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Your Guide to Buying a Goose Down Comforter

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Goose Down Comforter

When it comes to comforters, goose down is considered one of the best bedding options because of its warmth and durability. However, trying to make sense of all of the different goose down comforter options can be incredibly confusing. To make sure that you are getting the right comforter for your needs and budget, you will first have to understand the types of goose down filling available, fill power and weight, and constructions available.


Types of Down Comforter Filling

Just because a down comforter says that it is "goose down," don't assume that the comforter is made from 100 percent goose down. Many brands use cheaper fillers along with goose down to reduce the cost of the comforter. The most common filler you will find is duck down. Compared to goose down, duck down is not as large or dense. This means that the comforter will need to be heavier and thicker in order to provide the same amount of warmth.

Also, there are a few different types of goose down that may be used.

  • White goose down versus gray goose down: This simply represents the color of the feathers. The color has no impact on the quality or warmth of the down.
  • Hungarian goose down : Noted for its largeness and density, it is considered to be the best type of goose down.
  • Cruelty-free goose down: This down comes from geese that were not slaughtered to harvest the feathers.
  • Chinese goose down : This is generally considered the lowest quality of goose down because it is harvested from very young geese whose feathers have not had time to mature into large, dense plumes. Further, the process of harvesting goose down in China is not as regulated as in Europe and North America.
  • Siberian goose down : There is no such thing as "Siberian" goose down, as no geese live in Siberia (with the exception of one rare migratory type of goose that is not used for down). The term Siberia is simply a marketing ploy, and most Siberian goose down is really from China.


Goose Down Fill Power

All goose down comforters will have a fill power rating. This rating represents the number of cubic inches that an ounce of down feathers will take up. A high rating means that the goose down clusters are large and dense. Goose down products with high fill ratings will be warmer than other products of a similar size.

The fill power is one of the best indications of the quality of the down comforter. A down comforter with a high fill power rating will not only be warmer, but its feathers will also be stronger. This means that the down comforter will surely last longer.

Most people will recommend getting a high fill power comforter for cold situations and a lower fill power for warmer situations. However, this is not completely accurate. You must also look at the fill power in relation to the total fill weight of the comforter.

Take these two down comforters as examples:

  • 350 fill power, 100 ounces
  • 700 fill power, 50 ounces

Both comforters are equally warm. However, the second one is half the weight because it has a superior fill power.

Ideally, you should always look for the highest fill power. Then, when comparing comforters, look at the total fill weight to get an idea of whether it will be best for warmer or colder situations.
 

Fill Weight

Quality/Warmth

250-350

Lower quality and very low amount of insulation

350-450

Low quality and low amount of insulation

450-600

Medium quality and warmth

600-750

Good quality and superior warmth

750 and up

Considered very good quality and incredibly warm


Goose Down Comforter Construction

If goose down feathers were simply added between two pieces of fabric to make a comforter, the feathers would eventually shift position. This would result in a very lumpy comforter with pockets of warmth and coldness. To prevent this from occurring, down comforters are generally made using "baffle box" or "quilt" construction.

Quilt construction means that the comforter is comprised of two pieces of fabric filled with feathers. The pieces of fabric are sewn together in a quilt pattern to create pockets for the feathers. The feathers are then kept in their individual pockets. While this construction reduces shifting, warmth can still escape through the seams.

Baffle box comforters use the same idea as quilt construction, but to a much higher degree of sophistication. Instead of just sewing the outer layers of fabric into pockets, pockets of fabric (called baffle boxes) are actually sewn into the inner area of the comforter. Very high-quality down comforters will actually have many different layers of baffle boxes. This means that the comforter will be equally warm throughout and the feathers are unable to shift much.


Goose Down Comforter Shell

Goose down feathers will last a lifetime (or longer), so you want to make sure that the fabric used for the shell of your down comforter is also going to last. Most commonly, you will see cotton used as the shell material. There are several different types of cotton, with some much more superior to others.

  • Egyptian Cotton: Egyptian cotton is known as the finest and strongest type of cotton in the world.
  • Pima Cotton: Also going by the trademarked name "Supima," this type of cotton is very strong and soft.
  • American Upland: Usually just listed as 100 percent cotton, this type is of cotton is not as strong as the other types and lacks a consistency in quality.

Note that just because a comforter says its shell is made from one of these materials, it does not mean it is only made from that type of cotton. For example, a down comforter advertised as having an Egyptian cotton shell might also be woven with American upland cotton to reduce costs. Unless the comforter is listed as being made from "100 percent" of the cotton type, always be sure to read the description to find the exact composition of the shell.

Along with the fabric type used for the shell, you will need to pay careful attention to its thread count. Thread count represents the number of threads found in a square inch of fabric. Higher thread counts are better, as they are denser and stronger. With goose down comforters, thread count is very important: if the thread count is too low, the down feathers might actually pop out of the comforter and poke you. Always look for a 500 thread count or above for goose down comforters.


Covers for Goose Down Comforters

Some down comforters come with designer shells in different colors or patterns. However, it is generally best to purchase a duvet for your goose down comforter. The duvet will help keep dust and other debris from getting into the comforter. Since down comforters are very difficult to clean, the duvet can go a long way toward making it easier to maintain your comforter and keep it free of allergens.


How to Buy a Goose Down Comforter on eBay

After educating yourself about the qualities of goose down comforters, you can begin shopping on eBay. There is a very large selection available, including goose down comforters made from the finest quality Hungarian down and shelled in Egyptian cotton.

To start shopping, use the search box to look for "goose down comforter." At the left-hand side of the screen, you will then want to select the option for Bedding. From here, you will be given many options for narrowing results by Size, Brand, Fill Material, Material, Condition, and Price. Always make sure you are carefully reading the entire product description before you buy to ensure you understand the product features.


Conclusion

Goose down is known for its superior warmth and durability. However, not all types of goose down are the same. Before buying a goose down comforter, shoppers will want to take the time to learn about the various types of down used in comforters, fill power, and ways a comforter can be constructed. This information will help them find the best goose down comforter for their budget on eBay.

 
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