Goose Down vs. Synthetic: Here's Why Goose Down Dominates Synthetic Materials When It Comes to Comfort
Whether you're shopping for duvets, pillows, sleeping bags, or a puffy jacket, choosing the right material can mean the difference between enjoying life in comfort and being perpetually irritated by small things that went wrong.
Goose down as well as synthetic filling materials both offer good insulation. However, one is the definition of comfort and luxury; another is a highly functional albeit quite inconvenient protection against Mother Nature. Let's find out what's what by comparing the good and the bad of goose down and synthetic products.
Analysing Down Insulation
There is a misconception that down insulation is made out of bird feathers. The truth is that it's the underside of a bird's coat – the plumage. Down keeps the birds warm by trapping air in tiny air pockets between its fibers. It's these air pockets that lend down its superior insulation. Down is a natural insulator.
Understanding the Down Products Available in the Market
Down products are categorized as luxury products. Down offers an incredible insulation-to-weight ratio that is difficult to match. The demand for down stems from its skin-feel, soft compression, durability, breathability, and lightness. But, all down products are not created equal.
Feathers are not bestowed with small air-pocket structures, unlike down. So they can't offer the same level of insulation. It is common to find some products that contain a mix of down and feathers. These blended down-feather products are less expensive because manufacturers do not carefully separate the down and feathers.
Goose Down Vs. Duck Down
Down is the wispy and soft filament under the feathers of birds like geese and ducks. Hungarian goose down is the most premium-grade down available in the market. It has a higher density of the desirable tiny air pockets, has more fill power, and offers better insulation. However, many manufacturers offer products made out of duck down to keep the costs low.
Why Down Works Best in Cold & Dry Conditions
As we already know, the insulating power of down comes from its tiny air pockets. Under cold & dry conditions, which is typical of U.K. winters, the air pockets trap air and stay warm. So, if you have a Hungarian down duvet on a windy, chilly night, you will stay warm and toasty.
Why Choose Natural Down?
- Comfortably warm
Since it is a natural material, you will never be hot. It feels like a warm hug.
- Amazing Feel
Goose down is one of the most luxurious materials known to mankind. Hungarian goose down duvets feel like puffy clouds wrapping you in their warm, blissful embrace.
- High insulation-to-weight ratio
It is so warm and lightweight that natural down duvets can be used in sub-zero conditions.
Analysing Synthetic Insulation
Synthetic insulation is an umbrella term used for all man-made insulating materials used as a replacement for natural down. Every company creates its own blend of synthetic insulation. However, synthetic blends are generally designed to imitate the feel and warmth offered by natural down products.
Understanding the Synthetic Products Available in the Market
Synthetic insulation is available at different price points and quality options in the market. Here is a broad categorization for your understanding.
It features fine and short strands of synthetic filaments that are packed densely to reduce heat loss. It makes products like duvets feel flexible and soft. However, the short strands move around, and create cold spots. For the same reason, they don't last long either.
This synthetic insulation uses a thicker, longer, and continuous filament. Duvets made out of continuous-filament insulation are more durable and sturdier. However, they feature lower compression and feel stiffer. This can spoil the feel of the duvet.
Why Choose Synthetic Insulation?
- Cost is a Factor
Cost is an important factor in most purchase decisions. However, if cost is your most important concern, you should opt for synthetic insulation.
- Don't Mind the Weight
The low insulation-to-weight ratio of synthetic insulation means it gets quite heavy when it gets warmer. If you are not bothered by the weight and don't need to move around a lot, this can be an affordable purchase.
Does Synthetic Insulation Come Close to Natural Down?
In one word, no. If presented with both, you can easily tell the difference between synthetic down and natural down.
Higher Insulation-to-weight Ratio
The dead giveaway is the insulation-to-weight ratio. You cannot find synthetic insulation in the market that matches the insulation-to-weight ratio of natural down. What this means is that if you have a natural down and a synthetic duvet that offer the same warmth, the synthetic duvet will be considerably heavier. The down duvet will be light as a "feather" (pun not intended).
Since synthetic insulation is factory-made and down is collected from a natural source, producing more synthetic insulation for less is easy. Consequently, synthetic insulation is cheaper than natural down. However, if you go purely by the quality of the product, natural down duvets are superior to all synthetic duvets in terms of form and function.
The insulating properties of synthetic insulation are unaffected by the changing weather and environmental conditions. However, synthetic duvets are less durable than natural down.
Hungarian Goose Down Duvets Vs. Synthetic Duvets
Let's cut to the chase. Now that you know what are the differences between down insulation and synthetic insulation, it's time to answer the million-dollar question: which one should you choose?
Hungarian Goose Down Duvets – a Simple Pleasure of Life
If you appreciate the finer things in life, you will only go for down duvets, and that too premium Hungarian goose down duvets. Nothing beats this product in terms of quality, feel, and performance.
A Hungarian goose down duvet has abundant compact air pockets that ensure the highest insulation-to-weight ratio. It is also highly compressible and incredibly fluffy to the touch. Given the soft nature of the product, it requires special cleaning care. However, if you take good care of the duvet, it will last for decades.
Of course, a carefully curated natural product will be a high-value item.
Synthetic Duvets – All-Weather Product
Synthetic duvets are a more accessible version of Hungarian goose down duvets. They are less expensive, but they are also less warm. If you want to dial up the warmth, synthetic duvets will considerably increase in weight too.
They are also less durable as their insulating power drops with every use. So, even when it's cheaper, it does not deliver high value.