Every night we all hit the sack to rejuvenate ourselves and think little, if at all, about what we are laying our heads on and covering our bodies with. While the covers of our pillows and comforter look nice they are not keeping you warm/supporting your head, that is the filling at work. There are two main types of filling used in bedding; down, which is an organic filling, and down alternative, which is a synthetic filling. While both have many positive characteristics there are also negative traits associated with down and down alternative filling.
Down is a feather of waterfowl (duck, geese, etc.) found under the top, protective layer of quill. One property of down is that it is very fluffy which enables the feathers to trap air thus insulating the bird. Down filling is extremely warm, is a renewable resource and is far lighter than a down alternative filling. Some negative characteristics of down filling is that the items that are filled with it are usually decently expensive. Also, many people complain of being allergic to the down feathers inside of their pillow or comforter. eLuxury Supply offers a few down filled items such as the Hotel Style White Goose Down Comforter and the 50/50 pillow.
Down alternative is a synthetic filling usually comprised of polyester fibers that mimics the positive characteristics of traditional down filling. Down alternative is significantly less expensive than down filling and is easier to maintain/clean. Down alternative filling is hypoallergenic but it also is has less loft than a down filled item. Some items that have down alternative filling in them are the Down Alternative Hypoallergenic Pillows and Reversible comforter offered by eLuxury Supply.
The quality of the down is directly related to its fill power rating, the higher the fill power the better the down will insulate. High-quality down has a high fill power and is much loftier than down of a lower quality. That means down comforters with high fill power require fewer ounces of down to create a lightweight comforter that generates the same level of warmth. A fill power rating of 550 to 750 is considered very good, while a fill power rating over 750 is considered excellent.
In conclusion, when deciding on what fill you want one will have to weigh the pros and cons of each type of filling. While the outside of a comforter might look the same the inside is what makes the difference between a $30 comforter and a $150 comforter. Down and down alternative fillings are similar they and they both will keep you warm and supported.