Down and Down Alternative Comforters

While climate (crisp and cold or hot and humid) and personal preference (weighty warmth or light layers) will play a large part in selecting a comforter, you should also consider the following factors while you shop.

Fill Type

Today, comforters are available with several different types of fill, from lofty European White Goose Down to airy and resilient polyester fiberfill. If allergies are a concern, you'll be happy to know that there are hypoallergenic options in both natural and synthetic-fill comforters.

Fill Power

Fill Power is a measure of the space in cubic inches 1 ounce of down will occupy at maximum loft. Sound confusing? Just remember this: the higher the fill power the lighter, fluffier and more insulating the comforter. We suggest a fill power between 500–650+ cubic inches - in this range, down retains body heat evenly, provides greater breathability and is very resilient.

Fill Weight

Down's weight is measured in ounces, so a higher ounce weight means a heavier comforter. But heavy doesn't mean hot. If a comforter has a high fill weight and a low fill power, it will feel reassuringly heavy without being too warm. Again, consider your climate and personal preference when choosing a comforter's fill weight.

Construction

When fill inside the comforter shifts, it creates flat, empty pockets where there's no warmth. This is where a comforter's construction, and the techniques used to keep fill in the proper place, become important. The terms may be baffling, but knowing what they mean will help you choose your comforter more wisely.

Baffling is a type of construction that uses sewn-in cloth "walls" to keep fill in place.

Sewn-through boxes are constructed by sewing horizontal and vertical stitches into the top and bottom layers of a comforter. These boxes serve as individual compartments that keep fill from clumping.

Gusseting is a construction technique that creates outer side walls to secure a comforter's top and bottom layers together. A gusseted comforter will also appear loftier and more full.