Goose Down vs Duck Down: What's the Difference?

Goose Down vs Duck Down: What's the Difference?

When it comes to choosing the perfect bedding, understanding down feathers is key. Down, found beneath the outer feathers of birds, offers exceptional insulation. But what’s the difference between goose down and duck down? Selecting the right type impacts both comfort and warmth. Like goose down pillows often provide superior warmth and durability, making them ideal for colder climates. Meanwhile, duck down pillows are more affordable, perfect for moderate conditions. Knowing which one is better for your needs ensures you get the best value and comfort. Let's explore the key differences and benefits of each to help you make an informed decision.

What is Down?

Down feathers are the soft, fluffy clusters found beneath the outer feathers of birds like ducks and geese. Unlike regular feathers, down lacks the stiff quill, making it lightweight and incredibly insulating. This unique structure traps air, providing exceptional warmth and comfort.

Down is highly valued in insulation products such as pillows, jackets, and bedding for its superior ability to retain heat while remaining breathable. Understanding the properties of down is crucial when choosing the best insulation for your needs.

Check out Downyhaven's Down feather used in our pillows and comforters.

Goose Down

Goose down is known for its larger clusters compared to duck down. These clusters have a higher fill power, meaning they can trap more air and provide better insulation. Fill power is a measure of the loft or fluffiness of the down, and goose down typically has a fill power ranging from 600 to 800 or even higher. This makes goose down an excellent choice for those seeking superior warmth and comfort.

Benefits of Goose Down

The primary benefit of goose down is its superior warmth-to-weight ratio. It provides exceptional insulation without adding bulk, making it ideal for use in products where lightweight warmth is essential. Goose down also tends to have a longer lifespan than duck down. Its larger clusters are more durable and resilient, retaining their loft and insulating properties over time. This longevity makes goose down a worthwhile investment for those looking for long-term comfort and warmth.

Goose down is particularly well-suited for cold climates. Its ability to provide substantial warmth in frigid temperatures makes it a favorite for high-end outdoor gear and bedding. Whether you're dealing with icy winter weather or simply prefer a cozier sleeping experience, goose down is a top choice. 

Duck Down

Duck down, while similar to goose down, has some distinct differences. The clusters of duck down are generally smaller and have a lower fill power, typically ranging from 300 to 600. This means that duck down provides less loft and insulation compared to goose down. However, it still offers excellent warmth and comfort, making it a popular choice for many consumers.

Benefits of Duck Down

One of the main benefits of duck down is its affordability. Duck down products are generally less expensive than those made with goose down, making them accessible to a wider range of people. Despite having smaller clusters and lower fill power, duck down provides adequate warmth for moderate climates. It’s a great option for those who live in milder regions or prefer a lighter, less insulating fill.

Duck down is also versatile and can be used in various types of bedding and clothing. Its lower cost doesn’t compromise on comfort, and it can still provide a cozy, warm experience. For those looking for a balance between cost and comfort, duck down is an excellent choice.

Comparing Warmth

Fill power measures the loft or fluffiness of down, indicating its insulating efficiency. Higher fill power means better insulation and warmth. Higher fill power traps more air, providing superior insulation without adding weight.

Goose down, with its larger clusters and higher fill power, generally offers greater warmth compared to duck down. While duck down is warm and comfortable, goose down is better suited for colder climates due to its superior insulating properties.

Comparing Durability

Goose down products typically have a longer lifespan due to larger, more resilient clusters that maintain loft over time.

Duck down products are durable but may have a slightly shorter lifespan due to smaller clusters that may compress more easily.

Durability is influenced by the quality of the down, proper care, and usage. Regular fluffing, proper cleaning, and storage in dry conditions extend the lifespan of both goose and duck down products. But overall speaking, goose down products are tend to last longer. 

Comparing Cost

Goose down products are generally more expensive, ranging from $150 to $300 or more, due to their higher quality and insulating properties.

Duck down products are more affordable, typically costing between $50 and $150, making them accessible to a broader audience.

Choose goose down for superior warmth and durability in colder climates. Opt for duck down for budget-friendly options that provide adequate warmth for milder conditions, offering great value without compromising comfort.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical concerns in down production revolve around animal welfare and sustainable practices. The primary issues include live plucking and force-feeding of birds, which are inhumane practices that cause significant suffering. Consumers increasingly seek ethically sourced down to ensure that the products they buy do not contribute to animal cruelty. 

Differences in the Ethical Sourcing of Goose Down vs. Duck Down

Ethical sourcing standards apply to both goose down and duck down. However, goose down is often scrutinized more due to its higher market value and widespread use in premium products.

Ethical sourcing involves ensuring that down is a byproduct of the food industry, where birds are not live-plucked or force-fed. Transparency in the supply chain is crucial to verify these practices. Our products made in goose down feathers and are all ethically sourced in our own Austrilian farm. That's why we can provide better quality pillows and comforters without breaking your bank!

Ideal Uses

So, which one to choose? Goose down or duck down?

Goose down is ideal for situations where superior warmth and durability are paramount. It's perfect for cold climates and extreme weather conditions due to its higher fill power and larger clusters. High-end jackets, sleeping bags, and luxury bedding often utilize goose down for its excellent insulating properties and lightweight nature. It’s also suitable for individuals who prioritize long-term investments in their bedding and outdoor gear.

Whereas duck down is best used in moderate climates where extreme insulation is not required. It is an excellent choice for mid-range jackets, bedding, and comforters, offering a good balance between warmth and affordability. Duck down products are suitable for those looking for comfortable, lightweight insulation without the higher cost associated with goose down. They are also ideal for use in all-season bedding, providing adequate warmth without overheating.


Choosing between goose down and duck down comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Goose down, with its larger clusters and higher fill power, is perfect for those seeking superior warmth and long-lasting durability, especially in colder climates. On the other hand, duck down is a great budget-friendly option, offering cozy comfort in moderate climates. Think about your climate, budget, and how you'll use the product. Both types of down have their own unique perks, so you're sure to find the perfect fit for your bedding and outdoor gear needs.