Feather & Down are two types of fill material that are commonly used in bedding products, clothing, and furniture. They both come from various types of bird and are typically taken from geese or ducks.
Why Feather & Down?
Feather & Down are naturally resilient fill materials which conform well to your body’s shape. If cared for correctly, feather & down products can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years.
Apart from their durability and warmth-providing capabilities, feather and down are renewable materials which are not produced from non-renewable resources like many synthetic materials. Since they are by-products of the food industry, using feather & down as fill materials ensures that these resources do not go to waste and end up in landfills. Feather & down fills are natural, biodegradable fill materials and are usually a safe and reliable choice no matter which brand you buy.
Feathers, the principal covering of birds, have a flat construction. A feather has a hard, quill shaft from one end to the other, with a series of fibres joining together into a flat structure on each side of the shaft.
Feather is heavier than Down and has a very elastic quill that can be compressed a thousand fold. Feathers are by nature flatter than down and do not loft as well. This means that they do not have the same insulating power as down. Therefore, the same weight of feather will give a less fluffy and cooler product compared to down. This makes it a good material to use in firmer pillows to provide support for side sleepers.
Down comes from the breast of the birds and is a cluster that consists of a soft center from which light fluffy filaments rise in all directions. Down does not contain a stalk or quills.
Goose and duck down is one of our most efficient and lightest natural insulators. It has been used for hundreds of years as a cosy long lasting duvet and pillow filling. Luxurious comfort and warmth isachieved through the ability of down to hold warm air within its millions of tiny clusters. The size and amount of the down clusters determines the fluffiness or loft of your duvet as well as its warmth.
Should you get a goose or duck down product?
Goose down is more expensive than duck down mainly due to lower supply and availability compared to duck down. However, there is no significant difference between duck and goose down products. Both duck and goose down have the same essential structure and are made from keratin which is the same protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails.
Whilst an individual goose down may be larger on average than a duck down, what matters for comfort and insulation is the total weight of down used. This means that at the end of the day, your choice between goose and duck down is largely a matter of preference.