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What You Need to Know: Down vs. Down Alternative

We’re telling you everything to know about down and down alternatives, so you can find your best rest.

When you’re shopping for new bedding, it can be pretty easy to get wildly overwhelmed. There are tons of categories to choose from in comforters alone, from goose down duvets all the way to down alternative comforters. So, how can you possibly know which one is right for you? Which one are you supposed to pick? Is there even a difference?

At Skylark+Owl, we offer both down and down alternative products for our customers. Both have their benefits, making it a completely personal choice for each and every sleeper. Here’s everything you need to know about down vs. down alternatives so that you can make the best decision for your best rest.  

Canadian Hutterite Down Duvet insert

Down. vs. Down Alternative

When we’re talking about down and down alternative, we’re really just speaking about the filling inside your pillows or duvets. With down and down alternative, you’re going to get one thing, no matter what... and that’s coziness. However, while both down and down alternative fillings are perfect to nestle up with at night, they’re a little different. 

Down, which is made from goose or duck feathers, is a more expensive (but very high-quality) filling that maximizes fluff and comfort. Pure down-filled comforters are usually packed with filling that comes straight from a duck or a goose, and it’s next-level fluffy. We’re partial to duck down duvets, which are perfect for a high loft, a thick fill and a ton of comfort. Oftentimes, down can be sourced unethically, which is why it’s vital to find a company like Skylark+Owl that focuses on humane, responsible sourcing.

Down alternative, which can be made from a variety of materials, is a less expensive (but still quality) filling that works great for those with allergies or a budget. While there are a few materials that can make a good down alternative comforter, we love a 100% polyester fill that is designed to stay full like duck or goose down. Down alternative filling is also hypoallergenic, avoiding the discomfort that some experience from goose feathers.

Warmth Scale

Once you’ve decided on your ideal filling, whether you’re looking for goose down duvets or down alternative comforters, it’s time to decide on the type of warmth that’s best for you. Duck and goose down duvets are going to be a little warmer, all the while staying light and fluffy for optimal loft and comfort on your bed. Down alternative tends to run a little cooler than duck and goose down, but can be just as cozy.

If you’re looking for a warmer, heavier feel — but that’s not stifling — go for a duck or goose down duvet. If you’re a hot sleeper, looking for a cozy blanket that’s not too warming, go for a down alternative blanket. 

What to Look For

After you’ve found a filling you love and a cozy level you’re happy with, you’re at the best part of the task: finding a comforter or duvet from a company you trust. After all, what other way is there to make sure you’re buying the best bedding for the job?

Down: When looking for down, you need to focus on two things: ethical treatment and supply chain tracking. At Skylark+Owl we use Hutterite duck down, which is farmed in Alberta completely ethically. When sourcing out your duck or goose down filling, we’d always recommend searching for a company like Skylark+Owl that uses down filling certified by the International Down and Feather Laboratory  (IDFL).

When held to the IDFL Standard, fillings are guaranteed ethical sourcing from the top-down, which means you can rest easy… literally.

Alternative Down: In alternative down, you have an important choice to make: the certain alternative down filling that you’d like to use. Alternative down uses a variety of man-made fillings as its fluff, and you’ll usually be able to pick between polyester, cotton or even bamboo. At Skylark+Owl we use synthetic polyester fill, since it best mimics the feel of goose and duck down without the possible allergens.

No matter what fill or warmth you decide on, we’ve got you covered (literally) with Skylark+Owl. Choose between our  Canadian Hutterite Down Duvet, ourDown Alternative Duvet Comforter or ourDown Alternative Duvet Blanket

Our reminders? Search for sustainability, pick for your desired warmth and do your research. Sweet dreams!

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