You say comforter, I say duvet. What’s the difference? At Down Etc, the comforter and duvet are one in the same. Both refer to the down or feather blanket that is placed in a removable cover as the top layer of bedding.
Unlike comforters and duvets, there is a difference between down and feathers. Down is the cluster found on the underside of a goose or a duck (waterfowl); the clusters of soft, fine strands stem from a central point. As they interlock, they trap air, which keeps you warm. Feathers, on the other hand, are the outer plumage of a waterfowl; feathers have a quill and are flatter than a down cluster, as well as thicker, and do not entrap air to provide the warmth provided by a down cluster. Generally, the more down, the fluffier and softer the comforter; the more feathers in a product, the firmer the comforter.
Goose down tends to be the most popular choice (as opposed to duck), because the down (or soft, insulating fluff under the feathers) is dense and fluffy. Look out for feather comforters. Feathers can be stiff, pokey, and lack the same insulating power down possesses. A feather/down blend is okay and it will probably cost you slightly less, but if you want the best quality, opt for 100% down. Watch out for "down alternatives" that are made with synthetic filling that mimics down without really being a suitable substitute.
The comforter you choose could make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort and how well you sleep. There are a lot of choices. Don’t become overwhelmed. Your answers to a few questions can narrow your focus to the best comforter for you. And remember, the Pillow Butler Program is available. Just call the team at Down Etc and we will ask the questions that will direct you to the right comforter.
Weight: How Hot Do You Sleep?
The weight of a comforter is determined by its “fill power,” which is the volume of an ounce of down. Down comforters come in several different weights to suit the needs of every sleeper. Although it's pretty easy to see the difference between super lightweight and ultra-warm options - the latter is much fuller and thicker, it’s more difficult to determine which one is the right fit for you. If you live in a region that tends to be fairly warm year-round or you keep your home toasty (say 74°F and above), you'll want the super lightweight down comforter. If, on the other hand, you keep your home below 62°F, an ultra-warm comforter will serve you better. And there are several weights in between in the event the weather in your region changes dramatically from one season to the next or you keep your home at a consistent temperature throughout the year thanks to heating and air conditioning. You also need to consider your mattress. The heat generated by your mattress is a consideration in determining the weight of your comforter. For example, memory foam is notorious for reflecting your body heat back at you, so you might want a lighter comforter to compensate. If you share a bed and you like it toasty and your partner likes it cooler you might pick a medium or fall weight comforter.
Size: How do you want your bed to appear?
The size of your mattress and how you want your comforter to hang will determine the size of the comforter you will purchase. If you want the sides to hang to the bottom of the box spring, you will need to calculate a size above your mattress size.
Covering: Why does the ticking matter?
The material from which the sack containing the down of your comforter is made is called the ticking. The ticking can be manufactured in a variety of fabrics, but is most often woven from cotton. The key factor is durability. The last thing you need to worry about is a mess of fluffy down floating around your bedroom every time you hop in bed because your comforter is coming loose at the seams or the down and feathers are poking through the ticking.. Although ticking can be found in a variety of colors, it is most often found in white. Sometimes, because feathers are white and the white fabric hides a lack of quality, but more likely because white is the standard of hygiene and cleanliness as it makes it hard to hide stains and damages. Thread counts in fabric ticking will vary from 235 to 300.
Why Choose a Comforter Versus a Bedspread?
While American bedding has historically included a bedspread to cover the sheets and blanket, Europeans have consistently preferred down comforters. They are natural products and provide great comfort while many bedspreads are filled with synthetic batting and covered in polyester blends. This makes them washable but not as breathable. Additionally, they are often tossed on the floor and require extensive turn down service to remove and fold.
Recently, these considerations of hygiene, labor, and comfort have changed the way beds are made in America. We now see most luxury hotels in America have eliminated blankets and bedspreads in favor of comforters. There is no reason you can’t employ the same luxury and comfort at home.
Updated Links August 2, 2022