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Down Comforter Shopping Guide

Value is More Than a Price Consideration

We've Seen This, Time and Again

Many of our customers come to us after purchasing what they thought was a good quality down comforter, at a "bargain" price, only to find that after a season or two of use the down has shifted to the sides of the comforter, or even worse, started to leak all over their bedroom.

 

We know that nobody wants to spend more than necessary for anything. We also know that our comforters are more expensive than most. In the long run though, we think you'll find that our comforters are a true value, providing years of trouble free comfort and service.

 

The first section of this article is a short primer about Plumeria Bay® comforters. The "General Information" section is pretty much everything you need to know about what goes in to a quality down comforter and how they are constructed. Hopefully this will help you to save some money, and time, in the long run, no matter who you purchase from.

 

Plumeria Bay® Comforters

Plumeria Bay® offers several choices for you to consider when shopping for your goose down comforter, ranging in quality and price.

  • The Cascadia™ features a 380 threadcount down proof cotton fabric & sealed baffled box construction and is filled with 675 fill power white goose down.
  • The Traditional Luxury™ also features our 380 threadcount down proof fabric and sealed baffled box construction. This comforter is filled with our 850 fill power Canadian white goose down.
  • The Apres™ is filled with our 850 fill power Canadian white goose down and features a beautifully functional (and a delight to sleep under) German woven Batiste Tencel® fabric.
  • The Plumeria™ and the Silk Plumeria ™; our namesake. These duvets feature the finest German down proof cotton or silk fabric, and a very rare and mature Polish white goose down.
  • Our Eiderdown comforter, for the very best. In German milled cotton or silk, and filled with nothing but pure Eiderdown.

 

Warmth Levels: We offer 5 different warmth levels. Ultra Light, Light Warmth, Winter Warmth, Canadian Winter & Klondike Winter warmths. For most people, our Light Warmth is perfect for year around use.

 

Sizes: We offer a wide range of sizes from our individual "German Size" to our oversized Super King. We also offer custom sizes, and custom fills.

 

We encourage you to become an informed shopper. You may find the following information, and the information in our Reading Room, helpful as you gather your information. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

 

Our Down Comforter Warmth Levels

Ultra Light Warmth Down Comforter

 

General Information Applicable to all Down Comforters

Down Proof Fabric

Lower quality down comforters are made with lower quality (less expensive) materials: Low grade cotton (even some "Egyptian" cottons can be inferior) or cotton and synthetic blends are used for the yarns and the fabric will not feel as soft or supple as a ticking made with a higher grade cotton; if you are a tactile person this can matter.

Inferior weaves will leak down; if you want your down comforter to last (and prefer that your down remain inside your comforter instead of all over your bedroom), this is important. Colored down comforters are in this category because the dyed fabric makes it very difficult to achieve a down proof weave.

 

The very best down proof fabrics are woven to be very soft, lightweight, breathable and strong, all while preventing the down from leaking. That's a lot to ask from a fabric. Look for a thread count between 260 and 450.

Thread counts above 500 will be prone to leakage and will be relatively heavy in weight, so please keep this in mind when dazzled by that 1000 thread count down comforter bargain.

 

Bottom line on thread count and down comforters: Extremely high thread count does not equal quality. This applies to bed linens as well.

 

Less expensive fabrics are usually made "down proof" by starching the fabric, vs. using a specialized down proof weave and expensive finishing techniques.

If the care instructions state "Dry Clean Only" that comforter has likely been starched to make it down proof. Once the starch wears or is washed off, the fabric will begin to leak down.

 

Goose Down

As the cost of quality goose down has gone up, the use of duck down and lesser quality goose down has become much more prevalent in so called "quality" down bedding.

 

Less expensive down fills will usually be from China and may sometimes be something other than advertised; duck down sold as goose down, 550 fill sold as 650 fill, Asian down sold as European down: The list goes on.

Often times the merchant is not even aware of what they are selling, as illustrated by those that sell Siberian goose down. Inexpensive fills can also be of questionable cleanliness and purity, resulting in unpleasant odors.

 

What to look for in quality goose down: It may seem obvious, but make sure you're getting Goose Down! Duck down (of the same fill power) insulates as well as goose down and is much less expensive, but it can be prone to gamy odors.

 

It is also very important that the down is properly cleaned and sanitized without the use of bleach and other harsh chemicals which can damage the down clusters.

 

Bleaching grey down to turn it white is something unscrupulous suppliers will do. The less expensive grey down is bleached a beautiful yet brittle white, and will be completely useless after a year or two of use.

A "Fill Power" of 650 or better is desirable, resulting in the feeling of "warmth without weight" that down comforters are known for. Most of the better quality goose down in the world today comes from Hungary and Poland and this is what you'll find in the vast majority of "luxury" down bedding.

 

This down will either be advertised as "European White Goose Down", or it will be region specific, such as "Hungarian White Goose Down".

 

Plumeria Bay® uses some of the very best quality goose down that originates from around the world, including Canada and Poland.

 

Most department store down comforters have down that originates from Asia, with a Fill Power of between 550 to 650. Fill Power is a term that describes the size (and quality) of the down cluster.

A larger down cluster will insulate better than a smaller down cluster and will last longer. Beware of down bedding that uses "Down" as the description on the law label. These products are likely filled with less expensive duck down.

If you want goose down, the law label must say "Goose Down".

 

 

 

 

Comforter Construction

Down comforters have been made using several different styles of construction over time. The most basic example would be a simple cloth bag filled with down and feather.

 

That evolved into the "Channel" method, which is basically a series of channels running the length of the duvet that are filled with down. Some people like this approach because it allows them to shift the down within the channel(s), to where they need more warmth. This method can be prone to cold spots and does require a bit of fussing to get the down where you want it.

 

The "quilted" or "sewn through" comforter is very common, especially in down blankets. The sections that hold down are sewn (usually in squares) through from top to bottom. This is the least expensive method of construction. It works well for blankets but can lead to cold spots when used in a comforter.

 

There are also hybrid sewn through/baffled box comforters, with internal baffle walls in one direction, and the other sides of the square sewn through. The only reason we can see to use this method is for the manufacturer to save money, while calling the comforter a "baffled box" comforter.

 

Baffled Box construction is a design that uses internal walls to prevent the goose down from shifting from one side of the comforter to the other, or from the middle of the comforter to the edges.

Baffles also help to eliminate cold spots, while allowing the down to reach its fullest loft. We use this construction, with a couple of important differences, exclusively in all of our down comforters.

 

Most baffled box comforters have a small hole in each baffle, which allows the manufacturer to fill each section with down. This hole is usually left open and the down can (and does) find its way through that hole into neighboring sections of the comforter.

Our comforters are made with a "sealed" baffled box. In other words, our baffles have a valve that seals the opening used to insert the down into each box. This extra step prevents the shifting of down from box to box. It is costly, and is not typically used in most comforters that are advertised as "baffled box".

 

Additionally, our baffles are very generously sized. This avoids the "marshmallow" effect commonly seen in overstuffed comforters with smaller baffles.

Our larger baffles also enhance the flow of the comforter, enabling it to softly cuddle & move around you, while allowing the down to loft and insulate without being constricted in any way.

 

Warranty

Read the warranty carefully! Beware of companies that do not offer a reasonable warranty.

We stand behind our products. All of our down comforters offer a 20 Year Warranty against any defects in manufacturing (this includes down leaking and shifting) and a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.

 

More Information:

 

We are proud of our goose down comforters and pillows and are honored by what our customers say about our products and service. If you can, get another persons opinion about the product you are considering.

 

 

“....a very high-quality product that lives up to its description...”
“Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.”
“In a heartbeat, I would and will order again !!!!”
“Great customer service and an amazing product. We will be return customers.”
“The comforter is absolutely perfect in every way!”
“I'm not usually one to gush over a product, but...”
“My grandmother... simply loves her Plumeria Bay pillows.”
“It doesn't get better than this”
“...it is a gross understatement to say that we love it.”
“The featherbed is fabulous.”
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