Is there really a difference between down and feather pillows and duvets? The answer is, absolutely, yes, although many people don’t really understand exactly what makes the two so different.
There’s is no doubt that if you’re ready to buy new pillows or a new duvet, but you don’t understand what you should be looking at and why, it can be quite a challenge to get something that is just right for you. That’s why we’ve taken the time to create our buying guides to help you make the right decision.
In order to make the process that much easier, we’ve put together a small guide here, which compares both feather and down, as well as looking at what makes them such great additions to your bedroom.
Down is a fine layer of fluffy, spherical feathers that are found under the exterior feather of a bird, usually the belly. The composition of down feathers make them softer and lighter than others and also adds to the airy and insulate properties they possess.
A down cluster also has lots of natural spring back, which makes products lofty and long-lasting. Generally, the thicker the clusters the better insulation they provide.
Often, down is available in either duck or goose. Many people will chose goose, simply because geese have larger down clusters and fluffier feathers, which gives them better insulating properties and longevity.
Birds have feathers to help them fly, but they also keep them warm and dry. Unlike down, these are larger and heavier. This is mainly due to their quill, which runs down the middle of the feather and the strands attached to it are thicker.
Again, unlike down, the feathers are long and flat (rather than spherical), so more of them are needed for them to provide the same insulation.
This difference is what makes feather bedding generally cheaper and heavier than down.
Why Feather or Down?
Many people favour sleeping on or beneath feather or down bedding because they believe the comfort aids in better sleep. But, what is it about them that makes such a difference to our quality of sleep?
Both feather and down are great for keeping you warm, but they won’t make you feel too warm and uncomfortable. If you think about the purpose they serve naturally – insulating ducks and geese in all weathers – it’s easy to see why they are so good at maintaining a suitable temperature during the night.
As you don’t need many feather or down to keep you warm, the bedding is light and the fluffy texture enables bedding such as duvets, to trap warm air.
Not only this, the lofty structure also allows moisture, such as perspiration, to evaporate which keeps you cool and dry. All of these factors create a perfect micro-climate to seep in.