How to Wash A Sleeping Bag

Deborah Clarke
Sep 28, 2022
3 min read
How to wash a sleeping bag |

If you are anything like me, you might be a little bit too attached to your sleeping bag. It's with you through all of your outdoor adventures, it's been in and out of the back of your truck or Jeep and it gradually starts to feel like a part of you. When it comes time to wash your sleeping bag, it can be a daunting task. What if you ruin it? What if it never feels the same again?

Take a deep breath and relax. Washing your sleeping bag is not as complicated as it seems, and there are a few things you can do to make sure that your sleeping bag comes out of the wash looking and feeling as good as new.  

It's good to wash your sleeping bag! Proper care of your sleeping bag is important to keep it looking, and smelling, good and to help it last longer.

Check the Manufacturer's Suggestions

The first step in washing your sleeping bag is to check the manufacturer's suggestions. Washing instructions can differ depending on the type of fill that's inside your sleeping bag and what materials were used to construct it. The last thing you want to do is void your warranty or damage your sleeping bag if it was an investment (pricey to buy), so it's always best to consult the experts before proceeding.   In many cases dry cleaning is not recommended by manufacturers.

No Tags, No Washing Instructions

If your sleeping bag doesn't have any tags with washing instructions, don't worry! In the next section, we'll go over some things to consider before throwing your sleeping back into the washing machine.

Manufacturers typically suggest using an oversized (or commercial) front loading washing machine, not the top load agitator type washing machines.  And don't use detergents with bleach in them.  

Cotton Flannel Liners or Polyester Materials

Washable sleeping bags are typically made of cotton flannel liners or polyester materials. If your sleeping bag has either of these materials, chances are it's machine-washable.  

Use a mild eco-friendly detergent, warm wash with a cold water rinse and a low or gentle spin cycle.    You can add a fabric softener to the wash cycle if you like as well.  Using an oversize front load washing machine is best, most manufacturers will tell you not to use a top load machine with an agitator.

An alternative method is to hand wash your sleeping bag in a bathtub, with mild detergent, in warm water.  Rinse it well with cold water.  

You may choose to hang it to dry (outside is great if you can), or if you have access to an oversized dryer you can tumble dry on a low temperature or light bedding cycle.     Be sure your sleeping bag is completely dry before storing it away!

Lots of people love their flannel lined sleeping bags even more after they are washed a few times because the flannel just gets softer and softer.  However, it's always best to check the manufacturer's suggestions before putting your sleeping bag in the washing machine to avoid any damage.

Down Filled Sleeping Bags

Down filled sleeping bags require a little bit more care when washing them. The feathers inside down filled sleeping bags can clump together when they get wet, which will affect their ability to insulate effectively. For this reason, many people choose to hand-wash their down filled bags or take them to a professional for cleaning.

If you do decide to wash your down filled bag at home, make sure that you use a mild detergent and cool water. Gently massage the detergent into the feathers, and then rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear. Down filled bags can take a long time to dry, so make sure that you have plenty of time (and patience!) before starting this type of project.

Washing your sleeping back might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! By following these simple guidelines, you can rest assured that your beloved sleep companion will come out of the wash looking, smelling and feeling as good as new.

If you're looking for a cozy and comfortable sleeping bag, our flannel-lined option is perfect. Not only are the sleeping bags on our list of favorites lined with soft flannel fabric, but they're also machine washable. So if it gets a little dirty on your camping trip, you can just toss it in the wash when you get home.

Plus, they are available in a variety of colors and designs, so you're sure to find one that you love. So why not click the button below and learn more about our flannel-lined sleeping bags? You won't be disappointed!

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