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About Down Comforters and Pillows

About Down Comforters and Pillows

Down comforters and pillows come in all price ranges; it can get quite confusing.

Here are the answers to some common questions.

a) What is the quality of the down?

All textiles start with the quality of raw materials. Premium down is comes from a large cluster that traps warmth. This loft is measured in fill power; the higher the fill power, the "puffier" the comforter or pillow. You will also need less quantity of down to keep you warm.

Department store down comforters are typically a 650 fill power; our premium comforters and pillows are 850 fill power and even 1000 fill power.

b) How much down is used? What is the percentage of down vs. feathers?

The same quality down and construction, but a heavy winter weight, will cost more than the summer weight. So make sure that the vendor indicates the ounces (or grams) of down in the comforter/pillow.

In order for a comforter or pillow to be labeled as a down product in the US, only 80% needs to be down with the rest feathers. Christian Fischbacher down from Switzerland is almost 100% down with only minute traces of feather.

a) What is the country of origin?

Most down products sold in the US come from China, and are a by-product of the food industry. The geese are raised primarily for food, and the down is plucked from dead animals. In addition, when a product is simply labeled "down", it may be duck down which is inferior to goose down. The exception is eider down which is rare, expensive and the ultimate in down luxury.

Premium, high loft down comes from Poland, Hungary, Canada and Iceland (eider duck down). You may be interested in St. Geneve which uses Canadian Hutterite down for their Lajord comforters and pillows, as well as wild Canadian goose down in the James Bay collection and exclusive eiderdown.

a) How is the comforter constructed?

Quality of construction whether in the clothing industry or in home goods is always a factor in cost. Small, even stitches and whether the comforter is sewn through or has a baffle box affect the price. A baffle box is an interior wall that separates the top layer of fabric from the bottom layer, and prevents the down from shifting while maintaining the higher loft.

a) What is the quality of the covering?

A premium cover should always be down proof to prevent the down from escaping. In addition, a lightweight fine fabric such as cotton batiste or silk makes for a more comfortable sleep than a course, thick cover.

Return to Comforters and Pillows to make your selection or contact Aiko Luxury Linens where a knowledgeable member of our staff will assist you.