The cozy and luxurious feel of down makes it a desirable choice for use in bedding products like comforters, pillows and even duvet covers, but it can be difficult to choose the best one for your particular needs without learning more about these products.
We have put together this guide that will help you learn about them and figure out which may be the best for your needs. Let us be your mentor – just browse through the topics listed below to get started.
What is Down?
The down that is used in bedding sets is actually the feathers of birds – but not just any feather.
There are actually many different types, but the kind that we sleep on at night is called body down. It is a fluffy feather that is found under the flight feathers of a bird.
We use it for the same reason birds do – it is a great thermal insulator because of the loose and airy structure. The specific type that we use is ideal because it also happens to be extremely soft and fuzzy.
This isn’t something that humans started doing recently either. Bird down has been used by humans for many centuries for a variety of purposes including religious ceremonies!Most used in comforters and other bedding materials these days comes from domesticated geese.
However, some of it comes from wild Eider ducks in the mountains of northern Europe. Eider down is considered to be the most luxurious, fluffiest in the entire world with a fill power of up to 1200 – twice that of average filler.
While higher fill power is great for comfort, the average consumer will find goose to offer plenty of insulation, while Eider is often only recommended for the coldest regions. A fill rating of 550 offers great insulation and comfort but not too much heat, especially in the summer months.
One of the most confusing things about products made with this material is how companies actually label them. Not all down comforters are made entirely of real feathers – some of them use a mixture of real and synthetic fibers.
In the USA, there are regulations that require companies to maintain certain levels of down feathers depending on how they label their products. The most common labeling has been listed below to help you understand how this works.
- 100% Down – Must contain nothing but real down feathers.
- Goose Down – Must contain a minimum of 90% goose feathers.
- Down – This vague labeling can actually be used for products that are simply a mixture of synthetic fibers and real down feathers, although there is not a required feather percentage.