Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Down and Down Alternative

Down vs Down Alternative

There’s a big difference between sleeping with a pillow and without it. There’s an even bigger difference when one is using a comforter on a cold night or not. They affect how well a person rests after a hard day’s work.

Before, only wealthy Asian men used pillows, but with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in Europe, it became very widely used. While in ancient times Chinese pillows were made with stones, wood, metal, or porcelain, today it is made with fabric filled with foam, latex, feathers, down, and down alternative.

Down is the layer of fine feathers that are found under a bird’s outermost feathers. They provide insulation for birds and are used by ancient man in religious ceremonies and as symbols. Today it is used as an insulator and padding for bedding, jackets, pillows, and sleeping bags.

It traps small pockets of air that act as a thermal barrier. While natural down taken from birds is soft and warm, some people are allergic to it so down alternatives were developed to fill this need. Because they are made with different materials, their differences are many. Products filled with real down are heavier as compared to those filled with alternative down. People most often want heavy comforters so they prefer to use products filled with real down because a down alternative can be made from materials ranging from sheep wool to silk and synthetic materials which are very lightweight.

Synthetic down can be produced to resemble real down which has a definite characteristic and quality. Some are even made better. And unlike real down, which can cause allergic reactions, down alternatives are mostly hypoallergenic. It all comes down to choosing the right material when selecting a down alternative.

It’s not only wool and silk that are used as natural down alternatives but also cotton. They are easy to maintain but are not as heavy as down. The most commonly used and perhaps the cheaper choice are synthetic down alternatives.
Real down can still be used by people with allergies as long as the down is purified and the product is made to ensure that the down does not escape. Down alternatives can also get infected with dust mites and dust, but there are products that come with special dust controls.


1.Down is the layer of fine, soft feathers under a bird’s outer feathers while a down alternative can be natural like wool, silk, and cotton, or synthetic.
2.Down is most preferred by users because it is heavy while down alternative is lightweight.
3.Down has a distinct quality and texture which makes it a good insulator while down alternatives can be made to resemble it, but still some are just not as good as real down.
4.Down is more expensive than down alternatives.
5.Real down causes allergic reactions in some people while a down alternative does not because they are treated with special dust controls.

6.Down is made from the feathers of birds while down alternative is made from the wool of sheep, cotton, silk, and synthetic materials.

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