WHY CHOOSE DOWN?

From inimitable insulation properties to an almost ethereal softness, nothing beats the finest quality down for comfort and indulgence.

Read on to discover why nature’s most brilliant invention is a cut above the rest.

A far cry from feathers

Contrary to what many people believe, down and feathers are not the same. Few individuals wouldn’t recognise a feather, but down is more of a mystery.

feathers

Feathers make up the rigid plumage on ducks and geese. Each feather has a flat appearance and two-dimensional construction.

This means it’s unable to trap air effectively and has little insulation value. The main purpose of feathers in pillows is to provide bulk and support. In duvets, they can reduce the quality of the final product if too many are used.

Down

We design our products to last for a very long time and we want you to be completely happy with them.

Down is the soft undercoat beneath the birds’ feathers, found mainly on the belly and breast. It consists of clusters of light, fluffy filaments growing from a central quill point. As there’s no quill shaft, the structure is naturally soft.

Each down cluster provides geese and ducks with warmth and insulation by trapping tiny pockets of air within the filaments.

Combined, they create thousands of insulating pockets.

At the same time, the down keeps the birds dry by allowing water and moisture to escape from their bodies. No wonder it makes such a wonderful material for duvets.

When it comes to insulation, nature knows best

It may appear simple, but the superior insulating properties of down prove that nature triumphs where science struggles.

What does insulation actually do?

It traps the heat from your body so that it doesn’t escape into the cold. Heat will always move from a warmer to cooler environment – that’s thermodynamics. So, insulation reduces heat transfer by retaining warmth and reflecting it back to your body.

why does norvegr use down?

Let us count the ways.

Warmth

It’s difficult to trounce natural materials. So far, scientists haven’t been able to create anything as effective as down. Its phenomenal “warmth to weight” ratio provides a level of insulation that’s second to none.

Temperature Regulation

The thousands of tiny, crisscrossing fibres in each down cluster trap air in small pockets. This creates warmth while simultaneously allowing the material to breathe. Down’s temperature regulating ability is what makes it the bee’s knees for bedding. It’s perfect for hot sleepers and those seeking to avoid sweaty summer nights. It’s equally inviting for freezing weather and individuals who feel the cold.

highest quality down
norwegian down duck

Super softness

Until you’ve touched down, you’ll never know what softness really means. The higher the quality, the softer it gets, with the finest goose and eiderdown being the crème de la crème.

Other-worldly lightness

We can’t claim that down is as light as a feather – because actually, it’s much, much lighter. Think air.

Draught-free

Fine-quality down is light and pliable, so it moulds to your body. You can fidget as much as you like: the duvet will drape itself around your contours, leaving no sneaky gaps for draughts.

Compression resistant

In other words, it doesn’t end up disappointingly flat, but holds its fluffy shape. If it eventually shows signs of tiredness, it can be restored to its former glory and continue for decades. Norvegr is one of the few companies that offers a full restoration service for ours duvets and pillows.

Naturally anti-allergenic

We use hypo-allergenic down that is extensively cleaned to remove any trace of allergens. Allergy to down and feathers is, in fact, rare; the main problem for asthmatics is allergy to mites. Medical studies show that synthetic pillows may contain 8 times more allergens from mites than down- and feather-filled pillows. This is because down’s supreme breathability keeps it dry. Dust mites prefer a moist environment, which they’re more likely to find in unbreathable synthetic fillings.

As with most things, quality is paramount. If down has been insufficiently cleaned, there may be feather fibres, bits of quill and dust that trigger allergies. Sufferers blame the down, but it’s the other elements causing the problems. Our down products are 100% free of undesirables.

Environmentally friendly

100% natural and completely biodegradable, down has been shown to have the lowest carbon footprint of any other fill material. Synthetic-filled duvets and pillows, on the other hand, are made from oil and plastics.

Cruelty-free and ethically sourced

We only use cruelty-free down that is a by-product of food production. Traceability certificates and third-party audits ensure every animal’s welfare.

Measures of quality: fill power and down/feather ratio

With its luxurious feel and superb insulating properties, down is far more highly prized than feathers.

It’s also scarcer, as birds produce a great deal more feather than down. This scarcity naturally makes down more expensive.

However, quality of products does vary. So, having decided to purchase a lovely down sleeping set, you need to be aware of the factors that influence the end product.

Namely: fill power and down/feather ratio.

Fill Power Ratings Explained

As we’ve already mentioned, down works as an insulator by trapping air. The more air it is able to trap, the greater the loft of the down. The volume a fixed quantity of down will occupy is commonly referred to as its fill power.

Fill power ratings aren’t left to chance. Value is calculated by measuring how many cubic inches a fixed amount of down creates at its maximum loft. To achieve this, the down is put into a Plexiglas cylinder and slightly compressed with a weight.

There are two main systems: European and American. Both use the same basic measuring technique but yield different results due to variances in the test equipment. The US test gives a number that is roughly 7-8% higher than the EU figure for an identical sample. Norvegr products are always listed in EU figures.

How does the fill power scale work?

The EU fill power scale goes from 0-900.

The most common down products have a rating of 400 to 500. These are considered to be low quality, however, as they come from immature geese and ducks with smaller down clusters.

When purchasing a high-quality down duvet, you should look for a fill power rating of at least 600.

500–600 EU (530–640 US) Acceptable quality for mid-market products

600–700 EU (640–745 US) Performance products

700–800 EU (745–850 US) Excellent quality

800+ EU (850+ US) Outstanding quality, limited availability, high price

Down with a fill power of 800+ (EU) is extremely good. 850 is the highest quality that is consistently available.

900 (EU) and above is the very top end of the scale where you find only non-commercially available down types. Our Premium Plus and eiderdown are such qualities. They are the closest you can get to sleeping under a warm cloud, with eiderdown being the jewel in the crown.

Getting to grips with the down/feather ratio

The second factor affecting quality is the ratio of down to feather. Confusingly, many duvet and pillow makers on the high street will refer to their products as down-filled even if there’s only a tiny percentage of down.

Remember: if you want a high fill power, and a lofty, fluffy, temperature-regulating, cloud-like product, the down-to-feather ratio needs to be high.

 

Down-to-feather ratios are generally 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10, with the first number representing the percentage of down and the second indicating the feathers.

 

A higher first number generally means a better-quality product.

 

Down with 700 fill power in a 90/10 mix is going to loft exactly the same amount as down with 700 fill power in a 95/5 mix. The ratio is irrelevant as far as lofting ability is concerned.

 

However, the higher the fill power, the more down and less feather there is. When approaching 800 fill power (EU), the mixes are as close to feather-free as they can be.

Duck or Goose?

In the world of bedding, goose down tends to have a more luxurious image. Is it really superior to duck down? The short answer is yes.

According to IDFL, the world’s largest down and feather institute, goose generally tends to be a better product when compared to duck.

Here’s why:

  • Goose clusters are generally larger than duck clusters and typically come from older, larger birds.
  • Does age matter? Since down collection is usually a by-product of the meat industry, most down comes from young birds. However, down with a fill power of 750 (EU) or more comes from mature birds, which have larger, more abundant down clusters.
  • Goose down is more resilient and durable than duck down.
  • Because a duck’s diet is usually more diverse and the bird is closer to the ground due to its size, goose down tends to smell more pleasant than the duck equivalent.

But let’s hold our horses.

It’s not that simple. In some cases, a high-quality duck down can be better than a mediocre goose down.

We’re back to the all-important fill power again.

There’s no structural difference between duck and goose down. The deciding factor is fill power. Fill power captures the maturity, the density, the cling and the size of each down cluster. These make up the down cluster’s ability to trap air and are therefore the best way to measure the down quality.

At the lower end of the fill-power spectrum, there is no difference between duck down and goose down.

However, a duck down with a fill power above 700 (EU) is rare, and it’s here that goose down truly comes into its own. For high-performance duvets with fill powers greater than 700 (EU), the source of down will most often be geese.

Fill weights: a flummoxing matter

So, fill power is a measure of volume.

A high fill power does not mean warmer, heavier or thicker. It means airier, loftier, softer with the promise of keeping your body at a nice, even temperature and perspiration-free all night.

Fill power is a measure of quality.

 

Fill weight is a different matter. It signals quantity, the actual weight of the duvet filling. It determines how soft or firm, light or heavy a product is.

At Norvegr, we find fill weights can be a source of confusion as they are just one part of the puzzle.

Let Us Explain

 

Our unique channel construction means we use less filling than box-stitched duvets would require. Our products loft equally across the collections within each given weight. So, a summer Classic Collection is equally as high as a summer Premium Plus Collection. The same goes for pillows, and a high Standard Collection is as lofty as a high Premium.

 

Moreover, we design each duvet weight to have the same insulating properties across the collections.

 

To achieve an “all year” weight, we need less down for a Premium Collection duvet than we do for a Classic Collection duvet. Each down cluster in the Premium Collection is larger than that of the Classic, so we need fewer clusters to achieve the desired volume.

 

Fill power, construction, shell fabric and down purity all need considering alongside fill weight. For this reason, we do not list our fill weights online. However, if you’re interested in a particular product and want to more, contact us and we’ll gladly… fill you in!

Did we mention density and cling?

We’ve already ascertained that age is important. Here’s another reason why. The older the bird, the more mature the down and the better the density and cling.

Density means a denser centre with more filaments. This offers enhanced insulation and more resilience than immature down. It can cope with being restored more often.

Better density therefore means a longer-lasting duvet.

Cling, or cohesion, is an attribute of eiderdown and a select few mature goose down qualities. Cling occurs when tiny hooks develop on the individual filaments of a down cluster. These hooks attach to each other, creating additional air pockets and better air trapping – or breathability.

Eiderdown’s cling is so impressive that you can lift a kilogram with just one hand.

Discover the particular benefits of each of our sublime down collections:

Classic Collection duvets:

European White Goose, 90% down and 10% feathers, fill power 755 (EU).

  • Greatly exceeds the worldwide benchmark for luxury at 600-700 fill power (EU).
  • Large and airy down clusters with good density and ability to trap air between the fibres for insulation and breathability.
  • Durable and can be restored up to three times without the quality decreasing – thereby lasting at least 40 years if maintained properly.
Available in Summer, All-year, Winter and Polar and therefore suitable for all climates and all possible personal preferences. Can also be tailor-made to individual tastes.

Premium Collection duvets:

European White Goose, 100% down, fill power 850 (EU).
  • Highest fill power that is commercially available.
  • Huge down clusters with very good density and magnificent ability to trap air between the fibres for insulation and breathability.
  • The down has some cling, creating extra pockets of air in between the down clusters.
  • Very durable and can be restored up to five times without the quality decreasing – thereby lasting at least 60 years if maintained properly.

For those that prefer a lofty-looking duvet for aesthetic reasons, this collection can be chosen as Winter weight. It will work well all year round in air-conditioned bedrooms or bedrooms where the night-time temperatures are a few degrees chillier than during the day.

 

Available in Summer, All-year, Winter and Polar and therefore suitable for all climates and all possible personal preferences. Can also be tailor-made to suit individual tastes.

Premium Plus Collection duvets:

Masurian White Goose (Poland), 100% down, fill power 900+ (EU).

This is a non-commercially available quality that exceeds the fill power scale. However, a generous portion is secured for 2022.

  • Each down cluster is significantly larger than the peak commercially available qualities.
  • The density is extreme and the ability to trap air for insulation and breathability is as high as it gets for goose down.
  • The down has good cling, creating extra pockets of air in between the down clusters.
  • Very durable and can be restored up to five times without the quality decreasing – thereby lasting at least 60 years, if maintained properly.

For those that prefer a lofty-looking duvet for aesthetic reasons, this collection can be chosen as Winter weight. It will work well all year round in air-conditioned bedrooms or bedrooms where the night-time temperatures are a few degrees colder than during the day. The Polar weight will be fine for particularly chilly air-conditioned bedrooms.

Available in Summer, All-year, Winter and Polar and therefore suitable for all climates and all possible personal preferences. Can also be tailor-made to suit individual preferences.

Eiderdown:

Norwegian eiderdown, gathered from abandoned nests by hand, fill power rarely measured but insulates at well over 1000 (EU).
  • Eiderdown is the best of the best when it comes to down and annual supply is limited.
  • As the raw material can only be gathered once a year, once the eider ducks and ducklings have left their nests, production cannot be increased.
  • We rely on natural supply each year – nature decides.

This down expands when warmed up by your body. No other material in nature can match its insulating abilities. The cling of eiderdown is also unparalleled.

Although very warm, it breathes spectacularly well and is therefore great for light summer duvets. It’s the most durable down there is. A Norwegian treasure that can last 100 years and be passed down through generations if properly maintained.

Available in Summer, All-year, Winter and Polar and therefore suitable for all climates of and all possible personal preferences. Can also be tailor-made to suit individual tastes.

Standard Collection pillows:

European White Goose down, 60% down and 40% feathers. Fill power 500 (EU).
  • Each size is available in low, medium and high versions.
  • The price is per single pillow

This is our firmest pillow collection, and the firmness comes from the proportion of feathers. As the feathers are small and soft, they will never migrate out of the pillows. Please note that if you are looking for those really firm pillows one sometimes comes across in hotels, where your head barely sinks into the pillow, our Standard Collection pillows will feel a lot softer. Choosing the firm version will get you as close as we are willing to go.

Classic Collection pillows:

European White Goose down, 90% down and 10% feathers. Fill power 625 (EU).
  • Each size is available in low, medium and high versions.
  • The price is per single pillow

These are exactly in the middle of our firmness scale and offer a blend of support, bounce and softness. This is the optimal collection for those desiring the best of both worlds – softness and firmness. The small, soft feathers never poke out of the pillow.

Premium Collection pillows:

European White Goose down, 100% down, no feathers. Fill power 830 (EU).
  • Each size is available in low, medium and high versions.
  • The price is per single pillow
Our most luxurious pillows are 100% pure goose down without feathers. Each down cluster is huge, resulting in a pillow that feels like resting your head on a cloud. It’s the option for those who want only the best out of life. This is our softest pillow collection.

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