What to Look For When Buying a Down Comforter
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A DOWN COMFORTER
Down comforters are luxurious and classy, but best of all, ours are affordable. Buying a down comforter is fairly simple, but there are a few pertinent details that are important to snuggle up with.
What is Down?
Down is known as the light and airy, three-dimensional clusters located beneath the bird’s feather. This is usually found on a duck or goose’s belly and known as a nature’s most efficient insulator because it traps and insulates heat between the tiny air pocket of fibers. Down is breathable and quill-less.
Down comforters come in all shapes, sizes, stitches and standards. To duck or goose is the most common question when searching for the perfect comforter. Always check the label for the percentage of down fill. A general rule of thumb is the higher the down percentage the higher the quality.
Goose Down: The premium and most expensive comforters are comprised of pure, white hypoallergenic goose down. Geese are larger birds, which produce bigger down clusters, perfect for higher fill to produce more warmth for cooler climates.
Duck Down: Duck down and feathers are more accessible thanks to the higher population of ducks versus geese, which makes these comforters more affordable due to the materials being less expensive. The bedding market perceives duck less inferior to goose, and is perfect for warmer climates and less filled comforters.
Grey vs. White Down: Down and feathers come in various shades of color ranging from white to grey. White holds a premium because it blends better with other materials, especially for white-colored comforters. Color does not overtake quality.
Fill power is known as the insulation quality of the down. The fill power is the space that one ounce of down occupies (in cubic inches). The higher the fill power, the larger the percentage of down clusters, thus increasing it’s insulating ability.
500-600: The 500 or 550 fill power is perfect for those live in a warmer climate where temperatures rarely drop below freezing. This Fill Power range is known as good quality down comforters.
600-700: These are considered excellent quality comforters and provide optimal warmth. A 650 or above Fill Power maybe too warm for those who keep their thermostat at 70+ degrees Fahrenheit.
700+: Fill Power of 700 and above is the most outstanding quality and comes with a hefty price tag. Usually the down is collected from molting geese, which are kept for breeding purposes. Major manufactures may have limited supply, as this rare down is not your-everyday-feather. These comforters are the fluffiest but also more rare in terms of available supply but the best for chilly climates.
It’s true that construction of the comforter can make or break the quality, and below are more details about what to look for on the label.
Baffle Box: These are the most desirable as the stitching connects a thin fabric to the top and bottom layers. This provides more depth, strength and loftiness in the bedding.
Ring Stitch: This style consists of small rings stitched into the top and bottom layer of the comforter.
European Bag: This is when there are no additional stitches in the fabric besides the parameter. This is not ideal for those who like even-feathered comforters. After time the down dumps into the corners, thus it “widdles” the middle.
Karo Step: Either baffled or sewn through crosses, similar to small boxes, which limits the down movement in the comforter.