Downsides of Down

Down is an amazing bedding material. It is soft, warm and light weight. It is used in the most luxurious comforters and pillows. However, down has its downsides. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into when you purchase a down comforter, sleeping bag or pillow. The following is a list of things which might make you think twice about buying down.


The main reason someone should avoid down bedding is if they have allergies. Down is a natural feather material. Individuals who are allergic to feathers should definitely stay away from down filling.

However, most people who suffer allergies from down comforters or down sleeping bags are not allergic to the down itself. Instead they are allergic to the dust, mites and mold which may develop inside of the down filling.

Your bed is a great place for dust, mites and mold to form. The mattress, pillows and comforter are all designed to keep warmth in. The ability to keep warmth leads to the perfect environment for dust mites and other nasty allergy causing menaces to grow.

Down develops dust faster than most alternative comforter fillings leading to higher allergies. People who develop allergic reactions to sleeping under down usually have symptoms similar to hay fever. Stuffy node, sneezing, puffy eyes, etc. Some people may have more serious reactions such as swelling and hives.

There are ways to reduce the chance for allergic reactions from down. Cleaning the comforter or sleeping bag on a regular basis will help keep the dust levels low. Higher quality down and higher "fill power" will also discourage the growth of dust, mites and mold. There are also special anti-allergy duvet covers which protect your comforters from dust and other allergy causing impurities.

Hard To Clean

A clean bed is a happy bed. As mentioned above, down fill can lead to dust, mold and mite buildup. To prevent this, proper recurrent cleaning is necessary. There's nothing like getting into a bed which has clean sheets and covers.

Unfortunately down does not like to get wet. When down is wet it looses its warmth and forms into clumps. A good way to ruin a down sleeping bag or comforter is to throw it into a regular top loading washing machine. Read the care instructions for your down bedding carefully. Different products require different types of washing and drying. Cleaning and maintain down is often going to be more difficult than alternative products.

Luckily duvet covers protect comforters so that you will not have to wash it as often as you do your bed sheets.


Down is a natural material which offers warmth and lightness like nothing else. No alternative materials are able to stay as light-weight and as warm as down is. However, there is a cost to this. High quality down will often be the most expensive bedding material available. Unless you find a great deal, a down comforter is going to be more expensive than a synthetic or alternative comforter.

You can certainly find a good down comforter for an affordable price, but expect to pay a premium for the very best.

To Down or Not To Down?

That question can only be answered by you. Think of what it is that you are looking for in a comforter or sleeping bag. Now that you know the negatives of down, is it still a good material for you?