How to fix a lumpy comforter?

I have a lovely little comforter, and it needed to be washed. I really, really didn't want to wash it because I've had comforters get lumpy from being washed before, but it really needed to be done... so today I washed it. And lo and behold, it's lumpy! Now, I like to sleep on top of my comforter so I... show more I have a lovely little comforter, and it needed to be washed. I really, really didn't want to wash it because I've had comforters get lumpy from being washed before, but it really needed to be done... so today I washed it. And lo and behold, it's lumpy! Now, I like to sleep on top of my comforter so I can't hide the clumpy cotton by folding it and it's almost winter (brr! So I'll need to sleep under it now!)
I've seen some people suggest balls and/or shoes in the dryer as an "easy" solution, but I'm worried this will hurt the dryer. It's pretty old and I'm not sure how much damage it can take. Is it safe for the machine and how well does it really work?
And if anyone knows any other way other than kneeding the cotton around by hand--it's pretty painstaking for something like a comforter--I'd love to hear it. Thanks!
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