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Caring For Your Feather Bed

Feather beds have been a part of bedrooms since the 14th century. They were originally only something the very wealthy could afford but by the 1800’s, they were a common way to make traditional mattresses more comfortable, very comfortable in fact! They were valuable possessions, often given as dowries or passed down through families. Feather beds were bigger than what we use today; they were firmly packed and weighed 50 - 90 lbs. Until the invention of baffle boxes, the featherbed was a large bag which required daily fluffing to keep the feathers distributed. Fortunately, feather beds today take a lot less maintenance but we can learn from older housekeeping methods because airflow is the key to a long life for your feather bed.

Shake it regularly

When you first get your new feather bed, it will fluff up for some time after being compressed for shipping. Gently shake your new feather bed and air it out to help it fluff up. The more you fluff, flip and rotate your feather bed, the better it will feel. When you change your sheets, just grab a corner and shake the feather bed like the old parachute in gym class. However, it’s more fun if you can recruit someone to shake the other side at the same time!

Keeping your feather bed clean and protected

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Since feather beds are too big even for most commercial laundry machines, it can be hard to wash them and it often costs less to buy a new one. Treat it like an extension of your mattress and prevent damage from spills and stains by using a feather bed protector or mattress pad.

Cleaning spills and spots

Minor spills or soiling of the feather bed itself should be spot cleaned by moving the feathers away from the area and cleaning the fabric. If more extensive cleaning is required, consult a professional dry cleaner for laundering (not dry-cleaning). It may take some searching to find a cleaner that can handle the volume of a feather bed.

If your feather bed becomes wet or damp, be sure to dry it completely. Shaking it regularly while drying will help to get the feathers fully dried. Any clumps, lumps or a smell of feathers indicates dampness.

A feather bed is a great way to add luxury to your night’s rest or renew an older mattress. A regular fluffing will ensure years of comfort to come.