How to Pick a Down Comforter

How to Pick a Down Comforter

White comforter on bed
A down comforter keeps you cozy and warm in bed while bringing an element of simple luxury to your sleep experience. Down comforters come in many different colors, sizes and thicknesses, so you're sure to find just the right one for you and yours. Narrow your choices by comparing your lifestyle needs and preferences with a handful of down comforter criteria, such as fill type, fill power, and weight.
White comforter on bed

Fill Types

Common fill types for down comforters include 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 Comforter

Alternative down is another type of down comforter filler made of synthetic fill fibers, such as polyester or gel. It is as soft as authentic goose or duck down, but it provides another hypoallergenic option that is also viable for those seeking to avoid down sourced from animals. Alternative down comforters are generally less expensive than goose or duck down and easier to clean. Most are machine washable.

Fill Power

The volume of a single ounce of down is its fill power. Down with a high fill power is said to be “lofty” and provides better insulation. As a result, manufacturers require loftier down to achieve optimal insulation. On the other hand, comforter sets made with lofty down tend to cost more than those made with less lofty down. Fill power amounts range from 600 to 1,000 and typically appear in product descriptions. Fill power is helpful to know when deciding upon a down comforter that agrees with your personal body temperature, your climate, the time of year, and the ambient coolness or warmth of your home.


Down comforters vary by weight, with heavier weights being suitable for colder temperatures. Medium-weight down comforters are suitable for temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and have a fill power of roughly 200 to 700. Heavyweight down comforters keep you toasty when the thermometer sinks below 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Their fill power typically ranges from 700 to 1,000. The fill power of all season down comforters falls between 200 and 600, depending on the brand. A summer down comforter, or lightweight down comforter, falls into this category, with down that provides warmth in temperatures above 74 degrees Fahrenheit while still permitting airflow.


The sensation of a duvet comforter against your skin is part of what makes it so enjoyable to sleep in. Treat yourself to Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, polyester, microfiber or silk. Each fabric has its own set of strengths and dynamics, which may affect your buying choice. Silk feels exquisite and is best dry cleaned. Egyptian cotton is equally skin-friendly but has no issues with your washing machine. Pima is also machine washable. Polyester and microfiber are usually the least expensive options and are preferable if cotton or silk make you itch.

Thread Count

Thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads woven together in each square inch. Finer threads result in higher thread counts, which typically yield a higher quality weave that is smoother and gentler to the skin. Thread counts range from 200 to 1,000, with higher counts being desirable if you have sensitive skin, are buying comforters for your hospitality business or giving a down comforter or goose down duvet as a gift.

Comforter Size and Accessories

Choose between king, queen, full, twin or full-to-queen size down comforters. Oversized comforters hang over the edges of your bed, giving you maximum coverage. Duvet and comforter covers help protect your comforter while it’s on your bed, and duvet clips keep your comforter from shifting inside of its cover. Use comforter storage bags to keep your heavyweight or summer comforters aerated, fresh and mildew-free during off-seasons. Never store down comforters in plastic or synthetic materials that do not breathe.