Before we can talk about the factors that are important in choosing a comforter, we need to make sure that we are all on the same page. In the bedding industry there different things that people cover their beds with, and although sometimes the names are used interchangeably, they really aren’t. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between a comforter, a duvet, a bedspread and a quilt.
- Bedspread - The term bedspread can be used to mean two different things. In the broad sense, it’s the term used for any piece of bed linen that is designed specifically to cover the top of the bed and encompasses all of the other types of bed coverings. There are all different “types” of bedspreads, including some that are filled with materials with box style stitching – which is why it can be confused with actual comforters.
- Quilt - A quilt can be made to cover just the top of the bed, or it can be large enough to cover the entire sides, making it a “quilted bedspread.” Although comforters and filled bedspreads use quilted stitching to hold the inner materials secure, that doesn’t make them quilts.
- Duvet - A duvet is similar to a comforter, because both are created from large “bags” of material that have been stitched across the top to hold the inner materials secure. There is however, one very distinguishing difference between the two – duvets are made so that they go inside a duvet cover which can be removed, washed and changed so you can have different looks.
Ok, now that we have bedspreads, quilts and duvets covered; let’s talk about what a comforter really is. In the true sense of the term, a comforter is most like a duvet in that the construction design is a large flat bag filled with material, made to cover just the top of the bed and used while sleeping for warmth. However, there is significant distinguishing factor – comforters are designed so that they don’t require an additional cover – and the design, colors and look is pretty much limitless. Since there is no cover, you need to use sheets with them.
So, just when you thought you had it all figured out, there is another breed of bed covering – comforters that can also serve as a duvet. We consider this one of the most versatile “bedspreads” you can get. By themselves they are beautifully designed so they look great on your bed. The best ones have elegant quilted stitching that adds to the beauty. But what makes them different than a standard comforter is that like a duvet, they have corner fasteners, such as buttons, loops or ties, that will securely hold a duvet cover in place. One brand that manufactures comforters like this as well regular ones is KingLinen
. They’ve got loads of options like the White Down Alternative Duvet Insert Comforter or they’ve got sets like the 3-Piece Comforter Set which comes with 2 shams as well.
There are other brands too with affordable, stylish and functional comforters. MALOUF
is a brand that actually has down comforters for under $150, which is no mean feat. Their White Down Feather Blend Comforter is a step into simple, stylish luxury. Some brands just know how to do it all. Superior
is a brand with a lot of comforter options. For one they’ve gone for it all, making a Solid White Down Alternative Duvet Insert, Medium Weight, All Season, Hypoallergenic Comforter. Now, that’s a mouthful!
Basically, there’s a brand out there for everyone and you’ll almost certainly be able to find your ideal comforter at an affordable price.
When it comes to comforters, or any kind of bed linen for that matter, there is a wide range of prices; and you get what you pay for. Can you find a cheap comforter for around $30 (or even less for a twin)? Yes you can. Will it last long before the stitching comes loose or the inner materials start to flatten or go lumpy? No
On the opposite side there are down comforters that cost $1000 and more. There are also a lot of high quality comforters in the few hundreds of dollars price range. Ultimately, what you pay for a comforter will depend upon the construction and design, things we will discuss shortly.
Unless you just won the lottery, we understand that most people are looking for good quality comforters in a reasonable “everyday” price range. For this reason, we choose to keep our upper price range at $150, with 4 of our 5 actually available in King size, on sale at Amazon for under $100.
In order to provide consistency in comparison, we chose to provide pricing information king sized comforters however each and every one of the brands we chose has multiple size options.
In most cases, down comforters don’t really have extra "bells and whistles" because they are not purposely built to be extremely sophisticated. However, it is wise to keep an eye on the features section to find out an overview of each of the 5 comforters we have chosen. For example, some of these products might be covered by a warranty period; others might be made from hypoallergenic materials and so on. We are sure that these features will be useful in the long run.
Construction and Design
In considering the construction and design of a comforter, there are two things to look at – what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside.
When choosing a comforter, the part that you see (and that touches your body) us just as important as what fills it. There are generally four types of coverings, each of which could be made from a different material. The difference between these fabrics is not just in the look, but in the weight and level of warmth that they provide.
- Lightweight batiste fabric which is great for warmer weather or people who like to be cool when they sleep.
- Damask fabrics are a woven type of covering that is heavier than the others, designed to provide warmth.
- Cambric fabrics are woven, like damask but they are lighter in weight.
- Sateen fabric which is similar to the soft, shiny and smooth feeling and appearance of satin.
Once you know the weight and type of fabric you want, the next thing to decide what material you want. Comforter covers can be made from materials such as cotton (or cotton blends), synthetic blends and wool. You will also want to take a look at the thread count, but don’t let that be the determining factor – it’s a myth that a fabric having a higher thread count automatically makes it better. Finally, you need to look at the stitching, which is more than just a decorative accent. The stitching is what holds the inner materials in place so it doesn’t shift. One of the first things to go on a cheap comforter is the thread that holds it all together.
Now let’s talk about that stuff on the inside. For comforter fillings, there are two broad categories – down filling and down alternative fillings. We have separate articles that go into more depth about each of these materials, but one of the biggest criteria in choosing between these two, besides price, is allergies. There is no doubt that a high quality down filled comforter is the ultimate in luxury, but some people have allergies and just can’t have one. If you are an allergy suffer, and we aren’t just referring to feather allergies, then you want a comforter that has both a covering and a inner filling that is hypoallergenic.
Regardless of which type of inner material you choose, you want to consider the fill power – the amount of space that the filling takes up, or in simpler terms, how thick is your comforter? This standard is typically measured by the amount of down feathers that are used, but down alternative covers usually provide information about the fill power equivalent. Comforters with higher fill power values will provide more warmth than lower ones. To give you a frame of reference, if you are someone who likes to be toasty and warm at night, you want at least a 600 fill power comforter.
Performance and Ease of Use
How do you measure the performance of a comforter? Needless to say, one aspect of this is how well this piece of bed linen adds to the beauty of your décor. Does it makes you smile when you look at it, almost happy to make your bed in the morning? If so, then it’s doing its job perfectly. For the purpose of our review, we chose to feature just white comforters from every manufacturer for two reasons. First, how a comforter looks is truly a matter of personal preference. White provides a blank canvas for any décor and since all of the comforters we are recommending also serve as duvet inserts you are free to get the exact look you want. The other reason for not focusing on the color or pattern is because when it comes right down to it, the inside is just as, if not more important than what’s on the outside.
A really good comforter will make you just as happy when you pull back the covers and climb underneath. Does it feel good against and over your body? Is it soft and snuggly? Does it provide you the temperature that you want? No matter how beautiful a comforter is, if it makes you sweat in the summer, or doesn’t keep you warm in the winter, it’s not serving its purpose. Temperature control is a matter of personal preference, so you will have to choose the comforter that’s right for you. Some people like extra thick comforters in the winter and different ones in the summer. Others like to have all season comforters, adding extra blankets when the weather gets cold.
The final thing to consider is whether or not your comforter is easy to care for and maintain. Needless to say, higher quality down comforters need a lot more special attention than regular machine washable down alternative comforters. Each and every one of the comforters that we are recommending comes with corner fasteners that allow you to encase it in a duvet comforter, making washing as simple as washing the sheets and changing a really large pillow case. You may even want to consider having at least two duvet covers so that you can quickly put another on while one is in the laundry.
Choosing what “the best comforter” is for you will be a matter of personal preferences, but now that we know what’s important to look for when choosing a duvet insert style comforter, let’s take a look at 5 of the top brands and what they have to offer.
Sleep Restoration is passionate about…well, restoring your sleep! They’re committed to manufacturing innovative, functional but stylish bedding. They’ve got memory foam pillows, leg support pillows, down alternative comforters, bedding sheets with aloe vera, mattress pads and many more weird and wonderful inventions.
The Sleep Restoration Goose Down Alternative Comforter would be a stylish addition to any bedroom, in any season. This oversized comforter is constructed with durability in mind, with precise stitching and hard-wearing hems, it’ll stand the test of time. It’s hypoallergenic, protecting against mildew, dust mites and mold and it’s a lot easy to care for than a genuine down comforter. You can wash on a cool cycle and then hang out to dry in the sun or, if you’re not lucky enough to live in a climate with a lot of sunshine, you can simply put it on a cool tumble to dry.
Of course, one size (or color) does not fit all when it comes to comforters which is why Sleep Restoration has manufactured this comforter in 3 sizes; twin/twin XL (74x89”), full/queen (89x89”) and king/cal king (104x104”). So, once you’ve picked the right size for your bed, you can move on to pick the right color. There’s 10 to choose from including grey/black, aqua/ivory, brown/cream, burgundy/black and navy/sky blue, to name a few!
Utopia Bedding is committed to providing high-quality home products to everyone at an affordable price. They’ve got headquarters in the USA, with presence in Canada, China and Pakistan as well. Their product range includes bedding, kitchen, household, personal, fitness and wear products.
The Utopia Bedding Comforter Duvet Insert is just one of their extensive range of quality comforters. It’s extremely popular for its durable construction and minimalist, stylish design. Filled with plush siliconized fiberfill, this down alternative comforter will keep you cozy and warm in the winter months and happily comfortable in the summer, thanks to the box-stitched lofty design.
Utopia Bedding decided to make this comforter even more convenient by making it a 2-in-1 product. You can use as a comforter if you like, but there’s also corner tabs if you want to use it as a duvet insert. Being able to change the duvet cover is such a convenience for keeping your bedding fresh and also being able to switch up the décor of your room whenever you want. If you suffer from allergies, you’ll be pleased to know this synthetic down alternative comforter is totally hypoallergenic. You can wash this comforter in a washing machine as long as it’s on the lowest/coolest setting possible, although it is recommended to only wash your comforter once a year maximum.
You can purchase this comforter in three sizes; twin (64x88”), queen (88x88”) or king (90x102”). Utopia Bedding also manufactures comforters and duvet inserts in different colors if you’re not sure you want the white version!
Beckham Luxury Linens believes that everyone should have the luxury of comfort at affordable prices. That’s why they’ve streamlined their production system to ensure you get the lowest possible prices for the highest-quality products. Their collection includes comforters, bed sheets, mattress pads and duvet cover sets.
The Beckham Luxury Linens 1600 Series Comforter is their most luxurious and softest comforter yet, packed with synthetic goose feathers for a cozy, lush feel. It’s really a 2-in-1 product as you can use it as a duvet insert too. That way you can change the design as much as you want and reinvent your bedroom décor every few weeks. Because this comforter is stuffed with synthetic materials, it’s also hypoallergenic and protects against dust mites, mildew and mold. It can also be machine washed on cool and dried in the sun or on a slow, gentle tumble until completely dry.
If you’re sold already on this extremely affordable yet luxurious comforter, choose from three sizes; twin/twin XL (66x92”), full/queen (86x88”) or king/Cal king (102x90”). Once you’ve selected the right size you can choose which color you’d prefer. There’s tons of options including navy blue, black, pink, cream, sky blue, burgundy and more!
If you are looking for a good quality comforter that has an affordable price under $150, we know that you would be happy with any of our top 5 recommendations, 4 of which actually cost less than $100 for a king size.