How to Pick a Down Comforter
A down comforter keeps you cozy and warm in bed while bringing an element of simple luxury to your sleep experience. Because most down bedding looks similar, it can be hard to decide on a comforter just by looking at pictures alone. With a few tips for deciphering product details like fill power and down types, you can confidently find fluffy feather bedding that’s just right for you and yours.
Types of Down Fill
The most common fill types for down comforters are duck and goose down, such as Siberian white duck down and Hungarian white goose down. Down is a cottony coating beneath the feathers of geese, ducks, and other waterfowl. Terms like “white feather” and “white down” often refer to down from waterfowl other than geese and ducks. You might prefer goose down to duck down if you’re allergic to the latter or vice versa.
Alternative down is another type of comforter filler made of synthetic fibers, such as polyester or gel. It’s as soft as authentic goose or duck down, but it provides a hypoallergenic, vegan option for those seeking to avoid down sourced from animals. Down alternative comforters are generally less expensive than goose or duck down and easier to clean. Most are machine washable.
Learn more about the differences in our Down vs. Down Alternative guide.
Down Comforter Fill Power & Weight
Fill power is helpful to know when choosing bedding that agrees with your personal body temperature, your climate, the time of year, and the ambient coolness or warmth of your home. The volume of a single ounce of down is its fill power. The higher the fill power, the fluffier the down per ounce of weight. On the other hand, the lower the fill power, the less lofty per ounce. Comforter sets made with high fill power down tend to cost more and insulate better than those made with less lofty down.
Heavier weight comforters have the highest fill power and tend to be best when your bedroom is cold. They’ll keep you toasty when the thermometer sinks below 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Break out the extra warmth weighted comforter in the winter, or all year if you sleep cold. Medium-weight comforters have average fill power and suit bedroom temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer weight comforters, also called lightweight, have the lowest fill power, so they have plenty of air flow. This makes them perfect for summer nights above 74 degrees — or all year if you sleep hot.
Fill Power Chart
Compare comforter weight with standard fill power to find a comforter that matches your sleep preferences.
|Comforter Weight||Light Weight||Medium Weight||Extra Warmth||All Season|
|Fill Power||200 – 600||200 – 700||700 – 1000||200 – 600|
|Best for||Warm Sleepers||All Sleepers||Cold Sleepers||Warm Sleepers|
Down Comforter Covers
Although you can wash down bedding yourself, it entails a great deal of care during the laundering process. Most people prefer to have a down bedding professionally dry-cleaned instead. You can reduce your trips to the dry cleaner with a duvet cover. Buying a duvet cover will keep your comforter clean and greatly reduce how often you need to wash it. Check that your comforter has loops attached on each corner. These help secure your duvet cover so that your down bedding stays in place.
Down Comforter Thread Count
Thread count measures how many threads are woven inside a single square inch. As the thread count gets higher, so does the density of the material. Higher thread counts tend to feel silky smooth against your skin, while lower ones tend to be more crisp.
Comforter thread counts start in the low 200s, but a good comforter may have a thread count of 400 or more. If you’re covering your comforter with a duvet to protect it from stains, choosing a lower thread count is a chance to save money. However, having a tighter weave will help keep feathers and down from poking through.
Down Comforter Sizes
Down duvet inserts and comforters are sized to fit all types of beds: twins, doubles, queens, kings, and California kings. Unlike your fitted sheets, you don’t have to stick to the rules of mattress dimensions. This is especially true if you love the look of an overflowing bedscape with tons of pillows. If you want to nail the oversized bedding look or have a partner who hogs all the blankets, pick a comforter that’s one size larger than your mattress size.
Down Comforter Construction
What exactly is a baffle box comforter? Baffles are a type of construction technique where slim pieces of vertical fabric are sewn inside the comforter’s shell. This method prevents the down filling from migrating from one side of the comforter to another and maximizes its overall loft. From the outside, baffles look like boxes, channels, or other decorative stitching. Sewn-through-box comforters look similar, but they have a lower profile because the outer layers of the comforter are sewn directly together. Sewn-through options can also be high quality, and they work well if you want your bedding to look sleek and flat.
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