Featherbeds are essentially mattress toppers filled with feathers, down or both. Featherbeds are placed either under the fitted sheet or directly on top of it. Featherbeds are very comfortable. Its soft, luxurious feel provides that "sinking into bed" sensation.
Featherbeds are constructed using one of three methods:
- The most common featherbed is the baffle box, where the featherbed is stitched into boxes, which keeps the down in place and provides optimal comfort and support.
- There is also the baffle channel featherbed, in which the down is arranged and stitched into vertical, or less commonly, horizontal columns or channels. This style also keeps the down in place and prevents it from shifting or clumping.
- There is the "bag of feathers" style featherbed in which there are no boxes or channels to keep the down in place. As a result, this style experiences the most shifting and clumping of down, which in turn reduces the support and comfort of the featherbed.
Featherbeds that use 100% white goose-down provide the softest feel and are considered the highest quality. If you are looking for a truly comfortable bed that will provide you with all the essentials for a good night sleep, a goose-down featherbed would be your top choice. Next in quality are duck-down featherbeds. Duck-down clusters are smaller than goose-down, thus more duck-down is required to fill the featherbed to reach the same insulation and support of its goose-down counterpart. As a result, duck-down featherbeds are heavier and firmer than goose-down featherbeds. These types of beds are beneficial for individuals who require neck and back support while sleeping. Lastly, there are down-feather blends. The percentage of down vs. feather is indicated by how the featherbed is labeled: down-feather blends have more down, while feather-down blends consist of more feathers. Some brands even list the actual percentage for each, for example, down-feather: 80/20.
Finally, when considering a featherbed look for those finished in 100% cotton with a thread count of 200 or more. The cotton allows the down to breathe, providing an ideal level of warmth. Featherbeds will provide you will a comfortable night sleep, so you can wake feeling rested and energetic.