Special Nonexistent Furniture

Down Comforter Buying Guide

It's a common myth that down comforters are just for cold weather. Though they do keep you nice and warm in the winter, down is a natural, lightweight and breathable material that makes it ideal for year-round use. Down comforters are available in many options, fabrications, and price ranges. You can find a high end hypoallergenic comforter or a more modestly priced polyester filled option. Whichever option you choose, it's best to know what to look for before you make a purchase. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a new comforter. 
Down Comforter

Types of Down:

Down is the undercoat of the bird. Unlike actual feathers, down does not have a hard quill or flat stiff shape.

  • Goose. Goose down is the most commonly used type of down for down comforters. It is available in both white and gray goose down, and the color has no effect on the quality. White goose down is usually used because it doesn't show through white comforter shells.
  • Duck. While most manufacturers use goose down, duck down is also used. Duck down is most often found in lower end comforters.
  • Synthetic. For those who don't want a down-filled comforter, there are many alternative materials available.These options have the same properties to provide comfort and can also be hypo-allergenic, such as polyester, rayon, or even wool filling. 

    Types of Construction

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Strips of fabric called baffles are sewn between the top and bottom layers of the comforter to create compartments for the fill. Baffle walls enable down to expand fully to get the highest loft providing maximum cushion. 

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​Diamond Quilted

Top and Bottom layers of comforter are sewn together in a diamond pattern to eliminate shifting of the fill. 

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Walls are created around the outer edge of the comforter to connect the top and bottom layers. The edges add height to maximize loft. Gussetted comforters can either have baffle-box or sewn through construction. Gussetted comforters usually come in box-stitch or baffle-box. 

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Cross stitches restrict the movement of the comforter fill creating open compartments, therefore still allowing for some movement of the comforter fill. Karo-Step comforters can be sewn through or baffled.

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The top and bottom layers of the comforter are sewn together using small circles. This construction type, like the karo-step above, allows the fill to move around.

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Sewn-Through Box-Stitch 

Top and Bottom layers of the comforter are sewn together in a box pattern to eliminate shifting of the fill. 

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Sewn-Through Channel Stitch

The top and bottom layers of the comforter are sewn together in horizontal or vertical rows. This type of construction allows for more movement of the fill than a box stitch (shown above).

Think thread count is only important for your sheets? Think again!
Just as with other bedding, a higher thread count means a tighter weave to the fabric making it softer. In a down comforter, a higher thread count and a tighter weave will determine how well it contains the down fill, making it last longer.

Down Fill Power:

Fill power is the measure for the amount of space one ounce of down takes up. You can typically find fill power listed on higher end comforters. The higher the fill power, the better the insulating ability and loft (fluffiness) a down comforter will have. Fill power is a good indicator of warmth and quality.

When you bring your new comforter home remember it can take up to 72 hours for it to expand and acheive maximum loft.