Information about down

Information about down

DonsjesDown is a beautiful natural filling material from ducks and geese. Compared to its own weight, down provides the most volume of all known filling materials, which makes it suitable for use in down duvets. You need the volume and thickness of the duvet for insulation to keep you warm and the light weight helps you wake up better rested in the morning. We have different duvets such as a duck down duvet, goose down duvet and an eider down duvet. Furthermore, down has excellent ventilating and therefore moisture-regulating properties, so you don't get too hot quickly. The down and feathers are almost always a by-product of food production. The main exception is the down of the eider duck, which is collected by hand from the nests after the young have fledged. The quality, supply and demand and making the down and feathers suitable for the production of pillows and duvets determine the price of the material.

Down flake and feathers

Unlike a feather, a down flake, see in the photo on the left, does not have a hard shaft or pin. The many branches of the down provide its strong moisture-regulating properties. The down and feathers, which are more feathers than down at the beginning of the process, are first washed, dried and disinfected. The down flakes are then separated from the feathers using a machine that sets the air in motion. This process is called sorting. This machine has several chambers and each chamber produces a slightly different mixing ratio of down and feathers. For example 15%, 30%, 90% 100% down. This percentage indicates what percentage of down there is in the total weight. For example, one of the rooms supplies 90% down, which means that when we take 1 kilo of this material, it contains 900 grams of pure down and 100 grams of feathers. This is referred to as a 90/10 down/feather filling. Agreements have been made at a European level on how to name the down on the label. The different down percentages are needed for different applications, for example, for pillows you can also only use the feathers or feathers with a lower down percentage if you are looking for a slightly firmer filled pillow and for a down duvet you prefer a high percentage of down to achieve such a to achieve the lowest possible weight.

Duck or goose down

Duck down is generally smaller than goose down and duck feathers are also slightly softer than goose feathers. The down flake of goose down also generally has a larger and fuller core. The big advantage of this is that goose down generally lasts longer and that you need less of it to make a pleasantly warm down duvet. It gives more volume for the same weight. This is also the explanation that the better down duvets have a lower fill weight, are just as warm, but are much more comfortable due to the lower total weight. Although the color has no influence on the quality, most down is white and it is noticeable that duck down is usually slightly yellower than goose down.


The down of the eider duck is the exception to the rule that goose down is better than duck down. The down of these ducks, which live in northern Norway, Iceland and Greenland, is collected from the nests after the young have permanently left the nest. The female eider duck has lined the nest with down that she has plucked from her breast. This down contains no feathers and has exceptionally strong mutual cohesion and therefore a very high insulation capacity. Due to the collection method and the very limited quantity available per year, the price of eiderdown is very high.


The breed of duck and/or geese, the climate they come from, but also the food they eat and their age all influence the quality of the down. The most important indication of quality is the fill power of the down. We can compare these by measuring in the laboratory. In Europe we do this by taking an amount of 30 grams of down, compressing it according to the “Lorch” method and then measuring the height in millimeters. Outside Europe this is measured per ounce and stated in CUIN (cubic inches per ounce). In both cases you can say; the higher the value the better the quality. Below you will see a table with which you can compare the measurement methods.


mm/30g in³/oz (cuin)
75 300
105 420
120 475
150 595
180 750
195 800
210 850
225 900
The better down duvets use down with a fill power of 150mm and have a cover (fabric) that perfectly matches the chosen composition of the down.

At White Cloudz we attach great importance to quality, animal welfare and working conditions and therefore set high standards for our suppliers, their products and certifications.

Certificates and Labels

Nowadays there are various agencies and organizations that follow and map the entire route back to the source and, if everything is in accordance with the rules of the law for humans and animals, issue certificates to the relevant suppliers and subcontractors. These are then checked regularly. Our down products are all DOWNPASS® certified.

View our collection of down duvets