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Down vs Down Alternative Duvet: Which One Is The Better Buy For Your Bed?

by Mitchell Chitiz

The difference between a down vs down alternative duvet is like the difference between real sugar and stevia. With sugar and stevia, they both sweeten things, but they’re different compounds and frankly, have different effects. 

Likewise, a down duvet and a down alternative duvet serve the same purpose, which is, providing warmth and comfort, but in different ways. And that’s the reason why they’re not the same even if they might appear to be. In this post, we’ll take a look at these differences and which one you should choose for your own bed. 


Down vs Down Alternative: A Dive Into the Bedding Dictionary


A natural down is made from fine quill-free material underneath the feather layer of ducks and geese. A down alternative, on the other hand, is made from synthetic or natural materials, which can vary depending on the brand. 

And that, in a nutshell is the key difference between the traditional downs and down alternatives. Of course, there are particular uses that further distinguish them from one another as well.


The Low-Down on Natural Downs - Pros


If you can’t settle in bed until you feel cozy and warm, then a natural down will be your best friend. Natural down-filled duvets (or comforters, as they are known by our American neighbours) provide a degree of warmth that alternatives simply can’t deliver. The texture of regular down lets air get trapped in between bits of down which means that it can provide warmth and still breathe. 

The result? The breathability of these duvets and comforters reduces clamminess (which can be a problem with alternatives), allowing your blanket to retain more warmth. They’re also a lot lighter than down alternatives, making them ideal for those of you who prefer lightweight bedding. 


The Low-Down on Natural Downs - Cons


Downs aren’t perfect though. 

They’re not made for machine washing, which is a crime considering the fact that you bought a washer to eliminate the need to go to a laundromat. Also, the superior quill-free material of a down duvet makes it more expensive than most down alternatives. 

These bedding products can also aggravate respiratory issues. If there is dust in the down, it may trigger asthma attacks in those who are sensitive.


A Look at the Down Alternative - Pros


Many of you want bedding that’s not a chore to own or use, and a down alternative checks that box. A down alternative duvet emulates the fluffiness of actual down and warmth, but since it’s not actually down, there’s little risk of triggering allergy or asthma symptoms. 

That makes down alternatives a natural hypoallergenic bedding solution. 

Unlike their natural down counterparts, this alternative option is machine washable so you don’t have to worry about taking them to a laundromat or elsewhere. They’re also very cheap to own. For the person who wants convenience, comfort and cost-efficiency, the down alternative is a winner.


A Look at the Down Alternative - Cons


Of course, many down alternatives are synthetic (although non-synthetic alternatives exist too), so they’ll lack some of the benefits that natural downs will have. 

First off, they’re a lot heavier than natural downs, so you might not like the extra weight if you prefer lightweight bedding. As we mentioned above, down alternatives don’t breathe as freely as natural down fibres, so you might feel more sweaty or clammy after a night under one. 

There’s also the machine washer conundrum - as much as they’re machine washable, they’re prone to shrinkage. Cheaply-made down alternatives usually have poor quality fibres that are more likely to break during washing, resulting in worn-out material. 


So Which One Should You Buy?


Ultimately, the choice between a natural down vs a down alternative duvet boils down to preference - in this case, comfort vs function.

A natural down duvet provides a high level of comfort because it’s warm, breathable and lightweight. A down alternative is a functional choice because it is hypoallergenic, machine washable and low-cost. 

So with both options on the table, you have to ask yourself which matters more. The decision will be easy for some of you. For example, if you are an allergy sufferer, you probably won’t hesitate to go for a down alternative since it is hypoallergenic in nature. Or if you absolutely can’t tolerate the nighttime sweating and clamminess, then a down duvet will be more suitable for you. 

Ultimately, you should go with your gut. If you have an inclination for one over the other, then choose the option that’ll leave you most satisfied. And of course, if you can’t decide, you can also choose both (at different times). 

Regardless of whether you buy a down or a down alternative, however, what matters is that you buy high-quality items. Here at Westex, we produce the highest-standard products both in the down and down alternative category.


Down vs Down Alternative Duvets - Two Sides of the Spectrum 


Ultimately, down and down alternatives serve the purpose of helping you rest and sleep comfortably. But the way they make you feel and how you have to care for them can make them seem quite different. 

Choosing either option doesn’t have to feel like a do-or-die proposition - if you’re not a fan of one, you can always return it for the other. So whether you choose a down or a down alternative, you can be confident that you will find bedding that helps you sleep at night.