The Best Comforter

After more than 40 hours' research and testing 21 comforters, we’ve found L.L.Bean’s Baffle-Box Stitch Down Comforter to be the best of the bunch. Pricing starts at $209 for a twin and runs up to $359 for a king and includes a lifelong warranty. Any comforter will keep you warm so long as it’s thick enough. What sets the L.L.Bean apart is that it can do so while remaining super breathable and lightweight, unlike others, which left us sweaty in the middle of the night. That means you’ll stay toasty in the covers without waking up in a puddle of sweat. Our main testers in San Francisco and New York City independently decided that this is the one they’d keep on their own beds.

WAIT: October 23, 2014
We're setting this guide to wait status while we work on refreshing it. We've talked to a lot of experts, and while we still feel confident about our main pick from L.L. Bean we're working on an update with some deep investigation that has changed some of our thinking and will affect some of our alternative picks. We do plan to have a new guide published before winter begins.
Expand Previous Updates
October 17, 2014: Our main pick, from L.L. Bean, is in and out of stock these days. If you need a new comforter soon and you don't see your preferred size available now, you can always go with our runner-up, the Primary Down Comforter, in Level 1 warmth. It's somewhat less breathable than the L.L. Bean, but otherwise the two are very similar.
October 14, 2014: Our main pick, from L.L. Bean, is back in stock in all sizes, but the company is quoting shipment times of two to three weeks. If you need a new comforter quicker than that, you should go with our runner-up, the Primary Down Comforter, in Level 1 warmth.
October 13, 2014: Our main pick, from L.L. Bean, is currently out of stock in all sizes. If you need a new comforter now, you should go with our runner-up, the Primary Down Comforter, in Level 1 warmth.
August 22, 2014: We've been using the L.L. Bean comforter for the last six months--yes, even in the summer--and it continues to perform exceptionally well. See the Long-Term Test Notes section for more details.
February 23, 2014: We finished testing and updated the guide with our full list of picks and some more information on comforters.

Of course, not everyone wants down—maybe you’re allergic or you don’t use animal products. For a synthetic step-down pick, we like the Carpenter Company’s Beyond Down Gel Fiber Comforter, which costs about $110. And if you have allergies but would still like your comforter to be made of natural materials, we recommend the Australian Wool-filled Sateen Cotton Comforter, also $110 and available at Overstock. Neither of these are as breathable and lightweight as the L.L.Bean, but they’ll still keep you warm.

How we picked

An absolutely decadent pile of the comforters we tested.

An absolutely decadent pile of the comforters we tested.

There’s a ton of existing editorial research out there that promises to find you the best comforter. Good Housekeeping has a guide which covers down and down alternative. Sleep Like the Dead has a (short) section on comforters. And Real Simple also has a roundup, albeit one that focuses primarily on the high-end.

To narrow the field to our final contenders, we first looked at the editorial links mentioned above, later reading reviews of highly-rated comforters on blogs and sites like Amazon, Overstock, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Ultimately, we settled on 21 comforters, covering the four most common filler materials: down feathers, down alternative, wool, and silk.

While we aren’t big fans of super-cheap comforters, we don’t think you need to pay the same price for your comforter as you did for your mattress…
We eliminated comforters that cost more than $300 for a full or full/queen size. While we aren’t big fans of super-cheap comforters, we don’t think you need to pay the same price for your comforter as you did for your mattress to get a high-quality, super-warm and cuddly product. Once you’re outside that range, you’re really paying more for name brands or excessively high thread counts—which won’t even matter, since you’re putting your comforter in a duvet cover (right? right??).

We also eliminated comforters which were advertised as “oversized” (since that really just meant they wouldn’t fit in traditional duvets) and those that had a down/feather mix. Generally, feathers are more likely to poke through the cotton cover and just don’t do as good of a job at keeping you warm as down does. We’ve found through researching this story and others that feathers tend to be a cheap filler companies use to fluff up down products to belie their eventual flattening—this article at The Pillow Bar focuses (of course) on pillows, but it’s a good summary of why you really don’t want feathers: “Feathers are cheap filler for lower quality pillows.”

We had two testers, one in New York City and one in San Francisco, evaluate the differences in climate, humidity, and temperature. Each of our testers spent at least a night sleeping with each comforter, testing them for warmth, breathability, comfort, and our overall quality of sleep. Ones that showed promise were given more time; ones that were clearly subpar were sent back. After narrowing the field down to our seven favorites, we used a water bottle to evaluate how much heat loss each comforter caused—only to find that, in terms of pure heat retention, most top comforters were the same. That meant we made our final determinations based almost exclusively on our perceptions of each comforter’s breathability and comfort. Luckily, our testers were in complete agreement: when it came down to it, one was clearly and noticeably better than the rest.

Our pick

Also Great
The L.L.Bean is lightweight while still feeling substantial and keeps you toasty, not sweaty. Plus the stitching makes it so the down doesn't all fall to the bottom.
We can (and will) get into the technical nitty gritty behind why the L.L. Bean’s Baffle-Box Stitch Down Comforter  is superior, but in the end, it came down to a je ne sais quoi that we found in the L.L. Bean. It was rated highest by our testers in every category (temperature & heat retention; breathability; comfort; weight; fluffiness and loft; and overall sleep category), beating all of the other comforters from down, down alternative, wool, and silk. Our testers both picked the L.L.Bean as their favorite independently; it’s the comforter we’re both keeping on our beds because it makes sleeping pleasant.

The L.L.Bean is lightweight without feeling insubstantial, thanks to its high fill power and baffle-box stitching. It’s incredibly breathable, doing an excellent job maintaining warmth without overheating. And it’s very comfortable. It kept me and our other tester, located in San Francisco, warm during the polar vortices of 2014 and cool when my landlady (and her heating system) overreacted to said polar vortices. You can keep it on the bed year-round without having to worry about adding more weight in the winter or overheating in the summer.

It’s incredibly breathable, doing an excellent job maintaining warmth without overheating. And it’s very comfortable.
The first thing we noticed about the L.L.Bean was how lightweight it is, especially compared to many of the other, heavier comforters we tested. While we were originally concerned that this might negatively affect its insulating ability, those doubts quickly dissipated. That’s because the warmth of a comforter is affected more by what it’s filled with and how it’s made as opposed to how much filling is inside. And L.L.Bean made the right call on both fronts.

An adorable cat because why not?

An adorable cat, because why not?

The Baffle-Box Stitch Down Comforter is filled with high-loft 600-fill-power down and features, well, baffle-box construction. In plain English, this means that they took an already fluffy material and put it in a design made to promote fluffiness. This way, less filling provides the same level of warmth as other competitors. But of course, there’s a more detailed explanation.

Let’s start by explaining fill power. According to the Down & Feather Company, fill power “represents quality, loft and how warm a down comforter will sleep.” Essentially, a higher fill power means the comforter will be both fluffier and warmer. 600 is at the higher end of the middle range: you’ll find luxury comforters as high as 900 fill power, but they have a hard time justifying the extra cost with any measurable increases in warmth or comfort. And honestly, a lot of that extra fill power goes towards making your comforter look super lush and fluffy. That’s great, but it’s all appearances. Most people will find that 600 fill power does a fantastic job keeping them warm without making them sweaty.

Baffle-box stitching is superior to box-stitch construction if you’re concerned about warmth. Instead of simply sewing the top and the bottom of the comforter together, baffle-box stitching adds fabric in between, which acts as a wall and allows the box to expand and down to settle equally around all of its edges. That means fewer cold spots—especially since, with box stitching, the sheet is just stitched to itself around the edges. Overstock recommends baffle-box: “Baffled comforters are more desirable than sewn-through comforters, which have a similar appearance and simply consist of surface stitching. Sewn-through comforters can be high in quality, but they don’t allow the loft to expand to its fullest potential.” Part of this is just appearance—a lofty comforter is not necessarily a warm comforter—but baffle-box stitching tends to have fewer cold spots because there are no uninsulated seams. Fewer cold spots make for a warmer comforter; in testing we found the L.L.Bean to have almost no cold spots.

The difference between box stitching and baffle-box stitching.

The difference between box stitching and baffle-box stitching.

But warmth isn’t everything when it comes to comforters—breathability is just as important when it comes to keeping you comfortable in warmer temperatures. The L.L.Bean was the best we tested in this regard. Indeed, you’ll find other comforters with 600 fill power and baffle-box stitching, but the L.L.Bean’s breathability will set it apart. For example, we tested the Alberta Down Comforter from the Company Store, and despite costing about $70 more, it just wasn’t as breathable.

…if you’re looking for a blanket to coffin you in your bed, then this might not work for you.
Its lightness made it more comfortable than the other comforters we tested. Some people might not like just how lightweight the L.L.Bean feels. And if you’re looking for a blanket to coffin you in your bed, then this might not work for you. But it will absolutely keep you warm, dry, and happy. Instead of feeling confined to our beds, or like we were lying under a weighted blanket, it was easy to move around underneath. If you’re a restless sleeper, the L.L.Bean is a godsend.

Reviewers like it, too: on L.L.Bean’s site, it has 4.6 stars over 80 reviews. Good Housekeeping gave it an A-, praising its breathability and accurate down content, with its only negatives being the strength of its 280-thread-count cotton shell, which they claim “could tear if snagged.” We don’t think that’s a huge negative, since you should be keeping comforters in a duvet to preserve their longevity, anyway (although if anything does happen, L.L. Bean’s lifetime warranty means they’ll replace it, free of charge, anytime).

Long-term test notes

I’ve been using our favorite down comforter year-round, in winter and in summer, and it continues to perform wonderfully. In the winter, it kept me warm, and this summer—a particularly humid and gross one in NYC—I haven’t gotten sweaty overnight once. I like the feeling of a thick blanket, even over the summer, and I was worried even with the lightness of the comforter I’d end up overheated. Didn’t happen, even on nights when I used fans instead of the AC. The L.L. Bean has proven itself a super-durable, long-term comforter that works just as well in the summer as in the winter.

What if it’s out of stock?

Also Great
It's a bit less breathable than our main pick, but otherwise the two are very similar.
While the L.L.Bean cleaned up in all of our testing categories, Cuddledown’s Primary Down Comforter, which we tested in a Level 1 warmth, was a close second. Ultimately, our second tester Melissa Tan and I decided that the L.L.Bean was just a bit more breathable. When it’s not on sale, it’s just a tad more expensive than the L.L.Bean, but if you can find it cheaper, it’s very, very similar; it even comes with a matching lifetime warranty.

A down-alternative step down

Also Great
*At the time of publishing, the price was $112.
If you have down or feather allergies, an alternative like this one will be best.
The Carpenter Company’s Beyond Down Gel Fiber Comforter was our favorite down alternative comforter. It wasn’t as warm as the L.L.Bean, but it did a far better job than the other down alternative comforters at keeping us warm without turning our sweat glands into hyperdrive. And at $110, it’s as cheap as we’d feel comfortable recommending: go any lower, and you find flimsy comforters that will barely keep you warm. And if you’re lucky, you can sometimes find the Beyond Down priced below $100 on Amazon.

Down alternative comforters may not be as breathable as down, but they’re great if you have down or feather allergies…
Down alternative comforters may not be as breathable as down, but they’re great if you have down or feather allergies—or are particularly allergic to dust, which can be collect in down, according to The Company Store. They’re also good if you don’t use animal products.

Good Housekeeping gave the Beyond Down an A-, and it tied for their favorite down alternative comforter with the Cuddledown Damask Stripe Synthetic, which costs nearly $90 more (when it isn’t on sale). About the Beyond Down, Good Housekeeping said, “It performed almost as well as the down comforters and proved a quality product, especially for the price.” We totally agree.

A lot of its success is likely attributable to its microdenier gel fiber filling, a departure from traditional polyfill you’ll find in most synthetic comforters. Microdenier fibers are, as acrylic manufacturer Birlacril explains, smaller than 0.9 denier—very small, allowing for improved breathability. And gel is known for its cooling properties, which explains the Beyond Down’s crisp, cool feeling.

If you’re in search of a heavier comforter, this is also a great pick. It has much more weight than the L.L.Bean, feeling warm and snuggly around the body. Good Housekeeping agreed on its weight, calling its heft a net negative. If you don’t like feeling confined in your sleep, this might not be the right pick for you, but don’t be fooled into thinking its weight makes it less breathable—it’s still a very comfortable comforter.

But what about other natural fibers?

Also Great
If you prefer natural fibers but not down, wool will keep you warm but not too warm, which is helpful in the summer months.
In addition to down and down alternative, we looked at wool- and silk-filled comforters. You’ll find a lot of allergy sufferers touting these because both possess many hypoallergenic properties, but, ultimately, we think if you have allergies, you’ll be better served with the warmer and more breathable Beyond Down.

Buf if you insist on a natural alternative to down, we did find that wool outperformed silk in terms of warmth, comfort, and breathability—in addition to being significantly less expensive. We like the Australian Wool-filled Sateen 233-thread Count Cotton Comforter, which costs $110 at Overstock for both the full/queen and king sizes (please note that it’s not made in a twin size). Wool is less fluffy than down or down alternative, but in our tests it came the closest to replicating the performance of the L.L.Bean Baffle-Box, keeping all our testers warm but not sweaty.

We did find that wool outperformed silk in terms of warmth, comfort, and breathability—in addition to being significantly less expensive.
UK-based Southdown Duvets explains: “Wool has the natural ability to draw up to 30% of its own weight in moisture away from your skin … It will therefore cool you down when you need to without causing you breaking into a sweat. But conversely, wool will keep you warm as toast so no more waking up needing to grab an extra layer in winter or tossing off the overly hot quilt in summer.” Seems hyperbolic, but we found it to be generally true. The Australian Wool comforter outperformed many of the down comforters, and all of the down alternative comforters, except for the Beyond Down—although the two were very close.

It’s great if you’ve got general allergies, as well. Mercia Tapping at Allergy Consumer Review recommends wool comforters, saying, “The lanolin in the wool discourages the dust mites as well as the dry environment of a wool comforter.” Granted, a wool comforter looks and feels very different from a traditional, fluffy down or down alternative comforter: The Australian Wool is much flatter, and has none of the loft you’ll find elsewhere. It’s also relatively heavy, like the Beyond Down, which also was a touch more breathable. But if you prefer your comforter be made from natural fibers, but have down allergies or just plain don’t like the feel of down, this is a good choice.

The competition

Pacific Coast Classic Down Comforter – Our testers found this comforter to be insubstantive and rather noisy. It did a decent job of providing both warmth and breathability, but ultimately, it just didn’t compare to the L.L.Bean or Cuddledown.

Pinzon Pyrenees Hypoallergenic White Down Comforter – We weren’t impressed with the warmth of this comforter. It’s a little cheaper than the L.L.Bean, but we found the L.L.Bean to be more than worth the price increase.

Alberta Baffled Goose Down Comforter – Ultimately, the Alberta was less warm than the L.L.Bean and significantly more expensive. Also, considering it’s listed on clearance at the Company Store’s website, we’re concerned it’s on its way out.

Cuddledown’s Damask Stripe Synthetic – The Cuddledown down alternative was certainly comfortable, but it just didn’t provide $100 worth of benefit over the Beyond Down. If you can find this one on super-sale, it’s certainly not a bad deal, but the Beyond Down is just a better all-around pick.

The Company Store Legends Geneva Primaloft Comforter – This was very warm, but no better than the Beyond Down and more than $100 extra.

Natural Comfort Soft and Luxurious – Our testers found this light and chilly but breathable. It might be a great warm-weather comforter, but it isn’t great for winter.

Pinzon Primaloft Hypoallergenic Down Alternative Comforter – This comforter was warm, but not terribly breathable, leaving our testers sweaty and uncomfortable.

Chezmoi Collection White Goose Down Alternative Comforter – Despite the numerous glowing reviews, when put in competition with, well, anything else, this comforter just felt cheap. As one of our testers said, it was “Sweaty without doing a great job of keeping heat out.”

All Season Down Alternative – This had the same problems as the Chezmoi Collection—it just felt cheap and crappy.

All Season Premier Microfiber Down Alternative Comforter – This is very likely the same comforter as the other All Season one—they feel and look identical—and it suffered from all the same problems.

Natural Home Australian Wool King Comforter – Although it felt very similar to the our favorite Australian Wool comforter, availability issues and a slight cost increase make it a pass.

Natural Comfort Ultra Deluxe Silk Comforter – This was our favorite silk comforter—but it still didn’t live up to the L.L.Bean or (much cheaper) wool alternative. Add that to stock issues, and it’s just not a good pick.

Mulberry Silk All Season Weight Comforter: We had high hopes for silk, but this didn’t meet them. At $270 for a full-size comforter, it’s far, far too expensive to give anything but sterling results, which it didn’t.

Silk-filled Damask Stripe 260-thread-count Comforter – The low cost of this comforter ($80) is almost too suspicious, considering it claims to be filled with authentic silk. According to one of our testers, “I was sweaty a lot, and I was too hot.”

What makes a good comforter?

Ideally, the best comforter should be useful year-round, keeping you nice and toasty in the winter and not overheating you in the summer.
Ideally, the best comforter should be useful year-round, keeping you nice and toasty in the winter and not overheating you in the summer. Many manufacturers will provide several weights in different warmnesses, from a light summer comforter to a thick, winter weight. For the vast majority of people, a mid-weight comforter is best. The best mid-weight comforters manage to balance warmth and breathability, and those who get especially cold in the winter can always supplement with a blanket on top—a much easier solution than swapping out and storing two comforters.

Most comforters are filled with one of four materials: down, or the feathers and fluff that is plucked from either geese or ducks; down alternative, which is polyester (or sometimes another man-made material) arranged in down-like “clumps” to best mimic the feel and warmth of down; wool; and silk. From our testing, we found the best natural material to be down, which excelled at providing warmth without sacrificing breathability. You’ll find comforters in a wide range of fill powers, but around 500-700 seems to be the sweet spot for a well-built midrange comforter: too much more, and you’re paying for appearance, loft, and fluff—all qualities that are really unnecessary in a good comforter. Too little, and you’re nearing summer weight, which just won’t provide the warmth you need in the cold of the winter.

There’s really no use in evaluating comforters based on their external shell. All of the high-quality comforters you’ll find will have a cotton shell of varying thread counts and patterns, so material isn’t really a decisive issue. And beyond making sure down feathers don’t poke through, the appearance of the comforter has very little to do with how good it is. After all, to preserve longevity, you should absolutely be shielding your comforter with a duvet cover. That will keep it clean, maximize the time between washings, and help prevent its fabric from getting ripped, torn, or snarled. Some companies will try to convince you to spend more money for super-high thread counts; we encourage you to ignore such pleas. Sure, a higher thread count does mean a tighter weave, which means less chance of feathers poking through, but we had no such problems with our comforters, which ranged from 230 to 400 thread count. (You can read more about the thread count red herring in our guide to sheets.) Not to mention the reduced breathability that comes with a higher thread count—considering how important your comforter is to regulating body heat overnight, you’ll want to take any concessions you can towards breathability.

For down and down alternative comforters, you’ll also want to look at box construction—whether they’re baffle-box or straight box-stitch. As discussed earlier, both have their benefits, but as Sean Rook at eHow explains, saying of box-stitch comforters, “the stitching lines themselves are effectively cold areas.” Think of it this way: In straight box stitching, the top and bottom of the comforter are sewn together directly, making a tight box that will lead to the down inside clumping towards the middle. Baffle-box stitching adds a piece of fabric between the two ends—in itself adding a bit of warmth—that allows the down to expand more fully. Plumeria Bay adds that “baffles also add strength to the comforter, allowing it to ‘give’ and reduce stress on the stitching while you toss and turn.” That creates a longer-lasting comforter.

Care and cleaning

To preserve the comforter, make sure to use a duvet cover at all times…
To preserve the comforter, make sure to use a duvet cover at all times—not only does it look more attractive, but it’ll keep the shell from getting dirty and gross in between washings, which you should only do once a year.

Apartment Therapy has a good guide to down comforter cleaning, in which they recommend using a large, industrial-size washing machine (like the ones at a laundromat) on gentle, with a small amount of mild detergent, making sure to run it through the rinse cycle at least twice. Dry on low in a large dryer for as long as it takes, possibly a few hours, according to Apartment Therapy. To keep it fluffy, throw a couple of tennis balls in the dryer as well.

Wrapping it up

If you’re looking for a good comforter to keep you warm in the winter and cool in summer, we recommend L.L.Bean’s Baffle-Box Stitch Down Comforter. If you are allergic to down or prefer a synthetic fill, we like The Carpenter Company’s Beyond Down Gel Fiber Comforter. And if you have allergies but still prefer natural materials, we recommend the Australian Wool-filled Sateen Cotton Comforter.

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  1. Bedding Reviews, Ratings & Comparisons, Sleep Like the Dead, December 27, 2013
  2. The Best Comforters, Real Simple
  • Richard

    I have this one:

    and I have to say, it’s fantastic. I live in Connecticut and while we heat with wood our house gets pretty cold by 3 am and this comforter keeps us very warm. No allergies, no sweating, heavy enough but not too heavy.

    I also bought the lighter version of it for summer and love it too.

    • Jamie Wiebe

      We tested that one and liked it quite a bit! It didn’t beat out our favorites, but our testers rated it pretty highly. If you have that comforter, I certainly wouldn’t say you need to get a new one.

    • Skibum

      Thanks for this recommendation! My wife and I sleep Euro-style, one big mattress with a shared fitted sheet but separate comforters, and this looks like a more affordable option considering we need two new ones.

      • Richard

        Great. I really like both of the ones I have and I’ve never been cold in winter or hot in summer. I have them in duvets which help trap more air, always a good thing to do with these kinds of comforters anyway. Let me know if you get one and what you think.

    • MNightShannalan

      How has it held up for you? Some reviews on Amazon mention that it falls apart, but other than that, it sounds great.

      • Richard

        Both of them have held up perfectly. I’m using the heavier one now and it’s in great shape after a year and a half of use. We put it inside a duvet cover which no doubt helps wear and tear and makes it warmer by trapping more air.

        • MNightShannalan

          Very helpful — thanks!

          • Richard

            You’re welcome. Of course, I’m just speaking from my experience but I’m picky so unless there is huge manufacturing disparity I think you’ll be fine.

  • Rick Roberts

    Massive suffering goes into the production of down products. Technology has advanced enough that we no longer have to do it this way. I won’t post links to the horrific accounts, but a quick search will do it for you. We are better than this. Please buy synthetics instead.

    • Michael Zhao

      Duly noted. We are also testing many synthetic comforters and will definitely have a vegan option in the finalized piece. However, nothing is comparable to the feel of down so far.

      • Rick Roberts

        Thank you, Michael. I don’t wish to be a scold, but I think smart people should at least be aware before they make a purchase. I, too, used to think down and wool were benign, but they are most assuredly not. I, for one, don’t mind sacrificing the perfection of down to an almost-as-good synthetic. There are some amazing high-tech fabrics and insulators out there as anyone who buys sport clothing is surely aware. Small measures that lessen harm add up, and that harm should be part of the value equation as much as the price, usability, and longevity.

        Thanks for this site. It is my go-to before I shop.

        • Farmboy

          Sure, use harmful chemical products that turn into a wonderful plastic wrap around you if exposed to open flame. The flame retardant ones are great for the cancer loving health care system as the chems are carcinogenic. And living in northern Canada, I’ve come upon zero synthetics that come close to natural bedding, some Sportswear, yes, but most of the high end is wool or down there as well. And growing up on farms, most practices cause no more than mild annoyance, wool anyway, no clue on down as we got that from the Hutterites.

    • N Martinez

      I am glad you are worried about geese, ducks, animals in general.
      I certainly hope you feel the same way about a baby in his mother’s tummy.

  • Vera Comment

    down has nothing on SILK.. lighter and warmer. My LLBean has been in the closet since I got my silk comforter.

    i believe silk is also hypoallergenic so if you can’t use down because of allergies, silk may be an option to pure synthetics.

    • Jamie Wiebe

      We tested several silk comforters, and didn’t like either of them quite as much as wool or the LL Bean (although they did beat most other down and down alternative comforters). We haven’t done the final rounds of testing, though.

    • Lauren

      What kind/brand of Silk comforter do you have?

      • Vera Comment

        no clue. My sister got it for me in Shanghai when she was over there.. i picked one up while I was over there too, but it wasn’t nearly as nice as the one my sis got.. it’s on par with anything you’d find at macy’s or nordstroms.. even the cover is really nice, don’t need a duvet.

        I’ve had it 6 or 7 years now.. and it’s like new. never even wash it, just hang it in the sun for a day once a month or so.

  • Erik Thulin

    If one was not concerned about allergies but is looking for a more budget friendly pick than a $350 King, would the one from overstock still be your pick, or is their a more budget friendly down?

    • Jamie Wiebe

      Erik, when we have the complete article, we plan to have a more budget-friendly pick, but we haven’t run the full gamut of tests yet and right now none of the budget picks have really stood out.

    • Melissa Tan

      Hi Erik, I did the San Francisco testing for this guide. The cheaper down we tested is the Pinzon Pyrenees, but for the money, I’d recommend our down alternative, the Beyond Down from Amazon. The cheaper down option wasn’t great, whereas the nicer down alternative was quite nice (and still cheaper than the cheapest down). Hope that helps!

  • Dean

    Any word on medium/long term durability? I have a great comforter from the Company Store that sheds a small mountain of tiny down particles every time I remove the duvet cover for laundry. It’s not harmful by any means, and it’s still warm, but an annoying clean-up task.

  • Luke Bornheimer

    We were looking at Sheex products when we were in Bed Bath & Beyond the other day; Have you (or will you be) testing any Sheex comforters?

    Separately, will you be giving recommendations for hot sleepers as well as “split-temperature” sleeping couples (one hot, one cold)? If so, you’d be our heroes :)

  • Ryan

    did you test anything that’s available in cal king?

    • Luke Bornheimer

      +1. @jamie_wiebe:disqus , we’ve got a cal king and all of your picks seem to come in king, but not cal king. In fact, do companies even make cal king comforters or are we supposed to buy king comforters to fit cal king beds?

    • Brian Kramp

      Also interested in California King. Or perhaps the difference isn’t too noticeable?

      • tony kaye

        Via our expert:

        “Nobody really makes California King comforters. Haven’t seen any of the quality brands do so. You should be able to use a King comforter, just check the dimensions”

        Hope this helps!

    • tony kaye
  • Maurice

    Will you do a review on bed sheets? So much confusing info out there, that thread counts are untrue or not meaningful, etc.

  • pupshut

    Never buying down products again, even the most expensive products using it will leak feathers all over the place, can’t wash it, ends up stinking eventually. Terrible.

  • mjoshea148

    How does this comforter compare to the All Season Down Alternative featured under back to school?

    • Jamie Wiebe

      Much better. We didn’t do any hands-on testing for our back to school article. We included the All Season in this round of testing, and it’s certainly a strong competitor for budget pick.

  • mayhap

    This one has been my favorite. I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels and I came across this one in more than one. It’s very light and keeps the temperature perfectly. Never gets too hot never gets too cold. I’ve finally ordered one for myself too. I typically use a fleece at home because I don’t like heavy blankets but this one is a must have for me.

  • Luke Bornheimer

    Jamie, awesome write-up (and perfectly timed)—thanks!! How would the LL Bean comforter be for a couple that consists of a hot-sleeper and a cold-sleeper? Also, how does it compare to Sheex’s comforters?

    • Jamie Wiebe

      Thanks, Luke. I’ve got a hot and a cold sleeper in my bed and it’s been doing well! Sometimes the hot sleeper sticks a foot out to get some air, but it did by FAR the best job of compromising between our two sleep styles!

      As for Sheex — we didn’t test any Sheex comforters because, quite frankly, $400 is way, way too much to spend on a comforter—plus, there really isn’t enough review support out there to make us think it’s a viable contender. At that price, you’re really paying for the 600 thread count shell—which is all hype and completely unnecessary, especially for a comforter that should be in a duvet. It feels like with Sheex you’re paying for buzzwords and hype, not any measurable, $150+ increase in quality.

      • Luke Bornheimer

        Awesome—thanks Jamie! Since we have a cal king bed, I’m struggling to rationalize $359 for a comforter. Is the LL Bean one worth the additional $220 and $240 over the second place down and wool recommendations, respectively?

        On a separate note, I replied to @mjoshea148’s comment about cal king comforters and thought I’d ask here as well. Do companies make cal king comforters or are we supposed to buy king comforters for cal king beds?

      • Luke Bornheimer

        Hey Jamie, thanks again for your reply.

        We have a cal king bed, so the LL Bean comforter you recommended would cost $359. The Sheex comforter in king size is $299 on Amazon[1] and $349 on Bed Bath & Beyond[2] (so $279 after 20% coupon). So the Sheex comforter is ironically less expensive than the LL Bean one you recommended as well as the Primary Down one you suggested as a runner-up to the LL Bean.

        Any chance you can test and review a Sheex comforter, or offer insights from research and reviews you’ve found elsewhere? Also, are there any king-sized comforters you would recommend under $250?

        Thanks again!


  • Phira

    I was checking the site today because I was telling my mom about it, and I’m really glad I spotted this update. We just finished our wedding registries yesterday, and we selected the Australian wool comforter based on this review (my partner need hypo-allergenic bedding and I quite honestly hate down comforters). I’m glad I caught the update because the Beyond Down comforter actually sounds MUCH more like what we need. Thank you!

  • SalishSeaSam

    Great reviews and discussions. I went the down and synthetic route over the past decades until I ‘discovered’ wool. I bought two Daniadown summer wool duvets, thinking I’d use the other one for winter, but so far have not needed to. So, the second one is for guests. The single keep me warm and, as one who sweats, am pleased at how dry I stay.

  • crinosage

    How about a recommendation for best duvet cover since it is so important as well? I just bought the LL Bean comforter, but don’t know what to cover it with.

  • JS

    Hi – I’m a bit surprised that my issue with my comforter/duvet setup wasn’t mentioned – The comforter constantly bunches up inside the duvet, so I have an uneven covering, my wife may have all comforter on her side, while I’m left with empty duvet cover sheeting on my side. We have to get up and shake out the duvet to even out the comforter inside it constantly.

    On top of that, it is enclosed by small buttons at the bottom, and the comforter inside often “leaks” out between the buttons or buttons come undone and half the comforter has “leaked” outside the duvet cover. Not only does this look terrible, but it is incredibly annoying to constantly fight against when you just want to go to sleep.

    Any suggestions on solutions to this problem with the proper duvet/comforter combo?


  • Arielle Nguyen

    What happened to the reviews on the best mattress? Is it being updated or removed completely?

    • tony kaye

      We haven’t reviewed them yet.

  • Ian

    I live in Houston, TX and it is hot here year round. I also have a girlfriend so we are honestly more concerned with having a comfortable comforter that breathes very well than one that keeps us particularly warm. I like having the big fluffy comforter and if down is the way to go, that’s cool but is this LL Bean just going to increase my a/c bill?

  • cuisineclassica

    Interior Designing is all about the optimal space utilization in your home

  • Teyan So

    based on your research is there any comforter you would recommend that is super heavy, thick, maybe with the baffle box stitching you mentioned, and won’t shift in your sleep if you move a bit? I found one like this in china but no where else. If it’s too light for me i end up sleeping on it and feeling too tucked in. Toasty all year round is not an issue. Basically I want the super comforter that should have been used by the army to build forts out of because it is so thick.

  • Ella

    Any tips on the best down comforter at Bed Bath & Beyond? Bridal registry can be limiting and was hoping for a nice option that we can list.

  • Jelser Kyldwaine

    The article mentions that you did not consider comforters with a down/feather mix, but I chatted with an LL Bean customer service rep about your #1 choice, and he said that the fill material is “75% white down.” The remainder, I presume, is non-down feathers.

  • jm

    They’ve bumped the price on the king up to $399.

    • tony kaye

      Thanks for the heads up!

  • Briana

    I just want to note I purchased the Beyond Down Gel Fiber comforter in August on Amazon and by October have already noticed the baffling breaking down and filling migrating to the edges.

    • tony kaye

      Just looked and couldn’t find anyone with this issue. The reviews on Amazon for this are incredible. 70 4 & 5 star reviews, Two 3, 2 & 1-star reviews (6 total). Have you considered returning it? Maybe you happened to get a bad one that slipped past QC?

  • rogobot

    Hi there,

    On the LL Bean site there is the recommended comforter in Warm and in Warmer It appears that the Warm is the recommended type, but any thoughts as to respective comfort levels?



    • tony kaye

      If you live in the far northeast or Canada, get the warmer. Otherwise the warm version should be sufficient.

  • Mark Bao

    LL Bean’s shipping estimates for this item are slipping to 2-3 weeks, FYI.

    • tony kaye

      Should be available now!

  • Celeste

    Hi! I’m considering buying the Beyond Down for my toddler’s bed, but I’m concerned about the weight. Would this be too heavy for a child?

    • Michael Zhao

      It’s not really something we can speak authoritatively about, unfortunately. I don’t know what would qualify as “too heavy” for a toddler.

  • Laka

    I used down comforters for 30 years and always liked them. But, as Rick Roberts notes here, when you use one you are participating in cruelty and unnecessary harvesting of animals.

    I have been using a wool-batting filled comforter for about half a year. I don’t miss the down at all. It’s extremely comfortable, warm, never scratchy. In fact, I think the wool moves better with you as you shift around during sleep. I don’t notice any additional weight. I think the moisture-wicking properties of wool actually make it more comfortable, overall, than down.

    I’m not a fanboy, and I’m not in the industry. But I think wool comforters, encased in cotton, are an excellent, natural, humane alternative to down.

    • Michael Zhao

      That’s why we have wool and down alternative picks as well if this is a priority for you.

  • Alex Martinez

    Alright.. i just ordered the L.L.Bean’s Baffle-Box Stitch Down Comforter and.. it was kinda a shock how little it had inside of the comforter.. there was barely anything inside of it and is so thin and flat.. im not sure but for paying 260 for a full size comforter its a disappointment . I saw one comment on LL bean where a person bought the same one from 2006 and bought another one recently and said that its alot thinner then how it was when he bought his first one.

    • Michael Zhao

      Less is more when it comes to down. Literally. That’s what the power fill ratings are all about. Higher-quality down means you need less of it to get the same amount of warmth. So yes, there’s less in there, but it should be just as warm, and a lot more breathable. Make sense?

  • omerzach

    How soon do you think you’ll update this guide?

    • tony kaye

      Very soon!

      • markuswarren

        Make it sooner! :-D
        Winter is here, well, certainly feels like it, and snow is due later this week. I need a new comforter! :-D

      • Rex Park

        My patience is getting cold! haha

  • jm

    I recently ordered the LL Bean comforter and it is very loud (crinkly). Is this just how they are or do I just have a weird one? Does this go away over time?

    • tony kaye

      Just heard back. Noise indicates a tight weave, which is good – however this will go away with time. If you want it to go away sooner rather than later, you should wash it a couple times. – via Eric & Ganda

      Hope this helps!

  • paulbrandenburg

    Hey Sweethome guys – in case you haven’t seen the main pick from LL Bean is now sold out until next spring (LL Bean Customer Service suggested to check back in April 2015). Not sure how they could screw up demand planning that much but in any event – that plus the current hazard that alternative picks will be changed shortly makes this guide not useful ;-(

    • tony kaye

      I just checked and all sizes are available and ship in 2-3 weeks. Where did you originally see this?

      • paulbrandenburg

        Indeed – LLB’s CS rep must have been mistaken. Ordered mine today and hope it lives up to the high praise received here!

        • tony kaye

          I’m confused. Did their customer service really say don’t expect any until Spring 2015? I don’t understand why they would say that but have them available on their site.

  • Alec

    First off, thank you for all of the reviews. When will this be updated? I need to order soon.