So you are in the market for feather bedding.  If you have never purchased feather/down bedding before then you probably need a primer on the topic before you can make a truly good and informed decision.  First of all not all feather bedding is the same. Second of all just because a down product is thicker doesn’t mean it is a higher quality. Thirdly, just because a product is more expensive than another doesn’t mean it is better.

Before deciding between the two let’s first look at the best features of feather down bedding, how to clean goosedown bedding, and the basics of fill power in down products.

The Basics Of Down Bedding

First of all goosedown is classified in a number of ways. Primarily consumers are concerned with thickness or “fluffiness” and with insluative warmth.  Both of these basic desires are addressed in the stats of any down product.

Down is classified by its fill power. This sounds important and simple but it’s not exactly what you are thinking. Fill power is not the quantity of stuffing in the comforter or pillow, it’s actually the quality of the down itself. When the down is measured in quality the higher fill power tends to insulate better than lower fill power stuffing.  Basically it doesn’t take as much of it to fill a comforter up so that it is warm compared to lower quality goosedown.

The other measure of down products is its lift (fluffiness or volume) which is basically the quantity of the stuffing in the product. Lower quality products need more stuffing for the same about of insulation. In the case of a mattress or a mattress pad if you want it to be warm when you lay on it you will have more low quality down or an average amount of high quality down. If you just want the softness of down and less of the warmth then you would choose something that has less volume of low quality or low fill power feathers.

Should I Buy A Feather Bed? The Pluses & Minuses

Knowing this summarized detail regarding down feathers you may be able to surmise that the benefits to buying a feather bed is warmth. If you live in a cold climate and want to be warm underneath as well as on top while you are lying in bed then a feather bed with high quality down feathers is a good option.  Alternatively in warm weather climates it may not be advisable to buy a feather bed because it may be too hot throughout the night.

Feather beds also have the benefit of having built in softness on top of the mattress frame itself. This is great for those who love ultra-soft mattresses but can be annoying for lovers of firm mattresses.

Probably the most annoying part of buying a goosedown bed mattress however is the maintenance. In normal down bedding the material needs to be constantly fluffed and redistributed throughout normal usage to keep things from bunching up and from the down losing its bounciness or fluffiness.

If you have to clean your mattress it may be even harder. Mattresses are not the easiest things to clean in the first place but cleaning feather down requires even more care. To avoid mildew or clumping you will have to be extremely careful with the drying process after a wash. If mildew starts growing in a damp feather mattress you will not enjoy the experience.

Why You May Or May Not Want To Buy Feather Mattress Topper

A mattress topper in my opinion is the way to go. It does have some drawbacks compared to feather beds such as drifting. Basically a pad sitting on top of the mattress can easily move around after a few nights of use. This may require someone or a couple using a feather mattress pad to have to routinely readjust the pad so that it stays straight and doesn’t bunch up.

The drawbacks however are few and far between beyond this. A removable down mattress pad allows you the freedom to experiment with different types of down at different thickness levels depending on the time of year or even which side of the bed you are sleeping on. You can remove the pad all together too when the summer months roll around.

Care and maintenance of down mattress toppers are much easier too. These toppers can be cleaned more easily, fluffed routinely, and redistributed as needed. In terms of how to care for down feather bedding this is ideal, just be sure to read plenty of down bedding reviews for the exact products you are considering buying before you actually make your purchase. Despite the fact that these products display what kind of fill power and warmth level they rate for many knowledgeable customers find these ratings to “feel” a bit off.

Keep This In Mind When Buying Feather Down Bedding

When you are buying down bedding of any quality or size you are going to be spending a fair amount of money. There are times of the year when you can score excellent discounts and there are types of feather products which are less expensive than others. In some cases like living room throw pillows it may not make sense at all to buy down products but bedroom pillows may be another story all together.

Do not just buy the most expensive down product thinking it is the best. In most cases a lower fill power product with a lower quality cloth cover is just fine. You will save money on them and then you will cover them with top notch sheets which are easier to clean.  With pillows you may find that a thin feather pillow stacked on top of a cheaper non-feather pillow achieves the feel you are looking for. If you don’t have to or want to spend so much on down products you don’t have to.

Many online retailers combine reviews for these products with low prices and often do not add sales tax or shipping to your final bill. If you can shop smartly you can buy anything you want for less. In my opinion a down mattress pad is more versatile and desirable than a feather bed but then again everyone has different needs and different values.