All You Need to Know about Down: Loft and Fill Power

Ever wondered all the debate around fill power and loft for down-filled duvet comforters and pillows? What is so special about higher fill power or more loft? What does this even mean?

If all these words confuse you like they did for me then you are in the right place. President Tony explained this in a simple way right here. Maybe after reading this blog, you might become an expert at buying good quality Down-filled products and bedding accessories!!

Fill power is similar to thread count as a way to understand the differences between the better-quality premium Goose and Duck down duvets that Down Under Bedding carries. The type of filling directly affects the warmth, weight, price, and feel of your duvet/ quilt, as well as choosing the right insulation material could help you get a comfortable sleep.

Let’s jump straight to what these terms mean!


The larger the clusters of Down, the better will the insulating power be of your Down product.-

-Tony Sagar, Down Under Bedding


So, what is Fill Power and why is it important?

Just like Thread count is for cotton sheets, Fill power is for down fill. You can read all about thread count here! But for now, let’s focus on fill power!

Fill power is a number that helps indicate the quality of your down product. You would find that this term is often used for down-filled products such as- duvets, comforters, jackets, and pillows.

Fill power is directly related to the size and proportions of down clusters in your duvet, which tends to be higher for goose down if compared to duck down.

When you might be thinking of down fill- the first thing that comes to mind could be Canada Goose. Am I right? Yes, down does come from Geese- it is the light, airy and fluffy coating found under the visible feathers of these birds. It is also expensive to find which is why you may see find that down-filled products are expensive.


Fill power loft

How is Fill power measured?

Fill power comes from several lab tests that measure the cubic inches of loft per ounce that down fill produces.  

The better the fill power of your down product, the better will be the quality of the product. If a product has to fill power 500, it means that one ounce of down feathers takes up 500 cubic inches. The more the down is per cubic inch the more air is trapped- this helps make your down-filled accessory warmer. As the air pockets trap the heat and slow down the rate of heat loss from our body, keeping you warmer and cozier for longer.  


What is Loft?

Loft helps measure the fluffiness of your down-filled product. It can be defined as the number of cubic inches filled by an ounce of down. Loft od down is one of the most important factors that determined the price of your down merchandise.  

Down is reputed to be super compressible and the best insulating material out there. Its amazing compressible abilities make it easy to pack and store without losing it’s shape.

The key to a down duvet comforter’s warmth lies in the formations of the small spaces of air between the down clusters. The higher the quality of down fill, the better will be the loft after compression. The warmth of the duvet also depends on this- as it provides more heat-trapping space within the down fill.   


What is loft and Fill Power?

Fill power and loft are both terms used to measure the efficiency of the quality of your down-filled accessory. The better the quality of down, the greater would it’s insulating properties be.  

Loft of down can range from 300 to 900 cubic inches per ounce. Loft of down can be one of the most important factors that determine the price of your down-filled product.

The higher the loft in your duvet, the long-lasting it will be. Down products usually have good endurance and can last very long, probably like forever- if taken care of properly.


Assessing and Analyzing Loft

Wondering what all the numbers in the descriptions of your duvet comforter mean??

Well, they help you understand the quality of insulation and also tell you a lot about the warmness of your quilt.


Did you ever notice this??

When you sit on a down cushion or slide under a down comforter, you'll notice a difference right away.

Down filling tends to be softer and will compress as you add weight onto it. But it also tends to return to a normal spot. That's because the clusters possess loft and are naturally designed to return to their original shape.

Have a look at Down Under Bedding's Hutterite Goose Down Blanket with Corner Ties. Which is filled with premium-quality Canadian white goose down fill, and boasts 850 loft. It also provides exceptional insulation while being ultra- lightweight.




Loft for Pillows:

Considered the finer and more luxurious option, goose down pillows also carry a higher price point, as the materials used to create them are not as readily available or easy to find. A few of the other top reasons to switch to down bedding and invest in better sleep include:

       - Easily and naturally contours to your body

       - Allows natural breathability

       - Hypoallergenic for dust mite allergies

        - Naturally lightweight


Down Fill Power

The "fill power" of a down pillow refers to the size of the down clusters within it. These clusters are lighter, loftier, and more flexible than feathers. They're also warmer.

Fill power of down is recognized by the number (you might find this on the label of your duvet, comforter, or jacket). The down fill power ranges between 350 to 900 and indicates how many cubic inches a single ounce of down occupies.  

This calculation is based on the volume that an ounce of down takes up. Note that only down can have fill power and feathers do not.

The maximum fill power you can find is 900, which represents the top-quality cushion or pillow you can buy. The higher your fill power, the largest-sized clusters inside of the item. It will also feature better insulation for a better loft.

You might also find some jackets with fill power 900- consider this the most premium item out there. Yes, 900 fill power is the best that you can get!

As explained by expertworldtravel: Down clusters trap your body’s heat; the larger the clusters, the more body heat they can trap!

Just to compare- products in your home such as furniture and soft toys tend to have a lower fill power (around 500).

If you're looking for a fluffier pillow, opt for a higher fill power and luxury materials. While there are some manufacturers that will use a down-feather blend in their bedding, it's best to stick to premium quality goose down to ensure your best night's sleep.

Normally, any item with a fill power of at least 650 is considered premium. Down fills under 650 are usually considered to be in the commercial realm.


Disclaimer: Fill Power is unregulated by standard and does not include any products that are produced from feather or synthetic fill.

Fill Power should only be used for Pure Down Products; however, manufacturers misuse the word and use it to define other things which should not be considered. You may find that many synthetic and down alternative products refer to the term fill power in their description, which can be very misleading. Fill power should only be used to refer to products with down fill.    


Fill weight


Fill Power vs. Fill Weight

Now that you have learned all about fill power let’s understand what is fill weight and why is it important!

You might find that a lot of people talk about fill power but hardly anyone talks or mentions fill weight on their product descriptions? Why is that??  

Fill power helps determines the loft and quality of your down products whereas fill weight is a measure of the volume for your down accessory.

Fill power --> Quality

Fill weight --> Quantity

Both are equally important when buying a down-filled product, but as you also may have noticed many brands hide the fill weight from you. The higher the fill power in your down product the better the quality will be and also more compressible it will be.

As determined by Canadian Down and Feather Company Fill weight helps regulate the softness and firmness of your products.

This also helps determine the compressibility of your down-filled product. Example – it is easier to store your down-filled duvet comforter in a small condo during summertime as compared to a duvet filled with synthetic or wool blend.

The amazing compressibility of down makes it easy and accessible to store in small spaces without ant damage to your product.      

As stated by a triple fat goose - Down weight plays an important role in determining the warmth of your product.

If a product has lower down fill, it could mean it is of cheaper quality. It would not provide you as much warmth as down-filled bedding with higher fill power.

Similar to Thread Count .. the Higher the number means a better Loft and comfort. Down Under Bedding carries 500 Fill Power to 900 Fill Power.

All Down Under Bedding Down Duvets are Made in Canada for premium Quality 

If you are looking for a product with more warmth, then you should consider checking out both fill power and fill weight.


The higher the number of fill power the better is the loft and quality of your down product. A product with loft 850 will be better than with loft 500.

Take Note!! 


What does down fill power mean for pillows?

Fill power signifies the warmth and quality of your down pillow. Loft helps determine the firmness of your down pillow.

You might have heard the term- Pancake pillow

Down pillows are referred to as pancake pillows because they tend to become flat as a pancake in the morning. Nope, that does not mean you won’t have to make breakfast. (Pun intended)

Your down-filled pillow becomes flat in the morning from the weight of your head but can be easily adjusted by fluffing up the pillow. Best to do this in the morning while making your bed!!

This firmness of your pillows is determined by the loft inside your pillow. Fill power should not be considered as a measure of firmness for your pillows.

The firmness which illustrates your pillow to be soft, the medium, firm is determined by the fill weight rather than the fill power of the down fill in your pillow. This can also be adjusted by the amount of down fill inside the pillows shell.


Soft pillow


Check out Down Under Bedding's Hungarian White Down Extra Soft Pillows here. This is the perfect pillow for both side and stomach sleepers. As it is considered to be super soft and helps provide support, this pillow has a 550 loft provided by the Hungarian white down it's so generously stuffed. It also comes with 100% down-proof cotton cover to enhance the feel of this super soft and comfy down pillow.

Who wouldn't want to sleep on a cloud-like pillow!! I am already dreaming!!


Three Fill power Myths as stated by Down and feather company:

- The higher the fill power the firmer the pillow: This is simply not true because the higher the fill power of down, the softer will your pillow be.  

- The higher the fill power the heavier the pillow: Down is known to be super light and fluffy, so compared to anything else Down fill is the lightest material fill out there.

- The higher the fill power the higher the fill weight: Fill power and fill weight are different – even though both should be considered when making a purchase. One should not be overlooked.


The better the quality, the higher the price will be. If you are looking for an ultra lightweight and highly compressible duvet, jacket, or another item, then it is better to go with one that has more fill power. But if you want to consider something more affordable and the weight and bulkiness are not an important factor then you could go with one that has less fill weight- say about 500.