Removing Natural Down or Feather Odor

Over the years we have gotten the question from several customers: "How long will my down pillows have an odor?" Anyone who has bought a down or feather blend pillow knows that natural down products can also come with a natural odor. Most often, the odor is due to the effects of heat, humidity, or moisture on the down for a prolonged period. Despite natural down bedding possessing an odor, know that all bedding manufacturers are required to meet certain specific industry standards of cleanliness prior to distribution and selling to companies and individual consumers.

How We Are Different

The majority of bedding manufacturers report they have their own unique techniques for cleaning their down fillings, and that their methods fall well above and beyond government standards. The remainder of bedding manufacturers report their cleaning processes are applied domestically, if not, they opt to purchase pre-cleaned down fills.

DOWNLITE is set apart as a unique manufacturer because our fills are 75% and higher in down content. Our hotel bedding is processed within the United States, and domestically integrated into numerous bedding items, including the most popular pillows and comforters. DOWNLITE's special cleansing process is uniquely called RestAssured. This measure certifies that our fillings are not only treated in compliance with required US standards, but exceed by 3-4 times in higher standards set by government criteria. And although we process all of our fills; occasionally the filling material might become compromised by exposure to moisture or heat, resulting in ‘natural’ odors. DOWNLITE proudly stands behind all of its products. And once made aware of an existing ‘odor’ in a product, we take immediate measures to replace, research, and remedy; removing substandard fillings off the market.

What can you do if the product smells bad?

It helps to first understand that the occasional unpleasant odor you detect is caused from when the remnant oils of down filling (in the clusters or small feathers) have been exposed to prolonged humidity and/or heat. Duck fill is more likely to emit odors, as duck down, and duck feathers have higher oil content.

What you can do is simply wash the 'smelly' down bedding piece with a teaspoon of liquid 'Dawn' (or similar degreaser soap). Then be sure you dry the items thoroughly, ensuring you have removed all moisture (typically 2 to 3 drying cycles). To learn more, visit our informational website at

An additional simple and inexpressive tip to immediately add a fresh smell to your down bedding is to insert a dryer sheet. Place the dryer sheet into the down casing or cover (this would typically be in a pillow or sham). Just be sure to sleep on the side furthest away from the inserted the dryer sheet. The scent from the dryer sheet could be too powerful if you sleep on the same side where you insert it.