So you go to the nearest BB&B to have a look at some good pillows or bedspreads. You keep walking and suddenly you happen to catch a glimpse of some comforters. You walk over, hold one in your hands, and fall in love with it forever. You now decide that you want to buy a down comforter.
But one look at the price tag, and you realize that this relationship is never meant to be. The comforter is just too upscale for you to handle. Then you come across the alternate down. These comforters feel almost the same as the real deal and they are right up your price alley!
A comparison between the whole down comforter and down alternative comforter is described here. Decide whether you should save up for a real down comforter or buy an alternative.
Real Down Vs. Alternate Down
The advantage with real down is that its fibers are really smooth and hollow. This means while they can stand together, they will never get snagged to each other, which means they won't tear, ball up, wrinkle or lose their fluffiness.
A down alternative comforter is made of a synthetic materials like polyester, rayon or wool. To prevent clumping of alternative comforter, patches or patterns are sewed in that keep the filler as spread out as possible. While they do mimic the down comforters to a certain degree, they certainly are not as soft, fluffy or durable as real down are.
If you've bought a real quality down comforter, you probably won't need to clean it for a long time. For one, down feathers are hollow, which absorbs body sweat and dissipates it into the cooler air outside. The down is not sticky so nothing really stays on it.
So unless you like to have breakfast in bed while your kid watches cartoons, jumping around in bed next to you, you don't really need to get the comforter cleaned. Moreover, the down comforter is so costly, you'd probably use a duvet cover to protect it and if you want to wash it, you cannot machine-wash but follow some specific ways to clean it.
Alternative comforters can be machine-washed (confirm with the seller and look closer at the tags for specifics). You can use regular detergent and a dryer too. If you have some tough stains on it, you should let a dry cleaner handle it.
A down comforter is moderately thick and provides enough insulation in the colder times of winter. The only disadvantage with real down is that it tends to absorb quite a bit of moisture during the rains or when exposed to high moisture.
Alternative comforters need a lot more filler to be as effective as a real down when it comes to holding the heat in. There is a considerable difference of thickness between the two comforters for the same amount of insulation.
The upside to an alternative comforter is that since it is made of synthetic material, it's not water absorbent and will be just as insulating in the monsoon as any other season.
Because of its nature, real down can cause an allergic reaction to some people. This is one thing you really need to check before you buy the down comforter. It's not really that uncommon to be allergic to it; in most cases the down triggers sneezing.
Another problem is that since you can't clean the down comforters often because of their fragile nature, they tend to catch a little bit of dust from here and there, which might also trigger allergies.
If you're a magnet for allergies, you should stick to an alternative comforter. They are specially made with hypoallergenic material so that you can sleep comfortably at night.