The difference between Goose down and Duck down is the size and fill power of clusters. Generally speaking, geese have warmer down clusters with higher fill power as compared to ducks.
Even though both Duck down and goose down are found on birds, there is a lot of difference when it comes to choosing which is the best in terms of filling for your comforter, duvet, or pillow. The type of filling inside your product is one of the most important factors that determine the quality and price of what you are paying for!!
The type of filling directly affects the warmth, weight, price, and feel of your duvet or quilt, as well as deciding the right insulation material could help you get a comfortable sleep. We understand the confusion when it comes to deciding the best and warmest material to get you through the snappy cold. What’s all the hype with goose down? Does the lighter, cheaper duck down compare to the tried and true goose down?
We get it, you have a lot of questions when it comes to deciding what’s best for you and your family, and that is why we have created a complete step-by-step guide to answer all your questions!!
Duck down and goose down are the most common type of naturally filled products used for duvets, pillows, and jackets, to help provide the perfect warmth to get you through the chilly winters! Even though both come from waterfowl species of birds, which gives them a similar structure, they do have some differences between them.
So, what makes them so special?
Although goose down and duck down are structurally similar, you may notice that goose down is often more expensive and more desired than duck down. This is because Goose down does not have any odor. Whereas Duck down might have a slight odor. This highly depends on the quality of the loft and the cleanliness of the product.
Wait wait…… Before we get into the specifics of duck down and goose down, let’s get to know what is down!!
What Is Down?
Down is the light, airy and fluffy coating found under the visible feathers seen in birds; geese, or ducks. Down can be understood as three-dimensional clusters that are made up of fluffy filaments and have an undetectable quill. The type of down used to fill your duvet, comforter, or pillow helps determine the insulation and warmth-generating ability of your product.
Down helps create warmth through a process known as lofting- this refers to the fluffiness of the down. Pure Down is a lot lighter since they don't have long stems like that of feathers. Duck or Goose down is perfect for providing you with warmth and proper insulation if that is what you are looking for. Because of their light and fluffy, properties, goose down is also considered to be one of the best fillings for your quilt and fluffy pillows.
Down also can absorb moisture and sweat released by our bodies, which helps ensure a cozy and calm sleep during the night. It also has the wonderful ability to breathe which ensures proper regulation of temperature and gives it one of the best insulation properties when it comes to heating and cooling features. You might notice Goose down to be a more expensive option as compared to duck down because it is difficult to obtain.
All About Goose Down?
Goosedown has always been considered to be like caviar!! Goosedown clusters are generally larger than duck down because they come from larger birds bought up in colder climatic conditions. As a result of their natural environments, goose tends to have naturally larger feathers than duck down. Consequently, their down tends to produce higher and better fill power. Their larger filaments help trap more heat, which helps results in better insulation for your warm winter products.
Goosedown also tend to have less to no odor as compared to duck down, because of their dietary factors. Geese mostly eat grass!!
Goose down tends to be less is also less greasy in appearance as compared to duck down, which has a naturally oily texture. The natural oil in duck down could add some amount of weight to the overall down-filled product, which might affect the fill power and loft quality. Since goose down is much stronger than duck down, a product with 100% goose down filling also has better fill power.
Now you can see what’s all the hype about!!
Quack Quack…… Duck Down! What is it?!
Duck down is a by-product of the meat industry! The birds are not harvested or killed for their down fur as they are mainly raised for meat, eggs, and foie grass (mostly all goose and duck are eaten in China, which is where these birds are mostly harvested). Even though the majority of the fill come from China, they are also produced in Canada, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, and many other European destinations.
In the last few years, the demand for goose down has drastically increased.Down is going up (pun intended). Even though goose down is more expensive as compared to duck down, the demand for goose down fill has continued to rise, because of its higher premium quality fill.
The most significant difference between goose down and duck down is its fill power. But what does it mean.....? Fill helps determine the quality of your bedding in terms of fluffiness and softness. More fill means that the fill power is higher, and the comforter duvet will provide you with more warmth. It also helps determine the quality and durability of the quilt, as a duvet with higher fill would mean it lasts longer.
Since geese are much larger birds than ducks, they are also the only birds that produce sufficiently large plumes for high-end down products. The outcome is that high-end down products remain highly dependent on goose down fill which is indirectly related to the rise in prices.
Another thing that differentiates duck down from goose down is that duck down might have some odor in it, the reason for this is that, since ducks are smaller and lower than geese, their bellies tend to be in direct contact with the ground. Even though a lot of cleaning and treatment processes are established to remove the majority of the odor, some people with a sensitive sense of smell may be able to detect a slight odor.
What Is The Difference Between Duck Down and Goose Down?
Goose down is considered to provide more warmth than duck down, which gives you one of the more reasons to find that most good quality winter comforters or duvets and jackets have this type of down filling. The composition of goose down makes them lighter and fluffier than others, which adds to an airy and soft texture.
Winter products are generally filled with down from either geese or ducks. Since Geese are larger birds than ducks, they are also generally larger, which means they have bigger down clusters. A larger bird from a colder region also means warmer down.
The filaments of Goose down are able to trap more air and provide more insulation. The general rule of thumb is the bigger the down cluster, the warmer the duvet. Given all other factors are equal, a goose-down duvet with more fill say 90 percent will be warmer than the duck-down duvet with the same fill power.
Regardless, of these differences, both products are equally good insulators as they share a very similar structure. Along with that, down is known for being super durable. So if you take proper care of your down-filled products, they are worth every penny and time spent searching for them!!
Should I spend more for Goose Down?
Down & Feathers Made in Canada by Canadians tend to be superior in quality so it pays to buy locally. Duck down is a more economical option for those who don't want to pay about 50% more for goose down.
- Resist clumping: The down feathers are so light and flexible that they can easily mold into any shape. Their naturally flexible ability also helps resist clumping to ensure steady coverage for your bedding. They are super easy to store in small places, as their natural ability helps the feathers bounce back to life. Even after repeated washing, you would find that your duvet remains intact and fluffy (unless there is a small hole……this could be a problem!!)
- Breathable ability:Down has the natural ability to absorb our body’s moisture. The feathers in down trap air while allowing moisture to escape, ensuring you stay warm and cozy throughout the night. Since down allows air to naturally circulate between your bedding and you, it makes for the perfect bedding option for all seasons; as it helps keep you warm in winter and cool during summer. But hey! If you are a hot sleeper, better to test it out yourself, don’t take my word for it!
- Super-duper warm: When it comes to keeping you warm and cozy, nothing compares to down-filled products. Down gets formed in small crisscross-shaped clusters, which not only help trap heat but also provide a natural breathable ability to your down-filled products.
Yes, Goose down is considered a more premium grade of down for the reasons listed above. However white duck is a perfect choice if you're on a budget and have a better value in terms of price. Always confirm you're getting all 100% down and no inexpensive feathers.