Bed Pillow Fillers and Comforter Filler

When it comes to the bed pillow fillers and filler used in comforters, there is a variety of choices from the traditional feather and goose down to the more high tech, such as micro fiber, latex and foam. Which type you choose will of course depend on individual circumstances, but those choices become a lot easier when you understand the different types of filler used.

Filling issues divide neatly into two closely related categories of material and geometry. However, far from being a strenuous exercise in chemistry or math, learning about the different types can be fun and useful to anyone seeking the best in bedding.

Baffling and down used in comforters are a good illustration of the relationship between material and geometry. Natural goose down is often used in fine bed coverings. However, it helps if the down is pocketed in tiny cells so as to prevent it moving around and keeping it from being crushed so quickly.

That is where baffling comes into the equation. Fabric 'walls' are sewn into the form of cells stuffed with down. That keeps the down from shifting or bunching, leading to less warmth and ruining the visual appeal of a good comforter. It allows the down to maximize loft, the ability of the down to fill the empty space.

The degree to which it can do that is known as the fill power, a number that ranges between 500-800. Anything greater than 625 is considered superior. Generally, the higher the number, the greater the ability to insulate well and the better the comfort or cushioning.

That being said, cotton, wool or synthetic fibers can do just as good a job, in both pillows and comforters. When used in this way, it is termed batting and having good batting is key to any comfortable, long lasting bedding. Put another way, good batting makes good bedding.

However, which type of cotton is used, often makes the difference between average and superior. There is a reason, for example, that Egyptian cotton is so highly prized and praised. It has the longest staple (the length of an individual fiber) of any cotton in the world. As such, it provides the best strength and hence durability, along with the highest comfort.

Goose down is another popular filling for either application since the material itself has its own internal geometry and chemical properties that make it ideal for filling. It traps air within the feather that provides excellent natural insulation. That, combined with the 'walls' that form the space the air is trapped in, gives it staying power, as well.

Even so, modern materials such as polyester and polyurethane can do a great job when they are well made. They have high strength and retain their resiliency for a long time. They shed water well and do not mildew.

So, when you are shopping for a quality pillow or comforter to complement and complete that bed set, remember to investigate the filling. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate what it can offer - just a little understanding of the different types available.