This post was most recently updated on June 9th, 2021
Most people default to a white goose down comforter when looking for a new comforter.
A goose down comforter is great – and certainly a justifiable luxury bedding item – but down alternative comforters can also get the job done, at a fraction of the cost.
Down alternative comforters have certain advantages over the goose down variety, which has made them more and more popular over the past 20 years.
As fill materials have evolved, modern technology has produced a synthetic comforter that is more than adequate.
If you’re having a hard time picking between a goose down comforter versus a down alternative comforter, here is a list of why a down alternative version should be your choice.
For this list to make sense, take a look at this goose down comforter. Take a quick moment and check out the price, color, and weight.
Now take a look at this down alternative comforter, and do the same.
Both are made by the same manufacturer – Downlite – and are comparable options. They are similar in performance, yet very different in a few other factors.
On to the list…
1.) Down alternative comforters are cheaper
Down alternative comforters have a wide range in price, but even the most expensive is still about half the cost of a goose down comforter.
For the same amount of money that you’d spend on an average goose down comforter, you could buy two down alternative comforters – one for year-round use, and another as a summer comforter.
Since down alternative fills are usually synthetic, or plant-based, the cost of producing them is much less. Savings that you can take advantage of – especially if a soft and fluffy comforter isn’t your top priority.
For best results, we would recommend not going too cheap, however. Stick with quality brands like Downlite, Blue Ridge, etc.
And avoid comforters that have a microfiber outer cover.
2.) More types of fill to choose from
With a goose down comforter, you’re a bit limited in terms of form and function. To a certain extent, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
For example, if you prefer a thick and fluffy comforter, your choice is a heavyweight comforter – which is pricey and heavy. And they’re practically useless during the summer.
On the other hand, if you tend to sleep hot, you’ll probably want a lightweight comforter – which isn’t very fluffy at all.
This is where down alternative comforters have a distinct advantage. The different types of fill that are available allow you to customize a comforter to your preference.
Do you want a comforter that will keep you extra warm while still being light in weight? Choose a Primaloft comforter!
Do you want a thick and fluffy comforter that doesn’t feel too heavy? Enviroloft comforters are your choice!
Goose down comforters come in two basic varieties – white, and white striped. That’s pretty much it.
But what if you want to use your comforter without a duvet cover? And what if white is just a bit too basic for you?
Down alternative comforters are available in pretty much every color. And if decorative comforters are your thing, every designer brand has a down alternative comforter for sale.
4.) Cheaper to repair
Since synthetic and plant-based fills are cheaper than goose down, they are cheaper to purchase in bulk.
If you’re the type that likes to repair rather than replace, you probably already know that you can purchase replacement fill for your comforters and pillows.
When your comforter starts to wear our 10 years from now, it will be much cheaper to re-fill and repair.
In fact, you can purchase enough replacement polyester fill for 5 comforters, for the same amount as it would take to fill one goose down comforter.
5.) Easier to maintain
Goose down comforters suffer from two main issues – the goose down wears out, and/or it leaks.
Down alternative comforters don’t have those issues – at least not as drastic. Synthetic fill does wear over time, but it’s certainly not as fragile, and it definitely does not leak.
Because of goose down’s fragility, maintenance is a bit of a hassle. A goose down comforter needs to be washed properly and then dried properly.
Improper cleaning can damage the delicate down clusters, and improper drying leaves moisture in the down feathers – which causes mold.
Synthetic comforters can withstand the harshness of the wash cycle, and don’t absorb moisture. They are low maintenance.
And if your comforter should develop a hole or a tear; synthetic fill isn’t as small as goose down, and will not leak.
Down alternative comforters are available from nearly every bedding brand, and can be found at nearly every department store.
No matter what your budget is, you’ll probably have at least a handful of quality options to choose from.
Goose down comforters – particularly the good quality variety – aren’t as easy to find, and aren’t carried at every store.
7.) The more humane choice
We’ll skip the detail for obvious reasons, but down alternative comforters are certainly the more humane option.
No animals are harmed during the manufacture of a synthetic comforter.
For that matter – if you are an environmentalist – you can actually find comforters that are filled with recycled water bottles!
A few extra tips
Down alternative comforters are an excellent choice, provided that you choose correctly. Here are a few tips to get you the most bang for your buck:
A quality down alternative comforter will mention its fill type.
Some will be filled with Primaloft, others will be silicone-filled, like Enviroloft, etc. Either way, they will mention the name of the material.
If it just says 100% polyester, it’s probably not the best quality.
Don’t focus on the cover
If you’re going to be using a duvet cover, ignore everything you read about the outer cover (as long as it’s not microfiber. Always avoid microfiber.)
Manufacturers will hype up the outer cover in order to sell an inferior comforter.
A comforter with a damask striped 500 thread count outer cover is great – except for the fact that you’ll never feel it since it will be tucked inside of the duvet cover.
A down alternative comforter will stand up to abuse more than a goose down comforter. But that isn’t a license to neglect proper maintenance.
Wash it according to the directions. Some fill types can and will melt or burn under too much heat.
We’re not saying down alternative comforters are better than goose down comforters.
But they do have distinct advantages! And if those advantages apply to you, then why not save some money and spend it elsewhere?
Goose down comforters are the luxury option, and deservedly so. But they aren’t for everyone.