Does it matter where the feathers come from?
If you're doing some online research about down comforters, by now you've surely come across the term Hungarian goose down. It's a powerful regional brand, like Bavarian chocolate, California raisins, Kona coffee, or Nebraska beef. Hungary has become known as one of the top regions for producing quality goose down for comforters and other products.
There seem to be two opinions about where your down comes from. One is that fill power - the density of down within the comforter - is a better indication of quality than any particular brand or type or region of down. The higher the fill power the better, the thinking goes. Others say that, fill power being equal, the type of down does matter, and can tip the scale when looking for a quality goose-down comforter.
The thinking goes that geese from colder regions tend to have thicker, denser, better, warmer down.
Other high-end regional names
Hungarian goose down is not the only big name in down comforters. Siberian white goose down is also a very recognizable trade brand (though at least one manufacturer says the designation itself is mere marketing hype, that down is not collected in Siberia as Siberia's geese leave in the winter, and most of the down we find in comforters comes from China, no matter the name).
Another big name is Iceland Eiderdown, which is expensive and much rarer, as Eider ducks are protected from commercial harvesting. Eiderdown is said to have been picked off the ground after the ducks have finished with their nests. Farmers in Iceland protect the big sea ducks in order to attract their nests and their much-prized leftover down.
Down harvesting a tradition in Hungary
The collection of down for comforters and other items is a strong tradition in Hungary, and its export is a healthy part of the country's farm economy. Hungariancomforters.com claims more than 4,000 tons of Hungarian goose down is sold each year. Geese there have been bred specifically for their quality of down, making it a significant name brand in the industry. One more reason to take a look at Hungarian goose down comforters: apparently they protect the golden geese in Hungary; they harvest the down, but they don't hurt the goose.