Down Comforter Buying Guide
Down-filled comforters provide more than just warmth and coziness during the cold winter season. These bed comforters complement your bedroom decor while helping to create an inviting ambiance that can guarantee a good night's rest. Selecting the right comforter requires understanding your personal quality standards and your desired comfort level. Before buying down bedding, consider individual factors such as size, thread count, fill material, and construction.
Before purchasing a down comforter, identify the size of your mattress. Down comforters come in twin, double or full, queen, and king sizes. A general rule of thumb suggests buying a comforter one size larger than the mattress to eliminate comforter hogging during the middle of the night. A larger size down comforter also hides the sides of the bed when a coordinating bed skirt is not present.
Types of Down
Down comforters offer various options ideal for all season use, which varies based on weight and down type. The down material gives the comforter a lighter and fluffier feel, which adds to the overall comfort level. Goose down comforters are the most commonly used comforters and feature natural goose filaments to provide a soft touch and impressive coziness. Duck down and synthetic down materials are also used for down comforters and are typically less expensive than goose down. Synthetic down provides a hypoallergenic alternative for those suffering from allergies. Find out more about the differences between types of comforter filling with our Down Comforters vs. Down Alternative Comforters guide.
Fill power determines the warmth and fluffiness of the down comforter. Comforters with higher fill power offers more warmth and better overall quality. For example, a colored down comforter with a fill power of 400 offers lightweight warmth, while luxury comforters with a fill power of 800 deliver the highest insulation. In most cases, higher quality down materials deliver higher fill power and provide a loftier feel.
Thread Count and Ticking
The most common ticking, or shell material, for down comforters is cotton. This material features a relatively low cost, requires simple care, and offers impressive comfort. High-quality ticking includes cotton blends, silk, and silk blends. The ticking, or shell material, keeps the down material inside the comforter, and the higher the thread count, the better the ticking contains the down material.
Comforters with a thread count of at least 300 offer quality construction, which prevents thin down material from escaping and destroying the comforter. For example, 100-percent Egyptian cotton material offers durable ticking that allows the down to breathe for better loft.
When it comes to bed comforters, there are several types of construction, including baffle box, gusset, box stitch, karo step, and diamond quilted. However, baffle box and box stitch are the most common construction types.
Baffle box features strips of fabric sewn between the layers of the comforter to create cubes instead of boxes to hold the down material. This construction type allows the down material to expand for higher loft and typically features a more expensive price tag.
Box stitch sews the top and bottom layers of the comforter together in a box pattern. This construction type works best for lighter comforters and secures the down material with even distribution.
To protect the down comforter, use a duvet cover to prevent damage caused by spills or normal wear and tear. This cover easily coordinates with existing bedding for a matching look and stays in place with buttons or zippers. Check out our Duvet Cover Buying Guide for all the information you'll need about picking out a duvet cover.
For proper care, it is best to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some comforters need to be cleaned at a dry-cleaner, while other comforters can be washed in your machine at home. See our How to Wash a Down Comforter guide for specific cleaning recommendations.
To restore the loft of a new or existing down comforter, shake it out vigorously or fluff the comforter in the dryer on a low setting for up to five minutes. It is important to remember that new comforters may require up to 72 hours to fully expand and achieve maximum fluffiness.