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The Art of Staying Warm – A Winter Bedding Primer

Colder weather is upon us.  There’s no doubt that winter is heading this way.  Awake or asleep, staying warm is a priority.  When it comes to winter bedding, the options can be bewildering.  Here’s your primer on winter bedding materials.



Silk is one of the oldest textiles.  It is an all-natural material. The fibers are extremely strong because silkworms make them that way.  Silk is also very light-weight.  It can regulate your body temperature.  That means in the cool months it will keep you warm and in the warm months it will keep you cool.  This temperature-regulating ability has made it a favorite of hot sleepers and menopausal women for years.


Silk is naturally resistant to molds and dust mites.  This makes it a favorite of people of all ages with allergies.


If you don’t like the feel of a heavy comforter pressing down on your body, then silk is a great option. It gives warmth without weight.  Silk is best for year-around use.  It may not keep you warm in frigid climates, but it is perfect for temperate climates. 


Silk must be chosen with care.  Not all silk is washable, so look for cleaning instructions before you make your purchase.  For example, The Allergy Store offers the SmartSilk Comforters that can be washed and a Mulberry West comforter that must be dry cleaned.  No matter what kind of silk comforter you use, cover it in a zippered comforter cover.



Wool is another textile that has been used for centuries.  Wool traps air in its fibers. This makes it perfect for keeping you warm in cold weather.  That’s because it captures your natural body heat, holds it in, and then radiates it back to you.  Wool also wicks away moisture.  That’s why wool will make you feel cool when the temperatures are warm. 


Wool contains lanolin and is naturally dust mite resistant and resistant to bacteria and molds.  However, this lanolin can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. 


Wool is heavier than silk or down.  If you like the weight of a comforter pressing on you as you sleep or if you use weighted blankets, then you will like the weight of wool.


Most wool felts when washed.  Take this into consideration when purchasing a wool or wool-filled comforter.  The organic Merino wool comforter sold by The Allergy Store is all natural and certified organic.  However, it cannot be machine washed or dried.  It must be professionally dry cleaned. 


By comparison, the Shropshire wool comforter is completely machine washable and dryable.  The wool is specially washed and processed before manufacture and this prevents further felting.  No matter what type of wool comforter you use, cover it with a zippered dust mite proof cover to keep it clean and fresh.  Instead of cleaning the comforter, you will only need to remove the cover and launder it every few months.



Down works much like wool.  We naturally lose body heat by convection. The warm air around our body is pulled towards the cool air.  Down keeps us warm because there are tiny air pockets between the fibers in the down and between the bits of down. The down traps this warm air.  The trapped air stays warm and is not moved away from the body.  So, you stay warm.  Unlike wool, down cannot continue to insulate once it is wet.  Moisture will fill the pockets in between the down and prevent it from capturing air.  Wool resists water so its air pockets will not fill with water.


Down is incredibly warm and very light.  If you want the warmth of wool without the weight, then down is a great alternative.  Down can trap allergens and is not recommended for people with dust mite allergies.


Down is not mold resistant, if you launder it you must be sure to thoroughly dry it.  The down comforters and blankets sold by The Allergy Store can be spot cleaned or machine laundered.  Covering the down comforter with a zippered cover will keep it clean and fresh longer.


Down Alternative

In addition to the traditional silk, wool, and down synthetic fills are available as well.  If you want the warmth and feel of down but not the allergies, check out the synthetic down alternative winter bedding products.  PrimaLoft® is engineered to mimic the insulating properties of down without the allergens.  It is lightweight but warm.  It is also allergy-free and machine washable.  Down alternatives are popular luxury bedding items in high-end hotels. Comfort, easy care, and allergy-free are the hallmarks of quality down alternative materials. 


Got Questions?

If you still aren’t sure which winter bedding material is right for you, don’t despair.  Just call The Allergy Store (800 771-2246) and speak to one of our knowledgeable Customer Service representatives.  We will take the time to assess your needs to keep warm and allergy-free and recommend the material right for you. See the complete selection of comforters, duvets and blankets here.


Wishing you the best of health


PS – Get your free copy of Cheryl’s book “You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living”. Click here to download.

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