Whether you’ve always wanted a high-end down comforter like they use at a fancy bed and breakfast, or you are searching for a unique and useful gift for a hard-to-buy-for friend or family member, it’s important to be informed so that you can choose the best down products.
The first thing that may come to your mind is making sure the product is the right color or design for the room it will be used for, and likely you have budgetary concerns as well. However, there are some other things you should consider too. Before you buy anything made of down, consider these two details you may have never thought made such a big difference.
Construction is the makeup of the outer portion of down comforters, down pillows, down blankets or other hotel bedding products. This includes things such as material and craftsmanship. If you have the opportunity to see the product in person, that's best. Take a look at the stitching. Is it even? Is it coming apart in any way? Does it look like it would hold up to heavy use and cleaning?
Some kind of box construction is always ideal for down comforters.
- Sewn Thru Box: The ultimate in eliminating down shifting in the comforter. Sewing the top and bottom layers of the comforter in horizontal and vertical lines to form boxes.
- Baffle Box: A thin fabric connects the top and bottom layers of the comforter shell, allowing the fill to touch along the sew lines, providing more loftiness than sewn-through comforters.
- Framed Baffle Box: The same as a baffle box, but with 1 or 2 "frames" along the four sides of the comforter.
As to the material, this is a personal preference. Does it feel soft and comfortable to you and your skin? Is it a blend of multiple materials, if so; why? Sometimes materials are combined to create a certain feel or “behavior,” but sometimes it is used as a means of disguising the fact that a low-quality material has been used.
If you’re buying online, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most companies are more than happy to answer your inquiries and will back up their claims with a return or guarantee policy. This helps you rest assured that your investment in down products is worth the cost.
The fill of your down product is also vitally important to your overall enjoyment and comfort.
While you may have assumed that every product labeled as down would be using only that as a filler, a closer inspection of the tag, may reveal that this is not the case.
Some down products are fully filled with down, while others use a combination of down and feathers. Understanding the difference is the first step in choosing a product with the right fill for you. Consider this information provided by our down buying guide.
- Down– The fluffy part underneath the feathers on the stomach of waterfowl.
- Feathers– These are the “regular” feathers on birds that include a quill.
In many cases a combination of down and feathers are used for large bedding items to give the piece a bit more structure. Additionally, down by itself can be very expensive and using a combination can cut back a bit on the price. Another difference you may see noted in certain products is grey or white down.
White down is highly prized by bedding manufacturers. However, there is no difference in quality between white and grey down. But, because such a premium has been placed on white down, the price is much higher. Choosing a grey down instead of white may save you some on your investment—especially if you plan to use a duvet cover or your piece is not white or off-white.
As you can see, even the smallest details can make a difference when it comes to buying down. Because of this, it is vital that you choose to buy from only the highest quality manufacturers. Down comforters and other products can be a big investment. It only makes sense to invest in something that will best serve you and your family.
Make sure you do your research and choose the best down bedding and you are sure to enjoy for years to come.