Down 101: Six Things To Look For When Buying Down

arms wrapped around a down pillow

We know that it can be daunting to know what to look for as you invest in a quality down comforter or pillow. Here are six simple ways that you can ensure you are investing in a quality down product.

1. Quality Certifications

The government has guidelines in place for how down products should be labelled; however, there is little-to-no enforcement. That’s why we recommend purchasing a product from that is certified by a quality association.

St.Genève has partnered with The Down Association of Canada. They are a non-profit organization committed to helping consumers buy genuine down products with confidence. They work to verify their members are following the highest quality standards, conducts private testing, and also are also on the lookout for fraud. Look for the Downmark certification, the globally recognized symbol of quality issued by the Down Association of Canada.

2. Loft

Loft is the fill power and, it indicates your how well a down product will insulate, how luxe it is going to feel, and how long it should last. A higher number is better – we recommend investing in a product with a minimum loft factor of 550. The very best is 1000*, and extraordinary down starts at 700+

For a deep dive into what loft is, check out our blog post here.

*The exception to this is our James Bay and Eiderdowns which have loft values of 700-750, but insulate like they have a loft of 1000 because of their extraordinary cling.

3. Cleanliness

Good down is cleaned and specially treated to eliminate dust, pollen, and other potential allergens. At St.Genève, the down we use is so thoroughly cleaned that it is rendered hypoallergenic and certified according to the Zurguard standard. Look for a cleanliness seal on your next down product.

4. It should feel good

Don’t forget to feel the down product before purchasing. Quality down should be light, fluffy, and warm. Feel it! Scrunch it, hug it, and pinch it: it should feel heavenly as you sink your weight into it, but it should also bounce back. It should feel soft, without any crunchy or itchy sensations: you’re looking for down, not feathers!

5. Fabrics

The fabric that covers your down product is just as crucial to the quality of a duvet or pillow as the down inside. It should be down-proof to prevent the down from leaking, while maintaining its soft, light, and airy feel. St.Genève uses specially selected fabrics that are down-proof and dust-mite proof. Be aware that high thread count does not necessarily indicate high quality.

6. See if it is machine washable

While not a requirement, many down pillows, jackets, and duvets are machine washable. Machine washability is a significant plus for convenience, especially for those of us with pets or kids! All St.Genève duvets and pillows are machine washable, however we recommend professional cleaning for duvets, as they are difficult to dry at home.


View our full line of down products here or find a stockist near you.


Down 101 Series