When considering whether to wash a comforter, always read the washing instructions first. Some will say that it must be dry cleaned and others will say it can be washed in a front loading bigger capacity washing machine. Part of the decision will have to do with the exterior of the comforter. Is there sufficient stitching in it to keep the interior in place? Is the comforter polyester inside or goose down? Personally, I haven’t yet washed mine, but it is only 2 years old. I protect my down comforter by placing a sheet on top of it. I take the sheet off once a month and wash it.
When I’m ready to wash it, probably in five or six years, I’ll take it to the Laundromat. I will use one of the Electrolux washers because they are super sized and can handle the bulk and the weight of the comforter. I will put it on a gentle cycle and allow it to spin dry in the normal way. Then I will put it in one of the Electrolux super capacity dryers. These dryers change direction every five minutes helping to prevent the comforter from forming into a ball with a wet spot in the middle. I will use a medium heat for about 20 minutes and then turn it to gentle to fluff the feathers up without harming them. Not every down comforter weighs the same. Mine is a light weight and it is king size. I’m guessing another 20 minutes on gentle. I will probably be giving it a good few shakes during the fluff process in order to make sure that the feathers are separating.
I have washed polyester comforters many times and as long as the cover on it is cotton/polyester or something that you trust won’t shrink or come apart it is fine. Remember, there must always be sufficient stitching to hold the lining in place.
I have four gel pillows that I have washed in a Electrolux super capacity washing machine, at least six times now. All four go in together on hot wash and the same for the dryer. Pillows need to be washed fairly frequently even if you have pillow protectors and pillow slips. The oils from our skin and hair manage to make their way onto the pillows no matter how much we protect them. Also during cold and flu season it is a good idea to wash pillows after the illness has gone. My pillows fluff up beautifully in the dryer. I notice because they are always bigger when I take them home.