There is nothing better than getting into a comfortable and cozy bed after a long day. There are many elements that you can add to your bed to maximize its comfort, and one of the most important and invaluable additional features is a comforter. As the name implies, they add an extra layer of comfort to a bed. Not only do they provide warmth, but they also soften the bed, upping the coziness factor.
There are literally countless comforters to choose from, so how do you know which one is the best one for your specific needs? To help make your quest for buying an exceptional comforter, we have created this hand buyer’s guide.
Types of Comforters
With the right comforter, cuddling up for a comfy and restful night of sleep can make a huge difference. And, when the temperature drops, the right comforter can help you stay cozy and warm, which means you can turn down your thermostat a degree or two and save some money on your energy bills.
There are two main types of comforters:
- Down alternative
Down comforters are filled with the fluffy feathers that sit on the underbelly of waterfowl, such as ducks and geese. This material has a three-dimensional structure, which allows it to trap in air and keep you warm. The quality of natural down is determined by fill power. Fill power measures how many cubic inches one ounce of down can fill. For instance, one once of goose down that offers a fill power of 800 is capable of filling 800 cubic inches of material. A higher fill power indicates a larger down cluster. The downside of down comforters is that many people are allergic to the down material used to fill them.
Down Alternative Comforters
Down alternative comforters are filled with a blend of synthetic materials, such as rayon and polyester. These materials aim to mimic the feel and warmth of natural down, and because they are hypoallergenic, they are a good choice for those who suffer from allergies, but want to have a soft, warm comforter to sleep with. They also tend to be less expensive than natural down. The downside of a down alternative comforter is that they don’t breathe as much as natural down, and they don’t provide as much warmth.
You want to make sure that the comforter you purchase will provide you with as much, well, comfort as possible. That being said, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration before you purchase a comforter to ensure that you buy the best one for your needs.
Down or Down Alternative?
Before you start shopping, make sure you know whether you want to buy a natural down or a down alternative comforter. Natural down offers several advantages. It naturally insulates without being overly heavy, which means that you can stay nice and cozy without tons of weight and bulk. It also tends to be better at regulating temperature than synthetic materials. However, if you suffer from allergies, you will want to avoid down and instead opt for a down alternative comforter. Down alternative comforters are hypoallergenic, which means that you won’t have to worry about sneezing, a runny nose or watery eyes when it’s time for bed.
The price is another important factor to take into consideration when shopping for a comforter. Down comforters tend to be more expensive than down alternative comforters. Additionally, the higher the quality of the down and the more fill power, the more expensive the comforter will be.
If you do decide that you want to purchase a down comforter, you will want to consider the fill power. As mentioned above, fill power refers to the volume a single ounce of down fills up; the higher the fill power, the better the insulating quality of the down, and the more expensive the comforter will be.
Care and Maintenance
How will you care for and maintain your comforter? This is an important factor to consider if you don’t want to worry about involved, complicated and costly comfort and maintenance. If you want a comforter that is easy to care for, look for one that is machine washable and that can be dried in a dryer.
The higher the thread count, the softer the exterior fabric of the comforter will be. However, while a higher thread count may be more luxurious, it can also be more difficult to care for. Typically, thread counts that are 400 or more are dry clean only.
How big do you want or need your comforter to be? The size of the mattress is usually used to determine the size of the comforter; however, if you want a larger comforter, you may want to buy one that is larger than your mattress. For example, if you have a queen-sized bed, but want an oversized comforter, you may want to shop for one that is king-sized.
The exterior of the comforter can be constructed of various types of fabric, including traditional cotton, Egyptian cotton and synthetic materials, such as polyester. Different fabrics offer different advantages. For instance, Egyptian fabric tends to be extremely soft and highly breathable, but it is more expensive; on the other hand, synthetic fabrics won’t shrink and are less expensive, but they usually aren’t as breathable or soft.
Comforters come in a wide range of styles and colors. Knowing what type of style and color you want before you start shopping will allow you to minimize your search so that you can get the look you are hoping for.
The majority of the features of comforter features have been discussed in the comforter considerations of this review. That being said, there are certain features that will allow you to enjoy the use of your comforter even more.
All comforters feature some type of stitching, which holds the material together and keeps the fill in place, preventing it from moving about inside the comforter. There are different types of stitches, which create different looks for a comforter. For example, a comforter that features stitching that runs both horizontally and vertically will create a quite-like effect, which gives the comforter a cozier look and feel.
Buttons and Tabs
If you want to cover your comforter with a duvet cover, you might want to look into purchasing one that features buttons and tabs. Buttons or tabs will allow you to secure a duvet cover to the comforter, which will keep it in place and prevent it from moving around and getting bunched up under the cover.
This isn’t necessarily a feature, but it is something to look into. A warmth rating indicates the level of warmth that a comforter provides. These ratings include all season, medium warm and extra warm. If you plan on using your comforter all year, look for one that has an all season warmth rating; however, if you plan on using it only during the coldest months of the year, you might want to opt for one that has an extra warm rating.
Types of Down
If you are shopping for a natural down comforter, you will find that you have several options to choose from. The most popular options include down from geese and ducks. The down from geese tends to be more tightly clustered and softer, which makes this material warmer. The down from ducks usually isn’t as well clustered, so it isn’t as warm or soft; however, this does tend to make it less expensive than goose down.
Down can be either white or gray. If you don’t want to worry about the color of the down showing through the exterior fabric of the comforter, look for one that features only white down.
Best Comforter Brands
There are countless options when it comes to comforter brands, which can make finding the best one to suit your needs a challenge. We checked out the brands, read the reviews and tested them ourselves, and the following brands are what we found to be the best of the best.
Cuddletown makes high quality down and down alternative comforters. We love how many style options this company offers, and the various warmth ratings that are available. We also liked how easy the Cuddletown comforters are to care for.
If you want style, then you will find it when you choose a Charter Club comforter. We particularly like their damask stripped styles, which offer a clean, polished look, similar to that of a hotel. Charter Club offers both down and down alternative comforters in varying sizes, fills and price ranges.
Pacific Coast comforters are extremely plush, adding instantly softness and warmth to a bed. This company also makes several different styles and colors, and offers different stitches, too. Their comforters have received high ratings, and we have to agree: They really are exceptional.