Best Comforters of 2018
For a good night's sleep, few things in life are as inviting as a comforter. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best comforter to send you peacefully off into dreamland.
Curl Up in Comfort: Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Comforter
For a good night's sleep, your bed should be as comfortable as possible, and few things in life are as cozy and inviting as a comforter.
Whether you sleep rolled up like a burrito or sprawled out like a starfish, there's always room for a good comforter. If you choose a comforter with the right warmth rating, you can sleep with it all year-round—not just during the colder months.
The question is, how do you find the right comforter for you? With so many on the market, it can be tough to cut through the jargon and select the comforter that will best meet your needs.
That's where we come in. At BestReviews, we take delight in helping consumers find products that perfectly suit them. We test items in our labs, talk with experts, consult product owners, and perform mountains of research to find and recommend the best.
If you're ready to buy a new comforter, please see the matrix at the top of this page for three of our favorite picks. For our full guide on comforters and how to find your ideal match, please continue reading.
What's Touching Your Skin: A Comforter's Outer Shell
The outer shell of a comforter is the part that touches your skin. As such, you want it to be comfortable. A comforter's outer shell is usually made of polyester, cotton, or a blend of the two.
● Cotton is a natural fiber. Because it's much more breathable than polyester, it helps you keep cool at night. Cotton is also less prone to staining. However, cotton usually costs more than polyester—especially if you opt for a quality cotton comforter with a high thread count.
● Polyester is a man-made material. It's a money-saving alternative to cotton, and it's stronger and more resistant to fading than cotton. However, most people find polyester less comfortable to sleep under, and it's not ideal for people who tend to feel warm at night.
● Cotton/polyester is a blended material that is stronger than 100 percent cotton and slightly cooler and more breathable than 100 percent polyester. It's a good middle ground for folks who might prefer pure cotton but don't have the budget for it.
What's Inside: A Comforter's Filling Material
The filling of a comforter is made from either down—the fluff and feathers from geese and ducks—or fluffy polyester fibers, which are sometimes referred to as "down alternative." Each filling material offers certain benefits and drawbacks.
The Pros and Cons of Down Comforter Filling
● Down is quite effective at regulating heat. Your body is more likely to maintain a comfortable temperature all night beneath a down comforter.
● Down-filled comforters are lighter in weight than polyester-filled comforters of equivalent warmth.
● Down comforters often cost significantly more than polyester-filled comforters.
● Cheaper down comforters use a combination of soft down and regular feathers, the latter of which have a hard shaft down the center. These shafts can poke through the outer shell of the comforter, causing discomfort and a scratching sensation.
● Down isn't vegan-friendly or suitable for anyone who avoids using animal products for ethical or religious reasons.
● Allergy sufferers and people with asthma often find that down exacerbates their symptoms.
The Pros and Cons of Polyester Comforter Filling
● Polyester, which is sometimes marketed as a "down alternative," costs significantly less than real down.
● Polyester-filled comforters are hypoallergenic, so they're inherently better for allergy-sufferers and people with breathing issues.
● Many people like the soft, puffy feel of polyester-filled comforters.
● Polyester isn't as effective at regulating temperature as down. You might feel comfortable when you first climb into bed with a polyester comforter, but as you sleep, you may find yourself growing too warm.
● You need more polyester than down to achieve the same degree of warmth. Because of this, polyester-filled comforters can be heavy.
A comforter's fill weight should not be confused with its fill power. Fill power is the measure of how much space a comforter's filling takes up. That said, all you need to know is that a comforter with a higher fill power is warmer and has more loft—meaning it's fluffier.
● A comforter with a fill power of less than 400 is lightweight and suitable for spring/summer use.
● A comforter with a fill power of 400 to 599 is considered an all-season option, although you may need an extra blanket in the colder months if you have chilly winters.
● A comforter with a fill power of 600 to 799 is a warm option for fall and winter.
● A comforter with a fill power of 800 or more is the warmest and most heavyweight winter option. Comforters with such a high fill power are designed for cold climates and people who like to feel extra snug at night.
How It's Made: A Comforter's Construction
The term "construction," when applied to a comforter, refers to how the blanket is stitched to prevent the filling from bunching up and becoming unevenly distributed.
● A comforter with box-stitch construction has squares stitched on it in a grid-like pattern to help keep the filling even.
● A comforter with baffle-box construction has strips of material, otherwise known as baffles, stitched between the top and bottom layers to give the filling more room and increase the loft.
● A comforter with sewn-through construction has vertical or horizontal lines of stitching sewn through both the top and bottom layers.
While you'll occasionally find comforters with other types of construction, such as diamond-stitch or karo step, the three types of comforter construction above are by far the most common.
Price: How Much Comforters Cost
A range of factors, from the type of filling material used to a comforter's outer material and construction, influence its price.
● Down comforters are the priciest comforters of all. They cost anywhere from $60 to $300. That said, a down comforter that costs less than $100 isn't likely to have the greatest quality.
○ The softer the down, the higher the price of the comforter.
○ Comforters with a down/feather mix usually cost less than comforters with 100 percent down filling.
○ A down comforter with a cotton outer shell typically costs more than a down comforter with a polyester outer shell.
○ A larger down comforter is likely to cost more than a smaller down comforter.
● Polyester-filled comforters start at $20 to $30. These lower-end blankets are very basic and tend to have polyester outer shells. A polyester-filled comforter with a high-quality cotton outer and high fill power may cost between $60 and $90. On the upper end of this price scale, you can expect to find comforters in an attractive range of colors and patterns.
Tips for Choosing and Maintaining Your Comforter
● Don't be disappointed if your comforter doesn't look very fluffy at first. It can take up to three days for a comforter to expand to its full loft after unpacking.
● The thread count of a comforter isn't extremely important if you'll be placing a duvet cover or flat sheet between you and the comforter, as your skin won't be touching it when you sleep.
● If you're concerned about thread count, consider buying a comforter with a thread count of 400 to 600. A comforter with a thread count higher than that will probably feel stiff.
● To fluff your comforter and restore loft after a period of storage, pop it in the dryer on low for five minutes.
● If you want to be able to wash and dry your comforter at home, opt for one that isn't labeled "dry-clean only," and make sure it's not too large to fit inside your washer and dryer.
Q. Why should I use a comforter instead of a standard blanket?
A. The type of bedding you use is a personal choice, but many people prefer comforters over standard blankets because they're warmer, softer, and generally more comfortable.
Q. What size of comforter should I get?
A. This depends on the size of your bed, the brand of comforter you select, and how you want it to sit. If in doubt, measure your bed and refer to the specific measurements of the comforter you're considering.
While there are standard sizes for mattresses, comforters are made to be slightly larger than the size of the mattress for which they're designed. Some manufacturers make their comforters only an inch or two larger than the mattress size; others make their comforters several inches larger to allow for some overhang.
Q. Are comforters easy to clean?
A. Comforters are bulky, and the comforter that you choose may not fit in the average washing machine. What's more, it may take a long time to dry. If you use a duvet cover on your comforter, however, you can easily wash the duvet right along with your sheets. If you choose this option, you'll only have to wash your comforter a couple of times a year.
Q. How should I store my comforter when it's not in use?
A. If you have an extra-warm comforter or live somewhere with scorching summers, you'll probably want to place your comforter in storage during the warmer months. When you put your comforter away, make sure it's clean and completely dry. Store it in a fabric bag; plastic bags aren't breathable and can trap moisture and condensation, leading to mold.