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Buying a Down Duvet Comforter - What you need to KNOW
Author: Shelly Whitney - Interior Designer Decorator Stager

If you are like me, you love the feel, comfort, warmth and look of a down duvet comforter. After having one for several years now, I can’t imagine sleeping without it. If you are in the market to buy a down comforter, here are a few things you should know before you make that purchase.

1. As with any home decorating or design project, you should first evaluate your needs.

  • Do you turn you heat down a lot in the winter, so a warmer duvet blanket is necessary?
  • Do you want to be able to use the comforter/duvet all season long or just for the winter?
  • What about allergies? Hypoallergenic down duvets and comforters are available.
  • How long would you like the duvet or down comforter to last?
  • And of course, the all-important, budget question. How much do you intend or have to spend? Remember that a down duvet is an investment. It is something that you will have for many, many years.

2. Type of down

There are several types of down, usually defined by the country or area from which they come. Down can also come from either geese or ducks. Duck down is a higher end down with a greater loft, softer fibers and extreme warmth. Goose down is of mid-range quality. Higher end goose down is white goose down. In the lower end duvets, you will find feathers making up a portion of the fill. Feathers do not have the same properties as down. They are heavier, have less loft and are not able to provide the warmth and softness of down.

The highest end down is the duck down, Eiderdown. It is said to be the most luxurious, comfortable, and lightweight of all downs. For a truly luxurious bedroom this would be the ultimate choice.

Other high end brand downs include LaJord, goose down produced by the Hudderite communities in Canada, Zeigler down of Poland, which is also a high end white goose down, and Salzburg of Germany which produces high quality white goose down from mature geese.

3. Amount of down

When looking at the specifications of a down duvet, you should see a weight measurement. For example, a Queen Size duvet may have a weight of 30oz. This will tell you the amount of down in the duvet. Generally, the heavier it is, the warmer it will be. However, the warmth also depends on the type and quality of the down itself and of course, a larger comforter duvet should be heavier because of the size and not because it will provide more warmth.

4. Comforter Duvet cover material

Most often, the cover will be made of cotton. In some of the most luxurious down duvets/comforters, you will find the cover made of pure silk. In any case, you should be looking for the thread count of this fabric. The higher the number, the better the ‘down-proof’ quality will be. In general, I would recommend looking for a number above 300.

5. Is it baffle box or simple square construction?

This is a characteristic that can make a huge difference in the comfort factor of a duvet comforter. Lower end down  duvets/comforters will be sewn with simple squares, meaning the down cannot move around except for inside the square. You may experience cold spots where there is no down at all.

The baffle box is a more complicated, and better construction. Instead of simple squares, the duvet/comforter is constructed with boxes, meaning the top and bottom layers of the duvet comforter are not attached except for at the outer edges. This allows the down to move more freely inside the duvet or comforter and move over a larger area. It is able to cover the complete surface of the duvet comforter. Cold spots are very rare and the down can easily be adjusted to eliminate them.

6. Hypoallergenic

If you are allergic to down or feathers, you may be hesitant to consider a down duvet, even though you would love to have one. Today, most of the down is treated with a special cleaning process rendering it hypoallergenic.

7. Dual Zone Duvets

Dual zone down duvets are a newer product that is absolutely fantastic. You can now buy a duvet that has different levels of down in each side. Exclusive retailers will custom-make them for you based on you and your partner’s warmth requirements.

8. Protect your Duvet

Last but not least, you should consider buying a duvet cover or comforter cover for your new duvet – your new investment. A duvet cover will not only protect your duvet but will allow you to choose your decorating scheme - not to mention being able to change your decor on a decorating whim.

Enjoy your new down duvet and get a good nights sleep!