Everything You Need to Know About Comforters
Comforter Terminology Explained
What is Down?
Down is the name of the small, soft, fluffy feathers that baby birds are covered with. Down is also found under the outer feathers of adult birds. It’s important to know which kind of down is filling the comforter. Make sure the filling is 100% down – you don’t want it mixed with quills or adult feathers – that will compromise warmth and fluffiness. Comforters with ordinary feathers and not down don’t mention the fill power.
As a general rule, the further north the down comes from, the better quality it will be.
What are Baffles?
If the comforter is baffled, it means that it has been stitched straight through, horizontally and vertically, creating square ‘boxes’ or baffles. That keeps the down evenly distributed across the comforter.
Avoid comforters that only have all straight lines – either only horizontal, or only vertical. The down will always ‘clump’ at one end, leading to cold spots and a lumpy comforter.
What is Fill Power?
The fill power is how many cubic inches are filled by each ounce of down. A 50oz comforter would have a total weight of 50oz of down.
The more cubic inches an ounce of down occupies, the more air it will trap and the more warmth the comforter will have, per ounce. The higher the fill power – the better the quality.
What is the shell?
The shell is the outer surface of the comforter. The most expensive are covered in silk jacquard. The shell can also be 100% cotton, sateen cottons, cambric cottons, cotton chintz, chenille and velvets.
Taking Care of your Down Comforter
It’s advisable to put a cover on a down comforter, to keep it clean. Down comforters may be washed but only once every few years and only then, if really necessary.
Over washing can damage the down and it’s not a job for a washing machine at home. Use a big commercial machine. When the down is wet the comforter
may smell pungent. This is natural and will disappear once it’s dry.
Store your comforter in a dry place as mildew can ruin a down comforter. Make sure the comforter is completely dry before storing in a cotton bag – never plastic.
A Synthetic-Down Comforter
This is another way to avoid the feather allergy. These comforters are great for children as they are easy to wash. A good quality synthetic down comforter is comparable to a 550 fill power down one.
All Cotton Comforter
Comforters with a cotton shell and 100% cotton fill are medium weight, since cotton is heavier than down.
These are only good for warm weather, as cotton is not a great insulator.
These are perfect for anyone with allergies as dust mites cannot live on silk. Both the shell and the filling are 100% silk. This gives a beautifully soft and luxurious comforter. Silk is also able to adapt to changes in your body temperature – it you’re hot it feels cool and when you’re cold it’s cosy. A perfect all-rounder and they don’t have to be the most expensive option! Shop around for the best deals.