About Down

Down clusters are shaftless feather-like tufts which grow on geese and ducks. Pieces of down have an almost invisible core where miniscule filaments with tiny barbs grow in all directions. These barbs help to evenly distribute the down inside quilt compartments so that down duvets provide an even layer of warmth free of bare cold patches.

There is only one indicator used when measuring the quality of down, and that is fill power. Higher fill power means more air is trapped within the down which translates to a warmer, more insulating duvet.

Down or Feathers?

In addition to down, duvets and pillows can also contain feathers. Unlike down, feathers have a clear shaft that results in a lower fill power. It is also easier for feathers to escape from duvets with low quality ticking. Duvets and pillows that are filled with some combination of down and feathers feel firmer than those filled only with down. For cushions and pillows, this can be an advantage. But when it comes to duvets, most people prefer to have the highest possible down percentage.

Goose or Duck Down?

There is a common misconception that goose down is vastly superior than duck down. It is true that the insulating capacity of goose down is slightly higher than that of duck down (a duck down cluster has 87% of the insulating capacity of a goose down cluster of equal size). Goose down is more popular, and therefore more expensive, than duck down. In any case, high quality duck down is preferable to a lower quality goose down.

Canadian or Hungarian Goose?

Another misconception is that the origin of down is an indication of its quality. This is absolutely not the case. Down from a certain country is not necessarily better than that from another country. Similarly, down from colder countries is not superior to or more insulating than down from countries with milder climates.

Eiderdown

The most exclusive type of down is eiderdown. This is gathered from the eider duck, and is mainly produced in Iceland. Here the eider ducks are “kept”, and at the end of the breeding season the nests are manually cleared, resulting in around 20 grams of down per clutch. Due to the small quantities produced, eiderdown is a very exclusive product, a fact reflected in its price. Eiderdown typically has a distinctive brown colour.

Down regulations

Since 2001, legislation in Europe requires firms to inform consumers of the composition of down duvets and pillows using the EN12934 standard. The labels on down duvets must include the following information:

- Origin
- Colour of filling
- Down / feather ratio expressed as percentages
- Division into classes (Class I to Class III for goose and duck)

-> Class I: Only new down and feathers may be processed
-> Class II: Recycled down and feathers or other filling materials up to 15%
-> Class III: Percentage of 'foreign' filling may be more than 15%

All of our down products are of the highest quality and are classified Class I.

Where possible we note the fill power of the down in our duvets so that customers may have an objective measure of their quality.


Down Duvet Buyer's Guide

Choose your duvet in 4 simple steps

  1. Duvet size: Which duvet size do I need?
  2. Tog: Choose the right tog
  3. Fill power: What is Fill Power?
  4. Duvet fabric: Good down belongs in a good fabric

Compare all down duvets by duvet price, size, season, brand, fill power, fabric and down.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask us!
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