Is it normal for a down comforter to get really flat at the top?
March 13, 2014 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Is it normal for a down comforter to get really flat at the top, up at the top of the bed by the pillows?

I have a down comforter (it's the second one I've owned). The top part of it (the part up by the pillows) is almost completely flat, presumably from being grabbed/handled/pulled a lot. The rest of it isn't so fluffy either but the part at the top of the bed by the pillows is the worst. This comforter isn't that old, and I've tried fluffing it in the dryer but it doesn't make a difference for long, if at all. Does this happen to other people too? Is this just normal when you have a down comforter, or should I be buying a better quality comforter or something? I thought this one was pretty good - it wasn't cheap at all - but maybe I should be getting something better?

I'm trying to decide if I should stick with what I've got, buy a new down comforter, or buy something entirely different like a non-down comforter or a quilt. Thanks!
posted by sunflower16 to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
I rotate mine inside duvet covers, so the same side isn't up all the time. Easiest with full/queen size ones, which are usually square. Is changing the direction you use the comforter an option?
posted by asperity at 3:55 PM on March 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also, I separate the cost/maintenance of pretty and warm by buying a plain white down comforter and attractive duvet covers. Both are easier to wash and dry when you do that.
posted by asperity at 3:56 PM on March 13, 2014

Yes, mine gets flat. I shake it out and sometimes flip them over, rotate, etc.

The only reason I can think of to get a new one is if it bothers you if they get flat. To me, the reason for a down comforter is to keep me warm, not because they flatten down. That's purely a cosmetic affect of the fact that they are actual down feathers and not fake synthetic materials that are designed to be fluffy but not necessarily warm.
posted by HeyAllie at 3:57 PM on March 13, 2014

THis happens to me. I rotate the top and the bottom whenever I change my sheets. It works until it doesn't, I do think that down comforters need maintenance and care. I also wash mine every two months. Keeps it fluffy. It is a PITA to take it out of its cover, but worth washing it,
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:57 PM on March 13, 2014

This happened to ours after a few years of use. Eventually we rotated it so the bottom end is now at the top. I expected the "new top" to flatten out as well, or all the down to migrate back to the "new bottom", but after a few more years, the old top is as flat as ever and the new top still seems just fine. I don't understand it at all.
posted by gueneverey at 4:27 PM on March 13, 2014

Never noticed this. I've had the same Company Store down comforter for 13 years. Then again it's in a fairly thick duvet cover so maybe I just can't see it. Where is it from? Are there "squares" sewn so that the down can't move too far?
posted by radioamy at 4:41 PM on March 13, 2014

I tried to be careful with mine--rotating it, airing it out in summer, keeping pillows off it. Adding two dogs to my life was the death knell, since they are allowed on the bed and have not grown thumbs to peel the duvet back considerately. Eventually it got pretty flat all around, which made my OCD wild so I switched to Pendleton wool-style blankets, which I can abuse the crap out of.

Someday I will have a feather duvet again in my future childfree, maybe dogfree sanitary palace of solitude. ;)
posted by Lardmitten at 5:04 PM on March 13, 2014

Are you sitting on the duvet? I sit on mine and they go flat. My mother always pulls her duvets back before sitting and hers stay super fluffy.
posted by mochapickle at 5:13 PM on March 13, 2014

Mine does the same thing as gueneverey's. The old top stayed flat and I have it sideways in the bed and it's taken a lot longer for the "new top" to flatten out. Mine's a pretty top of the line Company Store one. I think unless you get the ones that are totally quilted, this is sort of normal.
posted by jessamyn at 6:19 PM on March 13, 2014

Same issue here, again with a very high quality Company Store one. The quilting on mine is in the form of long tubes (rather than, say, box quilted). I've tried to shake the down from the plump fluffy bottom to fill in the flattened top, but that doesn't work. Maybe if I hung it from a line, gravity would help move the down to the flattened place. But since my feet are quite warm, I'm OK with this quirk.
posted by apartment dweller at 7:00 PM on March 13, 2014

I find this with quilted down duvets too. When I lived in Germany, people often had completely unquilted duvets, which means the down is totally loose inside the whole cover. It seems counter-intuitive, but it's actually easier to make sure the down is nicely distributed at night like that, because you shake the whole thing lightly before getting into bed, and it all disperses. Plus over the years you can open a seam and stuff more down into it when what's there gets flatter. If you want to stick with down, I'd see if you can find one like that.
posted by lollusc at 9:45 PM on March 13, 2014

I haven't had a problem with my down comforter only going flat at the top, more the whole thing. Throwing a clean tennis ball in the dryer with it totally fluffed it back up like it was brand new. Wish I would have known about it a couple years of flat down comforter owning sooning.
posted by stray thoughts at 11:47 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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