You’ve heard all kinds of advice for a better night’s sleep: limit screen time, keep your bedroom cool, and stick with a routine. But have you considered switching to a down alternative comforter?
Down alternatives aren’t just for saving money versus the real thing. If you’re sensitive to dust and other household allergens, sleeping under a down alternative comforter could be exactly what you need for a restful night.
What Is a Down Alternative Comforter?
Traditionally, plush comforters and duvets included down feathers for cushioning and warmth. Down is the under-layer of a bird’s feathers — it’s ultra-soft and fluffy and lies hidden beneath the layer of structured feathers we can actually see.
Down alternative comforters are exactly what they sound like: Comforters that are filled with any non-down material.
The most common down alternative is synthetic, or man-made, polyester filling. However, you’ll sometimes see down alternative comforters filled with cotton or other animal fibers, like alpaca.
Here’s why down alternatives are even better than the real deal…
So down alternative comforters are just like down ones, only with a different filling? And they’re usually made of synthetic materials, so they’re lower-quality, too, right?
Well, not really. There are several reasons why switching to a down alternative comforter could be the best sleep-related decision you make this year.
By and large, the most cited reason for switching to a down alternative comforter is allergies.
Some consumers are allergic to feathers, so avoiding down bedding is an obvious choice in these cases. However, people with dust and mold allergies may also want to stay away from down bedding.
Even with intense processing, it’s extremely difficult to remove every last trace of dust from natural down feathers. Plus, down comforters tend to allow more dust inside than their alternatives (tightly woven comforter casings can combat this).
While these small amounts of dust and debris pose no issue for many individuals, they can wreak havoc on those with allergies.
Because of the harvesting and cleaning process required to get down from the bird to your bedding, natural down comforters tend to be more expensive.
Of course, this is not set in stone. High-quality alternatives can and often do cost more than run-of-the-mill down filling.
Still, you should consider the average cost of real down if you’re on a budget.
Easier care and maintenance
Down and water don’t really go together. A wet down comforter is incredibly heavy, and improper care can cause the feathers to form into dense clumps. This can make washing and drying your down comforter quite the chore.
All comforters require regular cleaning and care to prevent dust mites and dirt buildup. But, in most cases, down alternative comforters are much easier to keep clean.
The reasons above are all very practical, and which type of bedding you go for can ultimately impact your day-to-day life. But there’s another important reason why some consumers opt for down alternatives.
Just like leather and wool, down feathers are an animal-derived product.
Some consumers choose to avoid down altogether. Others strive to only buy down goods from sustainable and ethical companies.
Either way, in the battle of down vs. down alternatives, many people consider down alternatives to be the more ethical choice.
If you want to learn more about down production and how to support responsible farms, we recommend researching the concept of ethical down and certifying organizations like the Responsible Down Standard.
8 Down Alternative Comforters for Every Sleep Style
There may be plenty of reasons to switch to a down alternative filling, but that certainly doesn’t mean all non-down comforters are created equal. To help you in your search for the perfect night’s sleep, we’ve gone ahead and found the best down alternative comforters you can buy today.
Each of these down alternative comforters is great in its own right — we’ve listed them in no particular order. The best comforter for you will ultimately depend on your sleep style, budget, and personal preferences.
1. Utopia Bedding Comforter Duvet Insert
The Utopia Bedding Comforter Duvet Insert features siliconized fiberfill in place of natural down to better repel dust and bacteria buildup inside the blanket. Despite this treatment, the comforter will still be as soft and warm as any other.
The exterior casing is made of 100 percent microfiber and features box stitching to keep the filling in place. With an overall weight of 350 GSM (grams per square meter), this comforter is best for cold sleepers.
You can order this comforter in eight colors and six sizes. Regardless of size and color, every comforter features tabs on each corner for use with a duvet cover. You can also leave the comforter bare for a clean, modern look.
2. Sleep Zone All Season U-Shape Reversible Comforter
The Sleep Zone All Season U-Shape Reversible Comforter is a unique bedding option in more ways than one. It features synthetic, siliconized microfiber filling that is both lightweight and breathable.
This Sleep Zone comforter uses a one-of-a-kind quilting pattern that claims to better fit the human body in any sleeping position. Extra filling is also included around the comforter’s edges to keep out cold air.
The microfiber casing includes NanoTex fibers, which wicks away moisture and dries 200 percent faster than normal cotton. This feature helps keep you cool in the summer yet warm in the winter.
You can choose from six reversible dual-colorways or go with a plain white comforter for a clean look. The Sleep Zone All Season U-Shape Reversible Comforter comes in three sizes: Twin, Full/Queen, and King.
3. Jola’s House Soft Down Alternative Comforter
For a simple, affordable, no-frills bedding solution, the Jola’s House Soft Down Alternative Comforter is one of the best out there. This comforter uses hypoallergenic microfiber filling that resists common down issues like clumping.
The synthetic microfiber casing is soft, breathable, and won’t make noise when you shift around at night. Each corner features a tab to secure an optional duvet cover.
This Jola’s House comforter is currently available in white or grey. Reinforced piping and box stitching throughout the entire blanket keeps the filling from shifting or spilling out of the seams. You can wash this comforter using the gentle cycle of your home washing machine.
4. Pacific Coast Restful Nights Down Alternative Comforter
It might seem strange to purchase a down alternative comforter from a company that specializes in down bedding. But the Pacific Coast Restful Nights Down Alternative Comforter is one of the top options out there.
This comforter uses Grand Loft European fiberfill, which almost perfectly mimics the natural down’s cushion and temperature-regulation.
The 500 thread count casing is made from 100 percent cotton. It features traditional box stitching and unique border stitching that ensures the filling won’t shift to the blanket’s edges.
This Pacific Coast down alternative comforter comes with a classic white casing with navy cording along the outer seams for some nice contrast.
5. Hotel Collection Luxe Down Alternative Comforter
If you’re looking to really invest in your new bedding, then check out the Hotel Collection Luxe Down Alternative Comforter. This comforter offers all the luxury of real down but with hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill instead.
While this comforter’s inner-material is synthetic, the casing features 450 thread count, pure white cotton. You can use this blanket as a bare comforter or duvet insert, thanks to the ties included at each corner.
This down alternative comforter is machine-washable and dryable. It also passes OEKO-TEX Standard 100 testing for harmful substances.
6. Sheets & Giggles 100% Eucalyptus Lyocell Comforter
Don’t let the cheeky brand name fool you. The Sheets & Giggles 100% Eucalyptus Lyocell Comforter not only knows how to deliver comfort. It knows how to do so in a sustainable way.
In place of regular down, this comforter features a 50-50 mix of two filling materials. The first is the brand’s eucalyptus lyocell fibers. The second is a synthetic polyfill made of recycled plastic bottles, but it’s still super soft.
The comforter’s casing uses the same eucalyptus fibers found inside, only this time they’re woven together for a more sustainable alternative to cotton fabric. Each corner features a duvet cover die-down.
Like other down alternatives, you can machine wash this comforter. However, the company recommends opting for spot or dry-cleaning whenever possible.
7. Layla Weighted Blanket
Now, the Layla Weighted Blanket might not be a down alternative comforter in the traditional sense. But it’s still worth checking out if you find yourself unhappy with your current bedding situation.
Inside this comforter are two layers of polyfill. Between this filling, though, is a third layer of glass beads. These beads are what turn an otherwise normal comforter into a weighted blanket.
One side features 300 thread count, 100 percent cotton. The other is made of extra-soft, mink-style faux fur. Just like a regular comforter, this blanket uses quilted stitching to keep the weighted beads securely in place.
While weighted blankets have been life-changing for some, the actual research to support their use is pretty scarce. There are also some medical conditions, like sleep apnea, that can worsen with their use.
It’s best to do your own research (and talk to your doctor, if applicable) before switching out your down comforter for a weighted one.
8. GreyEagle Bedding Co. All-Season Down Alternative Comforter
Many people opt for real down comforters because of how plush and pillowy they are. The GreyEagle Bedding Co. All-Season Down Alternative Comforter manages to mimic the loft of down without using any actual feathers.
The hypoallergenic, polyester microfiber filling is secured in place with a double-stitched box quilting pattern. Reinforced piping ensures no filling comes out of the edge seams.
The 100 percent microfiber casing comes in all-white or navy blue. You can also add your own duvet cover over the top using the ties at each corner.
If you prefer an extra-large blanket that covers an entire California King mattress and then some, this GreyEagle Bedding Co. comforter comes in a Super King size, measuring 120-by-98 inches.
Sleep Easier Tonight Knowing Better Bedding Is on Its Way
A restful night is the backbone of a successful day. If allergies or a blanket that’s too warm or cool regularly interfere with your sleep, then you know that no amount of coffee or Red Bull will do the trick.
While good sleep habits are a must — yes, even for those without insomnia or other sleep issues — they can’t fix bad bedding. And you deserve to have a comforter that truly meets your needs, whatever they may be.
Do you sleep warm or cold throughout the year? Or do you keep separate bedding set for each change of the season? Let us know how you get the perfect night’s sleep in the comments below!