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While down comforters are popular, they are not the right choice for everyone. Down alternative comforters offer shoppers a hypoallergenic option, with many of the same benefits of down comforters. Down alternative is designed to mimic the feel of down without the high price-point or use of animal products.
As down alternative is a term that covers a variety of fills, with plenty of options on the market today, it is easy for shoppers to be confused. The materials and construction methods used affect how warm and durable a down alternative comforter will be. Before making a purchase, shoppers will want to consider their bedroom environment, climate, and other preferences.
We’ll review our top picks for the best down alternative comforters, based on extensive product testing, research, and verified customer feedback. We’ll also break down the key considerations for shoppers to help them pick the best comforter.
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Saatva’s All-Year Down Alternative Comforter is luxuriously crafted using high-quality materials. Since the comforter is designed for use throughout all four seasons, shoppers may not need to purchase a lighter comforter for warmer months. This may help justify the higher price-point for some.
The All-Year Down Alternative Comforter is filled with a blend of down alternative fiber and lyocell. The down alternative has a fluffy, lightweight feel and is designed to enable airflow throughout the interior. Lyocell is also known for its moisture-wicking properties, making this comforter a good option for warmer months and for sleepers who tend to overheat under blankets.
The shell is made of percale cotton, which is a breathable fabric that further promotes the comforter’s cooling features. Box quilting keeps the fill in place and gives the comforter an overall attractive appearance if used without a duvet cover. Shoppers can choose between three size options: twin/twin XL, full/queen, and king/California king.
The comforter is machine-washable and can also be dried in a household dryer. Saatva recommends washing in cold water on a gentle cycle and tumble-drying on low.
Customers have 45 days to return the comforter for a full refund. Saatva ships for free within the contiguous U.S. and also offers a 1-year warranty.
SF readers get the best price at Brooklinen
The Brooklinen Down Alternative Comforter is one of our top picks thanks in part to its design selection. You can choose from three different weights based on your personal warmth and cooling preferences, as well as the local climate where you live.
The lightweight option is best suited to hot sleepers and warmer weather, while the ultra-warm comforter provides more insulation for people who tend to sleep cold. The all-season option offers a balance of the other two weights, making it suitable for any time of the year.
The comforter is filled with shaved down alternative fibers that mimic the softness and loftiness of authentic down. The shell is composed of long-staple cotton sateen with an exceptionally smooth hand-feel ideal for people with sensitive skin.
The baffle boxes are sewn through to contain the fibers and minimize shifting or clumping, while thick piping around the edges prevents fill from escaping. Each corner is equipped with a corner loop to keep the comforter in place when a duvet cover is used.
Brooklinen recommends spot cleaning the comforter with soft soap if mild stains occur. You should dry clean the comforter if it is heavily soiled. Three sizes are available: twin/twin XL, full/queen, and king/California king.
All U.S. orders qualify for free ground shipping. Brooklinen allows you to return the comforter within 365 days of the original order, even if you’ve slept on it or cleaned it.
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The Layla Down Alternative Comforter raises the bar when it comes to recreating the feel of down. Layla has engineered the proprietary Cluster-Loft fill to mimic real down’s clustering effect. The result is a blanket that feels strikingly similar to down both in loft and insulation. Though it has a price-point that borders on the luxury end of the scale, Layla’s model will be worth it for shoppers who want a high-quality down alternative comforter.
The hexagonal baffle boxes are engineered to keep the clusters evenly balanced throughout the entire comforter. Instead of collecting fill in each corner the way a square baffle box might, the hexagonal shape has a smooth surface that better distributes the fill throughout the box. The shell is made from a breathable, 100% cotton fabric. Layla has designed this model as an all-season comforter, with a 10-ounce fill that hits right in the middle for insulation.
Sleepers with sensitive skin will appreciate that this model’s fill is intended to be resistant to allergens associated with down. It’s also OEKO-TEX certified, meaning it contains no known harsh chemicals or dyes. The Down Alternative Comforter is available in three standard sizes as well as white and gray color options. Layla recommends washing and drying this comforter on cold and gentle cycles.
Free shipping and returns are options for shoppers in the contiguous U.S. Those who wish to return their comforter have a 120-night window. Layla backs the Down Alternative Comforter with a 5-year warranty that covers materials and workmanship defects.
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Most down alternative comforters contain no animal-based products, and this is a big selling point for consumers who make buying sustainably and ethically sourced products a top priority. Silk & Snow goes even further with their Down Alternative Duvet Insert, which contains fill produced from recycled plastic bottles. The fill – along with the cotton shell – are OEKO-TEX certified, so you won’t need to worry about harmful chemicals either.
The cotton feels quite smooth to the touch and is well suited to people with acne, rashes, and sensitive skin. Sewn-through baffles minimize shifting and clumping, a common issue for this type of comforter, while sturdy perimeter piping helps to prevent rips and tears along the edges where fill can escape.
You can choose from two different weights for the duvet insert. The all-season option weighs in at 375 grams per square meter (gsm), making it lightweight enough for hot and humid weather. The winter comforter has a weight of 500 gsm, ensuring plenty of insulation when the temperatures dip without overheating during warmer times of the year.
The duvet insert is priced competitively compared to other down alternative comforters, and Silk & Snow provides free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. Your purchase includes a 100-night sleep trial and a one-year warranty.
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The Lightweight Premium Down Alternative Comforter from Quince features a microfiber fill that feels similar to down. Quince uses a transparent pricing structure that details the cost to create its goods. In addition to ensuring fair manufacturing processes, this practice helps keep price-points affordable for consumers. Value seekers who don’t want to compromise on ethics or quality will find a suitable option in Quince’s comforter.
The microfiber fill is encased in a 100% cotton shell that has a silky sateen weave. Our testing found this comforter feels plush and lofty, much like real down. It’s also less likely to retain heat than a comforter with real down. Baffle box construction prevents the fill from migrating to the edges of the blanket and helps maintain an even loft over time. Corner loops securely fasten the insert to your duvet cover.
Wash this comforter easily at home using a cold, gentle cycle and drying on the lowest heat setting. You can purchase the Lightweight Premium Down Alternative Comforter in two sizes, both of which are available in white. Quince offers free shipping to people in the contiguous U.S. Returns are accepted on new or used items within 365 days of purchase.
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Feeling too hot or too cold can make it difficult or impossible to fall asleep. To address this problem, the Slumber Cloud Lightweight Comforter uses proprietary technology to regulate your temperature in bed, no matter how hot or cold you sleep.
The comforter’s cover is engineered with Outlast technology. Originally created by NASA, Outlast is intended to react to your body temperature and either absorb, store, or release excessive warmth. This allows the comforter to keep cool for hot sleepers while remaining warm for those who tend to feel chilly in bed.
This comforter features small baffle boxes to prevent the fill from shifting, as well as corner loops to keep the comforter in place if inserted into a duvet cover. For quick and simple care, the comforter can also be placed into your washing machine and cleaned following the care instructions on the product tag.
The Lightweight Comforter ships free to customers in the contiguous United States and comes with a 60-night sleep trial. Customers can choose between twin XL, queen, and king sizes.
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The Down Alternative Comforter from Linens & Hutch is designed for year-round use. The fill consists of down alternative clusters that provide a lofty feel and the dimensions are oversized, ensuring plenty of coziness and insulation when you need to bundle up against the cold. The comforter also sleeps fairly cool in warmer temperatures thanks in part to its microfiber cover, which offers breathability comparable to natural cotton.
The microfiber fabric is very smooth, making the comforter suitable for people with acne and other conditions that cause sensitive skin. Since the fill is completely synthetic, the comforter should also appeal to both people with down allergies and those who prefer not to buy animal-based products. Customers can choose from twin/twin XL, full/queen, and king/California king sizes. The comforter is also available in six solid colors, as well as a wide range of eye-catching patterns.
You’ll pay a bit more for a patterned comforter, but all options are competitively priced to accommodate shoppers on a budget. Linens & Hutch also provides free shipping for orders in the contiguous U.S. The company’s sleep trial spans 101 nights in length, which is longer than average.
We’ll break down common types of down alternative comforters later on, but in general, shoppers should expect the comforter to be filled with synthetic fibers that mimic natural down in weight, warmth, and feel. Natural down is the plumage found under the feathers of ducks and geese, and it is commonly used to fill comforters. Down alternative comforters offer shoppers who have down allergies or vegan lifestyles another option for insulating bedding. Down alternative comforters tend to be more affordable than down comforters, and are easier to maintain.
When shopping for bedding, shoppers may notice the terms comforter and duvet used somewhat interchangeably. Typically, a comforter is designed to be used as a single piece of bedding, while a duvet consists of a duvet insert and a duvet cover. This can make a difference when it comes to care and longevity, as a duvet cover protects the insert and is easier to wash regularly.
Since a down alternative comforter can last for many years, providing warmth and comfort throughout the seasons, it is important to choose wisely. The construction methods and materials used can determine how durable the down alternative comforter is. The type of fill is also important to keep in mind, as this can affect temperature regulation and price. We’ll break down the most important considerations for shoppers here.
Down alternative comforters often appeal to shoppers who want a soft, fluffy comforter that is easy to maintain. The versatility of down alternative fill results in a variety of options for shoppers, with options ranging from lightweight to heavy, in order to suit different sleepers and climates. This type of comforter is also typically hypoallergenic.
In order to select the best down alternative comforter, there are several factors that stand out. It is easy to be distracted or overwhelmed by the sometimes misleading terms that bedding companies use, and we urge shoppers to focus on the following elements instead.
Depending on the individual, some of these factors will matter more than others, but understanding them allows shoppers to set priorities and expectations before making a purchase.
The quality of materials used often matters the most when it comes to durability and comfort. High-quality down alternative fill will resist clumping and provide consistent warmth for sleepers. It should also hold up with regular use and cleaning. In addition to the quality of fill, shoppers should consider the shell and construction. Certain shell materials, like cotton, can be more breathable and long-lasting. Stitching that keeps the fill evenly distributed can prevent it from shifting or becoming lumpy.
Down alternative comforters come in a range of sizes, correlating to mattress sizes. Some may be oversized for additional coverage, so shoppers should check the measurements provided by the manufacturer. Those who want to pair the comforter with a duvet cover will also want to confirm the measurements of both for compatibility.
Like down comforters, down alternative comforters can range in weight from light to heavy. Lighter comforters are more suitable for hot sleepers or summer months, while medium weight comforters can often be used in all seasons. Those who want additional warmth should look for heavier comforters. The weight of a comforter can be measured in ounces or in grams per square meter.
A comforter is designed to be used on its own, and many down alternative comforters come in a variety of colors or patterns. Additionally, the stitching used to keep the down alternative fill evenly distributed creates a design pattern. Common patterns include box stitching, diamond shapes, or channels. Duvet inserts are often simple in design, as they are used with a duvet cover.
Down alternative comforters are often more affordable than down comforters. Budget-friendly options can cost below $50, while luxury comforters tend to cost $200 or more. Setting a budget beforehand can help shoppers narrow down the selection.
A down alternative comforter can help regulate temperature, depending on the weight and materials used. Heavier comforters and polyester-filled ones are often warmer, while materials like cotton and silk are less insulating. While many down alternative comforters are designed to provide warmth, others are lightweight and breathable.
There are plenty of benefits to using a down alternative comforter, but shoppers will also want to keep in mind some of the potential drawbacks. One of the most appealing aspects of a down alternative comforter, especially when compared to a down comforter, is its more affordable price-point. On the other hand, down alternative can be less durable than natural down.
There are several types of down alternative comforters available, differentiated by the type of fill and shell materials used. While shoppers should focus first and foremost on the quality of materials, certain materials are considered higher-quality and used more frequently in luxury bedding.
Synthetic Fill Types
Polyester: Polyester is frequently used to create down alternative fill, since it is a versatile fiber that can be manufactured to closely resemble natural down. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that can retain heat and provide insulation for sleepers. There are different types used, including gel-infused polyester, which helps regulate temperature, and siliconized polyester, which resists allergens and bacteria. Some polyester is made from recycled plastic bottles.
Microfiber: Microfiber is a lightweight synthetic fiber. The fibers are soft and thin, which helps to mimic the feel of natural down. The softness of microfiber makes it a common choice for lightweight and all-season comforters.
PrimaLoft: PrimaLoft is an insulating synthetic poly fiber that is treated to be moisture-wicking. The fibers have small air pockets that help trap heat and provide warmth, which is similar to how down clusters are constructed.
Natural Fill Types
In addition to the synthetic materials listed above, comforters can also be filled with the following natural materials.
How much do down alternative comforters cost?
Down alternative comforters are available at nearly every price-point, with budget options below $50 and luxury options above $200. The price is often determined by the materials, construction, quality, and brand. Keep in mind that higher-quality down alternative comforters may be more expensive, but should last longer.
How do I clean a down alternative comforter?
Check the comforter tags and manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure your down alternative comforter is cleaned properly. Many down alternative comforters are machine washable, while others must be hand-washed or professionally cleaned. Using the comforter as a duvet insert with a duvet cover can protect it from stains and spills, and duvet covers are often easier to wash regularly.
Where can I buy a down alternative comforter?
Down alternative comforters are widely available, with options online and in-stores. Shoppers can find down alternative comforters at bedding and mattress stores, department stores, and home goods retailers.
When shopping online, shoppers should read the shipping and return policies. Some online companies offer sleep trials, while others only accept returns of unused bedding.
How long do down alternative comforters last?
A high-quality down alternative comforter should last for several years or longer. While down alternative fill may not be as durable as down, high-quality down alternative will still retain its shape and loft with proper care. Low-quality down alternative fill is less durable, and may be prone to clumping or flattening over time.
Which size comforter is right for me?
Comforter sizes correlate with mattress sizes, and shoppers should select the right size for their mattress. Those who want additional coverage can opt for an oversized comforter. Though sizing is standardized to a certain extent, there will be variation between manufacturers. Dimensions are typically listed on the product page online or on the packaging.
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