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

If you've been shopping for luxury bedding, clothing, or outdoor gear, chances are you've come across products filled with goose down or duck down. But what's the difference between the two? And does it really matter which one you choose? In this article, we'll explore the similarities and differences between goose down and duck down, as well as the pros and cons of each.

1. What is Down?

Before we delve into the differences between goose and duck down, let's first define what down is. Down is the soft, fluffy undercoat that grows on waterfowl, such as geese and ducks. Unlike feathers, which have a quill, down clusters do not have any hard or sharp parts. Therefore, it is much softer and lighter than feathers.

Because of its insulating properties, down has been used for centuries to keep people warm in cold climates. The unique structure of down traps air, creating tiny pockets that help regulate body temperature by retaining body heat. Down is also highly compressible, allowing it to be packed away into small spaces and then fluff up again when unpacked.

2. What is the Difference Between Goose Down and Duck Down?

When it comes to choosing between goose down and duck down, warmth is the main factor to consider. However, there are a few key differences that are important to understand.

2.1 Insulation

Goose down generally has better insulation properties than duck down. This is because goose-down clusters are larger and fluffier, which more air and provide more warmth. Goose down also tends to have a higher fill power than duck down, meaning it has a greater ability to loft and trap air.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Certain species of ducks, such as the eider duck, produce a higher quality down than most geese. In fact, eiderdown is considered to be the most luxurious and insulating down available. However, it is also incredibly rare and expensive.

2.2 Durability

Durability is another important factor to consider when choosing between goose down and duck down. Goose down tends to be more durable because goose clusters are larger and stronger than duck clusters. This means that goose down is less likely to break or deteriorate over time.

However, this also depends on the quality of the down. Lower-quality goose down (or even high-quality goose down that has not been properly cleaned) can be more fragile and prone to clumping than high-quality duck down.

2.3 Price

In general, goose down tends to be more expensive than duck down. This is partly due to the fact that geese produce less down than ducks (since geese are larger and less common than ducks). Additionally, goose down is usually considered to be higher quality than duck down, which also drives up the price.

However, this does not mean that all goose-down products are more expensive than duck-down products. The price of down products can vary depending on a number of factors, including the quality of the down, the brand, and the specific product.

3. Pros and Cons of Goose Down


  • Higher fill power means better insulation and warmth
  • Generally more durable than duck down
  • High-quality goose down is incredibly soft and fluffy, providing a luxurious sleeping experience
  • Great for use in colder climates


  • More expensive than duck down
  • May not be as readily available as duck down
  • Some people are allergic to goose down

4. Pros and Cons of Duck Down


  • More affordable than Goose down
  • Better availability than Goose down
  • Can still be of high quality, particularly with certain species of ducks


  • Generally has a lower fill power than goose down, meaning it may not be as warm
  • Maybe less durable than goose down
  • Can be prone to clumping if not properly cared for

5. Which is Better: Goose Down or Duck Down?

If there is no clear answer and insulation, then goose down may be the better choice for you. However, if you are on a budget or simply prefer the feel of duck down, then there are plenty of down products available.

It's also important to note that the quality of the down is just as important (if not more so) than the type of bird it comes from. Look for products that use high responsibly sourced down that has been properly cleaned and treated.

6. Buying Tips

When shopping for down products, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you get the best quality for your money.

1. Look for products with a high fill power, which indicates a higher Choose products that are certified as responsibly sourced and cruelty-free.

2. Read customer reviews of products to get an idea of their durability and performance.

3. Be prepared to spend more for higher-quality down products. While cheaper options may be available, they may not provide the same level of warmth or durability as higher-end products.

7. In Conclusion

Whether you choose goose down or duck down, it's clear that both types of down have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. No matter which type of down you choose, make sure to invest in high-quality products that have been responsibly sourced and properly treated. With comfort in any climate.

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