Hypoallergenic comforters: Down, Silk, or Wool?

Choosing a Comforter avalon-hypodown-hypoallergenic-down-comforter

Quite a few years ago now, I made a mistake when I bought a hypoallergenic comforter for the winter. I thought like many people here in the Northeast that I wanted to be toasty warm in winter, and so I bought the Hypodown “Arctic weight”. This hypoallergenic goose down comforter will certainly keep you warm against the elements, and as I came to learn even when your furnace breaks down and the house is 45ºF, but in normal circumstances because of its superb thermal properties, you can overheat.

I have ended up throwing this comforter to one side in the middle of the night feeling so warm, I felt like I was about to burst into flames! Just to be clear it wasn’t just me: even my husband who feels like a lump of ice in bed in winter, complained at times that he was too hot! Unless you keep your bedroom at about 60ºF or below, then a Classic weight would be much more comfortable. I also bought an “Oversize King” and would never do that again, as off-the-shelf duvet covers do not exist in that size and the custom one I had made seemed to add an uncomfortable amount of weight on top of me, which was the last thing I needed, having just indulged in purchasing the cloud-like 800-fill top-of-the-line comforter.

One thing you should realize is that while you can avoid down allergies with Hypodown Comforters you will still have to use a dust mite cover if you are allergic to dust mites. To me personally, that adds an annoying amount of weight to my comforter, which is why I have been experimenting in recent years with both wool and silk comforters as alternatives.

Down Comforters

Down comforters appeal to people who like the “puffy” look, and the Hypodown line is as good as it gets for those of us who are allergic to down. It is a fusion of down and Syriaca which in part explains its unusual hypoallergenic properties. I would always buy an 800-fill regardless of weight, but economize on the covering, as you still must keep this comforter in a duvet cover. Think about it, once a comforter is in its duvet cover you will never know the difference in the fabric shell. If you are in a southern climate the “Summer” weight is the one you should get, but the rest of us are best off with “Classic.” While not the cheapest comforter you can buy, these are warranted for a lifetime of 75 years, so are clearly made to last.

Goose Downsiberian-goose-down-comforter

For those who are just shamelessly self-indulgent our premium Siberian down comforters fit the bill. Hypoallergenic properties aside, our Serenity and Venus Siberian goose down comforters are simply gorgeous, and when we do “show and tell” with samples at our office, these get many “oohs” and “ahs” from our staff who dream about owning one.

Silk Comforters

The unsung heroine of the hypoallergenic comforter line is surely the silk-filled. A silk filled comforter when taken care of properly, will last about 5 years or more, is light as a cloud while being surprisingly warm (remember your silk thermal undies?). The silk has a disconcertingly flat look to those who are used to down, but it is very luxurious to the touch and surprisingly affordable. For the allergy or multiple chemical sufferer The Yala Luxury and Kumi Kookoon silk comforters are both very well made with high grade mulberry floss. Silk comforter can be an all year round choice in warmer climates. For us in the northeastern US, it is the summer comforter between May and October. Silk comforter is dust mite and mildew resistant, needs no dust mite encasing so go ahead and splurge for the silk duvet cover which will end up as a luxurious duo at a reasonable price. Be warned, once you buy a silk duvet cover you will be smitten and spoiled for life. They are light and have a sensuous feel to them that cannot be beat.

Wool Comfortersleep-beyond-organic-wool-comforter

My own personal and unexpected favorite is the Sleep & Beyond comforter. I always thought that wool comforters would be heavy as my mind always flips back to the infamous heavy wool blankets during my school days. The Sleep & Beyond comforters are a complete surprise with the answer to their lightness yet warmth stemming from the region in which the sheep are reared, and the cleaning process the wool goes through. The lanolin in the wool discourages the dust mites as well as the dry environment of a wool comforter.

Sleeping under a wool comforter is a very different experience and is hard to describe. You are never toasty or sweaty, nor are you chilly. Wool maintains a very comfortable body temperature year round. For those of us females who run hot, a wool comforter is a great alternative to sleeping without bedclothes, as it quickly absorbs excess moisture and quickly wicks it away Best of all, this comforter is lighter than most down comforters, so the warmth is achieved without weight. Use a light weight wool comforter in Southern climates and a “medium” for everywhere else for a year round comforter. Pair it with a silk duvet as I have done, for a really luxurious and light weight finish. I have fallen in love with the Wool comforters so completely, that in a new summer home this is my personal comforter of choice for the bedrooms.