Comforter Buying and Care Guide
Duvets are comforters that can be made with either natural down fill or synthetic fill. There are advantages to both types. Read the following details to find out, what suits your needs.
Down Filled Comforters:
Down refers to the light and fluffy undercoating that geese, ducks and other waterfowl have to keep them warm. It is made up of tiny clusters of plumules that can be found under the feathers and close to the skin. Down does not refer to feathers as many believe, which is good since feathers do not have good insulating properties. Plumules are far better agents to fill comforters as they help to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer by regulating body heat. Down does not have quills attached to it like feathers, so if your comforter has hard or prickly parts that protrude through the fabric it has been made of ground up feathers. This is not a high quality comforter.
Loft is the number, in cubic inches, that one ounce of down will occupy under specific conditions. The highest quality loft, identified by a high loft number, is usually produced from older, larger geese. The highest loft number to be consistently tested is 800. Interestingly, if a number higher than 800 is associated with a down comforter, it is not actually a loft number! Many manufacturers may use a large number as a trade name or marketing tactic without identifying the number as loft, leading the customer to believe that the comforter is a higher quality, so read the labels carefully.
Care Guide & Allergies:
High quality downs are carefully washed, rinsed and dried using special machinery and cleansing agents. It is important to know that all impurities from the down are removed prior to the manufacturing of high quality comforters. This is particularly important when considering allergies. While many people may believe they are allergic to feathers or down, it is actually the dirt and microbes that down and feathers attract that give people allergic reactions. If you suffer from common allergies, it would be worth your while to seek out a high quality down comforter to ensure minimal exposure to allergens.
Synthetically Filled comforters:
Synthetic fibers are usually a mixture of cotton and polyester and are less expensive and usually non-allergenic alternatives to natural fibers. They provide good loft and warmth, can last up to 10 years, and are a great option if you prefer to clean your comforter frequently.
– Baffled Construction: This type of comforter has a vertical wall of fabric which joins the upper and lower portions of the shell. Baffles allow the down or fill in you comforter to assume its fullest loft without collecting unevenly in a particular corner. The baffles are usually between 6 and 15 inches in size, with an equal amount of fill in each.
– Box Stitch Construction: This type of comforter is sewn in a checkerboard pattern; rather than using small strips of material to separate the top and bottom covers, the top and bottom covers are sewn together to form boxes. These boxes serve the same purpose as baffles; they keep the fill evenly spread out across the entire comforter.