Hungarian vs Siberian Goose Down

While undertaking the research to find your dream duvet, you may have encountered vendors emphasising that their goose down is superior because it is Siberian, Canadian, or Hungarian. Don’t be misled into believing the origin of the down is an indicator of quality. Contrary to popular belief, a bird's country of origin has little to no bearing on the quality of its down. Different countries harvest down in different ways, leading some to claim that Hungarian down is the best, others that Siberia, or some other region, produces the world’s finest down.

It is a common misconception that colder climates breed ducks and geese with higher quality down. In truth, down originating from warmer regions can be just as good as that from colder climes. The weather simply isn’t a deciding factor. In colder areas, birds produce more down to compensate for the colder temperatures – their down is more plentiful, but not any better.

There are other factors which affect the quality of a bird’s down. Age is the most important. The most insulating down comes from mature birds.

Fill Power

The quality and effectiveness of down is measured in down fill power. The fill power rating value is calculated by measuring how many cubic inches an ounce of down creates at its maximum loft. The higher the fill power rating, the more extensive the air chambers within the down and thus the more effective its insulating properties. This is why as down quality increases, the amount of down required to provide the same insulation decreases.

If you prefer a down duvet that feels a little heavier, then order a duvet with lower fill power or one which utilises a larger percentage of feathers. By contrast, if you prefer an ultra-light, yet very warm duvet, then choose one with high fill power. No matter whether it’s Canadian, Hungarian, or Polish goose down that goes into the quilt, it is fill power that determines quality.

Down with a higher fill power rating will also last longer because its fibres are less fragile. In summation, higher fill power means a relatively warmer, lighter duvet which lasts longer.

Different sorts of down with different fill power

So Where Does Goose Down Come From?

China is the largest producer of goose down in the world. But its supply, while extensive, is not the best in terms of quality. The best goose down comes from European countries, such as Poland, Hungary, and France. Down from other areas such as Canada, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, Serbia and Romania also produces excellent duvets.

Poland, Hungary, and other European nations have a long tradition of raising geese and ducks into adulthood. This results in generally higher grades of down. As you’ve already read, it is fill power which indicates down's quality, not its country of origin. That said, the down industry and harvesting methods do vary somewhat by country.

Hungary

Small map of Hungary

Hungary is the largest producer of high-quality goose down. The country is notable for the history and maturity of its down industry, and the white and semi-white colour of its goose down. A variety of duvets in our collection are filled Hungarian down.

Poland

Small map of Poland

Just like Hungary, Poland has a long tradition of raising geese and exporting their premium down. The most famous area for down harvesting is the scenic Masurian Lake District.

France

Small map of France

The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. This area is renowned for geese that provide superb quality down. It is very popular with manufacturers all over the world.

Canada

Small map of Canada

The Western provinces of Canada are famous for their down. Just like those in the Pyrenees, Canadian geese produce excellent down. The country is also famous for its Hutterite down, which we find to be one of the finest varieties.

Greenland and Iceland

Small map of Greenland and Iceland

Eiderdown comes from Greenland and Iceland, the lands in which eider ducks nest. The eider duck provides us with the most exclusive and expensive down there is: eiderdown. Harvested from abandoned nests using traditional methods in isolated communities, eiderdown has the distinction of being ethical as well as the most excellent variety of down.

Romania

Small map of Romania

The Romanian Danube Delta, Europe's greatest wetland, is an excellent habitat for geese. Huge populations supply a wealth of quality white and grey goose down.

Czech Republic

Small map of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has long been home to duck farms. Many of these produce high quality duck down for export.

United Kingdom

Small map of the UK

Though the quantity is small, the quality of goose down from the UK is among the highest, to say nothing of the standards upheld by the industry. Down from the Scottish Highlands is especially popular.

What Really Matters

Here at Downduvet.co.uk, we understand exactly what makes for quality down duvets. We focus on what really matters: fill power (and of course outstanding value for money).

You can find out more about fill power and choosing the right products in accordance with your preferences on our page about down fill power. If you have any questions about down quality, origins, or types, then get in touch with our customer service team at any time!

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. Ticking: Good down belongs in a good ticking

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

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