It can be hard to know what to look for when going out and buying new duvets and pillows. What does fill power mean?, what is the difference between down and feathers?, can I use down and feathers when I have allergies?
We have gathered a lot of useful information below that answers the most common questions when you are looking for new duvets and pillows.
Allergy friendly duvets and pillows
Many people think incorrectly that they are hypersensitive to down and feathers, but the actual culprit is usually the small, yet very irritating house dust mite. The symptoms of a house dust mite allergy remind of what is usually experienced in connection with hay fever and asthma: swollen and itchy eyes, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, cough or respiratory difficulties.
House dust mites have optimum conditions in bedrooms with a temperature of 17 to 32 °C and high air humidity, and it is enzymes in their faeces that cause allergies. A house dust mite can excrete 200 times its own weight in faeces per day.
Avoid house dust mites in your duvet and pillow
However much we want, we can’t help you get rid of your bedroom’s house dust mites. But we have made sure that they can come into neither pillows nor duvets – the shell is simply so tightly woven that the mites cannot penetrate through the fabric.
This is documented by means of the NOMITE certification, and you can find the NOMITE logo on the labels.
You have to handle the rest yourself: Washing bed linen, cleaning and thorough airing will turn the lives of your unwanted guests into a misery.
Our down products can be washed at 60°C (house dust mites die at 55°C) and are therefore allergy-neutral. Persons suffering from allergies therefore do not need to avoid real duvets.
Down is a brilliant insulation material, and its low weight makes it extremely suitable as fill for duvets. The insulating ability of the fill is measured with the concept fill power. Goose down with fill power 825 is certainly a fantastic warmer, but fill can also easily be used in a light and airy summer duvet – just not so much of it. Feathers are great as support in pillows – if you prefer a high, firm pillow.
What is the difference between down and feathers?
The secret behind down
The finest, largest and strongest down originates from regions with substantial fluctuations between day and night temperatures. Anseriformes (ducks, geese) have developed the ability to keep warm on cold nights, yet also feel comfortable in the day’s heat – all with the same plumage.
The secret lies in a protective layer of fat, lanolin, which makes feathers flexible, resistant and waterproof, which is also the explanation why these birds can remain dry and warm.
Only down from Europe
The best down comes from fully-grown birds, and if they have lived under optimum conditions, in particular, geese can yield down with a fill power all the way up to 825. Birds in the Far East are generally treated worse and are also slaughtered at a very young age. The result: down of inferior quality and ready products with a shorter life span.
As a rule, cheaper products contain inferior quality down, so the price difference between different duvets is therefore mainly owing to different fill grades. As a consequence of this, we only use down and feathers from carefully selected suppliers in Europe, to get the best and most fluffy down and feathers. Read more about our look at ethics and animal welfare here.
What do down and fill power have to do with your sleep?
What is fill power?
Fill power is an expression of the down’s insulating ability and quality. A high fill power means that the fill is light and airy and insulates well because it contains a lot of air – and it is the air between the down that keeps you warm underneath the duvet. The lower the down quality, the lower also the fill power and the ability to insulate. If treated properly, good raw materials can preserve their fill power for many years.
Measurement of fill power
Prior to 2019, fill power was measured on a scale up to 13, with 13 being the best and most isolating. This measurement method has now been updated to match the fill power known from sleeping bags and down jackets. The change means that in the future there will be a new fill power on the products.
Now the fill power will be measured on a new scale up to 900. Although the fill power is now called something else, it is exactly the same products in question.
An example of this is a 90% European muscovy down which previously had a fill power of 11. In the future it has a fill power of 725. But the filling (the down) is completely the same.
It can be hard to find your way around the jungle of different brands and certifications on duvets and pillows. At Ringsted Dun, we only follow the industry’s highest standards. If our products can not live up to the high demands we make and which the highest standards of the industry demand, it will not come on the market.
Get to know all the different brands and certifications you will find on Ringsted Dun products below.
Choose the right certificates
“We only go by the highest standards in the industry”
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® Class 1
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is an international, voluntary product control standard created to even out global environmental legislation differences and create a common basis for assessment of potentially hazardous substances. The OEKO-TEX® Association tests for chemical substances that can be – or are suspected of being – harmful to the human body.
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is divided into four product classes depending on the amount of permitted residual chemicals in the ready product. Even though the class is not indicated in the mark, Ringsted Dun has chosen to certify its products according to the strictest requirements of Product Class I, which means that the products are suitable for babies and toddlers up to 3 years of age.
The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® Class I standard has very low limit values for the content of, e.g.:
- Formaldehyde (may cause allergies)
- Heavy metals (may cause eczema and damage internal organs and the central nervous system)
- Pesticides (may affect the nervous system and damage internal organs and fertility)
Downafresh® greenLine is your guarantee of a clean, high-quality product that has been made in accordance with the strictest washing requirements in Europe. This means that the raw feathers are washed until they satisfy hygiene requirements and dried at more than 100°C. This guarantees the removal of: H5N1 strain (bird flu), keratin (scales from down and feathers), bacteria and mould, soap residues, as well as other organic residues.
The users of Downafresh® greenLine are obliged to have their products regularly tested at an independent testing laboratory to check whether the requirements for hygiene, cleanliness and environmental friendliness have been met. Only detergents which preserve the environment and the naturalness of the filling material may be used.
The name of the mark comes from English – no mite – i.e. no house dust mites.
Nomite is the consumer’s guarantee that your down product cannot harbour house dust mites. The fabric of the pillow or duvet case is woven so tightly that it is impenetrable for the mites.
Contrary to all myths that down and feathers are the cause of allergic reactions in the bedroom, scientific studies have documented that culprit number 1 is actually the house dust mite. Since down products can be washed at 60°C – the exact temperature required for killing bacteria and mites – this means that allergy sufferers can safely buy down products. But remember to watch out for the Nomite logo.
Down & Feathers – Class 1
Down and feathers can be labelled in three different classes under the EN12934 standard. All of Ringsted Dun’s products meet the requirements of Class I, which means that all down and feathers are new and of the highest quality.
The other two classes are for inferior qualities. If there is no information about Class on the product label, the product in question is likely to be Class III. Class III permits, for example, the use of more than 15 % of recycled down from used pillows and duvets where other people have slept as well as materials other than down.
Always make sure that the product you purchase is Class I – this guarantees only high-quality new down for your bedroom.
Nordic Swan Ecolabel
Our ORGANIC CARE series is Nordic Swan Ecolabelled. This is your guarantee for:
- The product is among the least environmentally damaging in its category
- Requirements have been set for substances that are problematic for health
The requirements for eco-labeled products go beyond the legislation. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel revises the requirements every few years. In this way, they ensure that the level follows the general development in the area.
”Approved by Animals Protection Denmark”
On selected Ringsted Dun products, we can offer Danish down that are “Approved by Animals Protection Denmark”.
The label “Approved by Animals Protection Denmark” is your guarantee that:
- The ducks have access to the outdoors
- The herd has access to an outdoor area with plenty of space where they can move freely and live out natural behavior
- The circadian rhythm is natural
- The flocks are small
- Access to bathing water
- The ducks live most of their lives outdoors
- The label “Approved by Animals Protection Denmark” is another initiative for good animal welfare, in addition to those we already have when we select European down and feathers for our duvets and pillows.