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Should You Wash a Comforter Before Using It?

This question is as old as time itself, and I understand why. It’s hard to tell what goes into the production of a comforter, and of course health is a serious matter, so it makes sense that we care about it.

When you purchase a comforter, wash it. The answer to the question in the title is yes. Even if there are certifications like OEKO TEX that supposedly label products to inform us whether they are toxin-free. wash your comforter before using it. Better safe than sorry.

You may wonder the reason. It’s very simple: producing a comforter requires plenty of chemical products. Chemicals will permeate your new comforter and sleeping amidst chemical products is pretty bad for our body.

When we sleep, our body is trying to repair itself, and our immunity system is weaker and tries to recover. But if it has to keep fighting off dangerous toxins, then it doesn’t get to rest, becoming weaker in the long run.

Another, simpler reason is that your comforter will pick up dirt and germs while being shipped, or while you bring it home. It also picks up dirt while being exposed where it’s being sold, and while stored in a warehouse. Even if it looks clean, it absolutely isn’t. Wash it!

Keep reading to learn more in-depth what’s wrong with comforters, and why wash them before use.


  1. Comforters are produced in environments with lots of chemical products
  2. The dye used to color them is also toxic
  3. Since they are produced in filthy environments, they are quite dirty. Transportation adds to this problem
  4. There are some cases when you can do away with washing your comforter, but they are extremely specific

What Goes into the Making of a Comforter?

This is the biggest reason you should wash your comforter before using it. Most comforters are processed with formaldehyde, a chemical that has adverse effects on our body both in the short term, like skin irritation and respiratory problems, and in the long term.

It’s so dangerous that it can make your body develop cancer. That’s how bad it is.

The main issue is that the US does not regulate formaldehyde levels in sheets (or in clothing), or even care about it. Companies use this chemical freely, because it improves the comforters’ desirable features.

Washing your comforter before using it will get rid of the awful chemicals, meaning your body will rest easy at night, instead of having to worry about fighting dangerous toxins.

These products are dyed, and any residual dye that wasn’t absorbed by the textile is going to just lay there and release its toxins.

Still not convinced? Think about the factories producing these comforters. Do you think they are clean? What about the logistics? These things accumulate a lot of dirt really quick.

Wash Away the Extra Dye

Dye is another powerful chemical component that can be toxic for humans. Especially if a product comes directly from the factory, it is likely it has some extra dye accumulated over it.

There are many studies published on dye’s toxicity, so I’m just going to link you one of them. You can assess how dangerous that stuff is by yourself.

Warning: some people can have an allergic reaction to these toxins. While some people will just feel itchy the following day (it’s still super annoying, but not that big of an issue), others will have a full-blown allergic reaction to dye toxins.

Remove Dirt and Germs

Comforters aren’t produced in clean environments. To make a comparison with something closer to our daily lives, have you ever seen a chef’s kitchen? It’s as messy as it gets!

The same goes for textile factories. It doesn’t help that they use these chemicals for their production. Logistics add to the poor hygienic conditions. The comforter will attract germs, bugs, and dirt, and most of these won’t be directly visible when the mattress is being exposed at the shop.

Do it for yourself, wash your comforter before using it. It’s more hygienic.

Why Wouldn’t you Wash your Comforter?

There are some factors to consider before washing your comforter. Some people don’t wash them and have no issues, and they have a point! It’s not always necessary to wash a comforter, especially if they’re made following specific procedures.

  • It might not be necessary

There is an agency called OEKO-TEX that supervises the production of textile products, including comforters, and labels them as toxic-free if the procedures follow rigorous standards. If you buy a OEKO-TEX certified product, then washing it isn’t as necessary, because there won’t be any weird chemical residuals on it.

Note: Are you looking for an OEKO-TEX certified comforter for your bed? Here’s our suggestion

  • Washing goose down comforters ruins them

Every time you wash a goose down comforter, you’ll find that it looks a little worse than before. That’s just the reality of it, so I understand avoid washing them unless absolutely necessary.

However, I’d argue that it is quite necessary to wash them based on what I’ve been writing so far. The first washing is extremely important, and I’d rather you washed your comforter one less time afterwards, since it’s less problematic.

  • You can’t really wash your comforter

There are a few situations in which you actually can’t wash your comforter. The most typical one: it doesn’t fit into your washing machine. That’s unfortunate, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying to clean your comforter before using it. You can attempt to wash it manually, though it still requires a lot of space, but I trust you’ll figure it out.

Can I Clean a Comforter Without a Full Wash?

Yes and no. You can keep them clean without going through the efforts of a full wash, but if it’s your first time cleaning them, then please wash them fully.

Think about it: the comforter itself has been produced in a factory, then it was dyed in another, and who knows how many chemicals have ended up in it? Even if no chemicals weren’t used on your specific product, how likely it is for another chemical to end up on the comforter, purely because of where they are produced?

Still not convinced?

How many people touched the comforter before reaching your house? Those who moved it around to transport it. Those who handled it in the store. And then there’s all the germs and dirt accumulated on it during transportation.


We’ve seen that comforters are produced in an environment full of toxic chemicals for the human body. We have also learned that many hands and machines have come in contact with our comforter before it reached our home.

Even when the comforter itself is certified, there are no guarantees there won’t be anything harmful on it.

Even something as simple as dust can add up quickly on textile products, and if you’re allergic to it, you’re be better off keeping your comforter clean. And let’s not get started about potential dust mites living in the comforter.

There are people who will swear by not needing to wash comforters. I say that you are putting yourself at an unnecessary risk just because you want to be lazy. That’s fair, but I’d rather be lazy in other areas of my life and not experiment with my health.

So, should you wash a comforter before using it? The answer is absolutely yes. You don’t know where it was produced, what happened to it, how it was transported, who touched it, and so on.

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