Best Down Alternative Comforters
Explore our favorite down alternative comforters available online.
May 14th, 2021 •
Down comforters are amazing, but they don’t work for everyone. They can be pricey and many of us have allergies to the feathers. What can we buy that is just as comfortable without the allergy factor? Down alternative, of course! We have scoured the marketplace for the most comfortable, luxurious, and close to down options for down alternative comforters. Check out our selections below.
Our Top Picks for the Best Down Alternative Comforters
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Editor’s Pick: Brooklinen – Alternative Down Comforter
Perhaps the picture says it all, but this award-winning Brooklinen Alternative Down Comforter is one of the most well-loved and best reviewed comforters out there. Wrap yourself in total contentment for the best sleep of your life.
The comforter is made from shaved microfibers that are vegan, allergy friendly, and made in the USA. These comforters are OEKO-TEK certified, meaning it has been tested against harmful chemicals. Brooklinen uses box stitching to keep the filling distributed evenly so it retains a great look and feel. It comes in two weights, an all-season for most climates, and a lightweight for warm climates and people who sleep hot.
- Price: $179.00-$269.00
- Sizes: Twin/Twin XL, Full/Queen, King/California King
- Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars, 670 reviews
Best Thread Count: The Company Store – Legends® Luxury Geneva PrimaLoft® Deluxe Down Alternative Comforter
This comforter is filled with classic PrimaLoft that mimics down in an unprecedented way. Soft and fluffy, you won’t be missing anything but the sneezing. The shell is a luxurious cotton sateen with a 400-thread count, that comes in two colors, ivory and white. The construction of the comforter is sewn through so the fill can’t shift or bunch which can make a comforter lopsided. It has a generous 15-inch drop on either side of the bed and comes in three weights for warmth; medium-warmth, extra-warmth, and ultra-warmth to accommodate any season or part of the country you live in.
Tip: Use with a duvet for easy regular washing. Comforter should be cleaned periodically (at least yearly), and this one is dry clean only.
- Price: $249.00-$359.00
- Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King
- Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 6 reviews
Most Eco-Friendly: Buffy – Alternative Down Comforter
Claiming to be the earth’s softest comforter, the Buffy is another great choice for a down alternative. The cover is made from eucalyptus that is softer than cotton, and the fill is made from recycled plastic keeping 50 bottles out of the landfill for every comforter made. This down alternative is a great temperature regulator and meant to be used in all seasons. The feel is cloud-like, and it easily tucks around you for ultimate comfort.
Buffy strives to be environmentally friendly, noting that in addition to limiting landfill they protect 12 geese by not using feathers. This comforter is hypoallergenic and repels dust mites and other microorganisms for a healthy sleep environment.
- Price: $160.00-$200.00
- Sizes: Full/Queen, King/California King
- Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars, 687 reviews
Best Value: L.L. Bean Ultrasoft Cotton Comforter
This comforter is easy care and a great value. Cotton outside, synthetic inside, it is made with a 230-thread count, 100% cotton cover and a polyester and Tencel filling that wicks moisture and has the added advantage of drying quickly after washing. The design is a box stitch, easily visible in the picture, so the filling won’t move around and the comforter stays uniform. It has brushed cotton for a super soft feel and is designed to keep you cool in summer and warm and cozy in winter. The fabric is further tested against harmful chemicals and OEKO-TEK certified to insure you aren’t sleeping with any toxic substances. It comes in six colors and is machine wash and dry.
- Price: $109.00-$149.00
- Sizes: Twin, Full/Queen, King
- Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 140 reviews
First There Was Down: A Brief History
Down comforters date back to the Vikings circa 700-800 CE. By the 16th century, they became popular in Europe, and from that point on, we can find lots of references in popular literature to people sleeping with down covers. They did not gain a solid foothold in the United States until the 1970’s due to marketing for warmth during the energy crisis.
Prior to down, we had comforters of cotton and wool that were heavy and hard to mold to the body. Down was a completely different experience: light and fluffy and moldable, offering great comfort and warmth.
A surge of down alternative comforters hit the marketplace in response to the “downside of down comforters,” namely, they are expensive, they can trigger allergies and asthma, and they are not vegan. However, they are extremely comfortable, so manufacturers sought to replicate the feel of down with other materials that were less costly and hypoallergenic. These “down-alternative” comforters caught on and sold well, now constituting a substantial share of the bedding market.
Down and Down Alternative, What is the Difference Exactly?
The difference between these two favorite types of comforter is the fill. One is filled with the small under feathers of swans, ducks, or geese, the other is filled with something else. The something else can be natural or synthetic, and the amount of fill helps determine the warmth of the comforter.
Natural options include silk, bamboo, cotton, wool, or buckwheat. Synthetic varieties are made from microfibers in various forms or gel fibers. Some down alternative comforters are manufactured in a way that does a good job of replicating the feel of down, others not so much.
How to Care for Your Comforter
- Reading the care instructions: Your comforter’s label will tell you things like whether or not it needs to be dry cleaned, and some alternative down comforters do need professional dry cleaning. Most comforters can be washed at home, even if the label recommends dry cleaning, but you run the risk of the filling clumping. If the item is washable then follow any label directions to ensure the best outcome.
- Keep Track of when you last washed your comforter: Your comforter only needs washing once or twice a year or even less. If you have a good cover (duvet) you can wash that every couple of weeks, and the comforter will remain protected. If you have a colored comforter that is used without a duvet, then plan to wash it more regularly. Make a note when you wash it so you can track how long it is between washings.
- Check washer size: Most residential washers can wash up to a queen-size comforter. If you have a king size or small European washer, you may need to use a laundromat with a larger machine. Another option is to hand wash your comforter in the tub, just rinse really well and squeeze out water, don’t ring.
- Choose mild detergent: To keep the comforter intact and extend its life, use a mild, natural detergent. Harsh soap, although it will kill bacteria, can break down the fibers and shorten the life of the comforter.
- Water temperature: Cool to warm water is recommended. If you have allergies and need to do a hot water wash to kill bacteria, you can do 130 degrees Fahrenheit, or 54 degrees Celsius, to kill any bugs, but it will hasten the life of the comforter. You could also opt for a cooler wash and then set the dryer to a higher heat.
- Use dryer balls: To ensure a fluffy comforter without any clumped material, add clean tennis balls or dryer balls to push apart the fibers while drying. Dryer balls are available in stores and online. They come in felted wool, plastic, and other assorted materials.
Down alternative comforters are a great option for the feather shy or those on a budget. A good down alternative comforter can last for many years and give essentially the same comfort and warmth as down. Do some research or choose from one of our top four picks and surround yourself is fluffy softness for an amazing night’s sleep.a healthy sleep environment for your child.
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