Experts explain why you should air your duvet outdoors – try the Tik Tok viral Scandi sleep hack

This Scandi-inspired duvet hack is proven to improve sleep – we speak to experts on the benefits of airing your duvet outdoors

Airing your duvet outdoors - Duvet and bedding on bed with gray duvet in air
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There's yet another homes trend going viral on TikTok – airing your duvet outdoors. A follow-on from another Scandi-sleep hack that introduced the idea of couples sleeping with two twin duvets, rather than fighting over one, this new trick sees homemakers airing out their duvets before bed. 

Rooted in Scandinavian culture, airing a duvet outside has long been part of a regular cleaning routine, and is proven to improve sleep. So what exactly are the benefits of putting your best duvet out in the fresh air? 

We've spoken to the sleep experts to find out more about this new Scandinavian sleep hack, and why you should try it. 

What is the viral Scandinavian duvet hack?

Duvet and bedding airing out of a window

(Image credit: Getty / Credit:Boris SV Creative #:1179922380)

Scandinavians are known for leading the way when it comes to living well. The whole concept of hygge, as well as the single-duvet Scandi sleep method have both been huge trends around the rest of the world, and the new duvet-airing hack is intriguing people too. 


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'Airing out bedding, particularly duvets is a tradition in colder Nordic climates' explains sleep specialist, Dr Walt Pickut. The act consists of taking out the duvet into the Arctic air, keeping the cover on too if you have a duvet insert, and leaving it outside for four hours. Putting it back on the bed before you sleep will have your bed feeling crisp and cool to the touch – if you're a hot sleeper, you have to try it. 

One TikTok video from user Cecilia Blomdahl from Svalbard in Norway features the method as part of her cabin cleaning routine. She advises you should do it at least once a week, as it makes your duvet feel 'so fresh and airy.' It is the Scandi-secret to a freshly made bed.

Dr Walt Pickut headshot
Dr Walt Pickut

Dr Walt Pickut holds a Master of Science degree in medical physiology, board registry in polysomnographic technology (RPSGT), and registry as a sleep disorder specialist (RRT-SDS) awarded by NBRC, with seven years of experience in hospital-based sleep labs. In addition, while serving as director of education for the Anesthesiology Department at Jersey City Medical Center early in my career, he completed all hospital-based clinical rotations in Clinical Diagnosis through New Jersey College of Medicine.

The benefits of airing out a duvet before bed

But what are the benefits? Besides the fresh feel, 'the primary goal is to refresh the bedding and remove moisture and potential allergens, while the secondary, often overlooked benefit, relates to improving sleep quality.' says Dr. Walt Pickut. Even on warmer days, airing your duvet outside can have positive impacts on overall health and hygiene, including temperature regulation, deodorization, and moisture reduction. It's even proving to be somewhat eco-friendly. 

Moisture Reduction: 'We lose about a pint of water every night through perspiration and respiration,' states Dr. Walt Pickut. 'This moisture gets trapped in our bedding, providing a potential breeding ground for dust mites and mildew, which are harmful to our respiratory health and can disrupt sleep. Airing out your duvet can help remove this moisture and deter these allergens.

Temperature Regulation:
 'The warmth of the sunshine can even help to restore the loft of your duvet which helps to give it that plush, bouncy feeling that gradually fades over time.' says Rachel Marshall, Brand Manager at Bensons for Beds. This results in better temperature regulation during sleep, a critical aspect of maintaining deep, restorative sleep cycles.

Natural deodorizer: If you air your duvet on a sunny day, the 'sunlight can help remove any unpleasant smells caused by sweat and natural oils released from the body', explains Rachel Marshall.  

Comfort and feel: Taking your duvet outside not only airs it out but also exposes it to sunlight, which has natural sanitizing properties. This practice keeps your bedding feeling and smelling fresher, providing a more comfortable and inviting sleep environment. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so investing time and effort in optimizing our sleep environment is time well spent,' adds Dr. Walt Pickut. 

Sustainability: Dr. Walt Pickut points out it is an environmentally friendly practice as well. 'Regular airing can prolong the life of your bedding, reducing the need for washing and hence saving water and energy.'

Rachel Marshall headshot image
Rachel Marshall

Rachel Marshall is the brand manager at Bensons for Beds. She finds sleep to be a fascinating subject, one that really interests her. Sleep is something that everybody needs and Rachel enjoys getting content out there that can educate consumers and provide advice, to help people looking to improve their sleep.

Duvets that keep you cool

You can try this hack in any weather; you'll enjoy the benefits of a fluffier loft, and a fresher feeling. But if you live in a hot climate, it could be worth investing in a cooling duvet or comforter to really make the most of this trend. These are the best cooling duvet inserts we've tried and tested – leave them to air outside too and you're guaranteed great sleep. Besides, you should always air out a new duvet before you use it. 


How long does it take for a duvet to air dry?

Just as airing your dry duvet outside has its advantages, drying your duvet outside after washing is the best way to keep it feeling and looking fresh. How long you air it out will depend on the type of duvet, and whether it's dry, or not. When airing a dry duvet out according to the Scandinavian sleep method, you should leave it out there for four hours minimum. The longer time you have the better, but four hours will be long enough for it to fluff up and de-moisten. If you've washed your duvet and need to dry it naturally, it can take much longer, especially if it is made from down. A freshly cleaned duvet should be dry to the touch after a full day outside. 

What to do if it's raining or you don't have outside space

Airing your duvet outside isn't always necessary. If you're hit with a bad spell of rain, it's okay to keep your comforter inside  and, there are other ways you can keep your bedding fresh. As a general rule, you should always pull your duvet away from your sheets after getting out of bed, and open a window. Adding this small step to your morning routine will help airflow and reduce any moisture trapped beneath your bed sheets. 

If you have enough indoor space, it's also a good idea to hang your bedding up in the air. Putting it by a window, next to a fan, or using a dehumidifier can help to improve air circulation and refresh your bedding.

The Scandi-duvet airing hack is great for getting your bed looking and feeling fresh. But it's still important to wash your duvet regularly. While leaving your comforter out in the colder will prolong the need to wash it, we recommend cleaning a comforter every six months to ensure the best sleep hygiene. 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is your eCommerce Editor and sleep specialist to help you wind down well. A connoisseur of the mattress world, Louise previously covered sleep and wellness (as well as the occasional organizational buy) at Real Homes, and has tried, tested, and reviewed some of the buys for your bedroom. With an MA in International Journalism and PR experience, Louise brings bags of bedding expertise and enjoys nothing more than helping readers find solutions and products that best suit their sleep needs.