Why you should try the latest Scandi sleep hack and air your duvet outside

TikTok videos of people airing their duvets outdoors are going viral, and for good reason

Bedroom with throw on bed, exposed brick wall and window into garden
(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

One of the Scandinavian sleep hacks circulating TikTok that's definitely caught our eye is the airing duvet outside trend, which it turns out, is an expert-approved method for cleaning your duvet and improving your sleep. 

The best duvets deserve the best care and attention, but we're all guilty of neglecting to clean them. Whether you know how to wash a duvet or not, airing duvet outside could be a fast way to get the same results. And if all that's required of us is to pop our duvet outdoors, then we're game. 

'Scandinavians are known for their healthy approach to sleep and prioritising their wellbeing,' says Rachel Marshall, Brand Manager, Bensons for Beds. 'This latest element of the Scandi sleep hack is no exception. There are multiple health and hygiene benefits to airing your dry duvet outside - even during colder days.'  The Scandi hack of opening your windows before going to bed is just another one of many.

We wanted to find out more about this latest TikTok craze, and to see if it's one that's worth jumping on to.

Airing duvet outside - what the experts think

Bed with red patterned duvet and blue check sheets

(Image credit: Camomile London)

But before you go and strip your bedding and throw your duvet into the garden, let's find out some of the facts behind why you should air your duvet outdoors. Spoiler: it's definitely worth doing, and the same applies to the best mattress toppers too. 

The benefits of airing duvet outside

So what are the benefits of airing duvet outside? The experts highlighted the points below as reasons why you should definitely consider putting your bedding out in the sunshine.

Duvet folded on top of mattress

(Image credit: Future PLC)

1. It removes moisture build up

'We all lose about a pint of water every night while we are asleep in bed and this perspiration is trapped in our bedlinen, especially in our duvets,' explains Robert Lancaster-Gaye, Co-Founder, Tielle Love Luxury. 'To allow a duvet to work as intended we need to keep it as dry as possible.'

Ridding our duvet of excess moisture is the primary benefit to airing duvet outside. It's the all natural way to get your duvet clean and prevent the build up of bacteria, which thrives in moist, damp environments. 

Now that you know how much moisture is probably trapped in your bedlinen, we're sure you'll be taking your duvet outside for a breath of fresh air.

2. It banishes unpleasant smells

Pink bedroom with wall panelling, wooden bed and pendant lighting

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Following on from the last point, airing duvet outside helps to remove unpleasant and lingering odours. 'Sunlight is a fantastic natural deodorizer that can help to remove unpleasant smells caused by things like sweat and oils,' says Rachel from Bensons for Beds. 

'These smells are released from the body which means you can put down those artificial air fresheners or cleaning chemicals to keep your bedding smelling fresh.'

Even if you can't detect a distinct odour, your duvet could be carrying bacteria from the moisture that it's carrying, which will eventually lead to a nasty smell if it isn't washed. 

Airing the duvet outside is a much easier, quicker and more natural way to clean it than putting it in washing machine - or god forbid, hand washing it, which would take an age to dry. 

3. It helps your duvet refluff itself

Bedroom with throw on bed, exposed brick wall and window into garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Aside from helping your duvet to self clean, putting it outside can revitalise it in other ways. 'The warmth of the sunshine can help to restore the loft of your duvet which helps to give it that fluffy, bouncy feeling that gradually fades over time', Rachel explains.  

Robert from Tielle Love Luxury agrees. 'Reducing moisture helps enable the filling of the duvet to recover its loft and this helps with temperature regulation and comfort – nothing beats a fluffy duvet!'

So airing duvet outside can be an easy way to sleep better, if you're having trouble getting some shuteye. A fluffy, comfy duvet to snuggle up under is definitely better than a lank, flat one. Pop your duvet outside when it's time to switch your winter duvet to a summer one, so you can refluff the duvet after months in the loft.

When to air your duvet outside

White painted bedroom with wall art above bed and grey bedding

(Image credit: Future PLC / David Cleveland)

So now we've established the benefits of airing duvet outside, it's helpful to know when's the best time to do it. Seeing as this sleep hack is popular in Scandinavia, you can actually air your duvet outdoors year round, when temperatures are warm or cold. 

TikTok user Cecilia Blomdahl lives in Svalbard in Norway, and she actually prefers to airing duvet outside when it's cold. 'If you can do it at least once a week and especially good if it’s outside in the cold weather. It just makes them so fresh and airy and amazing!'

But, there are benefits to popping your duvet outside in warmer weather, according to the experts. 'On a hot sunny day, hanging your duvet outside to warm up in the sunshine will help it smell fantastic, and fully dry the contents of the duvet,' says Robert. 

Bedroom with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'Spring is the perfect time to air your duvet outside, as we can often see a build up of humidity - particularly in the bedroom - over the winter,' explains Rachel. 'Airing your duvet now will help to prevent the growth of mildew, mould and allergens just in time for summer.'

So there are benefits to airing out your duvet whether it's cold or warm, and if you do it regularly, you won't have to find out what to do with old duvets any time soon. Just keep it indoors when it's raining, for obvious reasons. 


How to refresh duvet if you don't have space to air it outdoors?

If you don't have any outdoor space to air your duvet, don't worry as there are other ways to freshen up your bedding. 

'My advice is to give the duvet a good shake when you get out of bed but leave it turned well back and as loose as possible,' says Robert from Tielle Love Luxury says. 'You want to give the moisture as much chance as possible to evaporate and a tightly made bed doesn’t help.'

'Later during the day, or just before you get into bed, give the duvet another shake from the bottom of the bed and it will be beautifully lofted and fully snuggly!'

Giving the duvet a good shake can help to disperse any moisture molecules that are clinging to the fabric. If you can do this every day, then great, but if not, aim to do it once a week, and make sure you're changing the bedsheets frequently too.

How long should you air a duvet?

A few hours is long enough to get the benefits of airing your duvet outside. 'Letting your duvet sit out in the fresh air for a few hours will help with moisture removal,' explains Rachel from Bensons for Beds. 'The fresh air helps to evaporate any excess moisture trapped within the duvet fibres.'

If you can keep it out all day, even better, as this will allow your duvet to really freshen up and it will feel like new again when you put it back on your bed. If you're airing duvet outside frequently, then one hour each time is fine.

Katie Sims

Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.