Comforter Buying Guide

If you’re like most people, comforters and bedding aren’t things you spend a lot of time thinking about, but there are quite a few things to consider when purchasing a comforter other than color and design.

The first thing to consider is how you will be using your comforter. Are your plans to use it for decoration only or will it be a functional piece that you will use while sleeping? If you plan to only use the comforter as decoration, then you need to only choose what appeals to your visual tastes. If you plan to use the comforter while sleeping, the next thing you need to think about is at what temperature you and your partner sleep. If you are hot natured, or live in a warmer climate, you’ll want a different type of comforter than a cold natured person or a person who lives where it’s cold.

Comforters are graded by something called “fill power”, which is really just a description of the quality of the down used. High fill power means the down is in larger and stronger clusters. Large clusters provide superior insulation, breathe better and last much longer than smaller, fragile down clusters. In order to get the right comfort level you need to read up on the fill power levels offered by different manufacturers and what comfort level they are intended to create. Very often the descriptions will include a suggested room temperature in which the comforter is most comfortable.

The next items you’ll need to decide on are the materials used to make the comforter. Basically, comforters are two pieces of material with some type of filling or batting between them to provide warmth. Just like the outside of comforters vary greatly, so does the inside. The most common fillings for comforters are either goose down or some kind of synthetic material such as polyfill, fiberfill or primaloft. If you have goose down allergies, you’ll want to purchase a comforter with one of the hypoallergenic fills. There are varying quality levels of synthetic fill designed to mimic the quality levels of goose down. If you have no allergies, you are free to choose a comforter based on what kind of material you like based on its look, loft, and weight. Also, try to purchase a comforter that has baffles. Baffles are strips of fabric sewn between the coverings that help to prevent the fill from shifting and creating uneven distribution and cold spots. The outer covers of the comforter are described using “thread count”. Thread count simply means the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the higher the quality of the material. Thread counts you’ll encounter while shopping for a comforter vary widely (from 250 to 500!), along with the price. Down and other types of fill can leak through most any type of fabric, so purchase the highest thread count cover that fits within your budget to help prevent stray fill.

If it is important to you to have a comforter you can machine wash. To keep your comforter looking its best, make sure you read the product care instructions carefully. Some comforters cannot be machine washed and can only be dry-cleaned. Here are a few basic tips that will keep your comforter looking great for a long time. Shake and fluff you comforter every morning after use to help keep the feathers or other fill evenly distributed. When you need to wash your comforter, take it to a laundromat and use a large commercial washing machine or have it professionally laundered. Over time, dry cleaning chemicals can break down the fibers in the fill. Dry your comforter on gentle heat in the dryer. When it's mostly dry, take it out, give it a good shake to break up damp clusters of filling, and finish the drying. Then hang it out to air dry for at least 24 hours to make certain all sections are dry before placing it back on the bed.