Hungarian vs Siberian Goose Down

Goose down

While searching for the right duvet for you, you may have encountered vendors emphasizing 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 goose'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 is the best. Or Siberian, or that of any other region.

One of the most common errors is associating colder climates with higher quality down. In reality, birds native to colder climates do not produce better down than those originating from warmer regions. Instead, the birds simply produce more down to compensate for the colder temperatures – the actual quality of the down remains the same.

There are other factors which affect the quality of a down product, though. Age is the most important. The most insulating down comes from mature birds.

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.

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Fill Power

The quality and effectiveness of down is measured in fill power. 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 precisely why as down quality increases, the volume of down required to provide the same insulation decreases.

If you prefer a down duvet that feels a little heavier, find a duvet that has down with lower fill power or larger percentage of feathers. By contrast, if you prefer an ultra-light yet very warm duvet, high fill power is the way to go. No matter whether it’s Canadian, Hungarian or Polish goose down that goes into the quilt, it is fill power that will determine its properties.

Down with a higher fill power rating will also last longer because its fibers are less fragile. With a higher fill power, your duvet will be relatively warmer, lighter and last longer than a duvet with lesser quality down.

The best down goes is used for the best goose down duvet

The Siberian Goose Down Myth

To the uninitiated, a duvet marketed as being filled with Siberian Down might sound like the best option for staying snug during a cold winter. Surely a bird living under ‘Siberian circumstances’ should have some phenomenal down, right? In reality, the weather in Siberia makes large scale goose breeding or even winter habitation by geese impossible. Permafrost and winter temperatures which drop below -50 ° Celsius prevent any species of geese from wintering in Siberia.

Yet there are many products being sold which claim to be filled with "Siberian Down". It is unclear what this means. Several institutions have tried to verify the origins of this so-called Siberian down without success.

We can tell you something about the outcome of those investigations though.

  • There is actually a species called the Siberian Goose or Branta ruficollis. It is a rather rare species that breeds on the Siberian Taimyr Peninsula and winters along the shores of the Black Sea. It is an endangered and protected species.

  • This Siberian goose is not white, but it is black and red coloured. Its endangered status and colour make it an unlikely candidate as the origin of this fabled Siberian Goose down.

Maybe there is goose farming in Siberia then, and so the name ‘Siberian Goose Down’ derives from the location rather than from the species? This is not the case either.

As of now, we have not been able to find any evidence of geese being bred in Siberia.

So Where Does Goose Down Come From Then?

China is the biggest supplier of goose down in the world. The best goose down though comes from European countries such as Poland, Hungary and France. And then of course we have Canada and more exotic places of origin like Great Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, Serbia and Romania.

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 the fill power of the down which tells you something about the quality, not its origin. That said, the down industry and harvesting methods do vary somewhat by country.

Hungary

Hungary

The world's main source of high quality goose down. Hungary provides mainly white and semi-white goose down which is used in our range of Hungarian down duvet products.

Poland

Poland

Just like Hungary, Poland is a traditional exporter of premium quality goose down. The most famous area for down harvesting is the Masurian Lake District.

France

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

Canada

The Western regions of Canada are famous for their down. Just like the geese in the Pyrenees, the Canadian goose is a guaranteed source of excellent down. And then of course there is Hutterite down, which is one of the best varieties in our opinion.

Greenland, Iceland

Greenland, Iceland

Eiderdown comes from Greenland and Iceland, the main countries where eider ducks nests. The eider duck provides us with the most exclusive and expensive down there is, eiderdown.

Romania

Romania""

Europe's greatest wetland, the Danube Delta, harvests a lot of smaller geese farms that provide excellent quality white and grey goose down.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is home to a lot of duck farms, some of which produce high quality duck down.

UK

UK

Goose down from the UK is available only in smaller volumes. Down from the Scottish Highlands is especially popular.

What Really Matters

Here at Downduvet.co.uk, we understand exactly what contributes to product quality when it comes to down duvets and pillows. 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 fill power. Or if you have any questions about down quality, origins or types, get in touch with our customer service team anytime.


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!
020 3129 5731 (working days 9am – 4pm, GMT)