Last updated: August 6, 2021

Would you like to sleep more restfully and peacefully? Are you often too cold in winter and too warm under your blanket in summer? Then maybe a down duvet would be right for you. Many people are convinced of the positive properties of down duvets. But which types are there? Which down is the best for you?

In our down duvet test 2021 we show you the best and most up-to-date duvets in the various categories. We also give you helpful tips and tricks on how to recognise a high-quality down duvet. Whether you're looking for a duvet with duck down, goose down or eider down, you'll find the best down duvets on the market.




Summary

  • Down duvets allow you to sleep cosy and warm in winter and be cooled by the duvet in summer. In combination with a nice pillow and a cosy mattress, nothing stands in the way of a restful night's sleep.
  • When buying a down duvet, it is important to find out exactly how the duvet is made. It is best to only buy duvets from certified dealers who pay attention to environmental and animal protection.
  • In general, you can choose between different types of down duvets. The duvets come in different degrees of warmth, so you have the right duvet for every season.

The Best Duvet: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a duvet

What is a down duvet?

The down duvet is a very high-quality duvet. It differs from other duvets in many ways. A duvet of this type must meet certain criteria. Firstly, the inside, the so-called filling, must contain at least 60% down.

If this is not the case, the term feather duvet is used. A filling made of down naturally has a heat-insulating and moisture-balancing effect. It is also breathable. Down is soft, fluffy and light. A duvet that contains more down is therefore softer and lighter.

The down duvet is one of the higher quality duvets. (Picture source 123rf.com / Svetlana Day)

How much does a down duvet cost?

The starting price for a down duvet is 150 euros for a basic duvet. A higher-quality model can then cost up to 1,000 euros. The price depends on the size and filling. The prices for duvets made of down vary.

If you want to buy a really good one, you should not be too thrifty. After all, you will benefit from a high-quality duvet for a long time. Prices range from 150 euros for simple models to 1,000 euros for large luxury versions.

What sizes are down duvets available in?

The size of your down duvet depends on your mattress, your body size and your bed. Down duvets come in many different sizes with a width of 135 / 155 / 200 / 240 / 260 x length 200 / 220 / 240 cm.

In Germany, the standard size for double duvets is 200 x 200 cm. This size is sufficient for people up to 1.80 m tall. If you are taller, it is better to choose a duvet with a length of 220 cm. The same applies if your mattress is 220 cm long.

For a standard single duvet, the size of the down duvet is 135 x 200 cm. If you like it a bit cosier or if you are particularly tall, you should choose a down duvet 155 x 220 cm. Down duvets for babies are a special case - they are correspondingly smaller.

Which down duvet for which temperature?

There are five different types of down duvets. Blankets that are particularly suitable for winter, summer or for the whole year. The degree of warmth also indicates how the respective type of down duvet insulates the body heat.

Warmth level Description
Warmth level 1 Summer duvet, room temperature: 22°C plus, suitable for people who sweat quickly
Warmth level 2 Transitional duvet for mild temperatures, Room temperature: 20°C, if you prefer to sleep a little colder, you should choose this warmth level
Warmth level 3 Transitional duvet for cooler temperatures, Room temperature: 16°C, can be used all year round
Warmth level 4 Winter duvet, Room temperature: 10°C, suitable for poorly insulated bedrooms or people who freeze quickly

Special grade: All-season duvet (min. 17°C room temperature in winter and not above 22°C in summer)

It combines all four standard warmth grades, as both partial down duvets each belong to a cooler warmth grade. Down duvets are available in different warmth levels, so you have the right duvet for every season.

Down duvets are available in different degrees of warmth, so you have the right duvet for every season. (Image source: 123rf.com / belchonock)

Are there alternatives to down duvets?

There are various reasons why someone might not want to buy a duvet made of down, be it for animal welfare reasons or because of an allergy. However, there are some alternatives out there:

  • Cotton
  • Viscose
  • Polyester
  • Lyocell
  • Plant fibre kapok
  • Millet and spelt.

Down is the under feathers of geese and ducks. The down legs radiate from a core. Air is stored between them, which protects against the cold. This makes down a popular filling for pillows and blankets.

On the one hand, animal rights activists complain that tearing the lowest layer of feathers out of the birds' skin leaves bloody and painful wounds. On the other hand, there are people who suffer from allergies and cannot use down duvets.

Therefore, there are alternatives to down. Animal-friendly alternatives to the down duvet are fillers made of cotton, viscose, polyester, lyocell and from the plant fibre kapok as well as millet and spelt.

Decision: What types of down duvets are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between three types of down duvets:

  • Duck down
  • Goose down
  • Eiderdown

In the cold winter months or on warm summer nights, there is nothing more comfortable than a matching duvet. Down duvets are a natural product that you can use in any season. The designation down duvet is only permitted if the filling material consists of at least 60 percent down.

Whether you choose winter or summer down is entirely up to you. In the following, we explain what the different types of down are all about. With a list of advantages and disadvantages, we will try to help you make your decision.

What is duck down and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Duck down is the simplest type of down and therefore the cheapest. Generally, the bigger the down, the better the insulation. Since down is a natural product, it has a clear advantage over other materials when it comes to moisture permeability. Visually, you cannot immediately distinguish duck down from goose down.

Duck down has a high degree of insulation and keeps you cosy and warm. In direct comparison, however, they cannot keep up with goose down. To achieve the same level of warmth, you need about ten percent more duck down filling.

Advantages
  • Good value for money
  • Good insulation
Disadvantages
  • More filling required
  • Animal welfare

As it is a purely natural product, the down can have a special smell. However, this can be removed by washing. Animal welfare is another point you should consider when buying a duvet. There are various certificates that show you how the down was obtained.

What is goose down and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As already mentioned, goose down has a higher degree of warmth. Of course, this is also reflected in the price. Goose down is slightly larger compared to duck down. However, they differ mainly in comfort. Goose down is even lighter than its competitors.

How warm and high-quality down is always depends on its country of origin. Whether duck or goose: the harsher the conditions, the better the down. Responsible for the warmth and insulation are the branches of the down.

Advantages
  • Less filling material than duck down
  • Lighter
  • Warmer
Disadvantages
  • Relatively expensive
  • Animal welfare

They form interstices in which air is trapped, which provides a pleasant warmth. Here, too, there may be a slight odour problem when buying. However, the higher the quality of the down, the less you will be able to smell it.

What is eider down and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Eider down is a true luxury product. This duck species lives mainly in coastal areas north of the Arctic Circle. Their plumage is therefore adapted to these harsh conditions. There are small hooks on their down, which wedge themselves into the down products and form air chambers. These provide very high insulation with high breathability.

Did you know that eider down is the highest quality and most expensive down? This is because eider down has the lowest weight, highest density and greatest filling power, making it the best insulator.

To a certain extent, eider down has a temperature-balancing effect. In summer, when you sweat, the down contracts and becomes less warm. In winter, when the body secretes less fluid, the down becomes larger, stores more air and thus warms you very well.

Because of these properties, you hardly need any filling, which also makes the blanket feel like a feather on your body. In addition, eider down can last up to 40 years if you treat it well. Duck and goose down, on the other hand, only last around eight to ten years.

Advantages
  • Very light
  • Temperature regulating
  • Very warm
  • High durability
Disadvantages
  • Very high price

However, their extraction is very costly. Eider ducks use their down to build nests. Therefore, in the case of organic products, the down is collected by hand after the breeding season. Unfortunately, these advantages are also noticeably reflected in the price. Eider down is by far the most expensive down product you can buy.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate down duvets

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate down duvets. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular duvet is particularly suitable for you. In summary, these are:

  • Dimensions
  • Warmth level
  • Filling material
  • Season
  • Washable until
  • Tumble dry
  • Suitable for allergy sufferers

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Dimensions

In general, there is a wide range of down duvet sizes. Down duvets, for example, are available in the following sizes: Width 135 / 155 / 200 / 240 / 260 x Length 200 / 220 / 240 cm. The size of your down duvet depends on your mattress, your body size and your bed.

Warmth level

There are five different warmth levels for down duvets. Blankets that are particularly suitable for winter, spring, summer or for the whole year. The warmth levels are indicated by the numbers 1 to 5. Starting from 1 for a summer duvet to 5 for a very warm winter duvet (or all-season duvet).

Filling material

Only down (= lower feathers) or from waterfowl, i.e. duck and goose, is used as filling material for down duvets.

Down

Land fowl such as turkeys and chickens do not have down. Likewise, only feathers from ducks and geese are suitable for filling pillows and blankets.

Did you know that the assumption that white down is better than brown or grey is a myth?

The colour of the special feathers has no influence on the quality or bulkiness, yet pure white down is sold at higher prices.

Feathers from chickens are not suitable due to their flat structure and the resulting lack of filling power.

Goose feather

A fully grown goose feather has a blunt, round keel. This feather has a squat shape and is strongly curved and looks as if it has been cut off at the end.

Duck feather

The duck feather is delicate, strongly curved and tapers to a point or in the form of rays.

Season

As already mentioned, there are blankets for every season or an all-season blanket that is not too warm for summer and not too cold for winter. Of course, there are also special blankets for each season and bedroom temperature.

Washable to / suitable for tumble dryer

Whether a down duvet is washable can be read on the label. This also applies to the dryer. Most down duvets are washable at 60 degrees and suitable for tumble drying. However, a nice warm day can also be used for drying.

Whether and how you should wash your down duvet is usually marked directly on the duvet. (Image source: unsplash.com / Andrea Davis)

Suitable for allergy sufferers

Many people who are allergic to dust mites blame their hypersensitivity on down. In practice, only a few people actually have a down allergy. However, down duvets can conversely have a positive effect on the sleep of the house dust allergy sufferer, as long as you pay attention to the quality of the ticking when buying a down duvet. However, there are many down duvets that are also suitable for allergy sufferers.

Facts worth knowing about down duvets

How do I wash a down duvet properly?

In principle, it is possible to wash your down duvet yourself. However, be sure to check the washing label. Down duvets require little care. Generally, simple airing is sufficient. If your duvet is not too big and fits in your washing machine, you could wash the down duvet yourself in some cases - but be sure to check the washing label!

In any case, use a special down detergent or a mild hair shampoo and wash the down comforter in the delicate or wool wash programme at low temperature or by hand in the bathtub. The down duvet dries best in the dryer at a low 30 degrees Celsius. However, caution is advised here as not every duvet is suitable for the dryer.

Markus Kamps, certified preventologist and specialist lecturer for health topics, sleep tuning and stress management, explains the risks of drying a down duvet in your own dryer:

"If the down duvet is washed by yourself, then the duvet has to go into the dryer afterwards. However, many normal dryers are too small in terms of drum size, so there is a minimum drop height for the duvet and this leads to the duvet appearing dry on the outside, but a residual moisture remains on the inside. To compensate for this, many use dryer balls or other aids. This in turn leads to stress on the quilt, e.g. damage to the ticking and the filling." Markus Kamps (lecturer at the Nagold Textile University)

But you can also wash your down duvets without a dryer. In this case, use a sunny day to wash the down duvet and hang it outdoors to dry.

Picture source: pixabay.com / DieterRobbins

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