Table of Contents
- 1. What is Down?
- 2. What is Down Filled?
- 3. Types of Down Comforter Filling
- 4. What Color is Down?
- 5. Note the “Fill Power”
- 6. Thread Count
- 7. Baffles
- 8. Down vs Down Alternative Comforters
- 9. Features to Consider When Buying a Down Comforter
- 10. Cleaning Instructions
- Top 10 Best Down Comforters
- 1. Royal Hotel Bedding Goose Down Comforter, Queen
- 2. Egyptian Bedding® Goose Down Comforter, Queen
- 3. Pacific Coast® European Down Comforter, Queen
- 4. Egyptian Bedding® Goose Down Comforter, Queen
- 5. C&W Goose Down Comforter, King
- 6. Puredown® Goose Down Comforter, Queen
- 7. DreamTek Equinox Duck Down Comforter, Smart Snap, California King
- 8. Snowman Goose Down Comforter, King
- 9. Cuddledown® Duck Down Comforter, Queen
- 10. Eddie Bauer® Goose Down Comforter, King
- Final Thoughts
There’s nothing more comfortable and lightweight on chilly nights then a down comforter. For keeping cozy and warm when you sleep, the best down comforter buying guidelines below will help you select the best one for you that will keep you warm and toasty for years to come. Cuddle up with a down comforter and a soft pillow, turn on your essential oil diffuser, and nestle in for a restful night’s sleep.
Definition: Duvet (do vay) is 18th century French and means feather. The cover you put over your duvet (comforter) is called a ‘duvet cover’ so we are misled in the real meaning of the word and the outer ‘duvet’ is like a pillow case to cover the comforter (duvet). A true duvet is a soft quilt filled with down, feathers, or a synthetic fiber (alternative down). The duvet is used in place of blankets for its warmth and lightweight, called a comforter.
1. What is Down?
Underneath any bird is down—the fluffy fine feathers under the topside sturdier flying feathers. These give padding and insulation from cold and heat. There are no quills in down—the spine going from the tip to the bottom center, the hollow shaft at the end of contour feathers. The clusters of down confine the air of the tiny down ‘fluff’ to keep birds warm. Down on ducks and geese is usually found on their belly. A down feather is sometimes used with 100% down in a smaller amount in comforters.
Down comforters can cost from about $60 to over $5000.
2. What is Down Filled?
This simply means your comforter or pillow is filled inside a fabric covering with goose or duck down, not feathers. Duck down is less expensive than goose down since duck farms are huge and more available.
Duck down is not as fluffy as goose down but both will give you great insulation in your comforter.
3. Types of Down Comforter Filling
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a down comforter is filled with 100% goose down. Some brands use less expensive fill reducing the cost to you, the buyer. The most usual filler will be duck down that do not have the dense larger clusters of down. With duck down, your comforter will need to be heavier and thicker to provide the same warmth as goose down.
There are also different types of goose down. Geese are raised and bred on farms for the purpose of taking their soft fluffy down for down-filled winter jackets, pillows, comforters, and more. It takes the down of about 75 or more birds to make a down comforter. We want the birds to be treated in a humane way. China is the biggest offender of plucking feathers and down from birds that are alive then to suffer in pain and usually die. Countries slaughter the birds for food, then take the down by dunking the dead birds in scalding hot water to dislodge the ends of quills easily. Ever kill a chicken on the farm? It’s done the same way.
- Hungarian Goose Down—the most expensive and considered the best for its largeness and density.
- Siberian Goose Down—does not exist because no geese live in Siberia. This is a marketing trick to fool the consumer; it is often from China. Siberian geese do exist, but are a protected species and are not white.
- Chinese Goose Down—is of low quality, less expensive, and the down is plucked from young birds that are not mature enough to have dense and large cluster plumes. Regulations for harvesting in China are not as tightly regulated as in North American and Europe.
- Cruelty-Free Goose Down—is plucked from geese, often by hand, from geese that were not slaughtered.
Colder climates produce the best down because the birds need to grow more of it to shield themselves from the extreme cold. It is cold in Hungary, so the best quality and amount of down comes from there. A mistaken belief is that the heavier a comforter the more it will give warmth, which is not true. The lighter the down weighs the warmer it will be. Down weighs less than feathers and the air between the clusters provides the warmth. With that said, don’t buy a down comforter founded solely upon its weight. Then again, if you are not warm enough with a comforter, put an electric blanket underneath it for even more warmness.
4. What Color is Down?
The color fluctuates by season, the bird’s age, and when the down is collected. Color has no distinction for the ability of down to warm you. Most people prefer white rather than gray or darker colors because the comforter can appear more grayish and dull and show through the covering after being washed or dry cleaned several times.
The larger the down cluster, the better quality the product. This brings us to another key consideration— “fill power.”
5. Note the “Fill Power”
This is the measurement for the amount of space the down takes up and that gives you the quality of loft and warmth of a down comforter. The loft will puff up and be high. The higher number the fill power the more warmth. A fill power of 600 or more will be wonderfully warm and cozy.
Goose down comforters will show a fill power rating that is the number of cubic inches an ounce of down will take up. The higher the rating the larger and dense the down is and these comforters will be warmer than those with less fill power. The quality will be better and last longer because the down is stronger.
You might think to get a low fill power for warm conditions and a high fill power for colder conditions. That’s not entirely true. You must also consider the fill power to the total weight of the comforter. For example: 350 fill power, 100-ounces vs. 700 fill power, 50-ounces means that each comforter will be warm, but the 700-fill power is best and is half the weight. Check the highest fill power and the total fill weight for its warm or cold conditions you are considering.
6. Thread Count
The higher the thread count the denser (closer together) the threads are for each square inch making the fabric feel softer and smoother. Your comforter will breath better and feel more lavish and plush with a higher thread count. If you use a duvet cover to put your comforter into, thread count might not be so important.
The pockets of down are separated by fabric strips sewn at intervals so the down doesn’t clump up into balls and this type is more expensive but lasts longer. This baffling will keep the down evenly spread out in the comforter. Less expensive comforters will simply have sewn threads to separate the down and hold it in place. In time, the threads will break or wear away.
Baffle boxes are the same structure as when making quilts but with more intricacy. Rather than sewing the outside layers of cloth into pockets, the pockets of cloth known as baffles (not ‘confusing’) but used as a way to hold heat and prevent the down from balling up. The boxes are sewn into the inside layer of the comforter for overall warmth holding the down in place.
8. Down vs Down Alternative Comforters
Down comforters are made from the fluffy clusters underneath duck or geese top feathers. Down alternative is used for those allergic to down or feathers and is cheaper. Alternative down is made of synthetics such as polyester, rayon, or cotton. The alternative comforters are not as warm, but easier to maintain and clean. They don’t have the luxurious feel as a real down comforter however, and are inexpensive. You might even want a sound or white noise machine shown here.
9. Features to Consider When Buying a Down Comforter
- Check out the way the stitching is done. A box stitch that forms a grid pattern on the top is the baffling discussed in 7, above. This pattern will keep the down from shifting and bunching up offering great warmth.
- Be sure it will fit your bed. Take exact measurements. If you have a queen-sized bed, don’t get less than the correct size. The package might say full/queen and it will be too small. Conversely, a California king comforter might not be long enough at the bottom or drop down enough on the sides. This is a typical issue with all bedding it seems. A king-sized comforter will most likely fit a queen bed to cover sides and bottom. That’s why it’s so important to take careful measurements then read the package dimensions for a good fit.
- Check for the fill powder and thread count that meets your needs.
- Check the baffle stitching on top and the underside. The best baffles have a thin strip of fabric with the stiches sewn through it.
- Check your budget and check warranties.
- Read the label. Check the cleaning instructions before you buy the comforter. Some large-sized comforters will not fit into a home washing machine or industrial laundromat type machine. Washing usually fades the colors. Dry cleaning is also best and can be costly, but well worth it over the life of a down comforter.
10. Cleaning Instructions
- Before you buy, read the cleaning instructions usually on the label. If it states “spot cleaning only,” you might want to think about a different comforter. Everyone wants to be able to clean their comforter all over to remove oils, spots, and dirt.
- Many down comforters and the covering are only dry cleanable. If you do opt to put it in a washing machine, be sure it’s the front-loading type found at a laundromat and only use the gently cycle with cold water. You might want to recycle it again to run only with water to remove all lingering detergent from the first wash. When using a large laundromat dryer, consider using dryer balls to fluff the fabric. Rearrange the comforter from time-to-time so that it does not bunch up and stays fluffy.
Woolzies® are a dryer ball with fabric softener reducing your time to dry by 25%. They help to reduce wrinkles and static to keep your comforter soft and fluffy. Being made of wool, they should grab any lint or hair clinging to your comforter. A box sells for under $20 on Amazon.com® here. It is worth it for a soft and light down comforter.
Top 10 Best Down Comforters
1. Royal Hotel Bedding Goose Down Comforter, Queen
Royal Hotel Bedding company has created the ultimate in this down comforter. The thread count (TC) is 500 for the 100% white cotton covering that is hypoallergenic and allergy-free.
The fill power (FP) is a huge 750 with the weight at 50-ounces of 90% white down and 10% white small feather down. The baffle box is designed to eliminate any down from shifting on the inside. The side gussets support the reinforcing baffles inserted with the soft down.
The queen size measures 90- x 90-inches. The comforter is also available in twin, twin-XL, full/standard, king, and California king. Dry clean the comforter for best results. Washing machines are not recommended to keep its beauty and functioning for years to come.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. A money-back guarantee is offered for shipments returned within 14 days. It is made in China.
2. Egyptian Bedding® Goose Down Comforter, Queen
The Egyptian Bedding® luxury comforter is made of Siberian goose down. The thread count (TC) is 1200 for the 100% white Egyptian cotton covering that is hypoallergenic and allergy-free providing medium warmth. This comforter is a best seller on Amazon.com®.
The fill power (FP) is a huge 750 with the weight at 60-ounces of white goose down. It fluffs up for softness to cozy up to you. Egyptian cotton is the best ever cotton in the world! It is grown in the land of the Pharaohs since ancient times in the Nile River Valley of Giza. Everyone loves this cotton grown in lush fields with the pyramids in view is of super quality and soft.
The queen size measures 90- x 90-inches and the comforter is also available in king size.
Dry cleaning is recommended.
Gift-wrapping is available for family, friends, and the kids at college. A money-back 100% guarantee is offered with excellent customer service. The comforter is made in China.
3. Pacific Coast® European Down Comforter, Queen
The Pacific Coast® European luxury down comforter is ohh-soo soft made of Hyperclean® Pyrenees Down a best-selling product on Amazon.Com®. Feel like you are sleeping on a cloud under the 90- x 98-inch queen/full size with its subtle Moreso stripes of Barrier Weave™ 100% Egyptian cotton fabric running from top to bottom. The down is rare and comes from the Pyrenees Mountain region of France. The down is fluffier and of larger clusters for superb insulation for all-season medium weight.
With its True Baffle Box Design, Comfort Lock® Border you can be confident that this will stay together with the down never balling up inside.
The thread count (TC) is 420, and the fill power (FP) is 650 with the weight at 34-ounces of 90% white down and 10% white small feather down. The baffle box is designed to eliminate any down from shifting on the inside.
The comforter only needs to be cleaned every 3 to 5 years. Because it is so large, it is recommended it be dry cleaned or laundered professionally.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. The comforter is made in the USA of imported materials. Included is a 10-year Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty.
4. Egyptian Bedding® Goose Down Comforter, Queen
The Egyptian Bedding® Goose down comforter is well appointed and sumptuous to sleep under. It offers splendid luxury in your bedroom. The queen size is 90- x 90-inches. It is hypoallergenic to not cause problems for allergy sufferers. This lavish comforter is a top selling bedding item on Amazon.com®.
Egyptian cotton is grown in the land of the Pharaohs since ancient times in the Nile River Valley of Giza. It is a soft fantastic cotton cover on the outside. It will rustle for a short time, then be silent after use.
The fill power (FP) is a huge 750 with the weight at 50-ounces of white goose down and 1200 thread count (TC) for the Egyptian cotton cover. It is filled with 100% goose down.
The baffle boxes are 14-inches square to hold the down in place without clumping over time.
This comforter also comes in twin, king, and California king sizes.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. A money-back 100% guarantee is offered with excellent customer service. The comforter is made in China.
5. C&W Goose Down Comforter, King
The C&W (Comfort Warm) company makes bedding for the Hilton, Marriott, Westin, and other hotels globally since 1996. The soft luxurious comforter is 600 fill power (FP), 65-ounces of authentic white goose down from France, with a thread count (TC) of 800. The covering is mocha colored to harmonize or accent any bedroom décor and is 80% polyester and 20% cotton. The filling is 50% down and 50% small down feathers making the filling breathable. It repels dust mites, is hypoallergenic, and is antibacterial.
The king size is 104- x 90-inches and it is also available in queen size. The feathers will not come out of the baffle boxes. You will have the loft and warmth desired for any type of weather.
Double channel stitching on the edges keeps the fabric together securely for
The queen full size is 90- x 90-inches and
years to come, never separating with the filling falling out.
Do not wash this comforter; dry cleaning is best for years of service and beauty.
The down comforter has been compressed and vacuum sealed for shipping. After you receive it, remove the comforter, fluff up gently, and allow several hours for it to recover its full loft.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. Warranty information is unavailable. The comforter is made in China.
6. Puredown® Goose Down Comforter, Queen
The Puredown® in white with 600 fill power (FP) and 500 thread count (TC) has a wonderful cotton sateen shell with stripes. The down fill weighs 37-ounces. The soft white goose down will give you medium warmth you want for year-round comfort.
The queen-full size is 90- x 90-inches and is available in twin and king sizes. The goose down is filled with sterilized 75% goose down and 25% goose down feathers without quills or spines. The best-selling comforter on Amazon.com® is super fluffy never becoming flat.
With the baffle box construction, the feathers will stay in place. The contrasting color satin piping and 4 corner tabs will hold your duvet cover in place. Everyone is concerned with the baffle box that is stitched holding the down in place so that feathers don’t come out and poke them. Down should never have ribs to poke as the bird’s outside hard feathers do.
You will love the soft plush comfort never being heavy on your body comparable to the weight of blankets. Be sure to remove it from its packaging and fluff up in the air before sleeping under it tonight.
It is always recommended with down comforters to dry clean them for beauty and function for many years.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. Warranty information is unavailable. The comforter is made in China.
7. DreamTek Equinox Duck Down Comforter, Smart Snap, California King
The DreamTek model 5945795 comforter is a 2-layer king measuring 106- x 94-inches for a California long down comforter with a cool Smart Snap System. As a single comforter for summer, it is great; however, the smart thing is you can attach with snaps an identical comforter to it for a warmer winter weight. This is certainly a creative design for one of the best-selling comforters on Amazon.Com®. It has 600+ fill power (FP).
The outside fabric is made of 100% cambric cotton with a satin feel to it. The fill weight is 17-ounces of hypoallergenic Euro white duck down, light enough for warm weather in the king size. Many other comforters are filled with 95% feathers and only 5% down making them poky and brittle feeling. Do not confuse down comforters with the heavy “down alternative” polyester filling fibers that do not breathe. You will have no more sticky sweaty skin in the summertime using pure down clusters.
To accommodate sleeping partners where one prefers a warmer blanket, simply snap on to the colder sleeper’s side a twin for more warmth. This feature is designed for a twin over a king so that half will become a winter weight and the other half will stay the single layer summer weight. The twin can also attach over a queen by using the third snap from the queen size corner. However, the twin will overhang on one side by 19-inches and that might require you to get a king duvet cover.
Once again, the hem is created with the Smart Snap System on one side using thinner fabric loops so it doesn’t bunch up. The loops are there to attach to your duvet cover if you use one. The 300-thread count (TC) sewn threw 11-inch squares, gives you soft lush baffles that fluff up beautifully for comfort.
This down comforter is affordable with all the possibilities it provides for you. It is full of down, versatile, quality made, with an imaginative snap system!
It is easy to maintain being machine washable and dryable. Dry cleaning is always recommended for down.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. Warranty information is unavailable. Origin USA.
8. Snowman Goose Down Comforter, King
The Snowman is light weight with a blue cotton shell that is 100% cotton and is hypoallergenic. The plush king has stitching on the edges with a contrasting color piping. The 8 loops keep the comforter in place in a duvet cover to prevent shifting of the comforter. The fill weight is 65-ounces and the king measures 106- x 90-inches. Sleep all night warm and toasty like on a cloud under a comforter that is heavenly made. This is a comforter not a duvet. A duvet is a covering to insert the comforter inside of.
With the 3 layers of fabric, you will never feel feathers poking you. The baffle squares keep the feathers in with strong stitching. The cover is 100% Egyptian cotton and the filling is 100% natural goose down. It is 800 fill power (FP). Sorry, the thread count (TC) for the covering is unavailable. The edges have piping and the box stitches will nip in the bud the down from moving.
To keep your comforter like new, always dry clean it.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. Return it within 30 days if you are not satisfied for any reason. The comforter is made in China.
9. Cuddledown® Duck Down Comforter, Queen
The Cuddledown® duck down comforter is hypoallergenic with 600 fill power (FP) and 233 thread count (TC) and is sure to comfort you with its European duck down fill from the cold regions of the French Pyrenees mountains. The cover is 100% cotton cambric to be smooth and soft while sleeping.
The box stitched design is constructed to keep the down clusters inside. You’ll like having the finished reinforced seams and piping on the edging. The Oeko-Tex® is certified to be free of harmful chemicals. The queen is 88- x 92-inches.
This comforter is voted “Best Buy Comforter” by Consumers Digest, a highly regarded and reputable magazine for buyers in the USA.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. Each comforter is stitched in Portland, Maine, USA, and made in the USA by Cuddledown® of fine imported materials.
10. Eddie Bauer® Goose Down Comforter, King
The Eddie Bauer® oversized king comforter is 108- x 98-inches with luxurious 700 fill power (FP). The down filling is Rest Assured® hypoallergenic. The damask white cotton cover is 350 thread count (TC) with soft stripes. It is lightweight and perfect for you hot sleepers with 30-ounces of fill weight.
It will not shed with its baffle box sewn through constructed squares to provide loft and softness. There are no loops for attaching a duvet cover. The comforter is machine washable and dryable, but dry cleaning is best for long wear and beauty.
Gift-wrapping is available for family and friends. You will receive a 1-year Limited Warranty. It is assembled in the USA with imported materials.
- Due to the narrow packing space the comforter arrives in, the shape of the quilt is not full. When you receive your comforter, open the quilt, and fluff it up and it will help it recover to its original shape.
- Look for comforters if you are allergic to feathers having many washings to the down.
- Be sure you buy a high fill giving you more down for the ounce.
- An excellent loft will be attained with a fill power of 600 or more.
- Check for quality baffle box construction to keep the down from balling up later.
- Down is not as heavy as down alternative, regulates temperature better, and does not clump as easily.
- To keep your comforter clean, cover it with a duvet cover.
- You will want your comforter to drop down the sides and bottom of your bed so be sure you measure to get the right fit.
- Buy a comforter with a high thread count for the outer fabric covering. It needs to be tightly woven to eliminate leaking the down filling.
- Having a hard time sleeping in the daytime or too light in your room at night? Try using a sleep mask to remove all light and have total darkness.
Remember that Siberian white goose down is marketing hype. Avoid fake products and choose Hungarian or European goose down comforters. Some manufacturer’s use Siberian Goose as a trade name. Read customer reviews to see what users are saying about their down comforters. Happy shopping and pleasant dreams!