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Q&A: What's the difference between goose down and duck down?

Au Lit Q&A

Q: What's the difference between goose down and duck down?

A: Although goose down may have the reputation of being a higher-quality down, in reality goose down and duck down are quite similar! Here at Au Lit we offer both goose down and duck down duvets and pillows (our popular Chinook Pillow is made from Canadian Hutterite duck down), and believe that both are excellent quality. We've broken down the elements that make these two down products so different.


There two elements that contribute to the quality of down clusters: climate and size. Geese are typically larger than ducks, therefore making their down clusters larger. Geese also live in colder environments, an element that contributes to the size of their down clusters. A bird living in a colder climate will have larger down clusters than the same bird living in a warmer climate. Larger down clusters equals higher fill power (resulting in a fluffier pillow).


In general, duck down is also less expensive because the supply is much greater than goose down. Duck down is a by-product of the meat and egg industry, and there is greater demand for duck food products compared to goose. From a marketing standpoint, goose down has a better image. Yet, a higher quality duck down can be better than a lower quality goose down.