Best Down Alternative Comforters
Question of the day: Who makes the best down alternative comforter?
The Pinzon Primaloft down alternative comforter is the perfect medium warmth comforter for all seasons. After testing over 20 different brands of down alternative comforters both online and at the department stores, I found that the Pinzon down alternative comforter has all the right features:
- light and weightless sensation
- real down-like plushness
- soft cotton fabric that allows airflow and doesn’t feel stiff
- and a price tag under $130.
Down Alternative Comforter Reviews Results
As you can guess, this site is dedicated to goose down comforters. So why am I branching out and trying out down alternative comforters?
Well I’ve actually received many messages from readers who are allergic to goose down and are desperately searching for a comforter that feels like down, but without the runny nose and itchy eyes that go along with it.
While many down alternative comforters are a vast improvement over regular comforters that come in bedding sets, my standards are a bit higher. Since I’m used to sleeping under real goose down comforters, I expect a similar feeling in terms of plushness and warmth from any down alternative I review. As someone who’s a picky snob about real down comforters I’m even more critical when it comes to down alternative comforters. This is a challenge that I was excited to take on.
What to keep in mind when looking for a down alternative comforter
Pay attention to the type of filling
Alternative comforters are filled with polyester or a mix of different fibers. One of the biggest problems with these fillings is that they tend to clump together and form hard lumps after regular use. Your perfect comforter that felt light and fluffy when you bought it could soon turn into a heavy lumpy mess after a year and several washings.
The best way to make sure your down alternative comfoter won’t become lumpy is to make sure it is filled with sheets of batting that’s sewn in place rather than loose fibers. Filling that’s sewn in place will not get tangled nor clump as easily as loose filling.
Make sure your comforter has 100% cotton fabric
Since the filling inside down alternative comforters is polyester, the comforter will not have the benefit of air circulation that comes from real goose down. This can cause problems as the comforter can trap heat and moisture which means you’ll wake up hot and sweaty. This is why it’s so important to make sure that the fabric of your comforter is pure cotton to allow at least some air flow. Otherwise your comforter will feel stifling like the cheap comforters that come in those “bed in a bag” sets
The Best Down Alternative Comforter Is Pinzon PrimaLoft
After more than 20 hours of research and going around bedding stores touching comforters I found the Pinzon Primaloft to have the best texture and specifications. I was sceptical at first because this isn’t a brand that you can find at any big box stores, only online at Amazon. However once I got the chance to touch the comforter in person I knew my search for the best down alternative comforter had ended.
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At a price averaging around $120, it’s almost as expensive as a real goose down comforter. This price may make your jaw drop a bit, but this comforter is built to last and is the closest thing to real down in texture and plushness that I have ever felt. I’ve searched elsewhere for a down alternative comforter just as fantastic as this one, but I’ve never been successful.
While other comforters are half the price, there is a definite tradeoff. Down alternative comforters are filled with polyester and this causes several problems.
First, polyester filled comforters can feel heavy and flat due to cheap filling. Some are also so stiff they make a crinkly plastic noise every time you move.
Not exactly a cuddly experience!
Synthetic fibers like polyester are also not very comfy, especially if you tend to sweat a lot. Imagine the cheap polyester track suits from the 80s and 90s and how much sweat and moisture they trapped in… This is a very big problem with most down alternatives.
When it comes to bedding, you definitely get what you pay for. Comforters are not like fashionable clothes, where the designer/brand are more important than quality and substance. When it comes to bedding, especially comforters, always pay a little more for something that will last for years. It really doesn’t make sense to buy something that costs half the price if you have to replace it twice as often.
While there are some differences between the Pinzon Primaloft and say, a medium warmth down comforter, they are not major. If you must choose synthetic materials and not natural goose down either for health or moral reasons, then the Primaloft is the absolute best choice.
First off, lets talk about the experience of sleeping under the Primaloft comforter. What does it feel like? Of all the down alternatives I tried, it is definitely the lightest of the bunch. This comforter feels almost as light and weightless as comforter. The Primaloft does not feel heavy nor does it fall limply over your body. This comforter does closely mimic the structure and loft of goose down.
In terms of softness and plushness, it does fall a bit short. While the comforter does expand to 2″-2.5″, it still feels like polyester when squeezed. There isn’t the spring-back or plushness that you get from real goose down. So while the Primaloft is soft and fluffy, don’t expect the same sensation of snuggling into a down comforter.
The Primaloft is made with a very high quality cotton cover and this makes up for the suffocating quality of most polyester comforters. Neither I nor my SO had problems with sweating with this comforter. Perhaps the fluffy filling lets enough air flow through the comforter to combat this problem.
Speaking of the filling, according to the manufacturer, it’s made of entire sheets of material which are then stitched in place. This prevents future problems after many cycles in the washing machine. I’m sure you’ve felt old comforters or stuffed toys where the filling inside has clumped together. This is a problem with cheaper polyester filling that is just stuffed inside. Overtime the fibers in the filling tangle together and form giant clusters. Clustering isn’t a problem with the Primaloft due to the unique construction. That is unless you make an effort to rip apart the filling!
The Primaloft comes in a medium warmth, it should work for 90% of you who keep your bedrooms at a temperature between 60F – 75F.
If you need an extra warm comforter for really cold winter nights, the Primaloft comforter also comes in a medium weight model.
For those of you who are afraid of temperature extremes because you are a hot sleeper you should keep reading for my best light-warmth pick.
- Very light and fluffs up nicely with 2″-2.5″ of loft.
- A nice medium warmth comforter that’s perfect for Canadian/Midwest winters.
- Filled with truly hypoallergenic polyester batting.
- Filling is woven so it doesn’t lose it’s shape or turn lumpy.
- Has corner loops/tabs for tying the comforter to your duvet cover.
- Made in the USA by Downlite in Ohio.
- Qualifies for free shipping from Amazon.
- Costs the same as an entry-level down comforter.
- Can only be found on amazon.com.
- The measurements are not standard. The king size measures 106″x96″ ( standard dimensions for a king comforter are 102″ x 86″ to 102″ x 94″) and the queen size measures 90″x96″ (standard dimensions for a queen are 86″ x 86″ to 86″ x 94″). You’ll have to find an extra-long comforter cover or deal with a bit of bunching. I know Cuddledown makes king size comforter covers that measure 114″ long which is longer than standard covers. Personally I think a regular cover is okay as the size difference isn’t big enough to be noticeable. If you get the queen comforter, you can just use a regular king comforter cover.
Average Price: $110-$120*
If you are looking for the perfect down alternative comforter that you can use all year-long then the Pinzon Primaloft down alternative comforter is the perfect choice. It feels close enough like goose down that you’ll forget it’s not the real thing if it weren’t for the lack of allergies!
- Made in the USA, not China.
- 400 thread-count cotton fabric feels silky smooth.
- Equivalent to 50 oz. of 550 fill power down filling. Perfect for year-round warmth.
- See the full specs and features
Chezmoi Down Alternative Comforter – A less expensive choice But not as soft
If The Primaloft comforter is above your budget, then the
Chezmoi Down Alternative Comforter is a less expensive, but adequate alternative. The tradeoff is that it feels much stiffer and not as soft as the Primaloft.
At half the price of the Primaloft, averaging around $45, the Chezmoi is the next best choice even though I had some significant problems with this comforter. While this is very light and soft for a synthetic comforter, it does feel much heavier and flatter than the Primaloft. The filling feels flatter and more compact. Not very down-like.
The Chezmoi down alternative comforter does have a bit of structure and height. This is done with a stiffer fabric cover. Unfortunately this means it feels like you’re sleeping under plastic sheets sometimes. Tossing and turning created crinkling noises with this comforter. Just imagine it, a comforter that crinkles like plastic wrappers in the middle of the night. Not exactly the a luxurious sensation!
If you only had $50, then this is a nice polyester comforter, but not good enough to be considered a down alternative. Consider it better than the average comforters in “bed in a bag” sets, but do not expect too much. You’ll only be disappointed.
- For an under $50 comforter it is very warm.
- Good for college dorm rooms or as a spare comforter in your linen closet.
- Guaranteed to be hypoallergenic since both the filling inside and the fabric outside are 100% polyester.
- Feels flat and heavy. Not very “down-like”.
- The fabric is 100% polyester and stiff. Expect your comforter to crinkle noisily when you move.
- Dry clean only. Do not wash this comforter or you the filling will become lumpy.
Average Price: $40-$60*
If you are on a budget then the Chezmoi down alternative comforter is a serviceable choice. It is thick enough to keep you warm through the winter nights, but it does not feel like real goose down. You will want to cover the comforter with a soft comforter cover as the polyester fabric does not feel very soft. Take care not to wash the Chezmoi comforter as the filling will clump together.
If you can afford it, I really would recommend that you get the Primaloft instead as the materials and the construction are of much higher quality and it’s made in the USA.
- 100% polyester which is the safest choice for allergy sufferers.
- Budget friendly but warm enough for winter weather.
- See the full specs and features
Best Down Alternative Comforter For Warm Weather
If you tend to be a hot sleeper, then a thinner and lighter comforter would be a better choice like this light down alternative comforter from Natural Comfort. The Natural Comfort comforter is only a fraction of the thickness of the Pinzon Primaloft.
I would say that it’s more like a blanket and rather than a comforter. It is perfect during the summer or for those of you who have a higher body temperature.
As this is such a thin blanket, there isn’t a lot of plushness to it. The most important reason why I chose this comforter is that it does not feel overwhelmingly heavy.
The fabric is not cotton, but microfiber. Some people prefer microfiber to cotton, but I like cotton better. Microfiber can be a problem with pet hair, so be sure to use a duvet cover if you get this comforter.
The filling is stitched into place so there won’t be clumping problems over time. The lighter weight and thinness means this comforter will be easy to clean at home.
There are loops in the corners for you to tie it in place inside of your duvet covers. This keeps your comforter from shifting inside its cover. The Natural Comfort light warmth down alternative comforter comes in twin, queen, and king sizes. Prices average around $38 with the king size model being more expensive.
- Filling is stitched in place to prevent lumps.
- Thin and light.
- 100% Polyester fabric and filling but it does not feel “plasticky”.
- Has loops in the corners so the comforter won’t shift inside it’s cover.
- Very low prices starting in the $30s.
- Only appropriate for spring/summer/fall. It’s too thin for winter.
- Made in China.
- The fabric is microfiber which is a magnet for dirt and pet hair. You really need to use a comforter cover.
Average Price: $36-$44*
The perfect summertime down alternative comforter. It’s not very thick so you will still need to get a warmer comforter for the winter. Natural Comfort’s light-weight comforter is both light and fluffy and light on your budget. If all you want is a light comforter for the warmer months then this is the perfect choice.
- A light and thin comforter that feels fluffy and not like a cheap polyester comforter.
- The fabric is microfiber which some of you prefer to cotton.
- 100% inside and outside so it’s guaranteed to be allergy free.
- See the full specs and features
Conclusion – What’s the best down alternative comforter?
After trying many down alternative comforters that felt nothing like goose down, the Pinzon Primaloft comforter feels the closest to the real thing.
A low entry-level price and features such as filling that’s stitched in place and a soft 400 thread count cotton fabric makes this the best down alternative comforter. It even comes in an extra-warmth model for really cold winter weather.
Average Price: $110-$120*
For about $120* you’ll get a truly hypoallergenic comforter that does not trap sweat like other polyester comforters. This is one of the rare down alternative comforters that truly fluffs up to 2″ of loft like real goose down. While other down alternative comforters are half the price, they will be heavy and lack the loft and lightness of the Primaloft. You will definitely feel the difference in quality.
Have you used any of these down alternative comforters? Leave a comment below and tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly!
*at the time of publication