Blankets come and go as the weather changes. When winter turns into spring, that weighted goose feather down comforter might be changed out with a lighter quilt. But where and how should you store excess bedding in the meantime?
Some of us have ample linen closets, and others have to get more creative with their storage solutions. We’ll show you how to store comforters and blankets to preserve their quality and save space in your home.
Be careful to follow these storage tips closely. Otherwise, you could end up with fabric degradation or odors that are very difficult to remove.
1. Launder bedding accordingly.
Every time you put your bedding in the washer, the fabric is aggravated, and the exposure to water and soap can break down your bedding over time. This laundry fact is why we tend to wash our sheets a lot more than we do comforters or blankets. Sheets touch our skin directly and are more prone to collecting oils, dust, skin cells, etc.
However, it’s important to store clean bedding. Use discretion on whether your comforters need a full launder before storage. For instance, if you are only storing a vintage quilt in your linen closet for a month or two, it might be best to fluff it up and shake out the fabric outdoors before storing to save it from the stress of laundry. You could also opt to get it dry cleaned if it hasn’t been properly cleaned in a long time.
Any bedding that is dirty should absolutely be cleaned before putting it into storage. It’s even more important to make sure the fabric is completely dry prior to storing. Any dampness can promote mold and mildew growth.
Remember these tips when laundering bedding:
- Wash bedding in cold water on a delicate cycle. Excessive hot water can degrade the fabric. Use a small amount of gentle detergent because too much soap leaves sheets stiff.
- Dry bedding in a large enough dryer on low to medium heat. To make sure the comforters are evenly dried, use dryer balls, which keeps the fabric from bunching.
- Don’t overstuff the dryer. Give the bedding space for air to fluff up. Dry sheets separately and don’t fill the dryer more than halfway.
- Take bedding out of the dryer right away. This step makes sure that you don’t store bedding with wrinkles.
- Let certain bedding air dry. Some fabrics might require air drying or absolutely no heat. When in doubt, check the label.
2. Allow fabric to breathe.
This tip is Important for natural fibers like wool. The best place to store bedding is in open areas where adequate airflow gets to the fabric. Avoid plastic storage bags that trap moisture and are breeding grounds for mold and mildew.
Consider the following bedding storage options:
- Cotton storage bags. These bags protect against bugs and dust but allow airflow. If you don’t have bags, wrap comforters and other bedding in cotton sheets before storing.
- Comforter hangers. These work well for hanging items like heirloom quilts and allow air to pass through the fabric.
- Acid-free box and tissue. This option is ideal for long term storage. Wrap tissue between each layer to prevent creasing and fabric bleeding.
3. Avoid damp storage areas.
Ideally, the storage area should be cool and dry. The biggest offender to bedding is moisture. Avoid storing bedding in a basement, garage or other humid areas of your home.
If you are lacking space inside your home, get creative with storage solutions. If you are using a storage unit, make sure that the storage unit is climate controlled.
Here are some creative ways to store blankets:
- Linen closet. Maximize space by keeping the linen closet organized.
- Under the bed. Make your own under the bed storage solution.
- Attic. Just make sure that there is adequate airflow up there and it doesn’t get too hot.
- Storage baskets and ottomans. Hide your bedding in plain sight using multi-purpose furniture.
- Under the shelf baskets. Add extra space underneath a shelf in the closet.
- Armoire or dresser. Utilize large-scale furniture pieces in a hallway.
4. Maximize space by folding.
Learning how to properly fold bedding is an important step in storage because a properly folded blanket will take up less space. Learn how to fold fitted sheets in the video above, and keep reading for some other folding advice.
Some comforters are bulky and hard to keep folded. Others shouldn’t be compressed or stacked. One solution to this issue is to roll the bedding into a ball and tie it into place using a ribbon. This option is ideal because the blankets are more accessible and won’t be crushed by the weight of other blankets.
Rolling down comforters loosely in this fashion and storing them vertically will prevent compression. You don’t want to compress down comforters with goose down or feathers. The excess weight can damage the feathers and create bunches inside the comforter.
Bedding storage tips to consider:
- Use vacuum bags. These work well for synthetic, wool or cotton down comforters. If you have a feather down comforter, make sure you leave some air inside the vacuum bag.
- Store by weight. If you fold blankets and put them on a shelf, keep the heavier blankets on the bottom. Don’t store anything on top of down comforters.
- Store sheets inside pillowcases. To keep sheet sets together, fold the sheets and place them inside the matching pillowcase.
5. Keep blankets fresh.
In the event that you need to store bedding in a potentially damp area, there are some precautions you can take to keep the fabric fresh. If your linens are in an area of your basement, make sure you run a strong enough dehumidifier to keep humidity levels in check.
Also, airtight containers can temporarily block out moisture in storage spaces like the garage. However, this is a temporary solution because fabric should be exposed to fresh air for long term storage.
How to keep blankets smelling fresh:
- Dryer sheets. Place a few sheets inside the folded bedding or in the tote before storing. Dryer sheets work well to keep fabric fresh regardless of where it’s stored.
- DIY odor absorber. Make an odor absorber by mixing baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oil inside a mason jar. Punch a few holes in the lid and place this inside your linen closet or your bedding storage area.
- Avoid mothballs. While mothballs can prevent damage to your clothes, they can leave them with an undesirable scent. Use cedar lined chests or cedar chips instead.
- Hang blankets in the sun. Once you take your blankets out of storage, launder them and then dry them thoroughly on a clothesline on a bright, sunny day. The sunshine works to deodorize and kill odor-causing bacteria in the fabric naturally.
We hope this comforter storage guide showed you how to store comforters and other bedding correctly. Just remember, the most important aspect of storing a blanket is to make sure that it is completely dry and is kept in a dry location. Good luck!