Down comforters: how to choose one
You should consider your purchase of a down comforter as an investment. While
polyester-filled products will lose much of their lofting and insulating ability
after a short time, a well-cared-for down comforter may last a lifetime. You can't
judge a book by its cover, and you can't judge a down comforter by its weight.
Quality is what matters not quantity and the right comforter can keep you warm
in the winter and cool in the summer. You may have to invest a little more, but
it will pay off in the long run. A "Fill Power" of 650 or better is
desirable, resulting in a lighter yet warmer down comforter. The finest goose
down comes from Hungary and Poland. Down is natural, lightweight and breathable.
Down comforters can be for year-round use.
A good quality down comforter will provide lightweight warmth, serve as a natural
insulator keeping in your body heat, be allergy free, and make for a cozy, inviting
bed. Price point is determined by the quality of the down, not by its weight.
Two key elements to look for when choosing a down comforter: FILL POWER and THREAD
FILL POWER: Fill power can tell you a lot about your comforter.
On highest quality down comforters, you will typically see fill power listed
(or how fluffy the comforter is). It is the measure for the amount of space
one ounce of down takes up. The higher the fill power, the better the insulating
ability and loft a down comforter will have. Fill power provides a good measure
of warmth and quality. Why is fill power information important? A higher number
on the fill power (typically a range of 600-800) means the comforter will be
fluffier, warmer and last longer. Even though higher fill power costs more,
in the long run it is worth having.
THREAD COUNT: Thread count represents the number of threads
per square inch of fabric. Select down comforters will have a quality fabric
with a high thread count. The higher thread count provides softness, durability
and will keep the fill from getting out and impurities from getting in. It also
means a tighter weave for a softer and silkier feel to the fabric.
Use and Care
Down comforters can't be tossed into your washing machine at home for two reasons.
Home washing machines are too small, and the agitator in the center will do
just that agitate it, which causes stress on the comforter. Take it to a Laundromat
with a front load washer, or have it professionally cleaned.
Avoid harsh detergents and excessive heat because they will cause the down
to become brittle and dry.
Completely dry the comforter for several hours so it does not stay damp and
become moldy. Check it carefully for any wet spots or clumps. Put a tennis ball
in the dryer to help keep your comforter fluffy. As mentioned, this will always
be better achieved in a large size machine, giving the comforter plenty of room
to fluff and dry completely.
What if I have allergies?
Few people are actually allergic to down. For the most part, people are allergic
to the dust, dirt and other allergens in the down. Look for allergy-free comforters
that are cleaned with a process that eliminates the impurities from the down,
making them hypoallergenic. It also helps your comforter stay lofty and fluffy
since the down is not weighed down by dirt.
How to keep it fluff
It takes approximately 72 hours to achieve maximum loft. Once you take your
new comforter out of the packaging, place it on your bed and watch it grow!
To keep it fluff, fluff your comforter daily and air it outside a few times
a year in non-humid weather for a few hours. Drape it horizontally rather than
vertically or on a clothesline. You can also throw it into a dryer on low heat
along with a couple of tennis balls to fluff it up nicely.