How to buy a comforter
A comforter buying guide
Although comforters are designed to keep you warm, they can also add to your decor scheme by serving as a bedroom focal point. Whatever your reason for purchasing one, when deciding how to buy a comforter, you will want to consider a variety of factors. These include size, material, thread count, color and patterns, fills, sets and maintenance requirements.
>> Choose the right size
One of your first decisions when considering how to buy a comforter is the size that you will need to buy. Comforter sizes are similar to mattress sizes you'll find twin comforters as well as long twin, full, queen, king and California king sizes. Some comforters may even be marked as fitting two different mattress sizes, such as a comforter that is labeled as full/queen. In this case, it means that this comforter design will be just a little bigger than is typical for a full bed.
>> Choose the right material
When looking at which comforter to buy, another decision that you will need to make is the material that you want your covering to be made of. Comforters come in many materials, each designed to provide warmth in various types of weather. The following designates each material as being either for warm or for cold weather. General care instructions are also provided for each type of comforter. However, it is also important to read the specific care instructions provided with the comforter that you purchase.
Warm or cold weather
|Down ||Cold ||Dry clean |
|Down alternative ||Cold ||Machine-wash in gentle cycle |
|Cotton ||Warm or cold ||Machine-wash |
|Polyester ||Warm ||Machine- or hand-wash |
|Silk ||Warm ||Dry clean |
>> Consider thread count
When considering how to buy a comforter, you will also want to think about your desired thread count. Thread count for comforters is similar to thread count for sheets. It indicates how tightly woven the fabric is, meaning how many threads are in 1 square inch of fabric. When you select a comforter style with a high thread count, it will have a more luxurious and softer feel.
If you shop for comforters with thread counts of 250 or above, you will end up with a good quality purchase. However, those with counts of 400 or above are considered to be luxury comforters.
>> Choose a color or pattern
When you are deciding how to buy a comforter, you will want to pay special attention to the color and pattern options available. You can choose solid-colored comforter designs in bright or subdued colors, or you may want floral comforters or comforters with geometric designs or other patterns. You may want to select themes such as animal print comforters for teenagers or comforters displaying cartoon characters for younger children. White, cream and tan are also popular choices since these can complement almost any decor. Quilted comforters are also a lovely choice for a simple and elegant design.
The desired theme and purpose of a room will also be important in determining which comforter to buy. For example, if you want your bed to be the focal point of the room, you may want to make it stand out with a bold design and color scheme. On the other hand, you can choose a calming and tranquil theme, which may be appropriate for a guest room.
>> Choose the best fill
The fill power is another important aspect when deciding how to buy a comforter. A comforter with a higher fill power means that it is stuffed with larger, fluffier and higher-quality down. A comforter with a higher fill power will be warmer, too. When choosing which comforter to buy, a fill power of at least 500 is considered to be high quality. If you are looking for true luxury, 700 and up is what you will want to buy.
In addition to quality, choosing a fill power also depends on how warm you like to be when you sleep. If you prefer to be a bit cooler, you will want to purchase a lighter comforter. However, if you get cold easily, you will want to consider comforter styles that will keep you warm and comfortable. A comforter that keeps you adequately warm may even help to cut your heating costs since you won't have to keep the temperature as high in your home.
>> What comes in a comforter set?
You can purchase comforters separately or in bedding sets. The items included in a set can vary, which may play a role in your decision of how to buy a comforter. You can find comforter styles paired with pillow shams in matching or coordinating colors. Other sets may include a matching sheet set, too. For a complete look in your room, you can shop for comforter styles that include a dust ruffle and draperies.
>> How to care for your comforter
Caring for your comforter is fairly simple. For both washing and drying, you will follow the care instructions for your particular type of comforter. It is recommended, however, to only wash a comforter that is designed to be machine-washed in a large-capacity washing machine. A front-loading machine is preferred since it can provide more movement, which will help to keep the fill from bunching up. However, try not to wash your comforter more often than is necessary in order to prolong its lifespan. One way to avoid excess washings is to use a coverlet on top of your comforter. This will help to keep your comforter clean.
As for drying methods, some types of comforters can be dried in a machine, while others must be allowed to air-dry. If you are in doubt, you can always take it to a dry cleaner. However, if your comforter is appropriate for machine drying, you can put a tennis ball in the dryer along with your comforter in order to help the fill move around as your comforter dries.
Additionally, you will want to fluff up your comforter occasionally in order to perk up the fill. When you are ready to store it away for the season, put it in a breathable bag, and place it in a well-ventilated area. Avoid plastic because it can allow moisture in, which could cause mildew.