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Down Vs. Microfiber Down Alternative

Generally speaking, duvets are made with either down or polyester down alternative, but is there really a significant difference between the two?

Down cluster next to product description icons on pink backgroundDown is a natural material from either duck or geese. The quality of down is indicated by its loft, or fluffiness, which is calculated by the amount of space one cubic ounce of down can fill. Good quality down comes from birds that have reached their full maturity, and therefore possess down with the highest loft.

Down is often regarded as the Cadillac of duvet materials, coveted for its softness and superb insulating properties. Down is such a great insulator, that just a small amount provides a great deal of warmth. This makes down duvets very light on the body.

Because of its scarcity, quality and its long maturation process, down is a pricey purchase. The higher the loft of down, the more expensive it becomes. 

The warmth that down provides with minimal quantity is matched by no other fill. One ounce of down is warmer than one ounce of Microfiber. Down Alternative duvets can provide just as much warmth, but much more fill is required. This makes synthetic Microfiber duvets heavier on the body. 

Piece of Microfiber next to icons on blue background

Microfiber is soft like down, but slightly different in feel. Down traps a lot of air, so it can be compressed significantly with applied pressure. Microfiber is denser, trapping less air, for more of a plush feel. (If down is cotton candy, microfiber is marshmallow!) 

Microfiber is significantly less expensive than natural down. It's also much easier to care for, as it can be washed at home. Down is rather sensitive to moisture, so it requires dry cleaning or professional washing.

Cellphones with duvet matches on yellow green backgroundUltimately, it comes down to personal preference. While down may be considered higher quality, microfiber duvets can be much better for certain sleeping styles and preferences. 



Hi Commenter! That’s correct – cotton is natural while microfiber is synthetic! We haven’t compared those two materials here because one is a filling material and the other is a shell material. We only use cotton shells for all of our products.

Canadian Down & Feather Company

Microfiber is made of polyester and nylon fibers where as cotton is a plant-based fabric. Microfiber is synthetic and cotton is a natural fabric.

Microfiber vs Cotton

Hi Marion, Not to worry – the key is not to sleep on the mattress topper directly, as it will cause premature wear and tear on the product. As long as your topper is under your fitted sheet, you’re good! If you have a mattress protector, even better. You can put your mattress and mattress topper inside the protector together! No special cover required.
This being said, if you receive a product you’re not happy with, we offer free returns within 30 days for unused product. You’re not stuck with it – just send it back :)

Canadian Down & Feather Company

I just received my mattress topper, reading the instruction it says to have a cover on the topper, why wasn’t this stated before I bought the topper, covers are very expensive & I wouldn’t have bought it if I new ahead of time, I am upset about this & will not recommend the company or buy more of your products

marion prentis

I have an Eider down 100 percent “Pioneer” brand name, Canadian made sleeping bag. It consists of a heavy canvas outer shell,with a New Zealand heavy wool blanket interior, I would safety pin a king size flannel sheet to the four corners of the inside to allow easy remove all for washing. It was made a long time ago, for people who worked in the northern oil industry, which was just taking off in a big way. I also owned their eider down Parka, the parka and sleeping bag were guaranteed to keep you warm well below freezing.The Eider duck was not endangered in those days so it was legal for sale. Very expensive even then, due to the massive amount of Down not feather in the products they made.


I am a 41 year old man.
Never bought anything for a bed until I bought the micro fiber duvet.


What a difference.
I have been having some of the best sleeps I have ever had.
So then I went one step further and bought the panda pillows to match my duvet.

Overall this has been one of my best purchases ever.

Ps. I shoved my king pillows into my queen covers. Lol.

That’s what happens when he buys bedding not her.

Derick Webb

Purchased this product 2 weeks ago.
We love it! No more shoulder pain. It’s like sleeping on a cloud. Waking up well rested.


Hi Krista, Both down and microfiber should re-loft after each use. They shouldn’t really get flat, although over a long time, microfiber can clump a bit. We don’t have a down-filled mattress topper – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that! Our feather bed is filled mostly with feather, with just a small layer of down on top as a buffer against the feather. When trying to decide between the feather bed and a poly bed, I would think about the feel you’re looking for, as the two are very different! Feather beds are firm and supportive due to the springy feather quills, whereas poly beds are soft and sinky.

Canadian Down & Feather Company

Hi Glenna, Natural down and feather products should be dry cleaned. Down and feather is very sensitive to moisture. If any moisture at all is left inside the duvet, mold, mildew and other bacteria can develop. If it absolutely must be washed, we recommend bringing to a professional cleaner who has experience with down and feather products. The care instructions for our products can be found on the product packaging and on the Care tab on the product page!

Canadian Down & Feather Company

Hi Judy, Great question! Goose and duck down are not really different in terms of quality or overall feel. I wouldn’t worry too much about species when choosing a product. You’ll want to look at loft as the measure of down quality. You can find both goose and duck down in low and high lofts! The easiest way to compare the species of all of our products is to check the Product Comparison Chart! Duck down is less expensive than goose down because it is less scarce. We offer duck down as a lower cost, but comparative quality alternative to goose down. In terms of warmth, neither down species nor loft (quality) will determine the warmth of your product. You’ll want to check our warmth ratings (Summer, Regular, All Season and Winter) for that! You can find recommended temperature ranges for each warmth rating in the product description, in our Guide to Duvet Warmth blog post, or in our FAQ & Help Center!

Canadian Down & Feather

What is the difference between geese and duck down? Which one is warmer? Are the price the same for a geese down vs duck down? Are your products always labeled whether they are geese or duck down?


How do you clean a down duvet! Laundry? Dry clean?

Glenna Bell

What will keep its shape and fluff better for a mattress topper? I don’t want it getting flat. Don’t know if down or microfiber would be better


Why do the microfibre and gel microfibre duvets have much shorter warranties (5 years) compared to some of the down duvets (30 years)? Durability?


Hi Deb, The name of the product is Microfiber Down Alternative Duvet. It is filled with 100% microfiber polyester (there is no down in the fill). Microfiber is soft and fluffy like down. It is a synthetic ‘down alternative’. In other words, its an alternative option to natural down. I hope this helps clarify :)

Canadian Down & Feather Company

I was looking at a 35.00, down micro fiber comforter. That’s how it is worded. Is it down? If not , why do they put down in their discription?


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