We will explore where down comes from and if there any notable differences in the feel, smell and wash and dry instructions.
Down bedding is nature's perfect solution to helping you stay toasty warm.
Not only is it lightweight but it surrounds you in cloud like warmth.
Down and feathers are a by-product of poultry consumption in Eastern Europe and China for Geese and Ducks.
Soft down comes from the underbelly of those birds and feathers come from the wing areas.
Down and feathers behave entirely different, with down being very soft and fluffy, while feathers are more rigid and help to provide support.
Down is uses primarily in comforters and pillows while feathers are used in some bed pillows and feather beds.
Geese and ducks come in multiple varieties and can range in color from white to grey to black to tan and several shades across.
The color of the ducks or geese makes no difference on the performance of the down or feathers.
Typically American consumers perceive White Goose Down do be the platinum standard and to a lesser degree White Duck Down.
There are reasons why the color of the filling can make a difference, with the biggest reason being that down bedding is typically made using white fabric - so a dark color filling will give the appearance of a grey look when placed behind white cloth.
Sometimes an all grey filling is actually more consistent in looks then a white filling.
This is because when white fillings are processed it is hard to completely remove stray dark color down or feathers short of hand tweezering the fillings.
So a white blend filling with show what stray dark color filling in several places (this is called flecking).
In contrast a grey blend filling - duck or goose will likewise contain several white pieces.
Now when it comes to species, duck versus goose there are some clear differences.
Generally speaking most ducks seem to have an oiler surface coat which even after thorough hypoallergenic cleaning processes still stays around.
This oiler coating tends to give duck fillings whether they are down or feathers a stronger natural smell.
It should be noted that many consumers also have reported that duck down products are harder to care for and if a piece of duck down bedding is not washed and dried properly then they can have an odor post home machine washing and drying.
Of course in clinical testing this odor is not found so the home washing process cannot mimic the cleaning process used at the down processing facilities.
All this being said we have seen some amazing high fill power French White and Grey Duck Downs which rival the best white goose downs from Poland, Hungary and Canada.
The most important thing when buying down bedding is that you purchase it from a manufacturer who owns and operates their own processing capabilities and can showcase their hypoallergenic fillings.