A down fill comforter is a popular choice for cooler seasons, but it can be an ideal all-season blanket if you have the right type and weight of comforter. Much like pillows and other bedding options, down fill comforters come in a variety of sizes and fill types.
While your seemingly endless options can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed, we will discuss the various types of down fill comforters, so you can decide which one is best for your bedroom.
3 Types Of Down Fill Comforters
Even though you have dozens of options to choose from when shopping around for a down fill comforter, you might feel a little bit of relief knowing that there are only three types to select from: goose, duck, and synthetic.
Goose fill is the traditional fill for down comforters. The down, also known as the undercoat, consists of the small feathers that help keep the goose warm, which in turn keep us nice and warm during cooler months.
Duck down is typically a less expensive option to goose fill, but it provides similar warmth and comfort.
In both goose and duck fills, the down has other feathers from the bird. Down and feathers, which would otherwise be wasted or thrown out during molting, are gathered and collected for the down fill in a comforter.
White feathers and down are more popular and sought after (because they are less visible through the fabric of the blanket), but it’s not uncommon to find a darker colored feather or down; color variance is natural in ducks and geese and doesn’t affect the quality or warmth.
While a synthetic fill is not technically considered down, it’s a popular alternative down fill and is often put in the same category as down comforters. Synthetic fill is often a blend of fibers such as polyester, cotton, or wool.
Which Type Of Fill Is Best?
When trying to determine which down comforter fill is best, there’s no clear answer as there are many factors to consider and it usually comes down to personal preference. Each type of fill has pros and cons.
While a goose fill is the traditional type of fill for a majority of high-quality comforters, the high price can be a dealbreaker for those who have a limited budget. Goose fill is the warmest of the feather fills, and if cared for properly, the comforter is likely to last for years.
Sometimes duck fill has a bad reputation for being a “less authentic” down fill, but the comforter fill still consists of down and feathers just from a duck instead of a goose. Since duck down is less expensive than goose fill, it’s a suitable option for anyone on a budget. Like goose fill blanket, a duck down fill comforter can last a long time with the right care.
Natural feather fill is a popular choice because it’s lightweight but has excellent insulating properties. Synthetic fills are typically a little heavier, and the temperature may fluctuate.
Synthetic fills are ideal for anyone who is allergic to feathers (some feathers go through a hypo-allergenic process). A synthetic comforter may also be a great choice for someone who wants warmth and comfort but isn’t comfortable with owning a goose or duck down-filled comforter (for ethical or personal reasons).
Things To Consider When Selecting The Best Fill For You
Some people swear by goose down fill comforters and will never try anything else while others are open to trying various fills; again, the “superior” fill is all about what you like best. Here are some things to consider when looking for the best down fill comforter for your needs.
Caring For Your Comforter
While many of today’s comforters are machine washable, it’s important to read the care instructions before you wash (or even purchase) the blanket.
If you use your comforter twelve months out of the year, you’ll have to wash your blanket more often which may shorten the lifespan of your comforter. If you only use it during the cold winter months, you should plan on keeping the comforter in dry and airtight storage until you’re ready to use it again as it will help to preserve the quality of the fill.
Want to cut back on frequent washes? A duvet may be a great option for your comforter by keeping it cleaner and extending the quality of the fill. A duvet, if you’ve never used one, is kind of like a pillowcase for your blanket. Keep in mind that a duvet can add extra weight to your comforter.
Finding The Best Fill Power For Your Comfort
As you browse down fill comforters, you may see the words “fill power” in the description or on the packaging. Fill power simply refers to the volume of fill that equals one ounce. Higher fill power numbers, such as 600, have better insulation and are ideal for winter months.
If you are looking for a down comforter for the summer, lower fill power numbers are best for staying cool and comfortable in warmer climates or in a warm home.
Many people make the mistake of buying a lower fill power number because the price is “right” and assume that they purchased a poor-quality comforter.
Need help determining which fill power is best? Consider the following:
Fill power numbers up to 400 are best for providing lightweight warmth. This is a good choice if you live someplace warm, want a down comforter in the summer months, or use more than one blanket on your bed.
Fill power number between 400 and 600 provide the best “all-season” warmth. Keep in mind that this amount of fill may be too warm or too cool depending on the type of pajamas you wear, how many blankets you use, the temperature of your bedroom, and the climate outside.
If you are looking for the best down fill comforter for cold winter months or a chilly room, you might want to consider a fill power number of 600 or more.
Thread Count and Comforter Construction
If you’ve ever owned an old down comforter, there’s a good chance that you lost a few feathers now and then because they slipped right through the holes in the fabric. While it’s a common issue with older blankets, you might lose some down fill if the thread count on your comforter is low.
Ideally, you should look for a thread count of 300 or more, but if your budget is limited, you may need to settle for a lower count. If this is the case, a duvet cover is a good option because if any of the fill does leak out, it will stay in the duvet rather than floating all over your bedroom.
Since down fill can move around inside of the comforter, there needs to be a little bit of structure to keep the fill from sliding to one corner of the blanket.
When you see a down comforter, you might notice that there are long and narrow channels sewn into the fabric, you may also see a common pattern of a stitched box; this is called a baffle box.
These designs are best suited for keeping fill evenly distributed, which provides better insulation. With these kinds of designs, it’s also much easier to move the fill around after washing or when you are airing out or fluffing up the comforter.
A Few Tips To Get The Best Out Of Your Comforter
Despite all the tips we’ve given you to help you select the best down fill comforter, you may still not know what you want. What happens if you buy a down comforter and don’t like how it feels?
It’s best to purchase a comforter from a company that has a full-refund return policy. While many comforters need a couple of days to expand and “get comfy,” you should have a good idea if you bought the right comforter after a week or so.
Last update on 2023-03-20 at 10:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API