Why Is a Wool Duvet (doona or comforter) Better Than a Down Option?

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We can argue a number of reasons why you should choose a wool duvet inner (also known as a wool doona by our Australian friends, or a wool comforter in the USA) rather than selecting a feather or down option.
We know that a regular body temperature is one of the key factors that will influence the quality of your sleep. Both wool and down duvet inners will keep you warm on a cool night, and there is arguably something lovely and soft about down comforters which seems very comforting on one's bed.
Down duvet inners are great insulators but that is all they do! They don't breathe, or manage moisture in the way that wool does. There is evidence to suggest that us humans can lose up to one litre of water in perspiration every night as we sleep. In the absence of bedding that can manage this moisture for you, most of this moisture will soak into your mattress, making it a perfect breeding ground for dust mites, the presence of which can aggravate skin conditions like eczema and other allergies. Wool wicks mositure away from your body and regulates the micro-climate that exists around you while you sleep. It can draw up to 30% of it's own weight in moisture away from your skin, and this moisture then evaporates through the fibre into the air, leaving your bed drier, mould free and healthier. A wool or tencel duvet inner has far superior moisture management capabilities to a down comforter, and can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by night-sweats ladies may experience during menopause.
Because of this, and it's natural properties, wool is also low allergenic, whereas feathers and down may exacerbate breathing problems and allergies. Wool duvet inners will benefit asthma sufferers as over time, synthetic and down or feather duvet inners will disintegrate, generating dust which can aggravate breathing allergies and encourage the presence of dust mites.
In most cases, and certainly with the suppliers we work with in New Zealand, wool is shorn off sheep without cruelty to the animals.  This is most often not the case with down or feathers which are mainly sourced from the Far East. If sustainability is important to you, but you remain determined to buy a down duvet, please check where the raw ingredients have been sourced from, and do a bit of research before you buy. Another thing to watch out for is the feather to down ratio in a 'down' duvet. Feathers are inferior insulators and their quills will often poke through the casing enclosing them which you may find uncomfortable.
Wool duvet inners are also naturally flame retardant, whereas many down comforters or duvet inners, may be treated with a number of chemicals to reduce their flame retardancy. The less chemicals you can introduce into your (or your family's) sleeping environment, the better!
So when you choose a wool duvet inner, rather than a down duvet, you get:

  • constant warmth PLUS.....
  • a drier, healthier, mould free micro-climate around you while you sleep which will help to regulate your body temperature and improve the quality of your sleep 
  • a low allergenic and naturally flame retardant duvet inner, free from chemicals (if you choose organic wool)
  • peace of mind - sheep are not harmed in the persuit of your comfort!