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People who live in colder climates often consider down a must for outerwear and bedding — and, if you’ve ever snuggled up under an airy duvet, you might understand exactly why.

The American Down and Feather Council describes down as “the world’s most efficient natural insulator,” so it stands to reason that many people prefer this fiber in their bedding. Who doesn’t want to feel warm and cozy on the coldest nights of the year?

Still, down is an animal product, so not everyone finds it appealing. If you have concerns about the treatment of the birds used to source the down and feathers, you may prefer to avoid down comforters. Yet, down can be both sustainable and ethically sourced.

Keep reading for more details and our recommendations for the seven best responsible down and down-alternative comforters.

Down, a light layer of fluff found on water birds, provides insulation from harsh weather and cold temperatures. These fibers cluster together under the bird’s feathers, coating their skin to offer soft, lightweight warmth without a quill.

When inside blankets and outerwear, down works in a similar way: The down fibers fluff out to provide lightweight, lofty comfort and warmth. Since down and other feathers that might slip through are lightweight and breathable, down comforters can keep you warm through the night without trapping heat or making you sweat.

We considered the following criteria when searching for the best down comforters:

  • Customer reviews and testing. We read through customer reviews to find the comforters that other people love most. We also tested a few of our picks.
  • Materials. These comforters are all down or down alternative. We also looked for products with other certifications of quality. This list only features comforters from brands who state clearly that they ethically source their down.
  • Weight. Down comforters come in different weights, so not all comforters are suitable for every climate. Our picks feature comforters in all weights.
  • Price. Quality down comforters don’t come cheap, but we aimed to include comforters at different price points to better meet the needs of varying budgets.

Pricing guide

We’ve given prices for queen or full/queen comforters, broken down into the following categories:

  • $ = under $150
  • $$ = $150–$300
  • $$$ = $300–$450
  • $$$$ = over $450

Best overall down comforter

Brooklinen Down Comforter

  • Price: $$$
  • Construction: Baffle box
  • Fill power and weight: 700, all-season (medium) warmth
  • Machine washable: Not recommended
  • Sleep trial: 1 year

Looking for a classic down comforter with a “just right” weight and feel? This hypoallergenic Canada-made comforter features clusters of Canadian duck down inside a soft cotton sateen cover.

The baffle box stitch construction (more on this below) helps keep the down filling evenly fluffed and secure. Loops at each corner help keep it in place inside your duvet cover. The brand also uses an antimicrobial treatment to keep it clean and fresh.

Brooklinen notes that their down comes from responsible and eco-friendly sources. They don’t use live plucking, and all recycled down products are certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

Reviewers praise this comforter’s quality construction and light, fluffy feel. One person calls it the “perfect Goldilocks comforter,” and others say it keeps them comfortable at a range of temperatures. Several people call it the best comforter they’ve ever had.

In testing, we found it lofty and smooth. Even inside a duvet cover, it felt super plush and warm. We appreciate the even distribution of the down, and the fact that no feathers poke out.

A few reviews note that the full/queen size runs a little small. Others mention the incredible warmth of the all-season comforter and recommend the lightweight option instead.

The company doesn’t technically offer a sleep trial, but they do allow returns of items in any condition up to a year from purchase. So, if you’ve slept under your down comforter for a few months, and it doesn’t feel quite right, you can still return it — even if you’ve already washed it.

Buy the Brooklinen Down Comforter online.

Best down-alternative comforter

Purple Duvet

  • Price: $
  • Construction: Sewn-through
  • Fill power and weight: Varies
  • Machine washable: No
  • Sleep trial: 30 nights

Looking for a comforter that offers the benefits of down without any of the drawbacks? The Purple Duvet features polyester fill in a luxurious hypoallergenic cotton cover for cozy warmth without any animal involvement.

It comes in both lightweight and all-season options, making it easier to find the perfect comforter, regardless of your climate or sleeping temperature. With duvet loops at each corner, you’ll also have an easier time slipping it into your favorite duvet cover.

In testing, we thought the lightweight duvet had a nice, airy feel and offered cozy warmth without feeling heavy. We’d use it in fall or winter, or layered with a light blanket. The all season duvet had a heavier, fuller feel and was perfectly warm without an additional blanket.

Unless you usually sleep on the colder side, you might prefer to keep this one for the colder nights. We loved the quality construction, soft cotton cover, and flatter profile of these comforters — they’ll work best for those who don’t particularly want a puffy comforter.

A few reviewers find this comforter a bit stiff, while others mention a fair amount of crinkling. Most people seem to love the duvet, though, calling it cozy, soft, and warm — though several people wish it didn’t require dry cleaning.

The sleep trial doesn’t include free return shipping, so keep in mind that returning the duvet could involve some extra costs.

Buy the Purple Duvet online.

Best temperature-regulating down comforter

Casper Humidity Fighting Duvet

  • Price: $$$
  • Construction: Sewn-through
  • Fill power and weight: 750, medium
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Sleep trial: 30 nights

Casper’s down duvet features something you won’t find in other down comforters: a layer of merino wool. Since wool helps wick away moisture and regulate temperature, this unique blend may help warmer sleepers stay cooler and get more comfortable sleep.

The brand says the sewn-through chambers help prevent lumping and bunching to keep the down in place for fluffier, loftier comfort. It’s machine washable, but you’ll want to use a front-loading machine, according to the care tag.

We love the look and feel of this very puffy duvet. In testing, it felt truly feather-light when we snuggled down. And it stayed warm, fluffy, and breathable through the night.

Reviewers agree on the temperature control. Even warmer sleepers say it helps reduce clamminess and nighttime sweating.

We did notice that it’s a little noisy, though. It rustles whenever you move. While we didn’t find the sound unpleasant, and it didn’t prevent us from getting some cozy sleep, it might bother lighter sleepers.

People also comment on the quality construction, and we agree. This duvet is very well-made and looks durable enough to last for years to come.

Buy the Casper Humidity Fighting Duvet online.

Best down comforter for cold climates

Feathered Friends Baffled Box 700 Down Comforter

  • Price: $$$$
  • Construction: Baffle box
  • Fill power and weight: 700+, Arctic (warm)
  • Machine washable: Yes, large commercial washer recommended
  • Sleep trial: No

This luxuriously puffy hypoallergenic down comforter features goose down within a baffle box construction for a greater loft and fluffier feel.

If you often wake up cold or want to conserve energy by turning down the heat, this comforter is worth considering: It’s designed for cold sleepers and chilly nights. The tightly woven cotton cover helps keep the down and feathers secure inside the comforter, but loops at each corner make it easy to cover your comforter.

Reviewers praise this comforter and its quality, calling it luxurious, well-made, and perfectly warm. People note that the down stays evenly distributed throughout the comforter, reducing the need to shake it out and fluff it up regularly. A few people even say the comforter seems to puff itself up.

Even couples who sleep at different temperatures seem to agree on this comforter. It also comes in medium and ultimate warmth options, just in case you prefer a little less (or a little more) warmth.

Buy the Feathered Friends Baffled Box 700 Down Comforter online.

Best lightweight down comforter

Legends Hotel Organic Cotton Down Comforter

  • Price: $$
  • Construction: Sewn-through
  • Fill power and weight: 600, light
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Sleep trial: No, but it does come with a lifetime guarantee

When you want to sleep warm, but not too warm, down comforters with a lighter weight can help you get comfortable without overheating. The Company Store recommends this lightweight option for bedroom temperatures of 69–74°F.

European duck down gives this hypoallergenic comforter a light, cozy feel, while its organic cotton cover keeps the fill securely in place with box stitching. Corner loops make it easier to slide on a duvet cover without any unnecessary wrestling.

A few reviewers say the light comforter doesn’t fluff as much as they expected, but comforters with a lower fill power have less loft, so they won’t have a traditionally fluffy look.

Several reviewers also mention some crinkling when moving under the comforter. This noise happens when the fabric rubs together, and it may bother lighter sleepers.

A few people say the lightweight comforter is a little warmer and heavier than they expected, but most reviewers love the look and feel. People call it warm, cozy, and perfect for chilly nights, with a wonderfully lofty feel.

Buy Legends Hotel Organic Cotton Down Comforter online.

Best organic down comforter

Boll & Branch Down Duvet Insert

  • Price: $$$
  • Construction: Baffle box
  • Fill power: 650
  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Sleep trial: 30 nights

This luxury comforter is filled and assembled in the United States, featuring down that’s carefully washed for extra cleanliness. According to the product page, it’s twice as clean as government down standards recommend.

The company describes the organic cotton cover as “down-proof,” which refers to its ability to keep any down feathers from poking out. But you’ll still find loops at each corner if you prefer to keep it inside a duvet cover.

Baffled box construction helps keep the fill lofty and secure for extra warmth. Fill power and care instructions aren’t clearly stated on the product page, so we reached out to customer service for verification.

Most reviewers say they love this comforter. People praise its breathability, softness, weight, and cozy feel. Even warmer sleepers mention how comfortable it feels, saying it works well to keep them warm without overheating.

A few people say the comforter tends to snag under pet claws or after running it through the wash, so you may want to protect it with a duvet cover and wash it on a delicate cycle.

People also mention some shedding after the first wash.

Buy the Boll & Branch Down Duvet Insert online.

Best goose down comforter

L.L. Bean Permabaffle Box Goose Down Comforter

  • Price: $$$
  • Construction: Baffle box
  • Fill power and weight: 600, warm
  • Machine washable: Yes, in commercial machines
  • Sleep trial: 1 year

Since goose down can reach a higher fill power than duck down, some people consider it a superior type of down. Goose down may also be less prone to developing odors when wet or moist, another reason why many premium comforters contain goose down rather than duck down.

The unique construction in this U.S.-made goose down comforter concentrates hypoallergenic fill in the center for targeted warmth.

Baffled stitching keeps the fill from shifting and bunching over time, while a down-proof cotton cover is designed to prevent shedding.

This comforter is designed for cold sleepers and cold climates (or both). A few reviewers don’t like the lighter fill on the outer edges of the comforter, and others comment on the crinkling sound (which often fades after a few washes).

Still, most reviewers rave about this comforter. People praise its coziness, loft, and quality, calling it fantastic, weightless but warm, and worth the price.

Just keep in mind that this is a very warm comforter, though most people agree it doesn’t feel heavy.

Buy the L.L. Bean Permabaffle Box Goose Down Comforter online.

Keep these considerations in mind to help you find the down comforter that’s right for you.

Duvets vs. comforters

You’ll notice some brands describe their products as “duvet inserts” rather than comforters.

In terms of down bedding, duvets and comforters are fairly similar. Some duvets, particularly full/queen sizes, may run slightly smaller and have less overhang than comforters, but this isn’t always the case.

Customer reviews for specific products will usually offer more insight, if you aren’t sure about the specific measurements you’re looking for.

The term “comforter” often describes a piece of bedding that’s meant to be seen rather than covered. For example, it might have colored or patterned fabric or a unique stitch pattern for a more finished look.

Duvets, on the other hand, often feature down or down-alternative fill. You might have a harder time washing or cleaning them, so using a duvet cover can help keep them clean and protected.

Materials

Down bedding contains goose or duck down. Either type can yield high-quality bedding. Still, many people consider goose down comforters warmer, so they often have a higher price tag.

Down and feathers come from the same place (either a duck or a goose), but they’re not the same thing. You’ll often see a percentage on the care tag that reflects the amount of down guaranteed within the comforter, with language like “minimum 90 percent white duck down.”

Feathers, which come from the outer layer of the bird and contain quills, might slip through. But they won’t make up the bulk of the filling.

Down comforters and duvets usually have cotton shells or covers. Higher thread counts offer a tighter weave that helps down-proof the fabric, or reduce shedding of down or feathers.

If you suspect you might have a sensitivity to feathers or down, choosing a comforter with a quality cover and protecting your bedding with a duvet cover may prevent feathers from poking out and causing an unwanted reaction.

Older research suggests true feather allergies are rare. You’re more likely to have an allergy to dust mites, but keeping your comforter covered with an easily washable cover can still help prevent dust from collecting.

Construction

Fill power measures a down comforter’s loft, or fluffiness, and its ability to insulate. The fill power measurement describes the size of the down clusters and the amount of space the clusters occupy per ounce.

In other words, an ounce of down with a fill power of 750 will occupy 750 cubic inches. Larger clusters of down have a higher fill power, so they can trap more warm air than smaller clusters.

You’ll often find higher fill power in higher quality comforters. More inexpensive comforters with a lower fill power aren’t always low quality comforters, but they may offer less warmth than comforters with a higher fill power.

Other factors can also affect how warm a comforter feels, such as the amount of down versus the amount of feathers in the comforter.

Two different types of stitching help keep down fill secure inside a comforter.

  • Baffle (baffled) box: A comforter featuring this construction has narrow strips of fabric sewn between the top and bottom layers of the comforter shell. This forms small fabric walls within the comforter, giving the down more space to fully inflate and fluff up. When the comforter is sewn closed, the down remains secure in these boxes instead of shifting.
  • Sewn-through: A sewn-through or quilted comforter will use a simple stitch to sew the top and bottom pieces of the comforter shell together into pockets. These pockets might take the shape of rows, ovals, or long channels.

Certifications

As you shop, you might notice different certifications listed on product pages.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100, for example, is a common certification for bedding. This means the product doesn’t contain toxic or harmful chemicals or substances.

Other certifications include:

The RDS certification is particularly important when it comes to ethical down comforters. RDS works to prevent inhumane treatment of birds used for down, and they ensure responsible sourcing practices.

Some brands may not display the RDS label on their website or products, but they still source their down ethically. They’ll usually say this directly on the product page. If not, you’ll often find information about how and where they source their down in the FAQs.

If you can’t find this information, they may not source their down entirely through sustainable, ethical suppliers.

Certain laws prevent companies from making false claims about their down products, such as calling a comforter “goose down” when it’s really a blend of goose and duck down.

Transparent brands give clear, accurate information about their products, without using misleading advertising or leaving out important information, such as the type of down or the percentage of down and feathers.

Care

Checking the care information before you purchase a new comforter can help you avoid an unwanted surprise down the line.

Some down comforters require dry cleaning, while others need spot cleaning. Even the comforters you can wash may require a larger washing machine, like one found at a local laundromat.

Many people choose down comforters for the following reasons:

  • They’re breathable and temperature regulating.
  • Though lightweight, they provide great insulation.
  • They’re durable. When cared for properly, down products can last up to 10 years, if not longer.
  • Down is biodegradable, so it’s more environmentally friendly than synthetic bedding materials.

Still, down comforters can have a few drawbacks:

  • Some people are allergic to the natural oils on down and feathers or, more often, the dust that collects on the bedding.
  • Some people might not care for the faint odor down sometimes gives off.
  • The comforter may require special care, such as dry cleaning or regular airing.
  • Down comforters aren’t vegan.
  • While quality down comforters are durable and intended to last many years, they’re generally more expensive than other types of bedding.
  • Many quality comforters contain responsibly sourced down, but you might have a harder time finding ethical down at lower price points.

Down alternative comforters may not feel quite as lightweight, but many people consider them nearly as cozy as down. You won’t have to worry about possible feather allergies, and they’re completely vegan.

Need a lighter alternative? Why not consider a cooling comforter?

Many people swear by down comforters for snug, restful sleep on the coldest nights of the year.

Down is meant to last, so choose carefully — you might find yourself cuddling up under your comforter for the next decade.


Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.