How to Pick the Best Down Comforter!
While I’m so excited about our new vacation home in Colorado (see the before pics here), it’s starting to hit me just how many things you need in order to set up a new house! Pots and pans, glassware, towels, sheets, dishes, shower curtains, cleaning supplies…… and that doesn’t even get me started on furniture!!!
Lately, I’ve been focused on getting new bedding, which means I need to buy down comforter inserts. There’s such a wide range of prices, depending on fill quality, stitching, weight and fullness. I wanted to share my research (and my top picks!) with you to save you some time when shopping for your own down comforters!!
Down comforters are traditionally filled with the soft, fluffy undercoating that’s underneath a goose’s feathers. Today, the options have expanded, so you can find comforters filled with goose down, duck down, synthetic materials, or some combination of the three.
When it comes to down, goose trumps duck! Goose down tends to be the most valuable, luxurious and sought after down option since goose down clusters are generally larger, more resilient, and have fewer odor issues than duck down. It also can be very full yet still lightweight – perfect if you don’t like being weighed down by your bedding. If you want the absolute best quality (but it may come with a higher price tag), look for comforters filled with Siberian or Hungarian down.
There are now tons of down alternatives also on the market, and these are a better choice if you have bad allergies. They tend to be less expensive than traditional down and can also be easier to maintain since many don’t require dry cleaning. But unlike goose down, these synthetic options will make for a much heavier comforter, which could be a pro or a con depending on your personal preference.
Picking for the right amount of warmth is perhaps the hardest decision. In Houston, the weather’s so warm, you may want a pretty lightweight comforter, but if you keep your house cold, the opposite may be true. Now that I’m looking for Colorado, I want something that works all year round – cool enough for the warm summers but super warm and cozy for the snowy winters!
Luckily, most down comforter manufacturers provide different levels of warmth ranging from super light to ultra warm. If you’re an average sleeper, here are the recommended levels: go for super light or light if your bedroom is kept over 69 degrees; pick medium if your bedroom is in the mid-60s at night; warm or extra warm if you like to sleep with temperatures in the low-60s; and ultra warm if your bedroom is a frozen tundra.
The other thing you might hear a lot about while shopping for a new comforter is “fill power,” which relates to the volume a single ounce of down takes up. When the down has a higher fill power, it’s more insulating so less is required to provide warmth. This gives you a nice, fluffy, light comforter that can still keep you toasty at night. For most people, a fill power ranging from 550 to 750 will be perfect!!! Fill powers of 700 to 750 are likely to be more luxurious and more expensive, so keep that in mind, too!
As with sheets, down comforters also have thread counts to take into consideration! You’ve probably heard that the higher the thread count, the more luxurious the feel, but in this case, don’t get too excited if you see 1000 thread count comforters on the market. Plumeria Bay says that extremely high thread counts can be just as prone to leakage as really low thread counts.
If you’re using a duvet cover over your comforter, then thread count may not be as important to you. Since I’ll be using covers, I decided thread count is one of the areas I can compromise on to keep the price down. So I narrowed my search to thread counts in the 260 to 450 range.
When it comes to stitching and construction, you want some way to keep the down evenly distributed so it doesn’t all bunch up on one side! Cheaper options will have stitched boxes to separate the down and keep it even. But if your budget allows, all the experts agree you should opt for baffle box construction!! Baffles are vertical walls of fabric sewn inside the comforter that keep the fill from shifting. With baffle box comforters, you won’t have to deal with cold spots!
And finally, decide on the size and how you’d like your comforter to look. I like my comforters full so they have a lot of poof around the bottom of the bed!! An oversized queen or king will give you this look, just make sure your duvet cover is large enough to fit it! Or you can opt for higher fill power to get the optimal amount of loft.
Now that you know all the basics of what to look for in a down comforter, let’s choose one!!
My Top Picks for Down Comforters!!!
If your budget allows, Legends Royal Baffled Hungarian White Goose Down from The Company Store is one of the most luxurious options on the market. I love how plush this one is!!! Plus, it has all the features we’re looking for, like 430 thread count, 700-750 fill power, and baffle box construction. Legends Royal also comes in oversize and plenty of different warmth levels. The downside is price – a King starts at $599 and goes up depending on warmth.
Though not quite as thick or lofty as my last pick, Brooklinen’s All Season Down Comforter has all the makings of a great comforter with 500 thread count, 700 fill power, and rave reviews. And at $379, the price is more reasonable since it uses white down from Canadian geese instead of Hungarian geese.
One of the most popular names in down comforters, Pacific Coast, produces consistently highly-rated comforters – their “Embrace” version got top scores on Good Housekeeping’s Best Down Comforters test. But their Pacific Coast Platinum European Comforter is my favorite. It has 500 thread count, 650 fill power with Pyrénées goose down, and the right construction to keep the down from shifting, and all at a whooping low price of $110 from Costco!!
Hope this helps any of you searching for the right down comforter!! I’ll be sure to show you pictures of my progress with the Colorado house soon, so stay tuned!!
Join me in Dallas on Thursday the 8th!!!
Join me for the last event of the year!! If you can’t make it you can order your copy of Segreto Vignettes here! Have a great week!
Kris BettsPosted at 10:04h, 05 December
Another lightweight option are down blankets which I love, very lightweight yet warm. I use that in winter in Seattle
Pacific Coast down sells them and are so pretty you don’t need a duvet cover, which I find makes down products too hot
Also fluff every time you make the bed so the down keeps fluffy
Leslie SinclairPosted at 20:08h, 05 December
Hi Kris! My daughter is moving into her own apartment and much prefers the blankets. I will look into Pacific Coast! Thank you@
JoannaPosted at 10:57h, 05 December
So exciting to have a new home to decorate. I used to live in Clorado Springs. Beautiful state!
It’s also important to check the label making sure it is 99%down. Some are labelled down filled but have a percentage of feathers. You don’t want that as they stick out and will cause pinpoint holes. I would advise at least a 350 thread count but going much higher is a marketing ploy. Always, always buy a baffle box for warmth and to keep your down from sinking to the bottom. It will shift in the others. A feather bed which sits on top of your mattress is great for those very chilly nights. It’s like sinking into a dream. I sold down products and it is the only bedding in my house.
Leslie SinclairPosted at 20:07h, 05 December
Thanks Joanna for your helpful tips! It is like reading Greek trying to decipher which is best and what all the terms mean!! You probably know the most of us all being in the business!!! Take care! I know you will be warm!
noreenPosted at 12:23h, 05 December
very interesting information, the lightest, puffiest duvets always reminds me of whipped cream and meringues atop a tempting cake!
Leslie SinclairPosted at 20:05h, 05 December
Love the comparison!! Especially because I love whipped cream and cake!!! Have a great week!
DaniellePosted at 18:02h, 05 December
Thank you for the comments on comforters. I am have been unhappy with the one I have. I will follow your recommendations. Could you do an article on coffe tables with good ressources. I am redoing my living room inspired by some of the photos in your 2 books and I cannot find a coffee that I would really like.
Hope I am not being presumptuous by making such a suggestion. Regardless, thank you for your blog, I really enjoy it.
Leslie SinclairPosted at 20:04h, 05 December
Hi Danielle! Great suggestion!! I had a hard time finding one myself and ended up making one. I am so glad you follow–thank you!
Design ChicPosted at 22:20h, 05 December
So much great information here, Leslie! Since I use mine in duvet covers, I love the idea of lower thread count, but love a full look. Thanks for the tips and happy Monday!
Leslie SinclairPosted at 12:30h, 07 December
Happy Monday to you sweet Friend–but of course now it is Wed. xo
Courtnay EliasPosted at 00:55h, 06 December
SUCH a great post! I love knowing your “favorites”!
How about a pillow post!!!???
Leslie SinclairPosted at 12:30h, 07 December
That is another hard one to figure out! Great idea!
LindaPosted at 22:45h, 09 December
A pillow post would be great!
michele@hellolovelyPosted at 23:38h, 10 December
Great advice, Leslie. I won’t be needing the down at our getaway in Arizona, but I sure appreciate it in Chicago since it’s polar vortex time! Hope your event on the 8th was fabulous and that you are savoring these holidays. Can’t wait to see how your place in Colorado evolves! xox
Leslie SinclairPosted at 06:42h, 12 December
I hope you have a wonderful wonderful Holiday–You seem to be so good at savoring the moments and truly enjoying what’s around you! Such a great time of the year for that! xo
Diamond BeddingPosted at 23:35h, 25 July
Very interesting, Good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.