What Is Down?
Down is the light, fluffy coating clustered beneath the feathers of geese, ducks and other waterfowl that protects them from the elements.
Down is warmer than synthetic insulation, is very lightweight, and with the proper care comforters made of down can last for decades. Down comforters are also great year round solutions as they are breathable for optimal comfort in warmer temperatures, while the down insulation also provides optimal warmth in colder weather.
Why Is Fill Power Important?
The quality of the down is directly related to its fill power rating, the higher the fill power the better the down will insulate. High-quality down has a high fill power and is much loftier than down of a lower quality. That means down comforters with high fill power require fewer ounces of down to create a lightweight comforter that generates the same level of warmth. A fill power rating of 550 to 750 is considered very good, while a fill power rating over 750 is considered excellent.
Does Down Trigger Allergies?
Down itself typically doesn’t trigger allergies. Lower quality down can harbor dust particles, debris or other non-down materials, causing a reaction in sensitive people. However, high-quality down is cleaned extensively according to strict industry standards, and is less likely to cause issue. If someone in the household is prone to allergies, high-quality down comforters or down alternative comforters are recommended.
What Is Down Alternative?
Down alternative comforters are constructed of synthetic fill fibers designed to mimic lofty down clusters. Most synthetics used in down alternative comforters are also completely hypoallergenic and will not cause allergies, as long as they are kept clean.
Down alternative comforters require more synthetic fill to match the same warmth that natural down provides, so they are a heavier weight comforter. Also, synthetic fibers gradually break down regardless of how well they are cared for, so down alternative comforters need to be replaced more frequently than down comforters.
Thread count is the number of thread woven into a square inch. The finer the thread, the higher the thread count, and the smoother and lighter the fabric will feel. Thread count on a comforter is an indicator of the quality and texture. Quality comforters generally have a thread count of at least 260, while luxury comforters have higher thread counts that result in weaves that are tighter and stronger to prevent down from escaping.
Benefits of Baffle Box
Quality down comforters are sewn with baffles to prevent down from shifting and settling. Baffles are vertical walls of fabric sewn inside the down comforter that create separate boxes for the down. Baffles provide depth to the down comforter and keep the goose down in place. When goose down settles, cold spots occur. Baffles secure the goose down filling and help it stay evenly distributed to eliminate cold spots.