allergies down comforter itchy nose

What causes allergies to down feather comforters?

For most people down feather filled bedding may feel wonderfully soft to sleep in. Many allergy sufferers may have a different feeling in the morning!

One of the most common reasons why many people shy away from buying a down comforter is because they are afraid that they will be allergic to the feathers.

While it is possible to be allergic to goose and duck feathers, most often the allergy is caused by something else.

The runny noses and itchy eyes caused by down bedding is due to dust mites and dust.

Are There Allergy Safe Goose Down Comforters?

There are a couple comforters that may meet hypoallergenic standards.

Companies like Pacific Coast use a "hyperclean" technology to clean their down.  A barrier fabric also keeps feathers in and allergens out.

This means it is easier to get rid of triggers that cause allergies and your comforter will be easier to keep clean.

You can find my review of the Pacific Coast AllerRest comforter as well as other Pacific Coast goose down comforters in the review section.

Goose Down Cause A Blocked Stuffy Nose?

If you prefer not to take a chance with real down feathers, "down alternative" comforters filled with synthetic materials are a great choice.

Down alternative fillings mimic the soft and light texture of goose feathers.  The filling inside these comforters is made from polyester and other allergen free fabrics.

These comforters are hypoallergenic and safe for even the most severe allergies.

On a plus side, down alternative duvets are less expensive than real goose down comforters.

However there is no real way to exactly duplicate the plushness of real down.  Some people still prefer the feel and warmth of a real down filled duvet.

Finding a good down alternative duvet can be hit and miss so we really recommend that you compare the reviews on

What Are Common Goose Down Feather Allergy Symptoms?

Many people with an allergy to goose down experience these symptoms:

  • problems with a running nose
  • coughing
  • congestion
  • and possibly a sore throat

These allergic reactions can be caused by either the dust or the feathers inside the comforter.

The signs of both feather and dust mite allergies are similar so it can be difficult to determine which one is the problem.

Allergies to goose down are persistent and difficult to get rid.  The only way to deal with the symptoms is to use only hypoallergenic bedding or take medications such as antihistamines.

Unusual Allergic Reactions To Goose Down Comforters

If you get more serious side effects such as:

  • facial swelling
  • your airway closing up
  • hives

then you may have a true allergy to goose feathers.  These reactions are rare in people who are allergic to dust and dander.

In this case it is very important for you to stay away from all feather containing comforters.

Instead, you should get one of the "down alternative" comforters available here.

Can I Use A Real Goose Down Duvet If I Have Allergies?

Fortunately there are many ways to cut down on the number of irritating allergens even with a real down feather comforter.

The most obvious step is to choose a feather comforter that is sanitized to remove dust, dander, and dirt from the feather filling.  Choose a brand that is made in the USA or Europe.  These companies have higher standards for how their down is cleaned.

The next step is to cover your duvet with a protective cover made especially for blocking allergens.  There are protectors for your comforter, your pillows, and even your feather bed.

Pacific Coast makes a really good hypoallergenic comforter called the AllerRest that takes care of both these problems.  The AllerRest is filled with sanitized down feathers and is made with an allergen blocking fabric.

You can read more reviews of the AllerRest down comforter for more details.

If you already have a down comforter, then you can just add an allergy proof cover.  Here is the best price I've found on dust mite covers.  Keep in mind the covers aren't cheap and will run you anywhere from $60 - $100.