Comforters are blankets that cover the top of a bed. They provide you with warmth and comfort while you sleep. Depending on the comforter type, they keep you warm or cool at night. The stitching and material in your comforter impacts the feel, look, warmth, and durability.
Most comforters have a minimum of three layers of fabric. These layers can contain goose down, feather, cotton, or polyester. Baffle box comforters are ideal for warmth and style. They feature a three-dimensional design and gap-free stitching for better insulation.
Sewn-through comforters have a two-dimensional look. They contain less fabric and gaps in the stitching. This makes them optimal for hot sleepers and those shopping on a budget.
In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these comforter styles. We’ll assist you in choosing a new comforter based on durability, price, feel, insulation, and appearance.
Baffle Box Construction
Baffle box comforters have extra fabric stitched between the top and bottom cover. This gives the comforter shell a three-dimensional box look. The checkered pattern of a baffle box chamber adds thickness to your comforter.
There are many benefits to going with a baffle box comforter. The stitching in this cozy comforter is gap-free. The absence of gaps and extra fabric used in box stitching cuts down on wear and tear. The comforter ends up being more durable and holding up better wash after wash. You won’t have to worry about fabric fraying or premature tearing with a baffle box comforter.
Furthermore, the added fabric in this comforter prevents downshifting or clustering. Down clusters negatively impact the warmth of fabric. Baffle box comforters do a great job of keeping you warm at night. This makes them ideal for cold sleepers and chilly winter weather.
Another reason you may prefer the baffle box is its design. The thick and fluffy squares on the surface of this comforter make it more attractive to some people. A comforter of this style fits in well with a more modern bedroom design and aesthetic.
Baffle box comforters don’t have very many drawbacks. If you’re prone to night sweats you may get too hot with this style of comforter. Overheating occurs due to the gap-free stitching and extra fabric used in stitching. In addition, the extra fabric used in this stitching raises the cost. If you’re shopping on a budget, you’ll want to consider other comforter options.
Sewn Through Construction
Sewn-through comforters have top and bottom layers of fabric sewn directly together. Unlike the baffle box design, there is no extra fabric between layers. This gives the sewn-through comforter a less puffy appearance. Rather than a 3-dimensional design, you’re getting a 2-dimensional one.
Those prone to overheating at night may prefer a sewn-through comforter. Less fabric and gaps in stitching make for better breathability. If you live in a warmer climate without harsh winters, this is the comforter for you. Sewn-through style comforters are also much cheaper than baffle box comforters.
The cheaper cost of sewn-through comforters comes with some drawbacks. The sewing gaps mean your comforter may have some cold spots. This can lead to issues with comfort during the winter months.
To some, the flatter design of this comforter isn’t attractive. Surface level stitching might clash with your existing bedroom design. Likewise, less fabric means an increased risk of wear and tear. Sewn-through comforters can fray. A down cluster can also occur.
Which is Better for Me?
The main differences between these two comforters are price and warmth. Those shopping on a budget are better off with a sewn-through comforter. You’ll still get a decent amount of warmth and comfort from this style.
Sleepers prone to overheating should choose the sewn-through option. If cost isn’t an issue, a baffle box is the best option. This long-lasting comforter provides better insulation.
Other Stitching Types
There are two other stitching types to consider when shopping for a comforter. If a baffle box or sewn through isn’t the right fit, consider these other two options.
This comforter features a diamond-shaped pattern that many find to be aesthetically pleasing. The parallel lines of stitching help to minimize down clumping.
Gusseted comforters are similar to baffle boxes without the higher cost. They provide you with a heavy comforter and added heat retention.
Comforter Shopping Factors
Shopping for the right comforter is as important as mattress and foundation shopping. You need to find a fabric that is the right price and feel for you. Here are several factors to look at when choosing a comforter:
- Budget: Be realistic with your budget. If you can be flexible, fine. Shopping on a strict budget doesn’t mean you can’t get a high-quality comforter.
- Warranty: Pay attention to your comforter warranty. What does it cover? What isn’t covered? What do you need to do to make sure your warranty stays valid?
- Durability: Durability is key, especially when investing in a more expensive comforter. If durability isn’t important to you, you can justify going with a cheaper option. Consider how often your comforter is going to be in use.
- Maintenance: Some comforters need a lot of upkeep to stay fluffy and comfortable. Others only need washing every few years or routine shaking out. It’s best to use a duvet cover to minimize damage to your comforter.
- Climate: Those with hot summers can get by with thinner, less expensive comforters. If you reside in a cooler climate, it’s best to have a warm comforter on hand for frigid winters.
- Thread Count: Thread count matters to a certain degree for quality and price. The average comforter is between 300 and 500 thread count. 500 to 700 thread count comforters work best for colder temperatures.
- Weave: Comforters come in percale or sateen weaves. Sateen provides you with a silky and warm feel. Percale gives you a crisper and cooler feeling.
- Comforter Size: Which size comforter you need depends on the size and height of your bed. Factor in how much height your box spring, foundation, or bed frame adds to your sleeping surface.
- Personal Preference: The style of comforter that feels best is the one to buy. Comfort and warmth are the key purposes of your comforter. Don’t settle for a comforter that is uncomfortable, too heavy, or causes skin irritation.
What is the best down alternative comforter?
The best down alternative comforter is the one that feels comfortable. Down alternative comforters come in four styles: batiste, cambric, damask, and sateen. Batiste is a great lightweight fabric. Cambric is another lightweight option, but it isn’t quite as durable as Batiste.
Damask is a fun option because it features two different patterns, one on each side. Sateen provides you with a soft and silky sleeping environment.
Do down comforters lose their warmth?
Over time, down comforters do lose their warmth. This happens naturally because of daily use plus normal wear and tear. Some stitching types will fray sooner than others or experience down bunching. Bunching leads to cold spots and decreased warmth overall. Consult your warranty for how long your down comforter should last.
What is box stitching?
Box stitching is a square pattern meant to increase the durability of the fabric. You’ll find this stitching pattern in bedding accessories and clothing items. The top and bottom layers of fabric are sewn together with a layer of fabric filling in between. This gives the item its “boxy” appearance.
How often should you wash a down comforter?
You need to be careful not to wash your down comforter too often. This can damage its durability and warming ability. If you use a duvet cover, you can get it by washing your down comforter once every 5 to 7 years. When it does need washing, do not wash it like you would other fabrics. Down comforters need to be dry cleaned.
How do you store a down comforter in the summer?
During the warmer summer months, you need to carefully store your down comforter. It isn’t ideal to toss it in the back of your closet or on a shelf. Instead, fold it up and place it in a roomy cotton bag. This ensures your down comforter isn’t damaged and remains fluffy.
Baffle box and sewn-through comforters are both great options. Which one you choose depends on your warmth and comfort needs. The right comforter to you is the one that feels best. Those who aren’t on a strict budget can splurge on a baffle box comforter. Sewn-through comforters are better if you’re sticking to a specific price point.
Those who are prone to night sweats shouldn’t invest in a comforter that is too heavy or thick. Sewn-through comforters are lightweight and more breathable than baffle box comforters. For increased longevity, shoppers should go with a baffle box stitched comforter.
Chris was a psychiatrist and neurologist with board certification in sleep medicine Clinical Associate Professor at the University of California. For over 10 years, he served and helped patients at Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital with their sleeping disorders.
After suffered from sleep disorders for years, Chris has been passionate about sleep health ever since. He wants to help others sleep better and wanted to make the world of sleep easy to understand for everyday people.