Down With Down: Cruelty-Free Bedding Alternatives

October 14, 2014

Perhaps one of my favorite things about the fall and winter months is the subtle yet conscious recognition of restfulness, both internal and external. In December, I’m no longer yearning for leisurely walks around my neighborhood; the world becomes smaller, and time spent reading or writing in bed becomes my activity of choice. If you’re anything like me, and relish the warmth and predictable groundedness of a cozy comforter, remember that not all bedding is treated the same–and much of it is not cruelty-free!

Why is most bedding not vegan?

Most conventional bedding–comforters, pillows, and cushions–and various winter coats are stuffed with down feathers, the soft undercoating that grows around the chest region of waterfowls, including geese, ducks, and swans. In order to obtain and manufacture these highly coveted plumes designed to provide avian warmth, members of the down industry will primarily remove the feathers through plucking. Often, live birds are lifted or held down by their necks while workers literally pluck their feathers from their bodies. The skin that rips as a result is sewn back together with a needle, and no analgesic or sterilizer is used. Another method involves using animals post-mortem (after they are slaughtered), using feathers from birds whose internal organs are utilized for culinary purposes, and therefore forming a link with the foie gras industry.

What are some cruelty-free alternatives to down?

Thankfully, you need not freeze if you choose to avoid the inherent cruelty of the down industry. More and more companies are adopting alternatives to this traditional filling. When researching down-free bedding, look for any of these products on the label:

  • Primaloft
  • Thinsulate
  • MicroMax
  • TCS Down Free

And if you’re in the market for a new cozy comforter, check out these vegan-friendly options!

Primaloft Delux Holiday Pine Bough Throw


Girl and puppy not included.

A perfect option for those snowed in nights, this throw made exclusively of Primaloft, a down alternative, will add a little holiday spirit to your decor while providing maximum warmth.

Sleep Philosophy Rainier Down Alternative


A down alternative using Thinsulate fiber.

An affordable comforter option, this Sleep Philosophy Rainier Down Alternative features Thinsulate fiber, which is purported to provide 1 to 2 times insulation of traditional down. It’s hypoallergenic to boot!

Luxury MicroMax Down-Alternative Comforter


A high-end vegan comforter made with MicroMax.

If you are looking for a comforter that is both luxurious and durable, look no further than this MicroMax comforter from Restoration Hardware. This comforter is not only hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, but it’s design prevents the interior from shifting, ensuring evenly distributed warmth for those cold nights!

Baldwin Stripe TCS Down-Free Comforter


A down-free comforter made with TCS.

If you are a fan of bright and bold colors, this comforter is for you! Made with TCS, this comforter provides warmth and softness without any needless cruelty.

 What are your favorite down alternatives? Where do you like to shop for them?

Related: 10 Easy Ways to Green Your Home

Also by Molly: How to Stop Over Analyzing and Feel Happier

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Photos: The Company Store (first and last);; Restoration Hardware

Contributing Editor Molly Lansdowne lives in Boston, Massachusetts. In her free time, she enjoys writing, practicing yoga, and traveling around New England. Follow Molly on Pinterest @bostonvegan and Instagram @molly_lansdowne.


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