Have you ever stood in front of the bedding section in front of a Major Department Store and look puzzled on the large selection of Comforters? Goose Down? Duck Down? Fill Power? Size? Allergies? Not to mention the purchase price. Comforters are a big investment but well worth it in our opinion. Well we are here to share some common questions that we commonly answer. This short Q&A Guide is here to help answer some potential questions that shoppers might be wondering about before purchasing.
Q. Will down weigh me down?
A. Birds fly just fine with it. Cozy doesn't have to mean heavy. When choosing a down comforter, look for a combination of fill power (how warm and insulating it is) and ounce weight (how heavy it feels) that will give you the warmth and weight that works for you.
Q. I like to keep the windows cracked open and the room temperature cool, even in winter. Which down comforter should I choose?
A. You'll want a medium- to heavyweight down comforter that will keep you cozy in cocoon-like warmth. Look for one with a fill power between 550 and 650.
Q. I have allergies, and sneezing all night isn't an option. Can I use down?
A. It's dust, not down, that seems to cause an allergic reaction. Properly cleaned down, from the larger brands is stripped of dust, dirt and impurities to make it hypoallergenic. You can also try a synthetic down comforter, which can be a cozy, high-quality alternative.
Q. Is down too heavy to use in the warmer seasons?
A. Not if you get a lightweight or medium-weight down comforter, which are both excellent options for summers in northern climates or year-round use in more temperate zones. Choose a down comforter with a fill power between 500 and 600.
Q. Is it hard to keep a down comforter clean?
A. With the use of a regularly cleaned duvet cover, you only need to wash the down comforter itself every three to five years. Home washing machines are too small for the job, so bring the comforter to professional launderer or a laundromat with a front-loading machine.
Q. What is the lowdown on down?
A. Down is a bird's undercoat of feathers. It traps warm air next to the bird's skin. The more mature the bird, the thicker and more insulating the down. Soft, warm White Goose Down is generally used with light-colored fabrics, and European White Goose Down is the most sought-after for its plump, resilient quality. The quality of down is reflected in its "fill power".
Q. Can you fill me in on fill power?
A. Technically, fill power is the number of cubic inches one ounce of down takes up. The higher the fill power, the lighter, fluffier and more insulating the comforter will be. The suggested fill power range is 500–650+ cubic inches. In this range, down retains body heat evenly, provides greater breathability and is very resilient. The fill power you prefer will depend on your sleep style and climate.
500–550: for light nighttime coverage, summers in northern zones, or year-round use in moderate climates
shop lightweight comforters
550–600: a touch of warmth year-round for versatility in a variety of climates, room temperatures and sleep preferences
shop medium comforters
600–650+: heavier weight for warmth lovers, colder regions and very cool rooms
shop heavyweight comforters
Q. Just hearing the word "down" makes me sneeze. Are there any allergy-free options?
A. Actually, scientists believe that it is dust, not down, that causes allergic reactions. Look for comforters that feature hypoallergenic down, which is cleaned with a process that eliminates dust and impurities. EcoDown is one option, and it's featured in select products like Hotel Collection and Charter Club brands. You can also try synthetic down comforters, which are a cozy, high-quality alternative.
Q. Why should I note a comforter's ounce weight?
A. Because down's weight is measured in ounces, the higher the ounce weight, the heavier the comforter.
Q. Why does thread-count matter when it comes to a comforter?
A. As with sheets, a comforter's thread count—the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric - indicates its quality, durability, and feel. Higher thread counts have a tighter weave for a smooth, luxurious touch. Just as important, a high thread-count keeps the dirt out and the down in, making a comforter "downproof". At least 200 threads per square inch are needed to downproof a comforter.
Q. I'm baffled about baffling. Does my comforter need it?
A. Keep your eye out for it. Baffling is a type of construction that uses sewn-in cloth "walls" to keep down from shifting and clumping, which can create empty pockets where there is no down (and therefore no insulation). Not all comforters are made with baffling, because it is a costly and time-consuming process, but it does guarantee a highly insulated comforter free of cold spots.
Q. How should I care for my comforter?
A. If when you first unpack your comforter it seems wrinkled and flat, give it a good shake. This will restore the natural fluffiness of the down. You can also briefly put it in the dryer on low heat.
Next, cover it with a duvet. Aside from being an expression of your personal style, a duvet cover is essential to protecting the comforter from dirt and impurities. With the use of a regularly cleaned duvet cover, you only need to wash the down comforter itself every three to five years. Home washing machines are too small for the job, so bring the comforter to a professional launderer or a laundromat with a front-loading machine. Use mild detergents and lower heat to keep the down from becoming brittle, and dry the comforter in a large-capacity dryer. Check it for wet spots - you don't want mildew. A neat trick: toss a tennis ball in with the comforter – the bouncing ball will keep the comforter from clumping and provide extra fluffiness. Please refer to your comforter's specific care instructions for more information.