Excellent temperature control
Made of moisture-wicking fibers
Light and fluffy
Only comes in white
Price is on the high end
Drying takes a couple hours
We purchased Pottery Barn's HydroCool Down-Alternative Duvet Insert so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you’re lucky, you spend at least eight hours in your bed each night, which equates to about one-third of your life. I don’t know about you, but if we’re spending all that time in bed, we should make sure we’re sleeping in luxury—or at least the feel of luxury. When it comes to a high-end comforter, down is usually the go-to, but for personal reasons, many people prefer a down alternative, like the Pottery Barn HydroCool Down-Alternative Duvet Insert. But does choosing a down alternative require you to sacrifice comfort and quality? We put this duvet insert to the test to find out.
Material: Hypoallergenic polyester and cotton combo
When we first pulled the duvet insert out of its package, our first thought was “Wow, this is thin! There’s no way it’s going to keep us warm.” But, we were wrong. This thing holds in the heat and manages to keep you comfortable and perfectly temperature-controlled.
Like magic, this duvet insert somehow seemed to keep a hot sleeper and a cold sleeper equally comfortable. The fabric has moisture-wicking fibers that are designed to pull out any excess heat and sweat, keeping you cool and dry, even on warmer nights. The down-alternative fill is made from 100 percent polyester while the cover is 100 percent cotton with a 300 thread count.
Because it’s marketed as a duvet insert, it only comes in standard white, so if you want to add some color to your room, a duvet cover will give you that variety. It does have a damask stripe pattern though, and it looks really nice on its own. We opted to use it without a duvet cover and were really happy with the way it added to the aesthetic of our room.
If you’re worried about getting the duvet insert dirty and you haven’t found the right cover yet, Pottery Barn also offers a duvet protector that you can zip over the insert without adding too much bulk.
Texture: Light and fluffy
Because the duvet insert is so thin, it’s also extremely light and fluffy and gives off that highly sought after feeling of being encased in clouds when you’re cuddled up in bed. That might be a little dramatic, but it’s true. It does take a little breaking in to get to that point.
When you first take it out of the package, it’s a little stiff and flat, but after we shook it out and slept with it a few nights, it really became one of the most comfortable down comforters we’ve ever slept with.
Washing: A tight squeeze
While the duvet insert is machine washable—the manufacturer recommends washing on the gentle cycle in cold water.
Fitting the king/California king in a standard size washing machine is a bit of a struggle. We were able to get it into our top-loading washing machine, but it was a tight squeeze. Getting it into the front-loading dryer was a bit easier, but it still took up the bulk of the drum. Because it’s so large, there’s not a lot of room for it to expand as it tumbles dry, so drying took almost 2 hours.
To get it completely dry in all areas, we had to stop the drying cycle several times, remove the comforter, and shake it out before returning it to the drum to complete the cycle. It’s also heavy when it’s wet. When it’s completely dry it weighs about 4.5 pounds, so when you add in the weight of all of the water the fill absorbs, it is fairly cumbersome to maneuver when wet.
But, even after our hands-on care of the duvet during the two-hour drying session at home, it came out of the dryer even softer than it went in, so we were still happy. In the future, we’ll either take it to a laundromat where they have commercial-sized washing machines and dryers or a professional cleaner.
Price: On the higher side, but worth it
The Pottery Barn Down-Alternative duvet insert comes in two options: full/queen and king/California king. As to be expected, the price depends on size. The full/queen costs $219, while you have to shell out $50 more for the king/California king.
Like magic, it somehow seemed to keep a hot sleeper and a cold sleeper equally comfortable.
A price tag of $219 to $269 isn’t the most expensive we’ve seen, but it’s definitely on the higher side, especially when you consider that this comforter is made from a polyester down alternative and not true down. That being said, we slept so well with it that we would gladly pay the price, down or not.
Competition: Down-alternative vs. true down
Brooklinen Down Comforter: If you live in an area with constantly changing weather and you’re looking for a down comforter that can keep up with the seasons, the Brooklinen Down Comforter has you covered, literally. It’s available in an all-season option with 700 fill power or a slightly less heavy “lightweight” option with 600 fill power that’s an ideal option for warmer climates or hot sleepers. Brooklinen also points out that if you’re worried about getting real down, theirs is ethically sourced and made by a local Canadian farm.
Parachute Down Duvet Insert: Like the Brooklinen comforter, the all-season, lightweight Parachute Down Duvet Insert (view on Parachute) has a 750 fill power made with 85 percent down and 15 percent down and feather fibers. It’s made from 100 percent European white down inside of a 100 percent cotton shell with a sateen finish.
Stop searching and buy it.
If you’re still questioning whether or not the Pottery Barn HydroCool Down-Alternative Duvet Insert is the right choice, stop questioning and give it a shot. It’s light and fluffy while still providing the perfect amount of warmth and temperature control. And if you don’t like it? You can return it to Pottery Barn within 30 days of delivery.
- Product Name HydroCool Down-Alternative Duvet Insert
- Product Brand Pottery Barn
- Price $269.00
- Weight 4.5 lbs.
- Color White
- Sizes Full/queen and king/California king
- Cover Material 100% cotton
- Fill Material 100% polyester
- Warranty 30-day money-back guarantee