So, you’re looking to find the best down comforter? You’ve come to the right place. I set up this website for a couple of reasons. First, I am VERY particular about my sleep and in order to get a good night’s sleep you need to be comfortable. In order to be comfortable…you guessed it…you need a quality comforter and that’s where my obsession with down comforter’s began. You see, top quality bedding is a vital part of having a really good night’s sleep.
Second, I am an avid researcher and will scour the vast reaches of the internet to find the very best of everything before I shell out my hard earned cash. As a result I have become somewhat of an expert in down comforters and wanted to share my knowledge on this site. Sure, I have made mistakes down the line and bought some truly AWFUL comforters as a result but I eventually found and used many comforters that are extraordinarily good for the money. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did so hopefully by following this site you will be in a much better position to make excellent, well-informed purchase decisions.
Your bedding is essential to having the best night’s sleep of your life. Your quilt should look beautiful but it’s what’s inside that actually makes the difference. Unfortunately, choosing bedding today is not easy. As is so common these days the manufacturers have spoiled us with so many choices that it’s become confusing and frustrating to evaluate. The endless myriad of fibers, feathers, baffling and quilting is mind boggling to say the least. Still, it’s important to make a good decision because the quality of your comforter will impact the quality of your life! It’s that simple…
Down or synthetic?
One of the first decisions you’ll be faced with is whether to choose a down or synthetic comforter. My advice has always been simple: go with down unless you have strong allergic reactions against it or simply can’t afford it, in which case you should opt for a synthetic fill material. Remember, most down comforters come in hypo-allergenic varieties these days so just because you may have some allergies does not always rule down out. Why down? Well, I admit it’s mostly personal preference but I have yet to find a quality synthetic comforter that provides the same level of warmth without sacrificing much in weight. That said, I know that technology has advanced so far these days that synthetic fibers are beginning to catch up but in my opinion they are not yet matching the superb qualities exhibited by down.
So what is down exactly? Well, most people think down is feathers but they’re wrong. In reality, down is the fluffy stuff that lies beneath the bird’s outer layer of feathers (or plumage). It resembles a bunch of intertwined fluff from a dandelion and serves to keep the bird warm by entrapping heat from the body. Moreover, down is breathable so it provides all the unnecessary moisture with an escape path. Rarely has science found a way to defeat the awesome power of nature and this is true with down.
My recommendations for the best down comforters
Okay I know many of you are wanting me to cut to the chase and recommend some down comforters. So, below I’ve listed my current top 5 favorites which take into account overall quality, performance and value for money. Still, I urge you to refer to my huge comparison chart of comforters which shows all the key data to really help you make a solid decision for your purchase.
1. Pacific Coast European Down Comforter
I’ve come to realize lately that this family owned business born in Seattle is for sure one of the best places for down comforters these days. In fact, they’ve gotten so popular that I believe they’re the number one brand for down and feather bedding in the US now. Their European Down Comforter is Amazon (my favorite online shopping experience) and is a perfect all-round ‘starter’ comforter which offers excellent value for money. This comforter uses French Pyrenees down with a 650 fill power making it fluffy, warm yet lightweight. The cover is nicely woven with a 420 thread count and about as nice as it gets in this price range. Baffle box stitching too! I have this comforter on our guest bed and I can tell you it’s surprisingly soft. Hypo-allergenic and great for those on a budget.
2. Pinzon Pyrenees White Goose Down Comforter
Pinzon produces comforters under an exclusive arrangement with Amazon and at first I was skeptical. However, I first saw this comforter at a friend’s house and fell in love! For under $250 you get a comforter close in quality to what you’d expect from a $500 department store comforter. I recommend the White Goose Down version (it also comes in regular white duck down) which offers a 600 fill power and provides an impressive level of evenly distributed warmth all year long. The cover is soft 400 thread count cotton with a true end-to-end baffle box construction to keep everything firmly in place. Over 250 reviews at Amazon with an average rating above 4 stars means that I am not alone in my love for this quilt. Fully machine washable too….bonus!
3. Cuddledown Primary Down Comforter
Cuddledown is a quality bedding producer that originated in Maine, USA. Similar to Pacific Coast they started out small and grew from there as people realized how good their products were. This company impresses me a lot and I’ve had some very positive experiences with them overall. While I love their super high end stuff I cannot help myself from recommending their staple Primary Down Comforter which is a superb ‘starter’ comforter. It uses European Duck Down (don’t worry it’s thoroughly cleaned!) with a nice fill power of 600 and is plenty warm. The eco-friendly cover has a modest 233 thread count so while not as soft as many it is perfectly adequate for most. Box stitching and reinforced seams top off a well made product.
4. Pacific Coast Classic
For those with very little to spend I always look to the Pacific Coast Classic as my ‘go-to’ budget choice. The down has a 525 fill power and is ‘hyper cleaned’ which basically means it’s been thoroughly sanitized and allergy free. The cover is only 230 thread count and while it won’t stand up to 400 thread count luxury it’s more than fine for an introductory comforter. The stitching is a sewn-through diamond box design which is not my favorite but doesn’t really detract from the overall experience. Bottom line is that for under $150 you can have a comfortable comforter that is well made and perfect for kids or guest rooms.
5. Royal Hotel Siberian Goose
If you can look past the Siberian Goose marketing hype and focus on what you are getting for the money here then you’re onto a winner. Royal Hotel specializes in Egyptian cotton bedding and here offers a 100% Goose Down comforter with a…drumroll….750 fill power and 1200 thread count fine Egyptian cotton cover! Now, before you start wondering why this comforter isn’t $500+ I can tell you that having owned one of these comforters the reality is that the cover feels closer to a 600 thread count and I even think 750 fill power is pushing is a little. That said, what you are still getting here is a bargain because it’s warm, extremely soft and very comfortable. It takes some initial fluffing to get it going but then with proper maintenance you cannot go wrong with this one. For under $150 it’s a steal.
What should I look for in choosing a down comforter?
In picking out a down comforter you need to know what to look for. Below I’ve listed the most important things you’ll need to consider and given you my take on things.
All down is the same right? Well, unfortunately not. In short you want a quality goose down as opposed to duck. I’m generalizing a little here but you tend to find the worst down comes from Asia where prices are cheap and they even will try pass off duck down for goose down on the unsuspecting customer. Try sticking to European goose down (or better yet European white goose down) which is far better quality in general. Tip – make sure on the label it clearly states “Goose Down” – if it simply states “Down” then there’s a good chance it’ll use inferior duck down. Oh, and if it’s advertised as Siberian Goose Down then a word of warning… This is simply a marketing gimmick and I actually doubt there are many geese living in Siberia. Lastly, try to ensure the down has been properly cleaned and sanitized and more specifically done so without harsh chemicals or by bleaching.
Fill Power (FP)
An important measure of the size and overall quality of the down clusters is Fill Power. Bigger down clusters will provide more lofty and effective insulation and will typically last longer. So, a higher fill power in general will provide a softer and warmer quilt. As a rule of thumb, anything over 700 is what I call luxury, anything between 600-700 is good and anything less than that is perhaps not money well spent. I personally always aim for a fill power of at least 600 if possible. This will ensure an extremely warm yet lightweight comforter which you won’t get with the cheaper 400-600 range fill powers.
In case you’re curious to know how fill power is measured accurately, the testers take a single ounce of down and put it into a large cylindrical container which is then agitated. The testers measure the loft in cubic inches and then let the down settle overnight. The loft size is re-measured again the next day. The best down retains its original loftiness. Simple as that. Check out this great video from DownLite, one of America’s best producers of down bedding.
The weight will dictate how warm the comforter is and naturally this varies depending on your needs. As a rough guide you should opt for a Light Weight comforter where the outside temperatures average 70 degrees or more; a Medium Weight where the temperate averages between 55 and 70 degrees and a Winter Weight for temperatures below 55 degrees.
By construction I mean how the comforter has been sewn together. Believe it or not this is very important to how durable the quilt is and how susceptible it is to stitch-break. You’ll find most down comforters use a sewn-through box stitching or a baffle box. I always prefer the baffle box stitching because it’s stronger and promotes better loftiness through even distribution of the down. That translates to no cold spots in your quilt.
You may also find edge piping on the comforter but it’s purely aesthetic and nothing to get too hung up on.
Cover Fabric and Thread Count (TC)
With a down comforter you’ll want to look closely at the down-proof fabric used on as the cover. The ultimate quality of this material is going to determine how soft it feels against your skin and how well it keeps the down in-tact. In a perfect world the cover should stop any down from leaking while being soft to the touch, light in weight yet strong and breathable. An important measure to look at is Thread Count. This corresponds to the number of threads used in the fabric per square inch of material. Generally, a greater thread count produces a softer yet tighter fabric. However, with thread count it’s short sighted to simply assume that more threads is always better. Anything more than 500 is susceptible to leakage and can be bring about additional and unnecessary weight. Some companies use thread count as a marketing tool and try to sucker you in with those crazy 1000 thread count covers. I recommend looking for a thread count somewhere in the 300 to 500 range. Beware cheap covers which simply apply starch to the fabric to make it down-proof. Over time the starch will disappear and you’ll notice down beginning to leak. My tip – you can often spot these poorly produced covers because they tend to be dry clean only!
Price and warranty
In buying my down comforters I always look for good value for money. With deep pockets it’s easy to spend the maximum and get an awesome comforter but most of us work hard for a living and don’t have money to throw around. Rest assured you don’t have to break the bank to get an excellent comforter these days. The recommendations I point out are always great value for money so you can’t go wrong with those. Also be on the lookout for store discounts which happen frequently on comforters, particularly in the spring and summer seasons.
Your feedback is appreciated
I truly hope that sharing my experience has helped you find the best down comforter for your money! I do always welcome feedback so don’t be shy and use my contact form to leave me a message. I’ll do my best to reply as soon as possible.