Which feather duster is best?

A classic feather duster is a cleaning implement that can effectively remove dust and debris from shelves, picture frames, rails and other surfaces. These days, there are also multipurpose dusters that can reach into tight spaces to make your home clean and tidy. If you’re looking for one that makes cleaning easy and convenient, the Swiffer Dusters Heavy Duty Extender Handle Starter Kit is a great choice.

What to know before you buy a feather duster

Uses

The main purpose of a feather duster is to remove debris, lint, dust and even pet hair from surfaces. Those made from feathers or microfiber use static electricity to attract and collect these small particles.

Most, especially those with a classic design, are soft and gentle enough to clean around fragile items, such as glassware or knickknacks. Some multipurpose ones can be used in ways traditional ones cannot, such as to clean the inside of a car or remove debris from upholstery.

Depending on the design, a feather duster can also get in between objects and deep into crevices to get rid of dust. One with a long or extendable handle can also help you access hard-to-reach areas, such as the blades of a ceiling fan or cobwebs in the corner.

Types

Here are the main types of feather dusters:

  • Classic: Perhaps the most common type, classic ones consist of real feathers — usually ostrich. They often have a nonadjustable wooden handle. Since they’re soft, they’re ideal for dusting fragile items, such as glass, antiques and artwork.
  • Lambswool: Often found in traditional feather dusters, wool is reusable and good for cleaning delicate surfaces. It’s also all-natural and long-lasting. However, it does require spot cleaning with a nonabrasive cloth and a few drops of mineral oil.
  • Microfiber: This gentle material is an inexpensive alternative to classic or wool options. It also picks up dust and allergens with ease without scattering them. If the head detaches from the handle, you can wash it in a washing machine.
  • Multipurpose: The most versatile type, multipurpose dusters consist of different materials and can lift dust from nearly any surface.
  • Disposable: Some options, including the Swiffer duster, are disposable. These come with refill packs or duster head replacements, meaning you don’t need to clean them after use. Most have a longer handle specifically designed to reach high places.

Potential issues and maintenance

Before getting a feather duster, here are some of the most common issues with them:

  • Some spread dust around rather than picking it up, meaning they don’t clean as much as they should. This mainly happens when you don’t clean the duster head often enough or if there is a lot of dust or debris.
  • They may hold onto allergens. For people with severe dust allergies, using one can worsen the issue. Again, cleaning it regularly can prevent this problem.

With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can ensure your duster lasts a long time and cleans effectively. After every use, shake it off outside to remove some of the larger debris or dust particles clinging to it.

Certain materials, such as microfiber, can be washed by hand with warm tap water. After getting rid of any debris or allergens, let it air dry before using it again. Alternatively, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove larger debris or hair. If the duster starts to lose its shape, ring it out to return it to its original shape.

What to look for in a quality feather duster

Surface area and design

Some feather dusters have more surface area than others. Those with real feathers come in lengths ranging from 14 to 32 inches. They’re also poofy at the end, which lets them pick up more dust.

Others, such as the Swiffer duster, have a cylindrical head that can collect dirt and dust on all sides. Since these dusters have more surface area, they are ideal for cleaning larger areas.

There are also smaller dusters with an average head size of about 10 inches. These are convenient for spot cleaning or reaching tight spaces, such as between books, framed photographs and similarly sized items.

Length and adjustability

Classic feather dusters usually have a simple handle that doesn’t extend or bend. A lot of modern ones have adjustable lengths or swivel heads, though. This makes them ideal for cleaning around and between items without having to move them. It also makes them convenient for reaching higher areas or getting into nooks or crannies.

Some adjustable dusters can reach three feet in length with the press of a button. Others have a long handle by default.

Shelf life

They can last for several months or years when cleaned regularly. If you get a disposable one, expect to replace the head every one to three months.

Handle

Most handles consist of either wood or plastic. Plastic is usually resistant to moisture, meaning it won’t rot or warp if exposed to water for a long time. Wood handles often have a sleek or high-quality aesthetic, but they can sometimes splinter.

Some handles have a nonslip or ergonomic grip. This makes them comfortable to use, especially on larger cleaning projects.

How much you can expect to spend on a feather duster

A basic, disposable feather duster can cost $5-$15. Kits, adjustable or reusable ones usually cost $15-$30.

Feather duster FAQ

What’s the best method to clean with a feather duster?

A. Pull the duster along the surface with a steady, even motion. Don’t go in circles, but do slightly overlap the previous area you’ve already cleaned. Use light pressure to avoid damaging delicate items. Start from the highest surface and go down from there.

Can you use a feather duster outside?

A. Generally, these cleaning tools are meant for indoor use only. But if you have furniture or shelving units on an enclosed patio, you can use a duster to remove light dust or debris from those.

What’s the best feather duster to buy?

Top feather duster

Swiffer Dusters Heavy Duty Extender Handle Starter Kit

Swiffer Dusters Heavy Duty Extender Handle Starter Kit

What you need to know: This kit is a great choice for anyone who wants a modern cleaning implement to collect dust and small debris from nearly any surface in your home.

What you’ll love: It comes with 12 durable refills and one adjustable handle. It can easily trap dust and allergens without spreading them around. Plus, the handle extends up to 3 feet. The head is also adjustable and can be positioned to reach ceiling fan blades and other hard-to-reach surfaces.

What you should consider: It’s primarily meant for light dusting.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top feather duster for the money

Oxo Good Grips Microfiber Delicate Duster

Oxo Good Grips Microfiber Delicate Duster

What you need to know: This gentle duster can easily clean around fragile objects without damaging them.

What you’ll love: This duster is 13 inches long and has a comfortable nonslip handle with a hole you can use to hang it when not in use. It’s made with soft microfiber, and it’s machine-washable.

What you should consider: It’s not very large, so it’s better for smaller spaces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Unisan Handle Professional Ostrich Feather Duster

Unisan Handle Professional Ostrich Feather Duster

What you need to know: This classic duster consists of ostrich feathers and can tackle many different surfaces with ease.

What you’ll love: The handle is 16 inches long, making it convenient for getting into corners and between objects on shelves. It is also lightweight and has a wooden handle that’s contoured for a comfortable grip.

What you should consider: It’s not adjustable.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.