Down blankets are one of the most comfortable-and most popular-types of blankets available.
There are two main types of down: goose down, and polyester fiber fill (“synthetic down”). Goose down is the more common type, whereas polyester fill is reserved mainly for those few individuals who find themselves allergic to goose down.
Goose down is not the same thing as feathers. There are many blankets and quilts that claim to be “feather beds”, and many people are tricked into paying exorbitant prices for something simply because they didn’t know the difference between “down” and “feather”. Down is the fine feathers that are close to the bird’s body. It’s softer than regular feathers and provides more insulation. Feathers aren’t nearly as fluffy, and are used more as a filler, to add volume to a pillow or blanket. Down has better insulating power than basic feathers.
When purchasing a down blanket, it’s important to note the “fillpower”. Fillpower is the measurement of how much an ounce of down will loft and expand. The higher the fillpower, the more it expands, and the warmer the blanket. The quality of the down blanket is rated in cubic inches of fill power. An excellent blanket will have a fill power of 600 cubic inches, meaning that one ounce of down fills 600 cubic inches. A poor blanket is any fillpower under 400 (or an unspecified fillpower). It seems counterintuitive that less down equals more warmth, but that’s the way down works. The more space one ounce of down can fill, the more insulating power it has.
One of the main problems people have with down is that the feathers can poke through the fabric and cause discomfort. This is usually more common in some of the cheaper down blankets. A down blanket should have a really high thread-count fabric and a tight weave, so as to prevent feathers from falling out. It’s also possible to buy or make duvet covers to slip the blanket into, to keep those rascally feathers from poking you. The difference between a down comforter and a down blanket is simply weight. A down blanket is lighter than a comfortable (and usually cheaper too!).
Down blankets are extremely comfortable, and very insulating and warm. They’re perfect for everything from outdoor events to napping to camping. Many people want down blankets, they simply don’t know how to tell the difference between an “ok” blanket and an excellent blanket. It’s necessary to know exactly what you want from a down blanket before going to the store, or you might end up coming home with something not nearly as nice as you hoped for.