‘Crucial’ checks to make before washing duvets and pillows in machine

Lynsey Crombie shares how to check if you need new pillows

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The data comes as part of a recent survey from AEG where they surveyed a national representative of 2,000 respondents from across the UK in October 2022. A secondary representative survey of 500 participants was conducted in December 2022. The survey was conducted to establish just how much the UK knows about laundry and how often we are washing our duvets and pillows.

The data also shows that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Britons are leaving it longer than recommended before washing their bedsheets.

Experts recommend bedsheets including mattress covers, fitted sheets and pillowcases should be washed or at least changed to clean ones at least once a week.

For duvets, it’s recommended these are washed once every six months, a guideline that a third (32 percent) of Britons ignore.

Pillows should be washed every four months, however, almost half (42 percent) of Britons do not wash their pillows that frequently.

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Furthermore, a whopping one in five (20 percent) of Britons have never washed their duvets or pillowcases which means approximately 13 million Britons are sleeping in beds filled that could contain a build up of dirt, grime and dust-mites.

However, it’s easy to see why some Britons may be put off washing their pillows and duvets.

Duvets and pillows come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and materials with some having natural fillings while others use synthetic materials.

Some pillows and duvets are dry-clean only which can be costly and tricky if you don’t own a car.

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But there are some pillows and duvets which can be washed at home in the washing machine.

Harriette Jarman, AEG’s product laundry manager, has provided some expert tips for washing bedding as well as duvets and pillows in the washing machine at home.

Bedding and duvets

Surprisingly, most duvets can be washed in the washing machine, however, the main problem is usually the size of the duvet.

Harriette explained: “Most duvets can be machine washed; however, the most common problem is that the machine is too small to accommodate the entire duvet.

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“If it comfortably fits into your machine, make sure to check all washing labels as bedding with embellishments may need dry cleaning.

“Always wash using a gentle cycle with a low temperature and tumble dry if the label allows so.”


According to the expert, “most cotton and synthetic pillows can be machine washed” which is good news for Britons with a plethora of pillow types at home.

But, before sticking your pillows into the machine, you should always give them a once-over and check the washing labels first.

Harriette added: “It’s crucial to check the pillow fabric is robust with no tears, especially feathered pillows.

“Otherwise, the fillings will spill out and could cause serious damage to the machine.

“It’s always best to keep the pillow in its pillowcase and use a gentle wash cycle with a low temperature. Try to wash pillows in pairs to balance the load.”

Memory foam pillows need to be hand-washed as machine-washing can cause them to break apart.

However, they do have hypoallergenic properties that stave off the presence of some allergens so they don’t need to be cleaned as regularly as other pillows.

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