15 Best Down Comforters for Every Kind of Sleeper in 2023
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.
Finding the best down comforters—or duvets, which it turns out are a slightly different thing—took some work. We’ve curled-up in, napped under, and flopped onto an absurd selection of the most well-reviewed ones that we could find. All in service of discovering the comforter or duvet that’ll keep you just the right kind of cozy.
Once you’ve upgraded your mattress and sheets, a down comforter or duvet or duvet insert is the next essential piece of bedding on the list. 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?
But before we get there, first, we need to answer an important question:
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 makes cleaning it a bit harder. And in different colors, prints, or patterns without having to replace the whole thing.
The best comforters and duvets should:
- Feel soft
- Provide a whole lotta warmth
- Breathe enough to keep you from sweating
- Be machine washable
- Have 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?
There are two key metrics that tend to determine price for a comforter or duvet: fill power and thread count. Fill power is a measurement of the quality of the down—or down-like stuff—inside. The number represents how high the down will loft, which is basically the fluff factor. Higher fill power generally means a warmer, puffier, lighter, and longer-lasting down comforter or duvet.
Thread count measures how tightly woven the cotton shell is. A higher thread count generally means more heat—but less breathability. High fill power plus high thread count equals a tundra-strength comforter or duvet.
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 spent several nights sleeping with each finalist. (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 one option that was around $200 that we are enthusiastic enough about to recommend as a new favorite. 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. Every type of sleeper is different, but we all just want to feel swaddled. Sheets and pillows and mattresses define the slumber experience on a basic level, but none can match the bliss of diving into a truly luxurious duvet. Below, you’ll find our favorite comforters and duvets.
The Best Down Comforter for Hot Sleepers
If you’re a hot sleeper or you live in an apartment where you don’t have any control over the heat, then you’re probably looking for maximum plushness and minimal heat retention. This is a tricky balance to strike, but Snowe’s down comforter has nailed it. It has solid loft without too much poofiness, and a good weight that swaddles your frame nicely without making you feel like the Michelin man. Plus, its box stitch construction ensures that the fill stays spread evenly throughout the comforter—no weird hot spots. You won’t wake up sweating or having kicked the covers off the bed once.
The Best Down Duvet
If you prefer some combination of top sheets and blankets rather than a comforter, let us fill you in on Casper’s Lightweight Down Duvet. Checking in at the lighter end of the fill-power spectrum (600), this duvet is ideal for hot sleepers and can be layered with a combo of sheets and blankets underneath. It’s also not super bulky or fluffy, so lays relatively flat. With a nice soft handfeel, 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 Down Alternative Comforter
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 Plush-as-Hell Comforter
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 Budget Down Comforter
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 alone, but it 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 break the bank.
The Best Down-Like Wool Option
This Coyuchi duvet insert is unique among all the ones we’ve tested. Instead of goose down clusters, duck down, or some sort of hypoallergenic alternative, it’s 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. The duvet is warm, but pleasantly light, and doesn’t really cling to the body like some heavier inserts. Those prone to overheating will appreciate this. Among the several comforters and duvet inserts Coyuchi makes, this is our clear favorite. It’s a great option for anyone looking for a reasonable price point and eco-friendly sourcing.
The Best Down-Like Weighted Comforter
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 cloudlike—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.
Target’s Casaluna comforter is a dorm room classic—there’s a reason the twin-sized option is sold out online—but unlike your pal Greg, it was always destined for post-grad excellence. At less than 200 bucks it’s one of the least expensive options on this list, but it includes a whole lot of the same characteristics you’d expect to see in its pricier counterparts. A lightweight down comforter (with 600-fill power) that’s decidedly lump-free? Check. Hypoallergenic, cozy, and soft-to-the-touch in an Oeko-tex certified cotton cover? You bet.
The Feathered Friends comforter in the medium weight has a luxurious hand feel. 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.
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.
…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.
With a slightly lower fill power of 650, but a high 400 thread count, the tightly packed down of this Crane & Canopy comforter maxes out on warmth and weight. It’s a good option if you want a comforter with more of a coze factor in winter.
Snowe’s conventional down comforter is a relatively lofty cloud comforter. Its down alternative offers the same level of high-end durability as our top pick, but without nearly as much loft. It’s got an ultra-soft cotton shell and a microfiber fill, but not so much that you’ll feel smothered. The result is a super breathable comforter for hot sleepers who struggle to find that Goldilocks body temperature at night.
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.
If you want a fluffy comforter on your bed, but have a tighter budget to stick to (like, say, if you’re a college student who just needs something to hold them over during those twin XL bed days) don’t just buy the first thing you see on Amazon. The Slumbercloud Cumulus Comforter is thinner than the ones we like from Snowe and Riley, but it’s still a bit thicker than your average blanket. According to the brand, it’s also designed with NASA-approved temperature regulating technology. In practice, that means it has enough down to keep you warm, but you might want to add some fuzzy pajamas to the mix if you’re a particularly cold sleeper.
Boasting slightly oversized dimensions to keep the shape inside your duvet cover (and to prevent any fighting over the covers), this Tuft & Needle down duvet insert is a solidly lightweight option for hot sleepers who still want something on the fluffier side.
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 has a scratchy handfeel. Its followup, the Breeze comforter is somewhere closer to the middle—with a more lightweight feel, a delightfully soft lyocell fabric, a plant-based filler, and a surprising warmth and coziness. Despite its airy branding, we wouldn’t consider it cooling enough to use in the summer, but our tester found it perfectly warm and cozy for New York City winters. Another plus is that it’s one of the rare comforters you’ll find that’s stylish enough to leave out of the duvet cover thanks to the modern wavy stitching.
For those slightly-less-welcome guests (like your significant other’s random cousin who somehow visits four times a year), don’t empty your wallet. The Linenspa all-season comforter is a truly inexpensive comforter that’s worthy of consideration. It feels a lot cheaper than the high-quality ones from Snowe and Riley we recommend immediately out of the box. But it does offer an impressive amount of loft for the price.
More GQ Best Stuff
My husband and I are both loving Emily in Paris on Netflix, and have just finished Season 3 which…