How to Dry a Silk Comforter: Preserve Your Bedding’s Luxury

I absolutely love the luxurious feel of sliding into bed under my silk comforter. The smooth, cool fabric is so gentle against my skin and helps me fall asleep faster. 

However, keeping my precious silk bedding in top condition requires a little bit of specialized care when it comes to drying.

In this complete guide, I’ll share my best tips on safely air drying silk comforters at home.

You’ll learn the do’s and don’ts, proper techniques, troubleshooting advice, and best practices to retain the quality and extend the lifetime of your investment silk bedding. 

Let’s dive in!

genuine silk fabric material

What Can Happen if Silk is Not Dried Properly

If silk bedding is rushed through the drying process, not fully dried, or dried incorrectly, here is what you might experience:

  • Shrinkage – Silk fibers can shrink up to 8% of their size if exposed to high heat while damp. This can ruin the beautiful drape and buttery softness of a comforter.
  • Snagging – Wet silk is more fragile. Rough handling while damp can cause stubborn snags, pulls, or tears.
  • Yellowing – Leaving silk bedding to air dry in bright sunlight can cause it to yellow over time.
  • Stiffening – Improper drying can remove moisture unevenly from the silk fibers, leaving the fabric starchy and stiff.
  • Mold or mildew – Silk left damp encourages the growth of mildew and mold.

Yikes! As you can see, incorrectly drying precious silk can lead to permanent damage.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Drying Silk

Before we get into the drying details, let’s go over the basics of what to do and what not to do when working with damp silk:


  • Handle gently and smoothly, avoiding yanking, twisting, or scruching.
  • Lay flat or hang to dry, allowing even air circulation on both sides.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight or other concentrated heat sources.
  • Check for complete dryness before removing from the drying area.


  • Machine wash on high heat settings.
  • Tumble dry.
  • Wring tightly when wet.
  • Leave balled up or piled while drying.
  • Allow pet access during drying time.
silk comforter

Can I Put My Silk Comforter in the Dryer?

Let’s dive deeper into why tumble drying silk comforters is a risky business:

  • The extreme heat from a clothes dryer, even on low settings, can cause silk fibers to shrink up to 8%. Yikes! Say goodbye to that luxurious drape.
  • The constant tumbling motion risks forming pulls, snags, and tears in the delicate fabric.

So, while the speed and convenience of machine drying are tempting, I strictly avoid putting my silk bedding in the dryer.

Trust me, it’s just not worth accidentally ruining a $500+ comforter to save some time!

How to Properly Air Dry Silk Bedding

Now that you know tumble drying silk is a no-go, let’s talk about the gentle art of air drying. When done correctly, allowing your silk comforter to naturally air dry preserves its quality far into the future.

Here is my tried-and-true process in five easy steps:

Step 1: Select a Cool, Dry Spot Away From Direct Sunlight

The ideal drying spot will have ample airflow, moderate temperature, and no harsh light. I like to use:

  • A covered patio
  • Inside next to an open window
  • Basement or garage areas

Pro Tip: Avoid direct sunlight which can fade colors over time. Seek moderate temps between 60-75°F for best results.

hang to dry steamed silk

Step 2: Smooth Out the Comforter Evenly

Gently unfold your damp silk comforter and lay it out as flat and evenly as possible. I lay mine over a clean polyester tablecloth on the floor.

Be sure to flatten out all lumps, clumps, and wrinkles. This allows air to freely circulate around all parts of the fabric evenly.

manually unwrinkling silk fabric

Step 3: Air Out Both Sides

Halfway through drying, carefully flip the entire comforter over to expose the other side. This ensures uniform moisture removal from both sides of the fabric.

Drying Tip: I prefer to flip my comforter only once. Too much handling when damp increases the chances of tears and pulls.

Step 4: Fluff and Rotate Occasionally

Every few hours, walk by and gently:

  • Lift and redistribute any heavier, more moist sections
  • Smooth out newly formed wrinkles
  • Rotate sections at the edges towards the middle

This helps the moisture fully evaporate without building up overly stiff or dry spots.

air drying beige silk indoors

Step 5: Check Thoroughly Before Removing

When the comforter appears dry on both sides, confirm by pressing and feeling in several areas. Ensure:

  • No more damp spots
  • Fabric springiness restored
  • Original texture and drape regained

Caution: Removing too soon traps moisture inside which can yellow over time. I once had to rewash and re-dry a comforter due to my impatience!

I’ve found the key to drying silk sheets without losing their softness and it’s simpler than you might think.

Where and How Should I Hang Dry Silk?

While laying flat is ideal for minimizing handling, you can also hang dry silk comforters if needed.

My top tips for hanging:

  • Use a wide, sturdy hanger. Avoid wire types that can snag fabric
  • Hang in an area with good airflow
  • Periodically smooth out folds or wrinkles
  • Allow extra drying time vs the flat method
  • Attach multiple hangers evenly for very heavy/large comforters

Hanging works well but requires more monitoring and adjusting than flat drying. Gravity causes moisture to pool unevenly along the bottom edges.

Rotating and smoothing ensures no saturated spots go unnoticed.

shade air drying beige silk fabric

Adjustments for Silk Comforters from China

About 75% of the world’s silk originates from China. If you purchased a comforter with Chinese silk filling, you may need to make small tweaks during drying.

Why? Chinese silk tends to be thicker yet more fragile when wet. So special care must be taken to prevent interior damage.

  • Allow 50% longer drying time
  • Periodically “fluff” filling from exterior using hands
  • Avoid overly vigorous flipping or smoothing
  • Use the flat drying method only

These simple adjustments accommodate the extra density typical of Chinese silk while preventing hidden moisture and tears.

I was determined to learn the best method for drying silk duvets to ensure they last longer.

Is Dry Cleaning Safe for Silk Comforters?

While strictly air drying silk at home is always most gentle, you may wish to dry clean occasionally for deeper cleaning.

Reasons I send my silk comforters for professional dry cleaning include:

  • Musty smells suggest hidden mildew
  • Heavy soiling after 5+ years of use
  • Highly delicate heirloom silk I’m unsure how to clean
  • Stubborn stains that require chemical removal
visible stain on silk textile

When dry cleaning, inform attendants it’s 100% silk! Request no heat drying which can scorch delicate fabrics.

The main drawbacks of dry cleaning silk bedding are:

  • Chemical processing risks color loss over repeated cleanings
  • Some shrinkage is possible despite air drying
  • Cost is 4-10 times higher than home washing

So while dry cleaning has benefits for really dirty silk, I use it sparingly. Perhaps once every 2-3 years at most along with seasonal home washing.

Troubleshooting Tricky Silk Drying Issues

Even when carefully drying silk, you may occasionally encounter:

  • Lingering interior moisture
  • Uneven dryness in certain sections
  • Increased stiffness in the fabric

Here are my solutions for safely speeding up drying without damage:

Inner moisture remaining after exterior feels dryBriskly pat, press and lift interior filling to uncover damp pockets. Point a circulating fan directly on the spot several hours until fully evaporated.
Some sections or edges feel overly crisp or board-likeLightly mist the affected area using distilled water in a spray bottle then gently work the moisture back in by hand. Quickly redry flattened out.
Comforter taking over 2 days to fully air dryDouble check for hidden moisture. If none found, use your dryer’s air fluff cycle (no heat) to soften and redistribute fill for 1-2 cycles.

Be vigilant with checking problem areas and you’ll get the hang of it. Reach out anytime if you have a tricky silk drying issue arise!

real silk fabric texture

Let’s Review the Key Silk Comforter Drying Takeaways

Caring properly for your investment silk bedding may involve a little more time and effort but yields huge dividends in longevity and luxury you’ll enjoy for years.

Here are the top tips I hope you take away:

  • Always 100% air dry silk comforters – no exceptions for machine drying! Tumble heat damages delicate fibers.
  • Lay flat in a cool, dry indoor spot away from sunlight is ideal for minimal handling and even drying.
  • Check for full dryness before removing to prevent hidden moisture and resulting stains.
  • Handle gently when damp and drying by smoothing instead of wringing, twisting or balling up.
  • Occasionally flip or rotate sections to ensure uniform moisture removal from all areas.

While silk comforter care may seem intimidating at first, armed with this knowledge you can dry like a pro! Implement my tips for damage-free air drying every time.

Have additional questions or concerns about your silk bedding care routine? I’m always happy to offer personalized tips, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

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