Difference Between Down Comforter and Alternative Down Comforter

If you wish to transform your sleep into a cozier and warmer experience, then you should consider switching to a down comforter or an alternative down comforter. If you buy one of these, it will add a welcoming style to your bed and keep you warm all night through.

The question is; do you go for the 100% down, or do you opt to secure the down alternative? Though a down comforter and down-alternative comforter are used for nearly the same purpose, they verily differ in a couple of attributes. From the care instructions, the material that makes them, to the weight of each, the two comforters show varying differences, not to mention the cost and their uses.

A comforter is a bedding type filled with synthetic fibers or down, and covered with two lengths fabric stitched together for warmth. They are often larger than the bed size thus hang down by the bedsides. However, a comforter should not be confused with a duvet. Though both are filled with down or synthetic fibers, they are not the same.

In a typical explanation, whereas a comforter acts as a pillow, the duvet acts as the pillowcase. This is to imply that a duvet covers your down comforter to add a decorative feel to your bed and maintain your down comforter clean. Below is a description of differences between the two, based on different aspects. These, I hope, will be very helpful for you while selecting your next comforter.

The filling used

The material used in the two types of beddings is different. Whereas down comforters use an organic filling (down), the down alternative uses synthetic filling. The material used to make the down comforters come from beneath the feathers of a quill, geese, or duck. It is usually the light and fluffy clusters. Often, the down of a bird is very fluffy making its feathers insulate the bird by trapping air inside. When the material is used in the design of a down comforter, the resulting fabric is extremely warm. On the other hand, an alternative down is made from cotton, rayon, or polyester. This gives the down alternative a less soft feel compared to a down comforter.

Warmth Ratings

Compared to alternative downs of similar size and weight, down comforters are warmer. If your aim is warmth, then you should go for the down comforter. However, if your comforter shopping is based on the warmth rating, these differences are accounted for since the warmth requirements may vary for different people. Both down and alternative down comforters come in different categories of warmth. However, a less bulky comforter is likely to be warmer than a down alternative of the same weight.


If you prefer the light-weight beddings, then best go for the down comforter. Typically, it is considered much lighter compared to a down alternative of similar thickness.  This is probably due to the difference in the thread count. Normally, if the thread per square inch is more, the fabric is likely to a lighter and smoother feel. A down comforter has a higher thread count compared to a down alternative of similar thickness. This gives it more quality and makes it less light.


Cost is always a factor when shopping for your beddings. So if you’re looking to get the cheaper of the two, then you should know that the down comforter is slightly expensive than the down alternative.


The fabric used in making the down alternative renders it very easy to clean and maintain compared to the down comforter. The maintenance is overall easy since down alternatives are machine washable. However, if you frequently wash or use a down alternative it may pill or wear out- washing the material is associated with shrinkage. For the down comforter, it is not designed for machine washing. This is the reason that a duvet cover is often used to keep it in top shape.

Care instructions and use

A down alternative is often recommended as solutions for those with asthma and allergies. Contrary, a down comforter is said to trigger allergies and asthmatic attacks due to the down feathers of the material. If you are sensitive to the filling inside or the dust mites, then consider buying a down-alternative. However, some of the fills have undergone special washing thus alleviating the allergic triggers.

Since both the down comforter and the alternative down comforter will both keep you warm and protected, it is prudent to consider the pros and cons of each before making a purchase. If you are sensitive to allergies, for instance, going for a down comforter would be worsening your situation. Regarding price, the two materials are offered at varying prices so you’re bound to find something within your price range.


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