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How To Choose a Comforter?

With such a broad range of comforter styles and prices, it is important to remember that not all down, synthetic, wool, or silk comforters are created equally. To help we have put together this guide, which highlights important comforter features to consider.

  1. Fill Power
    In layman’s terms this means how fluffy/puffy is the fill. Fluffy down occupies more space. A higher number on the 600-800 scale means it is fluffier. Higher fill power means it also lasts longer.
  2. Thread Count/Barrier
    The thread count is the number of threads that are contained in one square inch of fabric. Higher thread counts in a fabric means it is lighter and softer. The tightness of the threads also prevents leakage of the fill to the outside air. The lightness also helps the fill to puff up. Down proofness is measured in millimeters. Lower numbers mean better down proofing. The industry standard is ’10’. An air porosity test, which tells you how much air can pass through a fabric, is a measure of “down proofness.”
  3. Cleanliness
    There are acceptable government standards for the cleanliness of feathers and down. This cleanliness is a primary variable in determining the hypoallergenic nature of some down comforters. Some comforter fills are washed as many as fifteen times to get rid of dust, dirt, and organic matter. There are two “cleanliness” tests in the industry. An Oxygen test determines the amount of organic matter left in the material being tested. The industry acceptable standard is 10. Better products have lower numbers than that. The second test is the Turbidity test, which is a measure of suspended solids, dust, dirt etc. in the material. The scale goes from about 60, which is unwashed feathers, to 550, which is the best type of down.
  4. Weight
    A comforter can be made warmer in two ways. Fill power and weight. Clearly the aim is to get the maximum warmth at the lightest weight. To get this you would choose a higher fill power number. Feathers are a great deal cooler than high grade down. Once you have selected the fill power, then add weight for extra warmth.
  5. Construction
    Sewing Quality. Better sewing means more durability, less tendency for sewing to break. Comforters are generally sewn through or baffled. The baffling is an internal fabric wall that allows the fill to “loft” more. It also adds strength to the comforter. Comforters that are sewn through are generally better for lighter weight comforters only.
Average bedroom temperature with recommended comforter weight:
Winter comforter weightBelow 55°F
Winter weight (Arctic)
Autumn comforter weight55-70°F
Medium weight (Classic)
Summer comforter weight70°F
Light Weight (Southern)

Comforter Care

We suggest that you protect your comforter from soil and wear by covering it with a duvet cover. Spot clean when possible. Most down comforters can be placed in the dryer on low heat to refresh the down or hung up on a clothesline on a sunny day. Please do not leave your comforter in direct sunlight. Most down comforters are machine washable in a large commercial machine using a mild down-safe detergent. However, we recommend professionally laundering by a company familiar with cleaning down comforters.

Types of Down for Comforters

These comforters are in order of quality. Please note that in some comforters labeled ‘pure down’ or 100% down are not pure, as some feathers remain in the fill. If the comforter is at least 75% down, it can be labeled 100% in many states.

  1. Siberian Down (Best):
    In 800 fill comforters, it lasts the longest and is in the finest comforters. Collected from cold climate geese, it is the heaviest down.
  2. Hungarian Down:
    In 650+ fill comforters and is also a cold climate down.
  3. Goose down:
    In 550+ fill power comforters and is from livestock geese. Its down is smaller and more condensed.
  4. Goose feather and Down
  5. Duck feather and Down
  6. Duck feather (Worst):
    Used as fillers in large comforters or pillows. Quills can sometimes poke out and be sharp to your skin.

Comforters Down (Goose and Duck)

A comforter down is harvested during the natural molting process from farm-raised geese. Goose down is also the by-product of the worldwide poultry industry. The biggest difference between goose and duck down is odor. Goose down has little to no odor. If it does not say goose down on the label, it is most likely duck down and a lot less expensive.

Down vs. Feathers in Comforters

Down is used for insulation and loft in duvets and pillows; feathers are used for bulk and durability in feather beds and some pillows. Sometimes these are mixed to create a firm, durable product. The more down in the mix, the fluffier and more expensive the comforter or pillow.

Hypoallergenic Down

Goose down can cause allergic reactions in some people. It is not the down that does this, but rather it is the dust particles remaining on the down after washing and processing. Some manufacturers such as Ogallala and Pacific Coast Feather use special cleaning processes, and they manufacture comforters and pillows that are hypoallergenic, which come with an Allergy-free Guarantee.

Milkweed Clusters

Milkweed floss is a natural hollow fiber that is hypoallergenic by itself. When milkweed floss and goose down are combined, the floss traps and suppresses the dust and dander that some people have allergic reactions to. These clusters enhance the natural properties of down and are a fantastic fill for comforters and pillows. Milkweed clusters are cleaned and separated from the pods through mechanical action and air. No chemicals are used.

Features of Silk Comforters

What is silk?

Silk is a luxurious textile that is produced by a silkworm and woven into a naturally thermal and hypoallergenic material. Silk fill is an excellent, all natural and hypoallergenic alternative to down fill.

Mulberry Silk

The best silk comforters are filled with mulberry silk floss. Silk comforter manufacturers produce this high-quality silk from feeding the silkworms a diet of mulberry leaves – exclusively. Mulberry silk is comprised of long fiber silk, which is heavier than other silks, hence its superlative thermal qualities used in making light but warm silk comforters. Mulberry silk will also shift less over time in comparison to other silks. Tussah or wild silk is used in silk comforters but is not as soft and drapeable as mulberry, and it has more impurities that promote a shorter life span. Most silk filled comforters are lightweight and can be used all year round. They are best suited for moderate climates or homes that are climate controlled.

Maintenance of Silk Comforters

Although it is hard to beat the luxurious feeling and soft “hand” of a silk comforter, silk is quite fragile and requires a duvet cover in most cases or manufacturers’ warranty will be voided. The life of a silk comforter is not as long as a high quality down: five years can be the average lifespan. A good quality comforter can last for 10 years with good care. Silk comforters must be professionally dry cleaned.

Why Choose a Silk Comforter?

A silk comforter is delightfully lightweight and feels even lighter than a summer blanket or a coverlet. Silk comforters are warmer than a Primaloft blanket or a Hyperclean down blanket. However, a silk comforter is not as warm as a Hypodown comforter. If warmth is a concern, then down is the way to go. Unlike down, silk has a slight odor when first unpacked. The odor is natural and not offensive to most people. The odor will easily dissipate when the comforter is aired for 24-48 hours. Mulberry silk has less odor than Tussah or wild silk in a comforter. Silk filled comforters are best used as a summer comforter in the North and year-round in the South.

Construction of Silk Comforters

Even the finest Mulberry silk will have short fibers. These short fibers are kept in place by squares on the comforter, sometimes called box stitching, quilting, or the hand tying method. Hand ties, or “hand tacking,” is a traditional Chinese method to keep the longer finer silk fibers in place.

Shop here for your next comforter; if you are specifically looking for silk bedding, you can find them here!

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