All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Once you’ve upgraded your mattress and sheets, the best down comforters or duvets should be next on your list. While your bed defines the slumber experience on a basic level, nothing can match the bliss of diving into a truly luxurious duvet. Whether temperatures are dipping below freezing, or spiking so high you think your bed might need its own air conditioner, you want the most breathable, all-around best comforter that money can buy. Why should any night’s sleep take place in anything less than the luxury of a fluffy cumulus cloud?
The Best Down Comforters, at a Glance
To get right to the good stuff (dreamy, downy softness), here are our top picks curated after extensive testing from our team. Check out our runner-up section below, too, for a short list of other considerable options we’ve tried.
The Best Down Comforter for Most People: Riley Extra Warmth, $499The Best Down Duvet: Casper, $299The Best All-Season, Down-Alternative Comforter: Brooklinen, $259 $233The Best Budget Down Comforter: Italic, $255The Best Down-Like Wool Option: Nest Bedding, $224 $202The Best Plant-Based, Down-Like Comforter: Buffy Breeze, $249 $212The Best Down-Like Weighted Comforter: Brooklinen, $249 $224
What’s the difference between a comforter and a duvet?
It’s understandable why you’d get them confused, since they’re both thick, fluffy blankets. A duvet insert—which is what we’re referring to when we’re talking ‘bout a “duvet”—is intended to be used with a separate duvet cover, which you can wash separately and swap. A comforter is basically a duvet insert with the cover sewn on that can come in different colors, prints, or patterns. That makes cleaning it a bit harder, especially if it’s spot-treat or dry clean only.
What goes into a good down comforter or duvet?
The best comforters and duvets should:
Feel softProvide a whole lotta warmthBreathe enough to keep you from sweatingBe machine-washableHave a satisfying fluffiness (described as “loft,” and often a function of “fill weight” or “fill power”—we’ll explain in a moment)
Oh, and in the case of duvet inserts, they ideally have those loops at the corners that let you snap them into the cover. So handy!
But those are the basics. The best comforter is specific to you. You have to look deep inside yourself to triangulate your ideal fluffiness-breathability-warmth ratio. Are you a hot sleeper? Allergic to down feathers or synthetics? How much are you willing to spend?
How long should a down comforter last?
If you’re treating it right, the shelf life of a down comforter should last about 10 years or longer. Sometimes bedding companies will offer limited warranties to cover certain types of repairs, but otherwise keep an eye on how to care for your comforter and if yours can go in the wash.
How we tested the best comforters
Finding the best down comforters—or duvets, which it turns out are a slightly different thing—took some work. In order to focus the scope of this mission, we first judged a mountain of queen-size comforters based on hand-feel: Basically, upon first touch, how luxe does the shell material and puffiness feel without any kind of cover? Then, after narrowing down some initial contenders we curled-up in, napped under, and flopped onto an absurd selection of the most well-reviewed ones that we could find over several nights. All in service of discovering the comforter or duvet that’ll keep you just the right kind of cozy. (Note: duvets were tested alongside a 310 thread count sateen duvet cover; duvet covers typically range from 300-400.) Later, we brought in a bunch more new comforters and sent them out to members of our staff to reevaluate our options.
Be warned, prices on duvets and comforters can get pretty steep. A lot of the best duvets we tested, particularly the ones made with real down, cost more than $300. And you do get what you pay for here: Those options often proved to be the ones our testers were the most enthusiastic about. But we did find a few options around $200 that we are enthusiastic enough about to recommend as new favorites. On a fundamental level, though, the most important thing about a comforter isn’t price. It’s how badly you want to leave your fluffy feather nest when that alarm goes off in the morning. Below, you’ll find some of the best down comforters and duvets (along with some down alternatives) to help you slip into the coziest sleep of your life.
The Best Down Comforter for Most People: Riley
Fill: 750-fill power white goose down
Weight options: All season and extra warm
Warranty: Five-year warranty
The Riley white goose comforter in the extra warmth density has an impressive 750-fill power. But what really sets it apart is its loft. This is a thick duvet. So thick in fact that one of our testers compared it to a memory foam mattress. That thickness gives this duvet a weight we generally only see on models that are $50 to $100 more expensive. Sleeping underneath it feels like you’re receiving a gentle hug all night long. If you or your partner tend to sleep cold, the extra warmth comforters from Riley are perfect options. (If you want something a little thinner, but that still has the feel of a premium comforter, we also like Riley’s all-season down comforter.)
The Best Down Duvet: Casper
Fill: 600 fill-power goose down
Weight options: Lightweight, mid-weight
Warranty: One-year warranty, plus 30-day trial period
Checking in at the lighter end of the fill-power spectrum (600), Casper’s lightweight down duvet is ideal for hot sleepers who prefer some combination of top sheets and blankets rather than a comforter. It’s not super bulky or fluffy, so it lays relatively flat, and can be layered with a combo of sheets and blankets underneath during colder months. With a nice soft hand-feel, it can also live on its own without a duvet cover, but still has corner loops to secure it inside a duvet (which will be key since most duvets are meant to accommodate a wider range of puffiness).
The Best All-Season, Down-Alternative Comforter: Brooklinen
Fill: 100% hypoallergenic recycled PET microfiber
Weight options: Lightweight, all-season, extra warm
Warranty: Optional returns within 365 days, not including a one-year warranty
Care: Spot clean recommended, dry clean if needed
If you’re ethically against the use of animal byproducts in your bedding, or if down just makes you sneeze, there are also alternative options that use synthetic fill without the dust and other allergens that down feathers can attract. But not all alternative fill comforters are created equal. Some have synthetic filling that runs way too hot. Some are weirdly crinkly and loud.
The shaved microfiber polyfill of Brooklinen’s down alternative mimics nearly all of the comforts of feathers, including that luxurious hand-feel. The weight-heat-loft ratio is also sublime. At 700-fill power it’s a lovely happy medium for year-round use. Plus, its duvet covers come in a lot of the same interesting patterns as its bed sheets. While the Buffy alternative down comforter and its sustainable fill gets spotlighted often (our thoughts on that farther down), the Brooklinen was the one we wanted to sleep under.
The Best Budget Down Comforter: Italic
Fill: 80% goose down, 20% feathers; 750-fill power
Weight options: 240 GSM only
Italic’s Plush Feather Down comforter feels just right—not too flimsy, nor overstuffed—thanks to its quilted baffle box design that keeps things evenly distributed. Even as the climate in our tester’s NYC apartment oscillated between a frozen food section and a Russian bathhouse, the comforter seemed to regulate temperature reasonably well. It’s made with a 300-thread count cotton fabric shell that’s smooth enough for anyone to sleep under it by itself, but does have the requisite loops for slipping it into a duvet cover.
A few notes on this comforter: It’s noisy. Right out of the box, the crisp shell fabric makes a swishy sound akin to windbreaker pants every time you move. Our tester also found that it looked a bit deflated when slipped inside his duvet cover. All qualms aside, this comforter is still a great option for those who don’t run too hot (or live in warmer climates) and don’t want to fork over more than $300 for winter bedding.
Editor’s Note: The retailer also stocks a newer duck down comforter in its premium Atelier series that sizes up to a King. We haven’t had the luxury of testing it out, but reviewers seem pretty smitten.
The Best Down-Like Wool Option: Nest Bedding
Fill: 100% washable wool fiber
Weight options: Twin comforters weigh three pounds, queen sizes weigh four pounds, and king sizes weigh five pounds
Warranty: 30-day sleep trial, no warranty
Instead of goose down clusters, duck down, or some sort of hypoallergenic alternative, this Nest Bedding comforter is filled with wool. Wool! While this might seem like the makings of a “winter-only” comforter, wool turns out to be a surprisingly breathable fabric. We had previously crowned Coyuchi’s wool duvet insert as our favorite of the genre, but after testing this one, we had to reevaluate: Nest’s all-season comforter (which comes with ties for strapping into a separate cover, so it’s technically more like a duvet) is surprisingly thin and lightweight for just how toasty it gets your bed when temps are hovering around the freezing point. That’s a big plus if you’re hoping to avoid the feeling of being compressed under a comforter that’s more like a meaty weighted blanket. It’s also blessedly washable so you can give it a quick spin cycle before spring. At less than $200 on sale, it’s one of the most budget-friendly options on this list, which more than covers the cost of the organic cotton cover that it arrives in.
The Best Plant-Based, Down-Like Comforter: Buffy Breeze
Fill: Tencel lyocell
Warranty: 100-night trial, no warranty
Care: Dry clean only
For the eco-friendly factor, we appreciate that the original Buffy Cloud comforter is made with a special fill crafted from recycled bottles, but find that it runs too hot and feels rougher than we’d like. Its followup, the Breeze comforter, is somewhere closer to the middle—with a more lightweight feel, a delightfully soft and cool-to-the-touch outer fabric, eucalyptus fill, and a surprising warmth and coziness. Despite its airy branding, it’s not really breathable enough to lay under comfortably in summer without kicking off the covers, but it’s perfectly warm and cozy for New York City winters. Another plus is that it’s one of the rare comforters that’s stylish enough to leave out of the duvet cover on its own thanks to the undulating waves on the stitching.
The Best Down-Like Weighted Comforter: Brooklinen
Fill: Glass microbeads
Weight options: 15 pounds, 20 pounds, 30 pounds
Warranty: 365-day trial period, not including a one-year warranty
Care: Spot clean only
Sure, any downy topper will immediately upgrade the coziness factor of your sleeping arrangements. But if you truly want to max them out, you could also get a weighted comforter instead. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like: A duvet insert with a heavy fill material in lieu of more typical lightweight down fill. The result is something that isn’t at all cloud-like—it feels more like your favorite person in the world giving you a gentle hug. This Brooklinen one comes in a bunch of different fill weights and sizes (up to California King), and checks all the right boxes. Despite being much heavier than most other down-alternative quilted comforters, our testers never overheated or sweated through their sheets while sleeping underneath it. It is kind of an advanced bedding move, so maybe try a cheaper weighted throw blanket first before really dropping the dough on this one.
8 More Down and Down-Alternative Comforters We Like
Fill: Tencel lyocell
Care: Dry clean recommended
Last year, we anointed this Clima comforter from stylish new bedding company Sijo with a Home Award for its in-betweener, mid-weight design that comfortably ushers you from season to season. It’s crafted to adapt to your body temperature (keeping you from freezing in winter and cooling you down when the mercury rises) thanks to a fill comprised of a breathable plant-based Tencel fabric, recycled polyester for warmth, and some proprietary cooling Clima tech fiber. The comforter is all wrapped up in a slinky lyocell and nylon shell that feels a little manufactured, but also gives it a cool-to-the-touch feel. Just be careful if you’re not using a cover that the whole thing doesn’t slip all the way off the bed. And though the “Clima” branding designates a cooler feel, we’d say that this is more of a wintery bedding option, since the comfortable wasn’t quite as breathable as we would have liked for warmer temps.
Fill: 700-fill power goose down
Weight options: Summer, light, medium, Arctic
Warranty: Lifetime warranty for defects in materials and workmanship
The Feathered Friends comforter in the medium weight has a luxurious hand feel, though your pocketbook may definitely feel it too. Comforters fall around $500 for this premium comforter. One of our testers described it as “extremely fluffy, like a gigantic pillow.” (His pup likes it too.) We think the Riley comforter offers a slightly better value, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more squish, this is a great alternative with a generous lifetime warranty against defects. Feathered Friends also offers one of the best weight ranges we’ve seen, whether you want something airier for summer or the “Arctic” weight for your icebox of an apartment—all with an impressive 700-fill power.
Fill: 100% HydroCool polyester
Weight options: All-season and extra plush
West Elm’s line of comforters includes four different options, which each offer a different combination of warmth and loft. This down-alternative version is great for hot sleepers—it’s packed with just enough moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating fill to be cozy, but not suffocating. And thanks to its baffle box construction, that fill stays distributed evenly throughout the entire lightweight comforter. The best cooling comforter is still likely one from Snowe, but this one is an excellent alternative.
Fill: 70% white down, 30% Tencel lyocell; 650-fill power
Weight options: All-season and extra plush
…and this West Elm duvet includes a unique fill made from a combination of down and a soft Tencel fabric, which gets inserted into an organic cotton sateen shell. The result is a fluffy yet breathable comforter with a buttery smooth exterior. Even if you don’t want to use a duvet cover, you’ll get excellent sleep under this one.
Fill: 100% wool
Another wool option, this Coyuchi duvet is warm, but pleasantly light, and doesn’t really cling to your body like some heavier inserts. Among the several comforters and duvet inserts Coyuchi makes, this one is our clear favorite. It’s a great option for anyone looking for eco-friendly sourcing, and it’s heftier than the Nest Bedding option above if you prefer a weightier topper. It’s nearly twice as expensive though, which is why the Nest comforter is still our top pick.
Fill: 70% white goose down and 30% feathers; 750-fill power
Weight options: Lightweight and all-season
Warranty: Five years
Care: Machine-washable or dry-cleanable
Like the Riley extra warmth duvet, Parachute’s all-season duvet clocks in at 750 fill power, a plushy pouf! We prefer sleeping under the thicker Riley, but if you want something lighter, the Parachute is the way to go.
Fill: ClimaDry fiberfill
If you want a fluffy down-alternative comforter, but are living on a shoestring budget (like, say, you’re a college student who just needs something cheap to shield your twin XL bed from the A/C) don’t just buy the first thing you see on Amazon. The Slumbercloud Cumulus Comforter is thinner than the one we like from Riley, but still thicker than your average wool blanket. According to the brand, its hypoallergenic, down-like “fiberfill”harnesses NASA-approved temperature regulating technology for hot sleepers. In practice, that means it’s just cozy enough to keep you warm in winter, but you might want to add some fuzzy pajamas to the mix if you’re a particularly cold sleeper.
Fill: 100% goose down
Weight options: Light and medium
Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
Boasting slightly oversized dimensions so it completely fills your duvet cover instead of looking sad and deflated, this Tuft & Needle down duvet insert is a solidly lightweight option for hot sleepers who still want something on the fluffier side. The only rub is that the duvet is quite a noisemaker and tends to rustle around as you toss and turn. Still, if you’re a heavier sleeper, chances are you’ll snooze right through it without hardly noticing.
The editors of GQ suggest. Find out what combination of fluffiness, breathability, and warmth best suits you.. As suggested by the staff at GQ on January 24th, 2023. Our editors have chosen every item that appears on GQ without any assistance. However, should you purchase an item using one of our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Once you have advanced the quality of your mattress and bedding, then you should consider buying top-notch down comforters or duvets. Accumulating a truly luxurious duvet guarantees you a level of coziness that is unmatched compared to a standard bed. No matter how chilly it gets or how scorching hot it may get, you want to purchase a comforter that offers the most breathability and the highest quality without spending too much. It is desirable to have a plush, cloud-like experience while sleeping, instead of any other type of accommodation. An Overview of the Top Down Comforters