The best goose down comforters for winter 2016-2017

Last updated: January 14, 2017

The best down comforters: we’ve found 3 that are so warm and fluffy you won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Some people are fanatical about their goose down comforters. It’s easy to see why. Goose down is one of the warmest and yet lightest types of bedding you can buy. The down feathers float against each other and interlock to trap warm air in between your body and the cold environment of your bedroom. This is how a down comforter keeps you warm and dry unlike polyester comforters that make you sweat like you’re in a sauna.

We wanted to find comforters that:
  • would keep you warm and cozy on the coldest nights
  • was light and fluffy without being thin and flat
  • well stitched so you don’t end up with feathers leaking all over your bedroom
  • came with a strong guarantee and years-long warranty
  • reasonably priced so you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands to sleep like a king

See the top 3 winter comforters

One commenter on apartmenttherapy.com even spent his whole paycheck on a bedding set.

I once spend my entire paycheck on a luxury goose down comforter and four goose down pillows. 20 years later, I still use that comforter 9 months out of the year. I have since replaced the pillows, but the originals are in the dog’s “cozy corner”.
Best investment ever.
ParsleyCarrots

We’re not saying that you need to re-mortgage your house and sell your first born to get a quality comforter and a good night’s sleep.

Though at the very least you will want to avoid budget comforters as these cheap comforters come with a variety of problems, some of which won’t show up until after 1-2 years of usage.

This is one instance where it’s smarter to pay slightly more than average prices so you don’t have to replace the product in a couple of years.

Get the top 3 rated comforters for winter

Problems with cheap down comforters

  • They’re often filled with “down alternative” materials which means they are made from polyester. Polyester doesn’t breathe so you’ll end up waking up drenched in sweat and kicking your comforter to the foot of the bed in the middle of the night.
  • Down alternative fillings also feel limp and flat, kinda like those cheap blankets you get in those “bedding in a bag” sets from TJ Maxx.
  • Down alternative also doesn’t hold up well to washing. The filling will turn lumpy after a couple washings and tumbles in the dryer.
  • Cheap down comforters are filled with a blend of goose down (which is good) and cheaper duck down. Duck down is less expensive and not as light and fluffy as goose down. Duck down is also coarser and stiffer so you’ll occasionally feel pricks from the duck feathers poking through the comforter.
  • Less expensive comforters often use a lower thread count cotton fabric for the shell. This is bad because a lower thread count means the fabric is not as tightly woven and feathers can leak out of the comforter. The fabric shell will also feel rough and cheap instead of soft and silky. If you don’t want to chase feather dust bunnies around your bedroom be sure to get a comforter with a thread count of 300+. This is important! Remember to get a comforter that has a 300+ thread count 100% cotton shell.

How much do you have to spend to get a good down comforter?

The sweet spot for quality down comforters seems to be between $250-$500 for a king comforter and $100-$400 for a queen. Anything above this price range and you’re paying for luxury features like high thread count Egyptian cotton and the warmest 800 fill power European goose down. At the most extreme end of the market, you’ll even find comforters filled with hand-harvested Icelandic Eiderdown which can fetch prices of $10000+ for a medium warmth comforter.

3 winter comforters that don’t cost a fortune

 There are several brands of comforters in the $100-$200 price range. While these are not the best quality, they are pretty good all season down comforters. If this is all your budget allows for, then you should get the Pacific Coast Stratus Comforter. The Stratus down comforter is fluffy and warm enough for most winters unless you’re living in the Arctic. The fabric of the comforter feels smooth and tight and we didn’t notice any feathers escaping out. Do be aware that the warranty is only 10 years. As long as you remember to use a duvet cover, do not wash the comforter too often, and rotate the comforter so the feathers redistribute evenly, it will last for many years.

Another choice is the Amazon Pinzon Medium Warmth White Goose Down Comforter. The same care rules apply. Treat it gently and the comforter should last for many years.

What are the best down comforters under $100?

If you are on a really tight budget, there are some summer weight down throws and duvets under $100 such as the Puredown Lightweight Down Comforter or the Pacific Coast Down Blanket. While these lightweight blankets are perfect for spring or summer, they are far too thin if you keep your room under 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.

While there are a couple cheaper year-round down comforters for less than $100, you are sacrificing quality and workmanship at this price range. Expect to find blended goose and duck down filling, loose stitching which will lead to shifting and leaking feathers, low thread count fabric which will also lead to escaping feathers, and maybe a short 1-3 year warranty.

For these reasons, I cannot recommend any low value comforters. Instead, sav e up for a couple more months until you can afford one of the entry-level down comforters in the $150-$200 price range.

Our criteria for a quality down comforter – a short buying guide

Here’s what you need to look for when you buy a down comforter. These features separate quality comforters from inferior products.

  • One common term you’ll notice is “fill power” which describes the down’s ability to trap air and keep you warm. You will notice that a all high quality comforters are made with high fill power down. Higher fill power means that less down is required to keep you warm so you’ll get a warmer but lighter and fluffier comforter. Average fill power is around 400-500 cubic inches of loft per ounce. You should look for comforters with 500+ fill power. Fill power can go up to 800-900 for the very best down.
  • The amount of down inside is measured in ounces. A medium weight comforter that you can use in bedroom temperatures from 50F-75F should have at least this much down inside:
    • Twin: 16 oz.
    • Queen/Full: 32 oz.
    • King: 40 oz.
  • Make sure the cotton shell is down-proof so your comforters won’t leak feathers. You want a 100% cotton shell with a thread-count of at least 300. High thread count means the fabric is tightly woven and cotton (instead of polyester) means air can flow in and out of the comforter to wick away moisture and body heat.
  • Look for the words “baffle stitch” or “baffle box”. Baffle boxes are strips of fabric inside the comforter that allow down inside to expand inside the two sides of the comforter. Comforters with baffles are fluffier and warmer because the down can puff up instead of being squished in between two layers of fabric. You can think of down filled baffle boxes as little individual down pillows inside your comforter.

Are there any comforters that will last for a lifetime?

If you want a quality down comforter that will remain soft and fluffy as a cloud for more than 10 years, then you will need to spend a bit more. Luxury goose down comforters in the $500+ range will have a lifespan of decades.

At this higher price, you can find quality features such as:

  • 500+ fill power down feathers which are plusher, warmer, more durable, and will give you the fluffiest down comforter.
  • pure goose down which is often ethically processed and in some cases, even hand picked
  • tight and close stitching which will seal in feathers and prevent shifting and bunching
  • a high thread count shell fabric that is soft to the touch and tight enough to block leaking feathers
  • baffle box construction which will keep the feathers in place and prevent lumpy spots and cold spots
  • more ounces of down feathers inside for a thicker and warmer winter comforter
  • A longer warranty of at least 10 years

The top rated down comforters in the luxury range are the Pacific Coast Luxury White Goose Down Comforter and the Cuddledown 900 Fill Power Batiste Down Comforter.


Our picks for the highest rated down comforters this winter

Our Top 3 PicksRating
Why It's Great
Compare Prices
Warm Things Supremium baffle box medium goose down comforter

5.0 out of 5.0
 


Medium warmth comforter that can be used year round in bedroom temperatures of (50F-75F)

Filled with 700 fill power European goose down, the highest quality goose down in the world for exceptional lightness and warmth

390 thread count 100% cotton shell is leak-proof so down feathers don't leak out all over your bed

True baffle boxes means that the comforter can fluff up to 2" high

Made in the USA in Northern California
Check Prices
Pinzon extra warmth white down comforter


4.5 out of 5.0
 


Comes in a medium warmth version for bedroom temperatures around 50F-75F and an extra warmth version for cold sleepers who get bone deep chills, northern winters, and bedroom temperatures below 50F

14" baffle boxes means this comforter will fluff up to 2" high for extra softness

Filled with 60 ounces of 550 fill power white down for extra warmth

400 thread count 100% cotton shell is leak-proof and keeps feathers inside

US orders qualify for free shipping

Covered by Amazon's generous a-to-z returns and exchanges guarantee

Made in the USA
Check Prices
Pacific Coast Embrace comforter


4.0 out of 5.0
 


Good Housekeeping's best rated comforter in 2010

Medium warmth is perfect for bedroom temperatures all year long (50F-75F)

No shift border keeps down in the center of the comforter

300 thread count 100% cotton shell is down-proof so feathers won't leak out

Filled with high quality 550 fill power goose down for extra warmth and lightness

Covered by a 10 year limited warranty
Returns and exchanges covered by a 30 night comfort guarantee

Made in the USA
Check Prices

*At the time of publication. Today’s prices may differ.


What’s up with the labeling of down bedding? Why isn’t it 100% goose down inside? Am I getting ripped-off?

If you take a look at the tag on a down comforter or down pillow you’ll notice that it says in big bold letters that the contents inside are not 100% down!

“Down — consisting of a minimum of 80 percent down and a maximum of 20 percent waterfowl feathers and down or feather fiber.”

Why is this? Is the company trying to pull one over by filling the comforter with inferior materials? Not exactly. The reason for this strange wording is because of the Federal Trade Commissions labeling requirements due to the very nature of the process used to harvest down.

The only difference between down and regular feathers is where they are plucked from the body of a goose. Down consists of the soft feathers that grow on the belly of a goose while “feathers” refers to the feathers everywhere else.

It is impossible to sort through and filter out all “non down” feathers on a mass manufacturing scale. To do so would mean that somebody has to go through each batch of feathers by hand which is not economically feasible.

So that label is there to tell you that, yes it might not be 100% down inside your comforter, but it is at the very least 80% down inside with the rest being feathers that get mixed in incidentally. The industry standard is a “minimum of 75% down” before the company can claim that their product is filled with goose down.

How can I keep my down comforter from clumping?

It’s a good idea to fluff up your comforter and rotate it 180 degrees every couple of weeks. Over time the down inside can shift towards the foot of the bed and you’ll end up with a thick comforter at your feet but no down inside your comforter at your shoulders. By flipping the comforter over on a regular basis you can keep the down from settling in the sides and corners of the comforter.

Compare the 3 best comforters of the year

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