Buying A Down Duvet: What Do I Need To Know About Warmth?
Looking to cozy up with a high-quality down duvet (or down comforter if you’re living in the United States) but not really sure what you should be looking for when it comes to weight and warmth?
Finding a duvet that isn’t going to leave you sweating during the summer months or shivering uncontrollably during winter may seem like a daunting task. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. Once you understand how different types of down, fill weight and loft impact down duvet warmth, then you’ll be able to make an informed duvet buying decision.
Down, Fill Weight And Loft: What Are These?
While shopping for this bedding essential, you may already have seen terms such as loft and fill weight mentioned on labels. If you had no idea what these are, you’re not alone. Let’s start off by explaining exactly what makes a down duvet as luxurious and comfortable as possible: type of down fill, loft and fill weight.
What Is Down?
Down refers to the soft undercoating of geese and ducks. This undercoating is light, airy and is found in three-dimensional clusters of fluffy filaments under the bird’s feathers. It is most commonly found on the underbelly of ducks and geese and is known as an efficient natural source of insulation.
Bedding products that are filled with down are considered to be extremely resilient, durable and long-lasting. It is popularly used in the manufacturing of duvets, pillows, cushions, sleeping bags and other products.
Type of Down Duvet Fills
Down duvets can be filled with various types of down and down alternative materials. However, the most common types of down found in duvets are the following:
- Goose Down: Many premium down-filled duvets are made of pure, white, hypoallergenic goose down. As geese are larger birds in stature, they provide longer, denser and stronger down clusters, especially when plucked from mature birds. When choosing a duvet filled with goose down, we recommend choosing Hutterite Down which is renowned for its softness and fill stability.
- Duck Down: Duvets that are filled with duck down are considered to be more accessible and affordable. Duck down is not as fluffy as goose down, so is perfect for warmer climates and those looking for a lighter weighted duvet.
- Down Alternative: Down alternative duvets use fills such as recyclable microgels or polyester fibres. They are less expensive than 100% down but still offer hypoallergenic benefits.
What Is Fill Weight?
When we speak about fill weight, we are referring to the amount of fill that is used within a down product. Down fill is most commonly measured in ounces. The higher the fill weight, the heavier the duvet will be.
If you are looking for a duvet that is on the warmer side, remember that the weight of the duvet doesn’t necessarily mean that it is warmer. For example, you may have a duvet with a high fill weight and low fill power or loft level. While it will feel heavy, it will actually provide poor insulation and won’t keep you warm.
What Is Loft?
That is why loft, or fill power, is an extremely important factor to take into consideration when determining how warm you want a duvet to be. More so than fill weight, in some ways.
Loft is the measure of how fluffy the down fill is. It is a way of measuring the quality and effectiveness of its insulating capabilities. It specifically refers to the number of cubic inches that one ounce of down will fill. A good quality down product usually starts with a loft factor of 400 cubic inches per ounce - duvets at this loft level are usually considered to be at the lower end of the warmth scale.
So, the higher the loft level, the fluffier the down and the warmer it will be per ounce. That is why loft should be guiding your decision regarding duvet warmth and not weight.
Down Duvet Warm Guide: Follow These Rules Of Thumb
Now that you know the importance loft, fill weight and type of down fill play, you are on your way to choosing the perfect cozy down or down alternative duvet for your bed. However, if you still need a little guidance for the right warmth level for different seasons, use our down duvet warmth guide as a general rule of thumb:
- For summer use: Try a loft level of 400 or under
- For cold weather: Aim for a loft level of between 600 and 800
- For the perfect all-year-round duvet: A loft level between 400 and 600 is ideal
- For a duvet that’s as hot as your oven: Go for a loft level of 800 and up
Down duvets offer many other benefits including high-quality insulating properties, breathability, allergy-friendly and sustainable. Choosing products that have been Downmark certified is also highly recommended by many companies in the basic bedding industry.
Here at Westex, we are proud to be a member of the Down Association of Canada. Consumers that buy our Downmark certified bedding can rest assured knowing that they’ll receive a product made of genuine, high-quality and sustainable down materials.