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Down comforters provide insulation, as they trap heat without adding extra weight. Choosing the best down comforter will depend on a person’s needs. For example, some models may not suit individuals with allergies or asthma.
This article explores the benefits, disadvantages, and considerations associated with a down comforter. It also explores some comforters to try and several alternative products.
According to one 2017 study, the body is sensitive to changes in air temperature during sleep. If an individual’s room is moderately hot or cold, it can reduce their sleep quality.
Down comforters may keep people warm and help them fall asleep sooner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that taking a warm bath before bedtime may also promote relaxation and help a person fall asleep.
The American Down & Feather Council states that products containing down and feather fill can last longer than synthetic comforters. It also recommends that people buy down pillows, as they adapt to body movements.
People with dust mite allergies may consider purchasing down comforters that come with dust-proof covers. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that these covers consist of small pores that do not allow dust mites and their wastes to pass through.
Some symptoms of a dust mite allergy include:
Some comforters come with an allergy-free warranty.
People with severe allergies may wish to avoid down or feather products altogether. The researchers behind a recent study note that feather bedding can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. These can occur when a person inhales dust from bird feathers.
People may wish to consider the following points before purchasing a down comforter:
- Size: Down comforters come in different sizes. A person should check that the comforter is compatible with the size of their bed.
- Maintenance: People should check the washing instructions before purchasing a down comforter. Some products are machine washable. However, some companies recommend dry cleaning, which increases long-term costs.
- Filling: Down comforters contain either goose or duck down. Goose down traps more heat than duck down, as it contains larger down clusters.
- Warmth level: A person could purchase a comforter for cold weather or warm seasons. They could also choose an all-season product. They may have to check the comforter’s label and the company’s website to check if it fits their needs.
- Fill power: This measures the fluffiness of a down comforter, or its ability to insulate. Down comforters with a high fill power may provide more insulation. For example, a comforter with a fill power of 600 grams per square meter (GSM) can trap more heat than one with a fill power of 400 GSM.
- Thread count: Comforters with a higher thread count are less likely to shed down or feathers. Those with a lower thread count have less secure stitching, so people may have to replace them more often.
There are two types of comforter construction: baffle-box stitching and sewn-through stitching.
Baffle-box stitching connects the thin fabric to the top and bottom layers. It gives the comforter added strength and warmth, and a person may find this stitching in comforters with a high fill power.
Individuals may find sewn-through stitching in down comforters with a lower fill power. These comforters have a lower price tag than those with baffle-box stitching. Sewn-through stitching helps keep the down fill in place, as the manufacturer sews the pockets across the comforter.
Ethical concerns and certifications
Individuals may also wish to consider some ethical factors before purchasing a down comforter:
- Eco-friendliness: Individuals may prefer to look for companies that produce organic and sustainable products.
- Antimicrobial additive treatment: Some companies use antimicrobial treatment to keep their comforters clean and odor-free.
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100: Comforters with OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification do not contain harmful substances. These may also be suitable for children.
- Hypoallergenic certified: Hypoallergenic certified comforters may reduce or prevent allergic reactions such as those that occur with dust mite allergies.
- Animal cruelty: Down is an animal product. People with concerns about the treatment of animals may wish to consider purchasing comforters with synthetic down or natural materials.
Some of the best down comforters that people can purchase online include the following.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.
Some of the features of Brooklinen’s Down Comforter include:
- baffle-box construction
- ultra-soft shell in a 400 thread count
- down cluster fill
It also comes in different weights:
- lightweight, which offers a cloud-like softness and contains recycled European down
- all-season, which provides comfort throughout the year and contains duck down
- ultra-warm, which contains Hutterite goose down
The company uses antimicrobial treatment to keep the down comforter odor-free. It also claims that its down comes from eco-friendly sources.
This down comforter is not machine washable. People should hang their comforter outside on a dry day and then shake it out. If there are any spills or stains, the company recommends spot cleaning the comforter with soft soap.
If a person is not satisfied with their purchase, they can return or exchange their down comforter within 365 days. The company also offers an additional 1-year warranty.
Garnet Hill’s Essential Down Comforter comes in different sizes and colors. Some of its features include:
- a box-stitched construction and matching piping
- a fill power of 550 GSM, which means that it takes up more space and traps more air
- a sewn-through box construction to keep the filling in place
- machine washable
- covered in a 230 thread count
This down comforter’s filler consists of clusters from the breasts and underbellies of geese, ducks, and other waterfowl.
The company states that its product meets OEKO-TEX Standard 100. This means that it passes safety testing for harmful substances.
This hypoallergenic certified down comforter comes in different weights:
- Medium: According to the company’s website, people tend to use medium comforters in winter or in temperature-controlled rooms.
- Arctic: This option may suit cold sleepers and those who live in mountain homes.
- Ultimate: This may be the best option for very cold sleepers and those who sleep in unheated rooms.
It is also available in different sizes.
People may also find other features, including:
- a fill power of 700 GSM+ with Hungarian white goose down
- a double-stitched, piped edge
- baffle-box construction, wherein the internal fabric wall separates the fabric’s top and bottom layers
- a 400 thread-count, single-ply cambric cotton
Feathered Friends offers a 30-day return policy, so if a person needs to return or exchange their product, they may do so within 30 days.
Pacific Coast’s Classic Down Comforter comes with:
- a fill power of 550 GSM with Hyperclean down
- a sewn-through diamond box design and Comfort Lock that keeps the filling in place
- a breathable cover with 100% cotton and a 230 thread count
- duvet loops to secure the comforter inside a duvet cover
- an allergy-free warranty
- a 3-year limited warranty
The company recommends dry cleaning or professionally laundering this down comforter.
It offers a 30-night comfort guarantee, so customers can return their down comforter if they are not satisfied with it.
Some alternatives to a down comforter include:
- Synthetic comforters: These consist of hypoallergenic materials and may suit people with allergies or asthma, as the fill is not an animal product.
- Bamboo comforters: Hypoallergenic bamboo comforters are free from harmful chemicals and may suit people with sensitive skin. Some companies claim that they use Moso, Dragon, and Ci bamboo. These are not the types of bamboo that pandas consume.
- Duvets: These are similar to comforters, but a person may use them with duvet covers. They may need to change the cover every season.
Learn about some of the best comforters here.
Down comforters can provide insulation and warmth.
People should compare different comforters to assess their filling, warmth level, thread count, construction, and other features. They may also wish to check if a product has any certifications, such as those that indicate eco-friendliness.
Anyone with concerns about the treatment of animals may wish to consider using duvets or other types of comforters.