In the UK during winter, the sun may still show its face, but temperatures can sometimes still be close to arctic! We end up scraping frost from our car windscreens or shivering under our duvets! In weather like this duck down bedding and goose down bedding can prove absolute saviours. The density of the down provides comfort and warmth that’s almost unrivalled by other duvet and pillow fillings, while at the same time providing a breathable atmosphere that absorbs body moisture and only releases it when your bedding is aired the next morning.
However, there is an alternative on the market that pairs these unique properties with a few advantages of its own – synthetic down.
Synthetic down bedding such as Just Like Down Duvet is a more cost-effective alternative to natural down products and is increasingly popular among consumers who want all the quality of naturally filled bedding without having to spare too much money. While older synthetics garnered something of a reputation for scrimping on cost at the expense of quality, modern synthetic fillings are incredibly soft, lightweight and capable of mimicking natural down in terms of both cosiness and warmth. What’s more, they’re hardwearing and practical, giving you up to 10 years of perfect sleep despite washing and tumble drying!
You could argue that durable goose and duck down pillows, duvets and the like can provide an impressive 30 years of loyal life, but it’s worth bearing in mind that this kind of bedding is only suited to those who can afford to spare the time and funds to have it professionally cleaned. It can also exacerbate the symptoms of allergy sufferers, but not in the way you might think.
Rather than the feathers themselves irritating allergies, it’s the dust and dirt that collects in the duvet or pillow itself. This is all down to the surface material incorporating a looser weave and the down inside being able to trap whatever enters it. Synthetic downs, on the other hand, are incredibly hypoallergenic and can be a godsend for allergy sufferers who desire all the benefits of down bedding without the danger of a runny nose or annoying itching.
So what types of synthetic fillings are on the market?
Polyester hollowfibre and spiral hollowfibre down bedding
A hollowfibre is, well, hollow! The hole running through the middle of this thread of filament traps air much more effectively than a solid fibre and, in turn, makes the duvet in which it resides warmer. The shape of a hollowfibre is also much harder to bend which gives the duvet more structure and loft, trapping more air and, therefore, warmth.
Spiral hollowfibre is structured much like the polyester variety, with the addition of a unique spiral shape that provides additional loft and traps more air. This provides further heat and keeps the duvet plump.
Conjugate fibre and spiral conjugate fibre
Conjugate fibres are made from two different but complimentary fibre types that are fused together to create the desired properties. Again, the three-dimensional spiral varieties give a higher loft and, therefore, long lasting bounce back properties.
Microfibres like the ones found in our own Just Like Down bedding are extremely fine, providing an incredibly warm, soft and light filling without any added weight. Duvets filled with polyester microfibers are also naturally non-allergenic, not only reducing the symptoms of allergy sufferers but lowering the risk of non-sufferers developing a mild condition in the future.
Siliconised is a term used to describe the slippery coating on high-quality polyester that allows the fibres that make up the filling to slide past one another easily. As well as being soft to the touch, siliconised fibres are incredibly durable and can also be washed at a higher temperature than standard polyester fibres.
However, siliconised fibres are considered so flammable that they have no flame retardant properties at all and shouldn’t be sold in the UK. Others coatings that give this siliconised effect are available, although they may require some tracking down.
Although naturally filled down products like goose down pillows and duck down duvets are the ones associated with unrivalled luxury and comfort, down alternatives are the affordable underdog that can provide just as fantastic a sleeping experience as their well-known cousin. What’s more, we stock not just a beautiful range of natural down bedding but our very own set of synthetic down products right here at Vision.
Our Just Like Down bedding effortlessly pairs the softness of down with all the benefits of a synthetically filled duvet at great wholesale prices, making them a convenient alternative for bed and breakfast, guest house and small hotel owners who want to inject a sense of luxury into their establishment.
If you’d like some more tips on keeping warm in bed during a winter’s night, The Sleep Council has some great tips on the topic.