When it comes to snuggly bedding, there's nothing quite like a down comforter. Sourced from the ultra-soft undercoat of ducks and geese, the fluffy fill material is naturally breathable and insulating with impressive sweat-wicking properties. Lightweight and airy, down is a great year-round filling that can help hot sleepers stay cool (and cooler sleepers stay warm and cozy, depending on the fill level you choose.)
"When it comes to comforter construction, I also would recommend a comforter with a baffle box construction, which keeps the fill evenly distributed throughout the night," says Ruthie Osswald, Senior Associate of Design and Product Development at Brooklinen. Baffle box construction means a comforter features a thin strip of fabric sewn between the top and bottom layers, with 3D chambers that hold down clusters. This particular kind of comforter helps keep down lofty and evenly distributed for cozy, fluffy, and nicely breathable bedding.
We rounded up options that fared well during our Lab testing—in addition to previous rounds of at-home testing–in terms of quality, texture, breathability, durability, and care requirements. During lab testing, our testers put each comforter through its paces, assessing the comfort, construction, and durability by not only laying under each to evaluate the overall feel, plus its maneuverability and loft, but also taking thermal readings to evaluate each comforter's warmth. Our product picks for the best down comforters are those that offer a balance of breathability, plushness, and quality construction.
|Hours Spent Testing||6|
Brooklinen Down Comforter
Ethically sourced down
Three weights available
Treated with antimicrobials
Sizes aren't exact
Previously our best heavy pick, the Brooklinen Down Comforter earns our best overall rating because of its baffle-box construction, cool-to-the-touch feel, and ethically-sourced down fill. During our lab testing, we were impressed with this comforter's lightweight feel and soft texture. Our testers especially appreciated that it didn't trap excess body heat, making it a great pick for those who sleep on the hotter side.
Our home tester gave Brooklinen's Down Comforter a perfect 5-out-of-5 overall score, noting the super-soft shell and warm feather fill. In addition to the ethically sourced down, she liked that the long-staple cotton is Oeko-Tex-certified and treated with antimicrobials to minimize allergies and odor-causing bacteria growth.
With fill power ranging from 650 to 750, depending on your selection, this comforter is a great choice for everything from brutal winters to year-round use. And thanks to the baffle-box construction, the fill should stay in place without clumping. We could not wash this comforter as part of our durability test, as it's listed as dry clean only, but it performed well against a coffee stain. It didn't soak up any of the coffee, and any residual moisture was easily cleaned up.
Price at time of publish: $269 for a Full/Queen
Material: Long-staple cotton, down | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/Cal king | Fill Power: 650, 700, 750 | Certifications: Oeko-Text, DOWNMARK, and Ultra-Fresh | Care: Spot clean or dry clean | Return Policy: 365 days
Best Overall, Runner-Up
Riley White Goose Down Comforter
Resistant to staining
Doesn't shrink easily
High-quality materials and construction
The Riley White Goose Down Comforter was just shy of our best overall spot because its texture and price didn't quite compare to the Brooklinen Down Comforter. However, it's still a high-quality pick with a justifiably high price.
During testing, we immediately noticed how high-quality this comforter was: the box-pleated construction on the side seams of this comforter felt luxe and tailored, and the long-staple cotton sateen cover has the traditional dobby stripe pattern for a soft and smooth feel. However, the fill texture left something to be desired: rather than the pillowy fill one might expect, this comforter has a medium loft that got lumpy when rolled out completely.
Unlike some other options, this comforter is machine-washable and stain-repellent. After washing, it only shrank one inch, and it effectively repelled a coffee stain that our tester easily wiped up. While lying under this comforter, our tester noted that it warmed up quickly but did not become overly stuffy, making this a great option for year-round use. The included corner tabs for a duvet cover and R. monogram contribute to the overall luxe feel, but we were still left wishing for more fluff, especially considering the high price point.
Price at time of publish: $400 for a Full/Queen
Material: White goose down, long-staple cotton sateen | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/Cal king | Fill Power: 700, 750 | Certifications: Responsible Down Standard | Care: Machine-washable, tumble dry low heat | Return Policy: 60 days
Feathered Friends Bavarian 700 Down Comforter
Four weights available
Lightweight yet very warm
Tricky to clean
Not ideal for XL mattresses
Looking for something you can use during all four seasons? You can't go wrong with the Bavarian Down Comforter from Feathered Friends. Available in four weights—summer, light, medium, and arctic—this is an option that can accommodate cold sleepers, hot sleepers, and everyone in between. Our lab tester described this comforter as having a "hotel luxury feel", with perfectly filled pockets and a satin finish.
Our at-home tester put the medium-weight option to the test, and found it to be surprisingly lightweight but also incredibly warm—potentially too warm for climates that don't see distinct seasonal weather changes. "This comforter is...incredibly lightweight," she said. "We're not sure we'd ever been this warm under something so light." She was impressed with the overall quality and loft; this is definitely one of the fluffier options on our list, making it great for those who like that look.
This comforter fared well during our in-lab wash test and only shrank slightly. We were able to blot a stain away with a damp cloth, preventing it from soaking through to the down. Backed by a lifetime warranty and high praise from all our testers, this down comforter certainly justifies itself as a splurge item—just note that the warranty is considered void if you're not using this comforter with a duvet cover.
Price at time of publish: $519 for a Queen
Material: Cotton, goose down | Sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, Cal king | Fill Power: 700+ | Certifications: Oeko-Tex, Responsible Down Standard | Care: Machine-washable, dryer-friendly | Return Policy: 30 days
Apsmile Goose Feather Down Comforter Duvet Insert
Long staple cotton cover
Confusing product description
A down insert is a great option if you're looking to pair it with your preferred color or style of duvet cover. This insert from APSMILE on Amazon is priced fairly and has an impressive amount of fluff to it, which our tester especially enjoyed. The cover fabric is woven from long staple cotton and boasts a 400 thread count, which gives it an incredibly soft-to-the-touch feel, but is not the most breathable if you're a hot sleeper. However, this is a great insert for colder winter nights, when you'll want extra warmth to snuggle under.
A piped edge and double stitching reinforce the outer edge of this insert and baffle boxes keep the fill evenly distributed throughout. Our tester said there were no loose threads or stitching when she evaluated this comforter's overall design and also said the fabric had a cool-to-the-touch feel in addition to its softness. While we appreciate this comforter's loft, we're concerned that the 5 percent of feathers that make up its fill could poke through the fabric cover over time. This comforter's online listing is also somewhat confusing to read through, so we suggest taking your time to thoroughly review it before purchasing.
Price at time of publish: $229 for a Queen
Material: Down fiber and feather fiber fill with down and feathers, long-staple cotton | Sizes: Twin, queen, oversized queen, king, oversized king, super king, California king | Fill Power: Not listed | Certifications: Not applicable | Care: Dry clean | Return Policy: 30 days
Casper Lightweight Down Duvet
Silky cotton shell
Shrinks in wash
The Casper Down Duvet Insert is offered in two types—a mid-weight and a lightweight—so you can find the exact fill weight that works best for your sleep pattern. This duvet has a 600-fill power and sewn-in chambers to keep the fill evenly distributed, plus it's covered in a 100 percent cotton shell for the highest amount of airflow while you sleep. Our tester was surprised by how thin this duvet seemed, but she thought it should fluff up with movement. It's also rather dense and slightly difficult to maneuver while lying under it, but she said she never felt like too much heat was trapped while she was testing it. However, once the duvet insert was paired with a cover, it became quite warm. We'd recommend checking the make of your duvet cover to ensure it's also breathable, especially if you're a hot sleeper.
During our coffee stain test, this duvet did absorb much of the spill and it wasn't fully lifted with a Tide pen, but our tester thought the rest of it should come out in the wash. This insert did shrink slightly, so we recommend pairing it with a cover to prevent the need for frequent washing. Overall, our tester said she would love to purchase this insert for herself because it's lightweight and allows for plenty of airflow, while still being well-made and reasonably priced for its quality.
Price at time of publish: $259 for a Full/Queen
Material: Down fill, cotton shell | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/Cali king | Fill Power: 600 | Certifications: Responsible Down Standard | Care: Machine-washable, tumble dry low | Return Policy: 30 days
Snowe Lightweight Down Comforter
Allows for airflow
Twin size not offered
The Snowe Lightweight Down Comforter is a great option for hot sleepers or anyone who prefers to layer blankets while sleeping. This comforter is constructed from Oeko-Tex-certified materials, including the cotton sateen shell and high-quality down that also passes the Responsible Down Standard. Our tester said she loved how she could feel herself sinking into this comforter when she first laid on top of it. The cotton sateen shell offers a buttery-soft finish that also promotes airflow while lying underneath.
Like some down comforters, this option does crinkle when you're adjusting it, so it may not be a good fit for light sleepers. We also wish that it was offered in twin bed sizes, but wouldn't consider this a crucial negative toward the comforter's overall quality and performance. And although this comforter is slightly more expensive than other options available, we believe its quality and comfort make it a worthy splurge—especially if you're looking for a lightweight down comforter.
Price at time of publish: $395 for a Full/Queen
Material: Down fill, cotton sateen shell | Sizes: Full/queen, king | Fill Power: 750 | Certifications: Responsible Down Standard, Oeko-Tex Certification | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Return Policy: 60 days
Best Down Alternative
Buffy Cloud Comforter
Made of recycled materials
Very fluffy fill
For those open to a down-alternative option, we recommend the Buffy Cloud Comforter. The TENCEL lyocell fill wicks away moisture while you sleep and won't be weighed down excessively after washing compared to real down comforters. Our lab tester said this comforter had a high-quality, cool, and smooth fabric cover, but it did require re-fluffing after she laid on it for several minutes.
Our at-home tester also gave it a score of 4.8 out of 5 for overall value, noting the supremely soft and breathable lyocell shell and lightweight yet cozy vegan fill. This comforter is slightly crinkly while adjusting it, but we'd consider its noise level comparable to real down comforters. Corner loops also make it easy to secure in a duvet cover.
Though the fill is polyester, it's made of recycled materials, and the lyocell comes from sustainably sourced eucalyptus trees. This down-alternative duvet is also machine-washable and suitable for year-round use. Our tester noted minimal shrinkage (3 inches) after washing this comforter in the lab, but she said it was difficult to remove the coffee stain, which was still visible even after using a Tide pen.
Price at time of publish: $199 for a Full/Queen
Material: TENCEL lyocell, polyester fill | Sizes: Twin/twin XL, full/queen, king/Cal king | Fill Power: Not listed | Certifications: Global Recycled Standard | Care: Machine-washable, hang to dry | Return Policy: 100 days
Our best overall pick is the Brooklinen Down Comforter, a luxurious bed cover with generous fill power and a cotton sateen shell. If you're looking for a down-alternative option, you can't go wrong with the Buffy Cloud Comforter, which earned high marks from our tester for its lightweight yet cozy feel.
How We Tested
To highlight the best of the best in down comforters, we researched dozens of different comforters and purchased 34—of all different types—to test in our Lab in Des Moines, Iowa. We asked our testers to first evaluate the quality of each comforter by laying each product flat on a bed and thoroughly checking for loose threads and seams or other flaws. We also asked them to measure the comforters and compare their sizes to the manufacturer’s online product descriptions. We also evaluated the comforters based on their texture and feel as a first assessment of the loft and coziness. For comforters that were listed as having cooling properties, we asked our testing team to consider whether the fabric felt cool to the touch.
To test each comforter's texture and breathability, our testers laid under them for five minutes and considered whether: the fill felt evenly distributed, it felt easy to maneuver or fold over, or whether it felt cool or too warm. Each comforter was also weighted on a scale to note its loft and all-season capabilities. Before washing the comforters according to their individual care instructions, we then performed a stain test by pouring coffee on each comforter. Our testing team noted whether the coffee was easily absorbed into the comforter or pooled for easy clean-up.
Finally, any comforters that were machine washable were evaluated for damage and shrinkage after washing. Our testers also noted any change in texture. With all of the physical tests complete, we lastly asked our testers to consider the value of each comforter, based on their performance, and whether they would consider purchasing it.
We had also previously sent some of the top down comforters to our team of home testers. After using these comforters in their own beds for over two weeks, our home testers assessed each option on the basis of fabric quality, softness, temperature regulation, and thickness. We combined their insights with our editors' and writers' independent research to bring you this list.
|The Best Down Comforters||Material||Fill Power||Certifications|
|Parachute Down Duvet Insert||Sateen cotton, down, feather fibers||750||Oeko-Tex, Responsible Down Standard|
|L.L. Bean Goose Down Comforter, Warmer||Cotton, goose down||600||Not listed|
|Feathered Friends Bavarian 700 Down Comforter||Cotton, goose down||700+||Oeko-Tex, Responsible Down Standard|
|Brooklinen Down Comforter||Long-staple cotton, down||750||DOWNMARK and Ultra-Fresh|
|Pottery Barn Hydrocool Down-Alternative Duvet Insert||Cotton, down-alternative (polyester)||Not listed||Not listed|
|Coyuchi Winter Weight Down Duvet Insert||Organic cotton, duck down||600||GOTS|
|Buffy Cloud Comforter||TENCEL lyocell, polyester fill||Not listed||Global Recycled Standard|
What to Look for in a Down Comforter
When down comforters list their "fill power," it refers to the amount of space one ounce of down feathers takes up. Fluffier feathers take up more room—and they also tend to be better insulators. That means that the higher the fill power, the fluffier your comforter will be, and the warmer it will keep you. A typical down comforter will have a fill power of about 600, so if you're a hot sleeper or live in a warmer climate you should look for a fill power between 500-600. If you want something really warm and fluffy, look for a comforter with a fill power closer to 700. Our best overall pick, the Brooklinen Down Comforter, is offered in three weights—lightweight, all-season, and ultra-warm—which have fill powers ranging from 650 to 750. Many brands offer similar designs with weight variants, so you're sure to find the fluff and comfort that's right for you.
Beyond fill power, you'll also want to consider the types and proportion of down being used. "The industry standard for filling down comforters is 75 percent down clusters, as these are soft and long-lasting," says Ruthie Osswald, Senior Associate of Design and Product Development at Brooklinen.
Pay attention to the shell material of your comforter, too—this is what keeps the down from poking out over time, so you'll want to look for a tightly woven yet breathable material like cotton. This will keep your investment in top shape for years to come. Long-staple sateen cotton is a durable weave consisting of long cotton fibers that have been chemically treated for a smoother and longer-lasting finish. Our best overall, runner-up, pick, the Riley Goose Down Comforter, has a long-staple cotton sateen shell with baffle box construction to hold the down fill in place and last for many years.
To ensure the quality of your down comforter, it's advisable to look for a handful of certifications. The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) ensures that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm. The International Down and Feather Laboratory (IDFL) certification is another label to look out for— as the largest down testing lab in the world, they regularly collect samples from retailers and manufacturers to ensure that the down they're using meets global standards. Finally, DOWNMARK is a Canadian organization that certifies that down or feather products are genuine items that have been finished in Canada according to all standards.
Comforters of all kinds–including down comforters– are typically created in one of two ways. You can opt for a sewn-through comforter, which features a top and bottom layer that’s sewn together in squares, lines, or other patterns to create pockets of fill. Or, you can opt for a baffle-box comforter, which features strips of thin fabric in between the top and bottom layers to create “boxes” that contain the filling. Construction is a key detail, as it can affect how a comforter wears and how its fill changes.
A sewn-through down comforter will have clumps of feathers secured in place, meaning there’s less shifting over time. This style is also low-maintenance and easy to care for (especially if you’re someone who hates when the fill moves around!) However, sewn-through comforters tend to be less lofty, which can make them feel less luxurious.
Baffle-box down comforters, on the other hand, offer more breathability and airflow. The down fill can shift around, but it’s more likely to maintain its loft and fluffy feel. You will have to fluff your comforter regularly to move the fill around, but ultimately baffle-box construction can offer more warmth in winter, breathability in summer, and comfort year-around.
Down comforters come in a variety of different weights, from lightweight to medium to heavy–and you can even choose all-season. This allows you to customize the warmth of your comforter to your preferred temperature, climate, or comfort level. If you’re someone who runs hot year-round, you’ll want to opt for a lightweight down comforter for the highest level of breathability. For cold sleepers, heavy can fit the bill most of the year. However, we like all-season down comforters for their versatility; for most sleepers, this weight option offers the best combination of airflow and warmth. You also have the option to swap your comforter seasonally, switching from lightweight in warmer months to heavyweight in chilly ones.
Comforter or Shell Fabric
While the terms “comforter” and “insert” are used pretty interchangeably when talking about down comforters, it’s always important to think about the fabric exterior of your comforter. The outermost material (which can also be called the shell) does matter, especially if you don’t plan to cover it with a duvet. Simple fabrics, like cotton, are perfectly fine! You can also consider the weave; percale and sateen are popular picks and common finds, but you can opt for bamboo, viscose, and Tencel lyocell, too. It’s all up to your personal preference.
When should you throw out a down comforter?
While most down comforters last an average of 10 to 15 years, there are signs to look for that show when it’s time to toss your comforter. If you notice thinning in the down filling when you hold your comforter up to a light, it might be time to invest in a new down comforter. Down comforters tend to wear out first in the areas that get the most use—around the shoulders. Check that area of your comforter to see if the insulation value of your down comforter is decreasing. The outer shell of the comforter can also wear out. If you see the exterior shell is wearing thin, you might want to replace the comforter.
How long do down comforters last?
You can expect most down comforters to last between 10 to 15 years, but with proper care, a high-quality down comforter can last up to 20 years. Using a duvet cover will greatly extend the life of a down comforter, as it will allow you to wash it less frequently. Down is a fragile material that breaks down over time, so washing and drying down comforters on the gentlest cycles possible is imperative. Also be sure your comforter is completely dry before replacing it back into a duvet cover, as a damp down comforter can develop mildew easily.
How do you fluff a down comforter?
Ideally, down comforters should get a good fluffing every day when you make the bed. Just give each side of the comforter a quick shake to help redistribute the down inside and you'll prevent any clumps from forming. You can also fluff a down comforter in a dryer with an air fluff cycle. Most dryers have an air fluff setting, which tumbles without any heat, but if your dryer doesn't, you can select the lowest heat setting and tumble in 10-minute increments. Add the comforter and a few clean tennis or dryer balls (if you're using tennis balls, insert them into clean white socks to make sure the neon green color doesn't transfer to your comforter) to help prevent the down from clumping.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland has been writing for The Spruce since 2019, where she covers bedding, furniture, and sleep essentials. For this roundup, she interviewed Ruthie Osswald, Senior Associate of Design and Product Development at Brooklinen, and researched the key features of comforters, including fill power, shell material, and down certifications. Before landing on her final picks, she reviewed insights from our at-home testers, pored over user reviews, combed through product specs, and considered the price, weight, and construction of dozens of options.
Emma Phelps is an updates writer for The Spruce, who has written about many topics under the bedding, bath, and home decor section. To update this roundup, Emma reviewed our latest testing data from The Lab and selected new picks, as well as updating insights for the picks kept in the roundup. She researched the key specs and certifications often associated with down comforters and considered the most popular comforters on the market for background information before writing this roundup.
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