Feather duvets are considerably cheaper than down duvets, using outer layer feathers rather than the fine downy insulating feathers nearer the bird’s body. Either duck feather or goose feathers are used, with goose feather duvets being slightly more expensive and often better quality than duck feather duvets.
See our Goose feather vs Duck feather chart below for a clear understanding or our Duvet Comparison Chart to look at all the duvet fillings available.
Feather duvets are heavier than down, and usually heavier than microfibre / synthetic fillings too. But they’re breathable and maintain a comfortable body temperature much better than microfibre does. If you like a weightier duvet, you can get a wonderful sense of being embraced by a good feather duvet which will sink down over your body, so for some people, they are good choice. Feather bedding doesn’t have to be avoided by people with allergies either, read our ‘About Down’ or ‘About Allergies’ pages for more information. You could also just choose a duvet treated with Nomite™ – such as those from the John Lewis range.
Feather duvet advice – choose a quality cover and quality feathers
Whilst a feather duvet can provide a soft and warm bedding option, you do need to make sure that your duvet has a quality cotton cover. We’d recommend one with a minimum 230 thread count. This is so the weave is tight enough to stop the quills of the feathers poking out of the duvet. Believe me, the last thing you want to feel as you’re drifting off to sleep is a sharp poke in the flesh from a pesky feather quill making a bid for freedom.
We’ve reviewed the best and the worst of feather duvets – the best have high quality covers, thoroughly washed and treated feathers so they don’t smell, and well-distributed filling in separated ‘pockets’. The worst are prickly, clumpy and take you right back to the farmyard on opening the box – not good! You may see some duvets claiming that they contain ‘softened feathers’ and this can be a definite bonus when buying a majority feather duvet. The quills are removed from the feathers, leaving the softer fibres of the feather itself as the filling.
Duvet Advisor’s view on feather duvets
Our view? You honestly want to go for a feather and down mix, rather than a pure feather duvet.
This is the best, reasonably priced option for a natural duvet fill. An 85% feather, 15% down combination is usually the highest amount of feather we would suggest for a really comfy night’s sleep. But if you can afford it, go higher on the down – it’s warmer, lighter and softer.
You get what you pay for – very cheap goose duvets can also smell if the down or feathers are not washed and treated properly. Good quality duck feather and down duvets can be better quality than cheap goose down / feather duvets. Finally, check your feather / down duvet is from an ethical company, and sleep with a clear conscience that yours is happy, healthy goose or duck down.
More about different types of down, allergies, ethics and fill power ? See our ‘About Down’ page.
The best feather and down duvets? Read reviews here.
Duck or Goose? No, it’s not a playground game but a useful chart about duck feathers or goose feathers in duvets.