Down vs down Alternative Comforters

For anyone who doesn’t know: down comforters are and alternative down comforters serve the same purpose, but they are 2 very different things with notable differences.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of time people has bought the wrong type and kind due to having no knowledge about either of them. Here’s where I come to save you. There are many ways to know if the comforter you are holding right now is a real down comforter or an alternative one. And I will teach you how to distinguish between the two today so that you don’t return down buying the wrong comforter that is of no use to you. Let’s start the investigation!

Internal material

The first and foremost way to separate a real down comforter and an alternative down comforter is by the materials that have been used inside it. A real down comforter uses the down, or you may know it as under-feathers, from various bird species.

The most common downs include downs from duck, stork, turkey, goose, etc; Goose down being the most popular among the whole lot. An alternative down comforter uses synthetic or natural, or a mix of both, to fill up the comforter. These can be made from rayon, polyester, cotton, etc.
However, the external material like the fabric, stitching, construction, etc, almost always looks the same between the two; which is what usually stirs up the whole confusion!

Warmth to weight ratio

The single most important purpose of a comforter, regardless of real or alternative, is to keep you from freezing into a Popsicle. And while both kinds succeed to do so, there are some stark differences in how they do it.
A real down comforter will provide warmth for you depending on ratings.

You have extra warm, medium warm, all-season and so on. However, what decides the warmth is the fill power (e.g. 500 -1200) of the down inside the comforter. The higher the fill power, the warmer it gets. However, because real down comforters are made from down, they tend to be more lightweight. So, basically, real down comforters are warm and lightweight.

An alternative down comforter is not measured by fill power, however, they may or may not show ratings. Either way, alternative comforters will toast you with the same intensity of warmth like a real down one, but there is a difference: weight. Alternative comforters will always be a tad bit on the heavier side.

So essentially, both real and alternative comforters can give you the same quality of warmth, but they will differ in weight; real being more lightweight and alternative being heavier.

Down Comforter Allergies

One of the most important reasons to create the alternative down comforter was because of the health concerns that arise from using the real one.
Real down comforters use down which can trigger allergies in many people.
An alternative’s internal materials are made to never disrupt or agitate the user’s allergies or skin. It’s not called “alternative” for no reason!


Here’s where a real down comforter and an alternative one really part ways: lifespan!
A real down comforter is made of down and well, the real stuff. This is why it is expected to last you a very long time. The higher quality ones, like Hungarian down comforters, for example, could very well last you and your grandchildren until the very end.
An alternative down comforter, on the other hand, is durable too. And Yes, it will last you through several good years but it can very outlast a real one. Its interior begins to lose shape or disintegrate over the years faster than the real one.


Because they are made up of different materials, it is no news that you have to care for them in different ways too.
A real down comforter has to be dry cleaned. You must refrain from getting it wet or washing it. Dust it and leave it out to dry under the sun of you must.
An alternative down comforter can be cleaned far more easily and inexpensively. You can just chuck into the machine or even wash it yourself. It can also be cleaned more frequently than a real one.

Tip for the real one:

If you are looking for a comforter for your child, then opt for an alternative down comforter over a real down. This is simply because, this kind can be cleaned more often, thus, eliminating any discomfort from dust, bed mites, etc. But if you have taken upon yourself to buy nothing but the real one them at least refrain from buying the duck down comforters. A real duck down comforter is known to have tendencies to give off a weird and funky odor from it; something the kids may not be able to put up with.


Finally, the all the differences between a real down comforter and an alternative one boils down to the price of each. A real down comforter is made with real down, duh; they last longer and are more lightweight for the same warmth.

This is why this kind tends to be more expensive than its alternative counterpart. Fairly enough, alternative down comforters are heavier, lasts shorter than a real one and uses easily available materials making it more affordable and low-priced than the real one.

And these are some of the ways, the most effective ways nonetheless, to know if it is a real down comforter or an alternative one. I hope you will read through all the points and information laid down for you in this article and use them wisely when choosing a comforter or two for you and your family the next time you are at it.

I sincerely hope my effort to educate about comforters pays off soon. Thank you for reading along; hope you enjoyed the article thoroughly. Catch you next time, take care!