Choosing a Comforter

Two Beds

Choosing a good comforter is essential to getting a good night's sleep. Like a mattress, a comforter is a piece of furniture which you will use for eight hours of every night. Having the correct comforter for your bed is key to better sleep, more energy, better health, and even more money.

Buying a new comforter can be an intimidating and complex process. There are so many different variables to consider: material, warmth, fill type, fill weight, fill powder, not to mention price. This guide is here to help you choose the best comforter for your needs.

Warmth

For most people the first and most important aspect of purchasing a new comforter depends on what warmth level they need to sleep comfortably. The warmth of your comforter depends on two things, how warm your bedroom is and how warm your body is when sleeping.

If your bedroom is warm at night you will not need an especially warm comforter. A lot of people who live in areas with hot summers and cold winters actually have more than one comforter which are switched out depending on the time of year.

Bedroom temperature is important, but so is your body's temperature when sleeping. Some people are naturally warmer sleepers than others. Ask yourself, do you usually feel cold, warm or just right when sleeping? If you share a bed with someone, do you notice that one of your gets colder at night more than the other person? Take note not only of the bedroom temperature, but also how your body temperature feels at night. If you are someone prone to sleeping cold, then you will want a warmer comforter.

Unfortunately there is no industry standard when it comes to labelling a comforter as "warm" or "very warm" or whatever. Different companies use different labels.

Generally, the coolest comforters that a company offers are going to be targeted at bedrooms which reach 70 or more degrees Fahrenheit (21+ Celsius). If you are a warm sleeper and your bedroom is above 80 degrees, then you are probably better off with just a blanket rather than an actual comforter. Different comforter materials have different warmth levels, with down generally being the warmest comforter material.

If you are looking for the warmest of the warm, down is going to be your best choice. A high quality down comforter is going to be the warmest thing you can sleep under. Generally the warmest comforters are aimed for bedrooms which are below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Celsius).

Be sure to read the manufacturer's warmth ratings. See what temperature levels the comforter aims to accommodate. If you are uncertain. I recommend purchasing a cooler comforter and then adding a thin top sheet or duvet cover if needed. You can also use our comforter warmth calculator to compare the warmth of different down comforters.

Also, realize that some materials, such as polyester offer warmth at the price of breathablility. A comforter which is warm, but does not breath well will leave you hot and sweaty. Read more about comforter warmth.

If you share your bed with someone and you notice that one of you is always warmer than the other, consider getting a dual warmth comforter. These are comforters where one side is warmer than the other. Perfect for couples who have different sleeping temperatures.

Breathablity

You must balance the amount of warmth your comforter provides with the correct level of breathability your body needs. A cheap polyester comforter can be warm, but it will not breath well, potentially leaving you sweating and irritated in the morning. Different comforter materials and comforter designs offer different levels of breathability.

Weight

Do you like the secure feeling of a heavy comforter or do you prefer to feel light as a cloud? If you want a lightweight comforter, there is no alternative to silk. Silk is a lightweight material that is perfect for someone who hates heavy covers. Down is a great choice if youneed something warmer. Because down is superior at keeping warmth in, less material needs to be used to create the same level of warmth. This means that a down comforter is going to be lighter than a synthetic comforter of the same warmth.

If you want a down comforter but do not want one that is very lightweight try a down/feather mixture. This means a lower fill power. This is usually considered a lower quality fill because of the impurity of the down. What this means is a heavier comforter at a cheaper price.

Wool is a good product for those looking for a heavy bed cover. Wool is a natural material which is denser than down. A wool comforter will create a heavier blanket feel.

Check to see how heavy the comforter you are buying. Comfortable bedding is not just warmth, but also weight. For example, no matter how warm it is, I have trouble falling asleep if I do not feel at least a blanket around me.

Comforter Materials

There are a few common comforter material types, and they each have pros and cons. Down is great at keeping you warm, but can be more expensive. Polyester is cheap, but does not breath well. Silk is light weight, but does not keep warmth as well as other materials. A good starting point when looking for a new comforter is choosing a comforter material that fits your needs.

comforter material guide

Down or Alternative?

Down is clusters and plumules that exist under the feathers of birds. Down is a natural material used to make both medium quality and extremely luxurious comforters. There are other alternative materials which may be just as good or better at meeting your needs. When choosing your bedding, think about what type of material will provide the best nights sleep.

Down Benefits

Alternative Benefits

If you decide to go with down, take a look at the list of the best down comforters.

The Outside Layer

While the fill of a comforter is extremely important, do not forget about the outside layer of your bedding. Whether you use a duvet cover or not, you will want the material which is next to your skin to be pleasant to the touch. Cotton, silk or cotton blends are the most popular materials.

Cotton is soft, breathable and easy to care for.

Cotton blends are a mix between cotton and other materials. These cotton blends are usually more durable than cotton alone. Cotton-polyester blends are warmer than cotton alone. Cotton-linen blends on the other hand tend to be cooler than cotton alone.

Silk feels great, but is not as durable and might need special cleaning. It is one of the most elegant bedding materials available.

Price

A comforter is an important investment. A good quality comforter can last up to thirty years. A good night's sleep will improve your mental and physical well being. You will be less tired, more relaxed, have more energy and have better health if you sleep well every night.

That being said, most of us are on a budget. Think about how much you can afford to spend and try to find a comforter that meets all your needs and still falls within your price range.

Down or silk might be too expensive. See if you can find an alternative material that will still meet your warmth and weight needs.

Care Instructions

Different comforters have different needs. Not all comforters can be cleaned in a residential washing machine or dried in a residential dryer. Some need commercial washing machines and some need to be dry cleaned. Be sure to reach the care instructions on the tag of your comforter to see how much work will be needed to maintain a clean bed.