February 10, 2020

There’s no doubt that down is one of the most prevalent of fill types in the bedding industry. Down is a natural by-product of raising geese and ducks for meat. After the animal has passed, the feather and down is cleaned, sanitized, and recycled into goods. At Warm Things, all our down products are responsibly sourced and you can read more about that process here.

When it comes to down, the most common types are duck and goose. In the bedding industry, we are often asked, which one is better - goose or duck down? Financially speaking, goose down has a higher value when compared to duck. However, is there a difference in quality between the two?

 

Is there a difference between goose and duck down?

When it comes to shopping for bedding products, specifically pillows and comforters, there is really no real difference between goose and duck down. In terms of quality, both types of down insulate well and share the same structural components. It doesn’t matter which bird provides the feathers or down, as they are both durable and when properly cared for, can maintain loft and warmth for many years.

 

How are duck and goose down different?

While mostly similar, there are a few minor attributes that set goose and down apart:

  • Fill power: The most noticeable difference between goose and duck is its fill power, which is defined as the measure of how fluffy (thus warm) a given amount of down is. Essentially, fill power is the number of cubic inches an ounce that down occupies. In order to secure a high fill power, which is generally 750 and above, you need a higher percentage of plumules. Being that geese are larger than ducks, they will essentially provide the higher-end down. That’s usually where the pricing differences come into play.
  • Durability: Regardless of fill power, there is no major difference between duck and goose down. Durability is contingent on the down’s fat and oil content. Depending on the bird, they may slightly differ. It is important to note that if the down is “over washed” during the production cycle, it can become dry and brittle. This, in turn, would decreases the fill power and quality of the product.
  • Odor: Due to the bird’s body type, duck’s bellies and chests (where down comes from) tend to acquire more odor, as opposed to geese, due to contact with the ground. While the down cleaning and treatment process removes the majority of this odor, if you are more susceptible to smells, you may be able to tell the difference.

 

To conclude, both goose and duck down can insulate equally efficiently when you take variables such as quality of fill, fill power, production, etc. into account. While the price point may vary and goose is considered superior to duck down, you can always guarantee you are getting a high-quality product.

Check out our large variety of down comforters and down pillows products here at Warm Things.


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