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In down comforters, a luxury experience comes from the lightness, fluffiness and rarity of the down. There is no better feeling than snuggling into cloudlike comfort to start off a good night’s sleep. We have already talked about how a higher fill power will get you more fluff and less weight but there are two more considerations when choosing a luxury comforter: thread count and type of down.
Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the finer and more tightly woven the fabric – to certain point. Many people use thread count as their sole measure but more isn’t always better. It’s possible for very high thread count fabrics to be stiff and dense because of the way they are woven and the fiber quality. A good rule of thumb is to not buy anything over 800 or under 200.
However, a fabric’s feel and performance over time depends on more than just thread count - particularly when it comes to down-proof fabrics. Different than what you would find in duvets or sheets, down-proof fabrics are tightly woven to do the job of keeping the down inside your comforter. The most important factors in down-proof fabrics are durability and light weight, which is optimized between 230 and 500 thread count. Contrast this with a 1000 thread count fabric, which will feel heavy and have smaller and weaker threads while compromising on down-proofness.
If you are using a duvet, you can choose a lower thread count comforter. You won’t be able to tell the difference!
Down-proof fabric is tightly woven to keep tiny gaps from occurring in the fabric. That’s why you may hear a little crinkle to the fabric, which decreases over time and with washings. There are different levels of down-proofness and these measurements are not reported by the manufacturer to the consumer. The only way to know if you are getting good down-proofness in a comforter is to purchase from a brand that you can trust. Pacific Coast has developed a fabric standard we call Barrier Weave®. Not all down-proof fabrics meet the high standards to qualify to be called Barrier Weave®. We even take it a step further with our unique finishing process that adds even more security.
There are two main types of construction in down comforters, the sewn-through box and the baffle box.
The comforter is stitched through both layers of fabric in a sewn-through box construction. We often use this construction method in lightweight comforters and blankets since there isn’t a lot of down to loft and a sewn-through box will keep the down more evenly distributed. The sewn-through construction is more economical as well. Its downside is that cold spots can occur at the stitch lines because the down will move away from that area.
A Baffle Box design refers to three-dimensional fabric-walled boxes that allow the down to loft to its fullest while maintaining even distribution within the boxes - without cold spots. Baffle boxes have a small opening in the corner of each box so they can be filled with down. This construction creates a smooth look to the top of the comforter.
At Pacific Coast, we have gone a step further and developed what we call the Comfort Lock® border. This is a channel that runs around three sides of the comforter to keep the down on the edges separate from the down on top.
This way you can stay warm and cozy because the down is concentrated where you need it and you aren’t paying for down that is only hanging on the edges.
When choosing a comforter, size is our last consideration. There are many sizes to choose from: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full/Queen, Queen, Oversized Queen, King, and Oversized King sized down comforters.
The decision really is whether to get the size corresponding to your bed or an oversized comforter that drapes off the bed. The European style of comforter is sized to sit on top of the bed with little drape. But, in the US, we tend to like our comforters to hang over the bed, more like a bedspread. If you are looking for more drape, an oversized comforter will fit your style better.
Also consider your preference for the fit of the comforter inside the duvet cover, or down comforter cover.
We recommend checking the size of your duvet cover ahead of time to understand how your comforter will fit with it.