Can Down Alternative Comforters Be Washed?
When winter sets in, and temperatures start to fall, it can be difficult to feel comfortable and warm at night. This is why down alternative comforters can be a great choice to consider, but can down alternative comforters be washed? In this article we will look at what they are, and the best ways to look after them.
What are Down Alternative Comforters?
They are placed on top of your bed instead of your duvet, and are designed to provide a much warmer environment. Unlike normal down comforters that are filled with the tufts of fluff from beneath the feathers of ducks and geese to provide warmth and heat retention, down alternative comforters are filled with synthetic materials. This makes them suitable for people who are allergic to feathers, while still providing warmth, and they also usually cost significantly less.
The materials used instead of down range from rayon, polyester, or cotton and, while they aren’t quite as effective as those that use actual down, they come pretty close to mimicking the effects. The use of synthetics also mean that they are more breathable, so you are left feeling more fresh and feeling more comfortable because of their moisture wicking abilities.
One common concern of customers before buying one of these products is the need for ongoing maintenance. The materials used in their construction mean that they keep their shape for many years, but washing them can be a daunting task. Let’s take a look at how to keep them clean, and the best ways to get the longest use out of your new comforter.
How to Wash Down Alternative Comforter
Down alternative comforters are used in place of a duvet, so are intended to be put inside a cover that will be the layer that accumulates the most dirt and can be easily washed. With this being said they are designed to be washable too, but most manufacturers say that this is not a frequent requirement, with once every year or so being more than adequate except for ones that are intensely used or have been soiled. The synthetic materials mean that they will wash easily and, unlike comforters that have been filled with true down, don’t risk clumping.
If you want to clean yours- if it has been soiled or is starting to smell, the process is simple. Ideally you would wash one in a front loaded washing machine, because top loading machines use an agitator to rotate the contents, and this might pull on the fabric or even tear it. Down alternative comforters are full of soft synthetic materials, and these will absorb a large amount of water while being washed.
This increase of weight can strain top loading washers and potentially even break the motor by adding too much resistance to the agitator, so that is another reason why a front loader is better suited for the job. If you don’t have a front loading machine to hand, it may be worth your while going to a local laundromat to use one of theirs instead.
You don’t need to use very much detergent at all- in fact if you use too much it will become very difficult to rinse it out afterwards. After adding a small quantity, you should set it on a wash cycle as normal, but we’d recommend going through two rinse cycles to make sure the suds have been fully washed out.
Dry the Comforter Properly
Because the materials are so good at absorbing water, the most important part of the washing process is ensuring that you fully dry it out at the end. The best way to do this is to use a low heat or air dry setting on your dryer, and take things slow. After each cycle you should remove the comforter and fluff it up to prevent the materials from clumping together and then put it back in to dry some more.
It’s vital that you don’t allow it to stay damp once you are done, because this can result in the growth of mildew. This is also the reason why you should never line-dry your comforter, because it can also encourage the growth of mildew.
Which Down Alternative Comforter Should You Buy?
If you have decided that you want to help make your bed warmer and more comfy, then there are a wide range of down alternative comforters available on the market. Of course there are the usual size options to fit any bed, as well as a choice of fillings.
The three most common materials used in alternative comforters, as we’ve already mentioned, are rayon, polyester, or cotton. Each achieve a similar result in terms of comfort and warmth, so it’s purely a case of what you prefer. If you are buying a down alternative comforter because of allergies any of these materials should be fine for you too, although a very small percentage of people struggle with cotton so you should avoid those products if this is the case for you.
The Bottom Line
Comforters are a great way to improve the comfort and warmth of your bed. Down alternative versions are particularly suited for those who have allergies, or don’t want animal products, but can down alternative comforters be washed? Luckily, they don’t need cleaning too often, but when you need to it is really simple and easy to do.