Sunday, August 15, 2010

Down Comforter Buying Guide

Down is the ultimate in softness, warmth and luxury. Down is also renowned for its durability and lightness of weight. Those who have experienced the supreme pleasure of sleeping in down bedding seldom want to use any other kind. Whether you choose a down featherbed, a down comforter, down pillows or a down blanket from our bedding and bath store, you have chosen to buy the finest in luxury bedding. In this down buying guide you will find information on how to buy down comforters and choose the right down bedding for your needs.

What you need to know

Down is a fluffy cluster located underneath bird feathers. As these clusters intertwine, tiny air pockets are created which trap insulating heat and provide a constant body temperature. Down is used as insulation in down bedding, especially down pillows and down comforters. Down is mixed with feathers in down featherbeds to make them more fluffy while still adding the bulk needed for support.

Down is analyzed by hand and separated into the following:
  • Down
  • Down fiber
  • Down residue (including dirt)
  • Feathers
  • Quill feathers
  • Land bird feathers (such as chicken feathers)
  • Goose or duck feathers
  • Color (white or gray or other)
  • Size of down clusters
Types of down
  • Duck down is the least expensive down.
  • White Goose down is the most commonly used down.
  • Grey Goose down is used in items made with darker material.
  • Eiderdown is the rarest down. It is also the finest and warmest of down products. Female eider ducks pluck their own down and use it to cover and warm their eggs. The rare eider down is harvested by hand from abandoned duck nests.
Down fill power

The insulation qualities of down are measured by fill power: 1 ounce of down = XXX cubic inches. The higher the cubic inches (the fill power of the down), the more fluffy and warm the down will be. Very high-quality down will reach or exceed a fill power of 700; still, even the lower fill power in down may be enough for your needs. The warmth and comfort provided by down fill in any down bedding usually exceeds any other material.

Fill power is tested by placing 1 ounce of down in a container and then stirring it. Loft is measured in cubic inches. The down is then compressed and left to sit untouched for 24 hours, after which the cubic inches are again measured. The space that 1 ounce of down occupies (in cubic inches) is the fill power.
  • 700 plus is outstanding quality in down bedding.
  • 600-700 is excellent quality.
  • 525-600 is good quality.
The scent of down products

All natural products have a unique smell, and down is no different. Much of this is caused by the tight plastic packaging of down during shipping, which can cause the scent to concentrate. Simply unwrap the down and fluff it, then allow it to air out for a few hours before use. The smells caused by confinement in tight plastic should dissipate.

Down Coverings

Box stitch is a box-patterned cover used in comforters and featherbeds. The stitching helps keep the down in place so it won't shift as it is used.

Baffle box construction uses a piece of fabric perpendicular to the top and bottom of the material. Baffle walls enable down to expand fully for its highest loft, and creates depth and strength in the bedding.

Gusset edges surround the outer edge of the down covering to maximize loft.

Thread count (TC) is the total threads which run vertically and horizontally in a square inch of the fabric which creates the covers for the down product. Higher thread count indicates tighter weave and gives softness to the material. A higher TC weave adds to a fabric's downproof qualities, or how well it contains the down fill.

Down comforters

The warmth of a comforter depends on the down fill weight and fill power. Maximum warmth at the lightest weight means lower fill weight/higher fill power. The ratio of comforter weight to bedroom temperature would be:
  • Light weight comforter fill power of 525+ equals +70? F
  • Medium weight fill power of 600+ equals 55-70? F
  • High or Winter weight fill power of 700+ equals -55? F
Down care

Covers: A duvet cover will protect your down comforter from soiling and will extend its life. Purchase quality discount duvet covers from to compliment your room decor. Down products should be stored loosely in a breathable bag. Extended compression can harm down comforters and featherbeds.

Cleaning: It is best to have all down products dry cleaned professionally, but no more than every 3 to 5 years. If it is cleaned too often, the quality of the down will deteriorate.

Washing: If you decide to wash down, use only a large front-loading washer and low suds detergent, then rinse thoroughly (more than once) and spin off excess water. Tumble-dry at a low temperature with several tennis balls added to the dryer to help fluff the down.

Caution: Home washers are usually too small to wash large down items, and washing in water can make the down clump and degrade its ability to insulate. If it is not dried thoroughly, natural down will mildew and rot.

Common down comforter questions

What is meant by "hypo-allergenic" or "super-clean?"

Today, quality down manufacturers put their down and down feathers through strenuous cleaning processes, eliminating dirt and dust to ensure that the down is allergy-free. However, very few individuals are actually allergic to down. They are allergic to the allergens, such as pollen and dust, which are found on feathers and raw down before cleaning.

What can I buy when I am sensitive to all down products?

If you are sensitive to down products, shop our down alternatives for quality items to dress your bed that are similar to real down but will not cause you distress.

How can I keep feathers from coming out of my down pillow?

This occasionally happens, but it doesn't mean you have cheap down fill in your pillow or featherbed. Sometimes a wayward feather or two will escape through the down and push its way out of the cover. Purchase pillowcases or a featherbed cover with a higher thread count which will contain the down more efficiently.

Ideas from

Everyone raves about their down bedding, and if you haven't tried down you are in for a treat. Online shopping at will make it easy to own the down comforter or down featherbed that you want, since even our everyday discounts have discounts!

Down Pillow
Have you slept on a down pillow? They are the ultimate in luxury, and we have a wide selection for you to choose from without spending a fortune. Down pillows offer not only the opulence of down but support and comfort for your head as you sleep.

If you are decorating your bedroom, why not include a luxury comforter set from our bedding store? Instead of buying a new mattress, top yours off with a fabulous down featherbed from The quality of your sleep will definitely increase, and that older mattress will even last a few more years.

Luxury down bedding

Warehouse Direct LLC carries a large inventory of beautiful luxury bedding. Our amazingly low prices on everything mean that you can truly afford to splurge and have the very finest in down. We pride ourselves on bringing you the highest quality in everything we sell at the lowest prices to be found on the Internet - up to 70 percent off of retail every day of the year!

We enjoy being your favorite online store--and online shopping is much more fun than fighting the crowds at the mall. Let add lavish comfort to your bedrooms with beautiful down bedding, then sleep as you deserve to, surrounded by softness, warmth and luxury.

Best Wishes,


  1. Very informative, I gained new knowledge about down bedding.. Thank you =)

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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