For most of us, Hungarian goose down is the best filling for bedding staples, such as pillows and duvets, as well as clothing such as jackets. Goose down, and especially the Hungarian goose down variety, is much lighter, warmer, and puffier than other alternatives, including duck down alternatives.
There are several options when it comes to goose down. For you to choose the one that meets your needs, we will explain in this article the differences between the Hungarian goose down and its alternatives. Let's also find out what makes Hungarian down filling so light and floaty compared to the rest.
Is Goose Down or Duck Down the Best Bedding Filler?
No, not all plumage has the same quality. Goose plumage possesses certain characteristics that make it superior to duck plumage.
For a start, it has more fluffy filaments and the reason for this almost goes without saying: geese are bigger and of course also the size of the fibres of their feathers. These three-dimensional down fibres trap more air, giving you more thermal properties and softness at a lower weight.
Duck down, on the other hand, must be heavier and thicker to provide the same warmth as Hungarian goose down duvets and equivalents.
Where Does Goose Down Come From?
The country of origin influences the quality of the goose down produced. In some regions, we find higher-quality goose down due to a greater amount of filaments.
With more fluffy filaments, more air is trapped, which makes a goose down filling warmer, softer, and lighter. This means that we will definitely sleep in a fluffy, cloud-like feel bed.
It is said that geese from colder climates produce better quality down because their feathers are larger. Hungarian goose down exemplifies this. However, we also consider that the country of origin influences several factors to the quality of the down, these are:
- Age of the Goose – Down from a more mature goose will have greater thermal and insulating capabilities because of its size
- Method of Production – There are different ways of harvesting and quality can differ depending upon whether the down is mature enough or was plucked prematurely
- Cleaning and Processing of Down – After gathering, the down must be properly processed so that it does not contain undesirable allergens or odours
What Makes Hungarian Goose Down Special?
Goose down production is concentrated in Asia and most of it in China, due in part to the increase in the number of people consuming meat in that region.
The China Feather and Down Industrial Association has condemned the practice of live-plucking geese.
However, there are no national laws prohibiting violence against animals in China, so there have been no bans as there have been in Europe and other countries. This makes it very difficult to determine which product contains ethical or unethical goose down.
On the other hand, European goose down is generally considered to be of superior quality. This is because gathering and disinfection procedures follow strict quality and control standards, compared to the less regulated practices in China.
Hungary, Poland, and Canada are considered to have the best goose down in the world. And, Hungarian goose down is one of the most prestigious due to its great historical tradition. We can find many reasons why we prefer the Hungarian Goose Down over others, including:
The Country’s Geographical Conditions
It is said that a colder climate has caused the geese to evolve to bigger feathers, in order to provide them with enough insulation to survive.
In this regard, Hungary has the right geographical conditions with its long, cold winters. Apart from this, more than half of its territory is wide meadows, ideal for geese to live and breed. Near these meadows, there are plenty of rivers and small lakes for breeding geese.
Long Historical Traditions
As the most renowned goose down producer in Europe, Hungary has been producing the most popular goose down since the 15th century. Therefore, their commitment to quality and strict production processes.
In Hungary, it is traditional to breed geese and let them grow naturally to sexual maturity before plucking the down. This makes Hungarian goose down pillows and duvets among the best.
Geese have been known to experience a lot of suffering to obtain their down due to live-plucking practices. The European Union has strict regulations regarding the humane treatment of animals, so it is not acceptable in Hungary to pluck goose down from live birds.