Down comforters boast a high level of comfort, warmth, and breathability. But are they really worth the cost and care?
In this breakdown, we'll explore all your questions — starting with the basics, answering everything from "What is a down comforter?" to "What are down feathers?"
Read on to learn more about the materials, benefits, concerns, and other factors to consider when choosing your next down or down alternative comforter.
What Are Down Feathers?
Down feathers are the soft undercoating of geese and ducks. They’re found closest to the bird’s skin and act as a layer of insulation underneath the tough outer feathers.
Because down feathers are light, fluffy filaments free of hard quills, they’re a popular choice for high-quality clothes and luxury bedding.
What is a Down Comforter?
Down comforters, also known as down duvets and down duvet inserts, are made with clusters of down feathers. They’re known for being incredibly soft because of their loft or fill power, which is the amount of down in one ounce.
The fill power of a down comforter ranges anywhere between 550 to 800. The higher the fill power, the higher the quality of the down comforter. For example, our Luxury White Goose Down Duvet has a 650 fill power that gives you the best quality and a light weight that offers customizable warmth year-round.
What Are the Benefits of a Down Comforter?
Not only do down comforters provide a cloud-like sleeping experience, but they also come with several other perks.
There’s really no comparison to the comfy feel of a comforter filled with down feathers. However, the quality of the down feathers will affect the softness, so you’ll want to pick a top-notch comforter from a well-trusted brand.
Insulated but breathable
Comforters filled with down feathers give you the best of both worlds. In colder months, they provide warm, snuggly bedding with a layer of insulation.
However, they're also light and breathable, since the down feathers allow more air and moisture vapor to flow through the comforter. So, they can also be used when the weather warms up.
A down comforter can last up to 10 to 15 years when properly cared for. But they are a hassle to wash. So you'll want to either spot-clean down comforters or have them professionally cleaned.
Because of their high fill power, down comforters are easy to fold into a much smaller size than alternative comforters. This compressibility makes them a great option if you have limited space to store your bedding.
What are the Drawbacks of a Down Comforter?
Down comforters also come with their share of disadvantages, so you’ll want to look at the big picture and see if a down alternative comforter would be a better fit for your home.
Some people are allergic to the dust particles that can be found on down feathers. While you can buy a hypoallergenic down comforter, it will be more expensive.
Naturally hypogenic, synthetic down comforters provide a safe alternative if you've had a bad reaction to down bedding in the past.
Down comforters are much harder to clean than their alternatives. If you want something lower-maintenance, consider a synthetic down comforter instead.
Otherwise, toss your down comforter into a front-loading dryer every few months and put the settings on air or low. This will help keep the moisture down and the softness up. Periodically, have your down comforter professionally laundered to maintain its optimal fluff.
Alternatively, find some middle ground and protect your down comforter with a duvet cover that you can remove and wash easily.
Because the down is from waterfowl, it's more expensive than other comforters. And while they are more durable (translating to a more affordable cost per wear), down comforters require a higher investment upfront.
How to Choose a Down Comforter
When picking out a down comforter, there are several things to consider to find the best option for your sleeping needs.
What type of bird your down feathers come from can affect the comforter. Typically, down from geese is considered high-quality and more luxurious than down from ducks. For instance, our down products at Peacock Alley are made with responsibly sourced European white goose down.
It seems a given, but make sure your down comforter fits your mattress — especially if you have a bed that falls out of standard sizes (like XL twins and California kings). So break out the measuring tape and double-check that your bed's dimensions match those of the down comforter you want to buy.
If you sleep hot or live in a warmer area, you'll want to pay close attention to your down comforter's weight and fill. Even though down feathers are breathable, a higher fill power typically means the comforter will be more insulated.
Down vs. Down Alternative Comforter
No matter if you opt for a down comforter or a down alternative, Peacock Alley has an extensive selection of high-quality bedding to suit your sleep needs.
Whether filled with the finest European goose down or our Dacron® down alternative, our duvet inserts and pillows are essential for a good night's sleep.
To get hotel-quality sleep at home with modern luxury bedding, shop Peacock Alley today.