Providing warmth in the winter and cool comfort in the summer, down comforters are an essential part of every bedroom. However, if you’ve never had to buy one before (or even if you have!), the sheer number of options can seem a bit daunting. You have to think not only of size, but also of things like the quality of the down, whether it’s washable, and the style of stitching—not to mention price.
So here’s a quick introduction to the various differences you’ll find when shopping for a down comforter, how to choose the best one for you, and a list of our ten favorites to hopefully make this process a little easier!
How to Choose a Down Comforter – Buying Guide
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a down comforter, and each of them plays an important role in how a particular comforter works for you. Here are some things to look out for when making your purchase.
Is It Even Real?
Perhaps the most important thing when choosing a comforter is to make sure that the down in the comforter is actually down. If you don’t know what it is, down is the fluffy insulating layer that sits beneath the feathers of ducks and geese to keep them warm and protect them from the elements. The more down a comforter holds, the warmer and more absorbent it’ll be (for grey winters and those prickling night sweats).
Many comforters will include a mix of down, feathers, and synthetic fibers in their fill. If you’re looking for a 100% down comforter, look for the words “pure down” or “all down.” If the packaging doesn’t say that, then it’s very likely going to be made of a mixture of different materials.
However, the quality of the down also needs to be considered. For example, even if a comforter claims to be all down, if it’s low quality, it won’t be as good as one with an 80% ratio of high quality down. In order to figure out whether or not the down is high quality, you also need to pay attention to where it comes from, which we talk about more below.
Location, Location: The Colder the Place, the Warmer the Down
The down used in comforters comes from a few main countries: Hungary, Poland, France, Canada, and China. Notice that these are mainly northern countries, as down from cold areas has better heat retention.
Thanks to increased production in China, which now produces about 80% of the world’s down, it’s now possible to get good quality down for relatively low prices. However, cutting costs can also mean cutting corners. So when choosing a down comforter, it’s good to be weary of anything that seems too good to be true.
The Higher the Fill Power, the Higher the Fluff
Every package you look at should tell you the comforter’s fill power. Fill power is the number of cubic inches that an ounce of down takes up when allowed to reach its maximum loft (spread). A higher fill power means larger down clusters, so if you’re looking for a fluffy, bouncy comforter that hugs you tight, look for a higher number.
Fill power is rated between 300-800+. Generally speaking, up to 400 is for a lightweight comforter, 400-600 is good for all-season use, 600-800 will give you warmth without so much bulk, and 800+ is for the warmest, most insulated comforters. However, the actual warmth of a comforter depends on more than just the fill power, so it’s possible to have a higher fill power blanket that is still good for warmer weather use.
Duck, Duck, Goose: The Former Smells and the Latter Doesn’t
The two main sources of down are duck and goose, and the primary difference is something that you wouldn’t necessarily expect: smell. Goose down is odorless due to their herbivorous diet,while down plucked from omnivorous ducks can have a lingering scent. If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a down comforter because of its smell, it’s probably because it was made from duck feathers.
Goose down also tends to be more resilient and won’t clump when washed. So if you’re looking for a comforter that will last longer (and smell better!), goose is the way to go.
The Outside Counts Too!
But let’s not forget about the outside of the comforter. While the inner fluff may be important for insulation, it’s the outer side that you’ll be in contact with.
How Does It Feel Against Your Skin? Natural vs. Synthetic
The material on the outside of the comforter is what touches you and will directly affect comfort. Comforters made from synthetic fibers such as polyester are relatively cheap and tend to be machine washable. The downside, though, is they rub against you and rustle as you toss and turn.
Cotton, on the other hand, is more comfortable and tends to be quieter during troubled nights. It’s also better for moisture wicking and breathability. Clearly, cotton wins out here.
Can Your Skin Breathe? Stitching Styles
The type of stitching used on the comforter also makes a difference in how it feels. In sewn-through box stitching, the covers are sewn together directly in a square pattern. The down thins out as it approaches the walls of the square, letting the wind come in. It’s great for breathability, which makes it ideal for summer use.
In baffle box stitching, little walls of fabric link the covers, leaving you with cubes stuffed with down. This allows the down to reach greater loft, covers all cold spots, and is better for heat retention.
What’s Your Price Point?
All of this may still seem a little overwhelming, but the best way to choose is by considering all of these factors in conjunction with your budget. Prices bounce all over the place: you can sweat under a duck down comforter for a little less than $100, or roll around on a top-notch goose down comforter for over $800. By first deciding what you’re willing to pay, you’ll be able to figure out what the best value for your money is.
Top 10 Best Down Comforters to Buy Online
Now that you know what to look for in a down comforter, here are our ten favorites that you can buy online. The prices shown are all for the queen sized version of each comforter, so when comparing prices and making your purchase, don’t forget to make sure that you’re looking at the right size.
10. WhatsBedding Duck Down and Feather Comforter
Where Quality Meets Value
This comforter is made from 85% duck feather and 15% down. At just a 230 fill power–though heavier than most comforters of the same size–it makes for a warm but breathable comforter good for all season use. It’s got enough heft to it to stay in place, so if you’re a restless sleeper, you won’t wake up to find the comforter in a puddle on the floor.
That being said, it does tend to have some feather leakage, since it has a larger percentage of feathers versus down. However, at less than $60, it’s still a great option for a smaller budget.
9. Aikoful Down Comforter
One of the Best All Duck Comforters
This comforter is made from 90% down and 10% feathers from Muscovy ducks at 700 fill power and is warmer than it looks. The outer layer is 100% cotton in a baffle box design. There’s also loops to easily attach the comforter to a duvet cover, so you don’t need to worry about slippage.
Because it’s made from duck, this comforter sometimes comes with a light odor that is remedied quickly by taking it out of its packaging and letting it sit for a few hours. That being said, you actually want to let most down comforters–whether goose or duck–sit for a few hours anyway to help them fluff.
8. Egyptian Bedding Goose Down Comforter
Down Warmth in the Highest Quality Cotton
This comforter from Egyptian Bedding is made from 100% goose down of Chinese origin at 750 fill power. It’s stitched in a baffle box design and covered in Egyptian cotton, making it great for heat retention and perfect for even the coldest winter nights.
However, although it claims to be covered in 100% cotton at a 1200 thread count, it can be a bit noisy and crinkly sounding. It’s a problem that crops up when down comforters are treated to be feather leak-proof. So if you’re a light sleeper, you may want to take that into consideration.
7. Rosecose Luxurious All Season Down Comforter
Versatile Comforter for Any Time of Year
This Rosecose comforter truly is all season. Its 750 fill power down is kept in place with its sewn-through design, allowing it to be warm enough for the winter without being stifling during the summer. Its outer cover is gray and can easily blend with the decor of most rooms—so you don’t need to run to Bed Bath & Beyond for a duvet cover.
If you’re looking for a 100% down comforter, though, you might want to steer clear of this one. The packaging says it is 100% fill with goose down, which does not necessarily mean that it is 100% filled with goose down–something you should keep in mind when looking at any comforter!
6. Three Geese White Goose Down and Feather Comforter
Super Warm Down Blend
This comforter contains a blend of 60% goose down and feathers with 40% microfiber material. It has baffle box stitching and is made for year-round use. Though, as it’s surprisingly warm for a blend, it’s ideal for the fall and winter months.
As an added touch, the cotton outer is lined in light gray for a pop of contrast and would look nice even without a duvet cover. However, like some of the other comforters on this list, the exterior can sometimes be a little noisy when moved.
5. Eddie Bauer White Goose Down Comforter
A Comforter Comfortable for Any Height
This comforter from Eddie Bauer features 700 fill power goose down. Made from European down and Chinese cotton, it was manufactured in the United States. This comforter is machine wash- and dry-able, lightweight, and constructed with a sewn-through stitch, making it perfect for summer use or for people who wake up drenched in sweat.
It’s also great for those that like their blankets on the longer side. This comforter is over-sized, adding eight inches to the length of a traditional queen or king size.
4. Egyptian Bedding Siberian Goose Down Comforter
Full Warmth at a Fraction of the Volume
This comforter is made from 100% Siberian goose down and covered in 1200 thread count Egyptian cotton meant to prevent any feathers from leaking out. It features 750 fill power and a baffle box stitch. It’s rated for all year use, though it’s probably not the best for particularly cold winters.
Compared to other comforters at a similar fill power, it tends to lie a little flatter and not loft quite as much. That being said, however, its warmth is still in line with the rest. So if you aren’t a fan of super puffy blankets and still want the warmth of down, this might be the one for you.
3. Globon Fusion White Goose Down Comforter
A Colorful Year-Round Comforter
This comforter contains a blend of 51% white goose down and 49% Suprelle Fusion fill, which is a synthetic material designed to mimic down. At 650 fill power with baffle box stitching, it is warm but breathable, which makes it great for use year round in more temperate climates.
What makes this comforter stand out from the rest is its teal color! Unlike most down comforters available, it’s meant to be used without a cover, though admittedly the actual color is a little lighter than the pictures portray.
2. Globon Lightweight White Goose Down Comforter
Washable Summertime Down
This comforter from Globon is made from goose down at 700 fill power. Despite its high fill power, it is less than an inch thick and meant to be used more as a quilt or blanket than a comforter. This one’s silent, so you’re free to toss and turn as much as you’d like.
It’s just warm enough to be cozy without making you sweat and has loops for a duvet cover, in case you do want that slight extra layer. Additionally, the down is Texco nano-treated to be water repellent and bacteria resistant, so it’s machine-washable and perfect for warm summer nights.
1. Puredown White Goose Down Comforter (King Size)
Resort Quality Luxury for Your Home
For true luxury, look no further than this Puredown comforter. Filled with a blend of 93% down and 7% feathers at 800 fill power, this comforter will keep you warm during even the coldest nights. Its baffle box stitching works to hold the down in place so that it doesn’t leak or spread–and you’ve got maximum insulation.
The cotton exterior is lined with a piped edging to extend the life of the comforter and prevent feather leakage at the seams. It warms quickly and does not crinkle when moved, allowing you a peaceful winter’s rest.
And that’s it! We’ve talked about the difference between duck and goose, location, fill, loft, insulation, and everything that makes one comforter different from another. Hopefully, this guide has decoded down comforters for you and given you a good starting point for warmer nights and sweeter dreams.