How To Clean A Feather Mattress Topper?

AspectKey Details
Can you wash a feather mattress topper?Yes, but it’s crucial to follow the correct procedures to maintain its quality and integrity.
Cleaning FrequencyFeather mattress toppers should ideally be washed once a year, with spot cleaning as needed.
Washing ProcedureDetailed steps involve checking the care instructions, using a large-capacity washer, selecting a gentle liquid detergent, and drying carefully.

Feather mattress toppers are a favourite for those who value a plush and luxurious bed. These premium bedding accessories offer unparalleled softness and breathability.

But a question that comes up quite often is, can you wash a feather mattress topper?

The simple answer is, yes. However, the process requires a specific procedure to preserve the topper’s quality and longevity.

Did you know? Feather toppers are known for their softness and luxury, providing a cloud-like comfort to your bed.

1. Understanding Your Feather Mattress Topper

Before we delve into the cleaning procedure, it’s essential to understand what makes a feather mattress topper special.

The ‘feathers’ in these toppers are not just any bird feathers but typically come from the plumage of ducks and geese.

These feathers contain natural oils that give the topper its unique loft and softness. To maintain these qualities, a specific cleaning approach is necessary.

If you’re interested in learning more about the types of feathers used in toppers and their benefits, check out our articles on duck feather-filled luxury mattress toppers and how to choose a feather mattress topper.

A hand pressing down on a mattress topper

2. Washing Your Feather Mattress Topper

Let’s delve into the correct procedure for washing a feather mattress topper.

  • Check the care instructions: This is crucial as specific brands may have certain requirements or precautions. Never deviate from the label instructions.

  • Use a large-capacity washer: The washer should comfortably accommodate the featherbed. If the topper is too large for your home washer, consider using a commercial washer at a local laundromat.

  • Choose a mild detergent: Preferably use a liquid laundry detergent or a down wash. The latter helps preserve the natural oils in the feathers.

  • Set the washing machine to a cold cycle: This setting is gentle on the feathers and helps maintain their quality.

  • Dry carefully: After washing, place the topper in the dryer at a low-medium temperature. Add two tennis balls to fluff the feathers. Lastly, air-dry the topper outdoors for a few hours.

For more detailed insights into using and caring for your feather mattress topper, browse through our articles on how to put on a feather mattress topper, and how to stop feathers from coming out of the mattress topper.

3. Preserving Your Feather Mattress Topper

Proper maintenance of your feather mattress topper extends beyond washing. It involves regular fluffing to maintain its loft and rotating to ensure even wear and tear. Keep in mind, excessive washing may lead to feather degradation. So, unless there’s a spill or stain, annual washing should suffice.

Our article on how long do feather mattress toppers last gives valuable tips on maximising your topper’s lifespan.

4. Dealing With Potential Issues

While feather mattress toppers offer luxurious comfort, they can occasionally present some issues. For example, a topper might develop an unpleasant odour over time or feel excessively hot during summer. But don’t worry, we have guides to deal with these issues too. Explore our articles on why do feather mattress toppers smell and are feather mattress toppers hot for handy tips and solutions.

5. Making The Right Choice

The debate between feather and other types of mattress toppers continues. If you’re still unsure if a feather topper is right for you, have a look at our comparison articles: Is duck feather or microfibre mattress toppers better and Is a feather mattress topper better than a foam topper.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing a Feather Mattress Topper

Correctly washing a feather mattress topper requires careful attention. It’s not just about doing the right things, but also avoiding common mistakes that can harm the quality and lifespan of your topper. Let’s explore some of these common errors and how to prevent them.

1. Using Hot Water

Although hot water is often associated with a thorough clean, it’s not suitable for washing a feather mattress topper. Hot water can damage the feathers, causing them to clump together and lose their fluffiness. Instead, opt for a cold water cycle when washing your topper.

2. Overusing Detergent

More detergent doesn’t necessarily mean a better clean. In fact, using too much detergent can leave a residue on the feathers, affecting their natural loft. Instead, use a small amount of a mild detergent or a down-specific wash to preserve the natural oils in the feathers.

3. Overloading the Washing Machine

It might be tempting to stuff your feather topper into a small washing machine, but this could damage the feathers and cause them to clump. Your topper needs ample space to move around in the wash, so use a large-capacity machine or consider taking it to a laundromat.

4. Using High Heat in the Dryer

Just as with washing, the drying process also needs careful consideration. Using a high heat setting on the dryer can damage the feathers and reduce their fluffiness. Set the temperature to a low-medium range and add two tennis balls to help fluff the feathers.

5. Not Drying the Topper Completely

Whether you’re using a dryer or air-drying, make sure your topper is completely dry before using it again. Damp feathers can encourage the growth of mould or mildew, which can damage the topper and potentially cause health issues.

6. Ignoring Pre-Wash Checks

Always inspect your topper for damage before washing. Look for signs of wear and tear or any small openings that feathers could escape through. If you find any damage, mend these areas before washing.

Using hot waterUse cold water for washing the topper.
Overusing detergentUse a mild detergent or down wash in small quantities.
Overloading the washing machineUse a large-capacity washer or consider a commercial washer.
Using high heat in the dryerSet the temperature to low-medium and use dryer balls to fluff the feathers.
Not drying the topper completelyEnsure the topper is thoroughly dry before using it again to prevent mould and mildew growth.
Ignoring pre-wash checksInspect the topper for any damage or openings and mend them before washing.

Air Drying Your Feather Mattress Topper

After washing, drying is the next critical step in caring for your feather mattress topper. While a dryer can expedite this process, air-drying is an excellent alternative that’s both energy-efficient and gentle on the delicate feather filling.

The Process

Once you’ve completed the washing cycle, you can air-dry your feather mattress topper. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Find a Suitable Space: Choose an outdoor area that’s well-ventilated with plenty of sunlight. This exposure to the sun and air allows the feather mattress topper to dry thoroughly.

  2. Hang it up: Place your topper on a clothesline. Hanging it in an open space allows air to circulate around and through the topper for uniform drying.

  3. Time it right: Air-drying may take longer than using a dryer. Typically, it might take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours for the topper to air dry completely. So plan accordingly, and ideally begin the drying process in the morning on a sunny day.

  4. Inspect regularly: While the topper is drying, be sure to check it periodically to make sure it’s drying evenly and not developing any odour.

  5. Bring it in before evening: Aim to bring the topper inside before the evening. The cooler night air and possible dew can dampen the topper again, leading to mould or mildew growth.

So, can a feather mattress topper be air-dried instead of using a dryer? Absolutely. But remember, the key to successfully air-drying a feather mattress topper lies in finding a sunny, well-ventilated spot, allowing enough time, and keeping an eye out for any signs of mould or mildew.

AspectKey Details
Can a feather mattress topper be air-dried?Yes, air-drying is an energy-efficient and gentle method of drying a feather mattress topper.
PrecautionsChoose a sunny, well-ventilated spot, check periodically for even drying and signs of mould, and ensure it’s brought inside before evening.
Drying TimeAir-drying typically takes 8-12 hours, depending on weather conditions.

Dry Cleaning Your Feather Mattress Topper

Beyond home washing and air-drying, dry cleaning presents another method for keeping your feather mattress topper in top condition. Some may prefer this option, especially if the topper is heavily soiled or for those uncomfortable washing it themselves.

Dry Cleaning: An Overview

Dry cleaning is a cleaning process that uses a chemical solvent (other than water) to remove dirt and stains from fabrics. It’s particularly effective for materials that may degrade in water or require more detailed cleaning. With feather mattress toppers, dry cleaning can help maintain the feathers’ integrity, preventing them from clumping or poking through the fabric.

When and How to Dry Clean

Despite the advantages, it’s crucial to remember that dry cleaning should not be the go-to method for cleaning your feather mattress topper. It’s better reserved for instances when the topper is heavily soiled or if you’re uncomfortable with home washing.

If you decide to dry clean, adhere to these guidelines:

  1. Check the label: Some toppers may not be suitable for dry cleaning. Always check the care instructions on the label before proceeding.

  2. Find a professional cleaner: If dry cleaning is suitable, entrust your topper to a professional or commercial cleaner experienced in handling down and feather products.

  3. Convey any specific concerns: When you drop off your topper, communicate any particular areas of concern (like persistent stains or odours) to the cleaner.

  4. Inspect after cleaning: Once the topper is returned, inspect it for any remaining stains or dampness. If you’re dissatisfied with the cleaning, don’t hesitate to discuss this with the cleaner.

So, can a feather mattress topper be dry cleaned? Absolutely, but remember that it’s not always the preferred method. Your topper can benefit from dry cleaning, but regular washing (as per the care instructions) will often suffice and could potentially be more beneficial in the long term.

Our article how to dispose of a feather mattress topper provides insights into the responsible disposal of your topper, should you need to replace it after many years of service.

AspectKey Details
Can a feather mattress topper be dry cleaned?Yes, but it should not be the go-to cleaning method. Use dry cleaning for heavily soiled toppers or if uncomfortable with home washing.
ProcedureCheck the label, find a professional cleaner, communicate concerns, and inspect after cleaning.


Are feather bed toppers washable?

Absolutely, feather bed toppers are indeed washable. However, it’s crucial to use a cold water cycle, mild detergent, and a large-capacity washer to ensure the feathers aren’t damaged during the washing process.

How do you care for a feather bed topper?

Caring for a feather bed topper involves regular spot cleaning, annual deep washes, and appropriate drying methods. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, avoid harsh detergents, and ensure complete drying to prevent mould or mildew growth.

Can a mattress topper go in the washing machine?

Yes, a mattress topper can go in a washing machine, provided it fits comfortably. For larger toppers, or ones with delicate materials like feathers, it’s advisable to use a large-capacity washer or consider a professional cleaning service.

Can you wash a feather bed in the washer?

Certainly, feather beds can be washed in a washing machine, but care should be taken. Use a cold water cycle and mild detergent, and ensure the topper isn’t crammed into a small machine, which can damage the feathers.

How do you fluff a feather mattress topper?

Fluffing a feather mattress topper involves shaking it out regularly to redistribute the feathers. You can also use a dryer on a low setting with dryer balls or tennis balls to fluff it up after washing.

Parting Thoughts

Feather mattress toppers are a popular choice among those who cherish a good night’s sleep, but they do require a bit of care and attention. This comprehensive guide has covered all you need to know about maintaining a feather mattress topper, from washing to drying, and even occasional dry cleaning. The piece has highlighted the most common mistakes to avoid in cleaning your topper, such as overusing detergent or using hot water, and provided detailed solutions to ensure its longevity.

For more detailed advice and discussion on all things related to feather mattress toppers, our Dream HQ website is a wealth of resources. We cover how to choose a feather mattress topper, why do feather mattress toppers smell, and even tackle how to dispose of a feather mattress topper among other relevant topics. For additional external information, you can also visit this informative guide on how to care for a feather bed mattress topper from Pure Down.

Remember, taking care of your feather mattress topper will not only provide you with a comfortable night’s sleep but also ensure that it serves you well for years to come. Here’s to many more restful nights!

– Article by Lewis Hugh

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