Duvet Filling Buying Guide

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Duvet Filling Buying Guide

A duvet is a form of blanket that is often sold with a complete bedding set. It is sometimes referred to as a comforter and vice versa. However, they are two different items albeit with some similarities. The main difference between the two lies in the material used to make them and how they are used. The filling used to stuff these blankets also plays an important role in their classification. The duvet appears to be a large, flat blanket that is traditionally filled with feathers or down, but more contemporary duvets are also filled with wool, silk, and various synthetic fibres.

Comforters, on the other hand, may sometimes contain some of the aforementioned fillings, but they are generally stitched in or quilted to the material to keep it in one place and distributed evenly. Buying duvet fillings can be easy or daunting depending on the buyer’s knowledge base of the subject. Buyers should first become familiar with fill power and duvet casings. They should also understand the two major filling choices of natural and synthetic fibres, and then break down those choices to fully comprehend how each one will affect their duvet in regards to efficiency and quality.

Fill Power and Duvet Casings

Fill power is the name given to the measurement of quality for feather and down fillings in a duvet. The higher fill power that a duvet gets, the higher the quality rating. Fill power has a lot do with content and consistency, and a high fill power is also an indication that the duvet may last longer.

Fill power is measured in cubic centimetres per gram and has a range from as low as 175 cm cubed  to as high as 900 cm cubed. Higher fill power also means that the down has more insulating air pockets; therefore, more down clusters are used to complete the duvet insulation. The casing for a duvet also helps determine its comfort level as the pocket construction affects how the filling is distributed. Uneven distribution may cause cold spots in the completed duvet.

Natural Duvet Fillings and Stuffing

The casing of a duvet is of some importance, but greater emphasis is placed on its filling. The two major categories are natural and synthetic fibres, but buyers should understand what falls into these categories and which option is right for them based on feel, comfort, and pricing. For instance, some natural stuffing fibres, such as wool, silk, and feathers, are generally costly because they are softer and lighter than most synthetic fibres, and they tend to be more comfortable.

It is also determined that natural fibres makes the duvet breathable, which makes it less likely to become too hot and is thus more versatile as it can be used in diverse weather conditions. Additionally, natural duvet fillings tend to last longer than synthetic fillings and may last up to 30 years if properly cared for.

Down Duvet Filling

Down filling refers to the cluster of fluffy puffs that is often found just beneath the feathers of geese and ducks. These fillings are the lightest ones used for duvets because they do not comprise quills, so they are even lighter than feathers.

Down fillings are soft with small air pockets, which is a great for insulation as it traps warm air in and keeps cold air out. As a matter of fact, it is the same fluffy fibres that keeps the geese and ducks warm when it is cold and still allows them to swim in cold waters.

The more down filling, the lighter the duvet is, and the quality and durability also increases. Duvets that are filled with down filling can last up to 20 years or more, but sometimes, the down is mixed with actual feathers, which lowers the longevity to about 15 years.

Feather Duvet Filling

Feather fillings are taken from the same source as down, but they include the quills, so they are firmer and not as soft or light. Feathers may be considered an inferior filling choice to down, but they are still a higher quality than some of the other options. They may also need a lot more filling than down clusters would for the same duvet in order to get the same quality rating.

Goose Feather and Duck Feather Mixed With Down

Duck feather stuffing mixed with down clusters result in a heavier filling that goose feathers mixed with down clusters. The goose feather combination is generally more expensive than the duck feather combination and also more voluminous. The chart below gives an estimated account of what is considered good fill power for certain blends.

Filling Combination

Fill Power

Description

Goose Down Only

600 and over

Very soft, lightweight, fluffy

Goose Feather + Down

300 and over

Great value; great for most seasons; comfortable

Duck Feather + Down

300 and over

Great value; firm

Duck Down Only

500 and over

Lightweight, soft, fluffy, comfortable

Moreover, down clusters taken from geese in colder climates are generally bigger and more expensive. Countries that are famous for big down clusters include China, Hungary, Russia, and countries in Eastern Europe. Higher fill power means a lighter duvet but not necessarily a warmer or more comfortable one. A 650 or 750 fill power duvet is actually very light and can be perfect for camping or backpacking.

Silk Duvet Filling

Silk filling is generally very expensive because it is naturally hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. It is however considered to be a healthier choice when compared to feather, down, or polyester fillings, especially among persons with allergies. It is agreed that the best silk fillings are mulberry silk or wild silk, and they are generally layered atop each other to stuff a duvet. Silk-filled duvets generally carry the highest price tags.

Synthetic Fibre Duvet Fillings

Synthetic fibre filled duvets are very popular because of their economic prices, but some consumers still shy away from synthetic fibre fillings because they assume that they will not be as warm as their more expensive counterparts. However, this is not true.

Synthetic fibre fillings are easier to care for and the logical choice for homes with duvets that are to be laundered very often. These fibres are machine washable and can be tumble dried as often as necessary. Their lifespan is however less than that of the natural fillings, generally lasting approximately 10 years. Polyester fillings can be listed as hollow-fibres or microfibres, which are the most natural-feeling of the bunch. They are very light and have a soft feel.

Duvet Filling and Allergies

Many persons avoid down and feather fillings because they are convinced that they will cause allergies. However, more often than not, dirt and dust cause the allergies rather than the fillings themselves. Even people who are naturally allergic to animals and dander can still comfortably sleep with a down or feather only duvet without any reactions. As a matter of fact, high quality duvets that are made with goose or duck down clusters are generally made with a tighter woven fabric than polyester ones. Therefore, there is a thicker barrier between the fillings and the outside of the duvet.

Synthetic fibre filling is not a bad choice for the general buyer because it is cheaper and can be washed frequently to kill dust mites and remove dirt that may cause allergies. It is also hypoallergenic, so people who suffer from asthma and eczema may consider synthetic fibres as a preferred alternative.

How to Buy Duvet Filling on eBay

If you want to save yourself some time, you could simply buy a duvet that is already filled with the types of filling that you desire, but if you already have a new duvet casing or is thinking about refilling an old one, you could search eBay for your filling of choice.

It is best to search for natural fillings and polyester fillings separately to ensure that your search results are not contaminated with a bunch of other items that you may not be interested in. Another thing to note is that you may return more results with the word "stuffing" as opposed to "filling", so instead of writing "natural filling", try searching for "natural stuffing" instead. These general searches should be conducted from the eBay home page to ensure that all possibilities are considered in the search. It can then be filtered later.

After your initial search, whether general stuffing, filling, or a specific type, such as goose, feather or polyester, you should select some filters, such as price and location, to minimize additional, unnecessary items. Some of the fillings found will also be tagged as toy, pillow, or cushion stuffing, especially the synthetic ones. Once you have narrowed down your search to the stuffing that you need, it is always a good idea to contact the seller about shipping details and any other information that you are unsure about before you make a payment.

Conclusion

It can be difficult to buy duvet filling overall, but it can be especially difficult to buy it online. Online stores, such as eBay, are convenient, but buying duvet fillings requires a bit more interaction, and this can be achieved using eBay's advanced search engine and their extremely helpful filters.

However, even with the best online store, buyers may be at a complete lost if they do not educate themselves about certain factors before attempting to shop for duvet fillings. Buyers first have to understand the meaning of fill power and how that affects their filling purchase. They need to ensure that they have an appropriate casing to complete a comfortable and efficient duvet, and then they need to consider if natural or synthetic filling best suits their lifestyle and budget.

Whether natural or synthetic fillings are chosen, buyers also have to consider the possibilities of an allergic reaction to any of the items. Once buyers educate themselves, they can browse eBay to make an informed decision.

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