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What is Eiderdown? What Makes it a Special and Rare Down?

  • by Erika Cellupica
  • 4 min read

In the realm of luxury textiles, few materials evoke the same sense of opulence and comfort as eiderdown. This article details what eiderdown is and what makes it such a rare and specialized fill for your duvet or blanket.

What is Eiderdown?

If you’ve shopped for a luxury down duvet, you may have heard the word “eiderdown” and wondered whether it is an interchangeable term for high-quality down. Eiderdown is a rare and unique down that is hand-picked by eider farmers from the abandoned nest of the eider duck.

Because this harvest typically takes place after the breeding season, eiderdown is ecologically and environmentally friendly and does not disturb the habitat or life cycle of the bird. Additionally, eiderdown offers superior warmth and insulation while being a very lightweight material. Read on to learn more about this remarkable and rare textile.

What is Eiderdown?

Understanding Down: A Luxurious Insulator

Let’s begin with a quick overview of down, which is the fluffy layer located beneath the exterior feathers of birds, particularly ducks and geese. Down clusters are structured somewhat like snowflakes with dozens of soft, fine filaments that trap warmth for a cozy, lightweight insulation. As down filaments "loft" (expand and fluff), they create thousands of tiny warmth pockets, trapping air and body heat, keeping you comfortable and making the down luxuriously lightweight. Fill Power is a guide to measure the loft of the down clusters (their ability to regain their original volume after being compressed). High fill power down provides more warmth with much less weight, and so is more costly.

The three main types of down that are commonly used in textiles are duck down, goose down, and eiderdown.

  1. Duck Down: Duck down is the most accessible down with a more affordable price point. Duck down tends to have smaller clusters and a lower fill power compared to goose down.
  2. Goose Down: Known for its large clusters, goose down is highly prized in the luxury bedding industry. It is incredibly soft and has a high fill power to better trap air and insulate.
  3. Eiderdown: The crème de la crème of down, eiderdown, comes from the female eider duck. What sets eiderdown apart is not just its insulation properties, but the unique circumstances under which it is harvested. Top-quality eiderdown boasts an unparalleled fill power, making it a superior choice for luxury bedding.

Eiderdown is a luxurious insulator

Eiderdown: In a Class of Its Own

Now, let's delve into why eiderdown reigns supreme in the world of luxury textiles:

  1. Sustainability: Eiderdown harvesting is unique and sustainable. Eiderdown is collected from eider duck nests after the ducks have naturally molted; the down is removed by hand once the nest is abandoned or in small amounts to protect the eggs. This ethical harvesting process not only ensures the ducks' well-being but also contributes to the exclusivity of eiderdown.
  2. Unrivaled Softness: The fine fibers of eiderdown create an incomparable softness that caresses the skin. Eiderdown is the only down that has absolutely no feathers or quills. 
  3. Lightweight Warmth: Eiderdown's exceptional loft and high fill power result in a material that provides unparalleled warmth while remaining incredibly lightweight. This characteristic is especially appreciated in bed linen, where the goal is to create an enveloping cocoon of comfort without the weight and bulk of traditional materials.
  4. Exclusivity: Eiderdown is a rare commodity. The eider duck nests in specific regions, such as Iceland and parts of Scandinavia, making the material inherently exclusive. The limited availability contributes to its allure and high market value.
  5. Longevity: Eiderdown is known for its durability. With proper care, an eiderdown duvet, quilt, or pillow can retain its quality and luxurious feel for many years. This longevity adds to the investment value of eiderdown products.

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SFERRA Utopia: An Eiderdown Duvet

Fine Linen and Bath is pleased to offer the SFERRA Utopia Eiderdown duvet insert and pillow. The Utopia collection defies fill power; this extraordinary, almost weightless down is culled from Icelandic eider. It is the rarest down, encased in a sumptuous silk ticking, making the Utopia a singular experience in the world of luxury duvets and quilts.

“Eiderdown transforms a simple night’s sleep into an experience of sensory indulgence,” said Fine Linen and Bath Brand Manager Erika Cellupica. “SFERRA Utopia is truly the ultra luxury of down duvets. With the stunning 434 thread count Ivory silk jacquard ticking and lofty eiderdown fill, Utopia stands alone for absolute quality and opulence. As the name “Utopia” says, this duvet embodies absolute perfection.” 

Your Source for Finest Down Bedding

If an eiderdown duvet is not in your budget, take time to browse Fine Linen and Bath’s vast collection of luxurious designer down and down alternative bedding essentials. You’ll find high-quality goose down duvets, blankets, pillows, and feather beds from Scandia Home, Downright, and Downtown. We also carry the rest of the SFERRA down bedding collection as well as down and down alternative offerings from Matouk, Yves Delorme, Peacock Alley, and Celso de Lemos.

Choosing your perfect down comforter can be a bit overwhelming, so feel free to call us to take advantage of our complimentary personal assistance. We can help you choose the very best down or down alternative cover for your needs and budget. Additionally, you can read about the difference between a down comforter/duvet insert and down blanket here and check out buyer’s guides to SFERRA down comforters here and Scandia Home down comforters here.

Fine Linen and Bath: An In-Store Shopping Experience Delivered to You Online 

At Fine Linen and Bath, our mission is to deliver a concierge luxury linen shopping experience with online convenience. Browse our website to access an expansive collection of bedding, bath, table linens, and accessories from the world's premier brands.

When you need answers, consultation, or help to narrow your choices, our team of expert design consultants is here to assist you. We offer individualized recommendations, personal consultation, and even complimentary swatch samples for your review. We'll help you make the right buying decisions for your style, budget, and design goals.

Please connect with us online or -- even better -- give us a call at (866) 352-4522. We'd love to get to know you!

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