Natural duvets and pillows should be washed with extreme care – specialist cleaning is highly recommended, as natural filled products can not be washed and dried at home, regardless of the capacity or capability of the machine.'

'It is absolutely essential that natural duvets be thoroughly dried. Even though a duvet may feel dry to the touch, the filling inside often holds on to moisture so if the duvet is not dried properly, rotting of the filling can occur.'

And, considering that a third of Brits are sleeping in bedding that hasn't been replaced in a decade, it's no wonder that only half of UK households are replacing their duvet and pillows every five years (as recommended.)

Delphine Chui