How To Choose The Best Down Comforter

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.


The first section of this article is a short primer about Plumeria Bay® Cascade Made™ down comforters. The next section is pretty much everything you need to know about what goes in to constructing a quality down comforter. Hopefully this will help you to save some money in the long run, as you shop for a down comforter.


Plumeria Bay Cascade Made Down Comforters

Plumeria Bay® Cascade Made™ Down Comforters

Cascade Made™ down comforters (and pillows) are designed and made by Plumeria Bay, with down proof fabrics that are milled and sewn in Germany and Austria, then filled and finished here in our shop in the heart of the Cascade Mountains in Birdsview, WA. 


Featuring the finest in state-of-the-art down proof fabric and construction, with inner mesh baffles that allows the Cascade Made™ duvet the ability to breath, helping to keep you warmer when it's cold, and cooler when it's warm. And sealed baffle box construction to keep the down from shifting from box to box.  How long should a down comforter last?


Plumeria Bay® is a Certified Responsible Down Standard Manufacturer, and we're proud to be able to say that our Cascade Made™ down comforters are filled with the finest ethically sourced RDS Certified Hungarian White Goose Down, in your choice of 700, 800 and 900 fill power.



Warmth Levels: We offer a wide range of down comforter warmth levels.  From Ultra Light for Warm climates and sleepers to our very warm and fluffy Cascade Winter warmth. 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 size down comforters, as well as 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.


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 485.

Thread counts above 500 may be prone to leakage and, depending on the weave, may 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 due to the oils in duck down.


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, especially if you think you might be allergic to down.


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" or "Polish Goose Down", etc.


Plumeria Bay® uses some of the very best quality goose down that originates from Hungary.  Our eiderdown comes from a special sanctuary located on islands in the St. Lawrence Estuary in Canada.


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".





Down Comforter Construction Methods & Styles

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 fill 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".



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

We stand behind our products. We offer a strong warranty and a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.


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.



“Great customer service and an amazing product. We will be return customers.”
“ is a gross understatement to say that we love it.”
“My grandmother... simply loves her Plumeria Bay pillows.”
“Great Value, Great Quality”
“The comforter is absolutely perfect in every way!”
“In a heartbeat, I would and will order again !!!!”
“It doesn't get better than this”
“The featherbed is fabulous.”
“The very best I've encountered...”
“....a very high-quality product that lives up to its description...”
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