Down comforters are known for their softness, warmth and light weight. They are not just for cold weather even though they look like they would be exceptionally heavy. Because of the breathable material that is used to make them, they make good year round comforters for your bed. I’m sure you’ll agree that a down comforter must have enough fill, be well-constructed, and fit your bed properly. That was our top criteria for selecting the best down comforter. If you want to cut to the chase, the Egyptian Bedding Hungarian Goose Down Comforter, is a combination of all these features and was selected the “Best Overall” pick from our editorial team.
Down Comforter Buying Guide
What is Down Comforter?
Down is the fluffy undercoat of a duck or goose that is used for pillows, beds and comforters. It is super soft and lightweight and does not have any hard quill or a flat, stiff shape to stick you when you lie down.
Goose – The most common type of down used for comforters is goose down. You can get white goose down or gray goose down. The color of the down does not affect the quality of the down at all. White goose down tends to be used more often because it does not show through the comforter shell.
Duck – Duck down is used in lower-end comforters. It is not bad, but comparatively goose is much more desirable and is used in almost all down comforters.
Synthetic – Synthetic fill is not made of down and will not have the same principles and feel to it but some people don’t care what it in their room so they just purchase anything that is reasonably priced. A down comforter is an investment if you get a higher quality style so you want to ensure that it really has 100% down inside.
Down fill power is the term that is used to measure the amount of space one ounce of down takes. The higher the fill power the better quality the comforter is. Most high end comforters have the fill power listed. A comforter with a good fill power rating will have better insulating ability and fluffiness and this will also determine how warm the comforter is as well.
0-400 – Soft and lightweight warmth
400-599 – All season warmth
600-799 – warmer option that has a lighter weight
800 and up – Highest insulation possible for winter use.
Many people think that thread count has to do with just sheets but this is not true. When it comes to a down comforter, the higher thread combined with a tighter weave combines to contain the down fill which will make the comforter last longer.
It will also keep the down where it belongs and keeps it from lumping up. Just a high thread count by itself doesn’t mean a high quality comforter. Make sure you look at the weave construction AND a high thread count for the best quality down comforter.
Types of Construction
Down comforters can have many different types of construction and stitching styles. We have listed the most common styles and the benefits that each style has.
- Baffle Box – In a Baffle Box design, strips of fabric, called baffles, are sewn to create compartments for the down fill. The walls of the baffles enable to the down to expand fully so it gets the most loft and cushion.
- Diamond-Quilted – The top and bottom layers of the comforter are sewn together in a diamond pattern that prevents the down fill from shifting around.
- Gusset – Gusseted design comforters either have a baffle box or sewn through construction. Walls are around the outer edge of the comforter that connect the top and bottom layers. The edges of the gusseted comforter add height to maximize loft. There will be either a box-stitch or baffle-box stitching that goes with the gusset design.
- Ring-Stitch – Small circles are used to sew together the top and bottom layers of the comforter. This construction type allows the down fill to move around so it stays even.
- Sewn –Through Box Stitch – The down fill will not be shifting around with the box pattern that the top and bottom layers of the comforter are sewn into.
- Sewn-Through Channel Stitch – Vertical or horizontal rows are created by sewing together the top and bottom layers of the comforter. This allows for more movement of the fill than a box stitch will.
Taking Care of your Down Comforter
- The loft of the down comforter will be restored by shaking the comforter out or fluffing it in the dryer on low for only 5 minutes. Some comforters are dry cleaning only so be sure to check this on the label before you clean or dry it.
- Wash the comforter 2-3 times per year but only if the down comforter is safe to be machine washed and dried. If your comforter is able to be machine washed, wash it in warm water and mild detergent on the delicate cycle. You may want to rinse it twice to ensure that the soap is out.
- To dry the comforter properly put it in the dryer on low for a couple of hours at least. Some say that throwing tennis balls in with the comforter while it is drying to prevent the down from clumps. It is very important that your down comforter is dried thoroughly so mold and mildew don’t grow in the down pockets.
- When you first get your down comforter, remember that the fill will have settled so you will need to shake it out for a few minutes. It may take a day or two for the fill to completely fluff up and shake out.
- If your down comforter requires dry cleaning don’t just drop it off anywhere. Be sure to ask the dry cleaning business if they have experience working with down bedding. Going to the wrong place can result in your down comforter being ruined. You shouldn’t have to have your comforter dry cleaned more than a couple of times per year unless something gets on it. If you down comforter says that it is dry clean only do NOT take a chance and wash it anyway, you could end up ruining it.
Down comforters are a favorite of those who want something soft, lightweight and luxurious-feeling to sleep under at night. Down comforters come in all sizes and stitching styles. They are good all season comforters that are lightweight and comfortable without being too hot.
When it comes to choosing the right comforter for your bed, you want to look at the different factors that make up a high quality comforter. Things such as fill power rating and loft and construction all come together to create a comforter that will last a long time with the proper care.
Once you have had a down comforter you will never want to be without it again. They are not exceptionally hard to take care of and we have provided basic care tips above so you get the best out of your down comforter that you can. With proper care, there is no reason why you can’t have your down comforter for years.
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