down alternative comforters - wool? kapok? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-13-2009, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for some info/personal experience with some of the down alternative products. I want to buy a comforter and was hoping someone could help me sort through everything! I know wool is available, which really appeals to me, but I do worry about keeping it clean, esp. with kids (we don't co-sleep, but the kids often end up in bed with us by morning!).

I also worry that wool will flatten out over time and become balled up or hard...

Then there's kapok - don't know much about this, but I heard it's a great alternative with similar loft/weight, but I also think I ran across something saying that it emits some sort of weird chemical or something???

I don't know - any tips?
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#2 of 10 Old 10-13-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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I have been picking up wool blankets at second hand stores for the past year. I have paid between $3-$25 for them each which is a bargin because to buy one new they cost $150+ dollars. I have 5 now and I love them!

Just one wool blanket replaces a comforter. They can take a lot of use. Even my second hand ones are in great shape. I wouldn't want to wash them all the time because I'm lazy. Kidding, I have enough laundry already. Besides they don't need to and shouldn't be washed every week anyway.

I don't wash our quilts all the time either. My mom made us our quilts and I want them to last for as long as possible. I will air out the quilts and wool blankets on the wash line to freshen them. I only wash them maybe 6x year. We have a sheet then a wool blanket and then a quilt on top. They are so warm.

They don't ball or flatten. They are a great buy, for sure.
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#3 of 10 Old 10-24-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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we use wool comforters and love them. i like the puffability and that you can pack them around you when you sleep (in a more snug way than blankets.) they keep us as warm as down but are much healthier as they stay dry and repel dust mites instead of keeping you moist and attracting dustmites like down. they don't really compress (like a wool pillow or topper) because you sleep under them, not over them. wool also regulates your body temperature while you sleep!

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#4 of 10 Old 10-25-2009, 03:50 AM
 
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We are using wool comforters too. They look very similar to a down duvet, but not quite as "fluffy". They are just as warm, but since they have the duvet covering, they aren't as ticklish/scratchy as wool blankets.

I hang them in the sun for a few hours to refresh them. Ours can be machine washed on gentle, but some are dry clean only.
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#5 of 10 Old 10-25-2009, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks - so in the event that a child may have an accident in bed, the comforters can be washed, or at least dry cleaned, depending on the type? That's the only thing I'm really worried about - is cleaning and durability...
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#6 of 10 Old 10-26-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nurturebaby View Post
thanks - so in the event that a child may have an accident in bed, the comforters can be washed, or at least dry cleaned, depending on the type? That's the only thing I'm really worried about - is cleaning and durability...
These aren't the same brand of comforters that we have, but ours look similar.

Here's another make. This company says do not dry clean in their care instructions , but I wonder if that has more to do with the environmental concerns about drycleaning.

We've had our comforters for a couple of years now and they've held up well. We don't have bedwetting issues though.

Oh, and the prices of the comforters in the links are much higher than what I paid. I think ours were less than half that price, but I can't recall for sure.
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#7 of 10 Old 10-26-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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All the wool comforters I've seen are unfortunately spot clean or dry clean. My friend got one that she washed and it did shrink. I love my wool blanket so, so much, but I would forego it if I couldn't wash it. If you want a more "comforter" type of thing, how about buying a washable wool blanket (Lands End has them) and quilting it or putting it in a comforter cover? It could even be as simple as sewing together two sheets and tying them together.
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#8 of 10 Old 11-16-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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Our wool comforters are not washable. We use a duvet cover which is removeable, on top, and that is washable. The wool is naturally anti-bacterial so all it needs is to be aired out when you do your laundry.....

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#9 of 10 Old 11-16-2009, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, Talia -so, if the comforter gets soaked through with urine or something, it just needs to be aired out? Would you recommend waiting until the kids are of the age where they're less likely to wet the bed before getting the wool comforter?
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#10 of 10 Old 11-16-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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Most pee gets soaked up by the duvet cover which you can wash - if the pee goes up (mostly it goes down, not up onto the comforter.)! If you have a boy and he pees up I recommend having him wear training pants to bed. If it were an ongoing problem you may want to wait but it has never been an issue with my daughter....yes just air and maybe sun for wool products. If the cotton outer were to get wet/soiled you can use a spray bottle with 3 parts water to one part vinegar to spot clean......

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