Choosing the right quilt is a decision that could mean the difference between a comfortable night's rest and a whole lot of tossing and turning. If you're leaning towards a quilt made using natural feather and down or wool, but you aren't sure which way to go, here's a comparison to help you decide.
Wool is a wonderful natural material that makes a perfect quilt filling. The wool fibres work to absorb moisture in the form of sweat and also humidity, ensuring that you stay comfortable during the warmer months of the year. Wool also traps and holds air within its fibres and distributes heat evenly, keeping you warm during the winter. This dual ability means that you can use your wool quilt all year round, and you won't have to buy separate quilts for summer and winter.
Wool can be produced in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way, which is an important consideration if you want an eco-friendly quilt.
Some wool quilts are machine-washable, although others must be dry-cleaned; always check the individual manufacturer's care instructions, as they do vary. All wool quilts will benefit from being hung outside on a washing line fairly regularly in order to air them out. In between cleaning, a quick spritz with fabric freshener will keep your wool quilt smelling nice.
Feather and down quilts
Feather and down quilt filling comprises the soft, fluffy feathers that ducks and geese grow for insulation. Down offers better warming and insulation qualities than pure feather, so a quilt with a high down content will be of better quality and will keep you warmer.
Unfortunately, feather and down tends to become clammy and unpleasant during hot weather, because it absorbs moisture without wicking it away like wool does. For this reason, you might want to consider choosing a thin feather and down quilt for the summer and buying a second thicker one for the winter, which potentially makes feather and down an expensive choice.
One advantage of feather and down is that it provides you with plenty of warmth without being very heavy. The overall feeling of a feather and down quilt is supreme softness and 'snuggly' insulation.
Most feather and down quilts are not washable and have to be dry-cleaned. Exposure to water can cause the down to clump together, ruining the quilt. You can keep your quilt fresh by hanging it outside on a warm, dry, breezy day to air it out. This also helps to keep the filling nice and fluffy and evenly distributed inside the quilt.
Wool and feather and down quilts are both made of natural materials encased in pure cotton. Both have advantages and disadvantages; use this guide to help you choose which you think would suit you best.