Bedding 101

Combined, we have more than 50 years of experience in the bedding industry and we are passionate about our trade and our products. Below is a summary of some useful information, definitions and things that people often ask us about bedding.

Some frequently asked Questions:

What is the EDFA?

The European Down and Feather Association. The EDFA has very strict rules, standards and guidelines regarding the harvesting, processing, sterilization, de-dusting and grading of down and feather products. Lifson Products is the only South African manufacturer that meets EDFA standards.

What does our down and feather products being traceable mean?

All of our down and feather products have a unique tracking number which can be used to track the raw materials to their country and farm of origin. So if it says ‘Hungarian Goose Down’ on the label, we can prove it really is from Hungary. We can also prove that it is sourced from a farm that uses ethical practices to harvest the down and feathers.

What is ESRM?

Stands for “ethically sourced raw materials.” No animals were harmed in the sourcing of raw materials and no excess damage was caused to the environment.

We developed the ESRM mark as part of our commitment to manufacturing quality, authentic bedding with consideration for the world that we live in.

What does it mean if we say that a product is “Safe for house dust mite allergy sufferers”?

The duvets and pillows in our Royal Comfort and Fine Fibre ranges are encased in durable, 100% Cotton downproof fabric, which house dust mites cannot penetrate. This means that house dust mites aren’t there to cause an allergic reaction.

What does “Warmth Without Weight” mean?

In the bedding industry, this is the benchmark of a quality duvet. A good quality duvet will always be light but warm.

Goose Down vs Duck Down. Which is better?

Geese are larger birds than ducks and generally have bigger down clusters which means Goose down filling generally has larger down clusters and a higher filling power. Higher filling power means better quality and lifespan.

Duck down is less expensive than Goose down for 2 main reasons:

    • Duck Down is perceived as inferior
      • World supply of Ducks far exceeds that of Geese

Definitions:

Chinese vs European down

European down is typically of superior quality to Chinese down due to feed quality, the age of the bird and the methods used to process the filling.

Eiderdown

Eider Down is harvested from the Icelandic Eiderduck. The down is generally dark brown or black in colour.

Down

Down is traditionally the soft, light plumage covering the breast part of the bird. It regulates the bird’s body temperature, keeping its vital organs warm – even in sub-zero temperatures. Down is scarcer than feathers and has the longest lifespan, which makes it more costly.

Down Colour

The colour of down and feather filling is much like that of a persons’ hair, colour does not affect the quality. Down colours range from white to black.

EDFA

The European Down and Feather Association. The EDFA has very strict rules, standards and guidelines regarding the harvesting, processing, sterilization, de-dusting and grading of down and feather products. Lifson Products is the only South African manufacturer that complies with EDFA standards.

Environment

All Lifson Products raw materials have been manufactured and sourced with consideration to the environment and with the aim of minimising CO2 emissions.

ESRM

Stands for “ethically sourced raw materials.” No animals were harmed in the sourcing of raw materials and no excess damage was caused to the environment. We developed the ESRM mark as part of our commitment to manufacturing quality, authentic bedding with consideration for the world that we live in.

Feathers

The stalky, hard ‘quills’ that are the ‘flight’ of the bird. Feathers are heavy and do not regulate body temperature very well. Therefore if your duvet feels heavy or hot there is a good chance it is a feather duvet and not a down duvet.

Filling Power

This describes down or feather filling’s ability to ‘loft’ or ‘puff up’. The faster the filling lofts the higher the filling power. The higher the filling power the better the quality and the lighter the duvet or pillow will be. Therefore high filling power equals good quality.

Goose Down vs Duck Down

Geese are larger birds than ducks and generally have bigger down clusters which means Goose down filling generally has larger down clusters and a higher filling power. Higher filling power means better quality and lifespan.

Duck down is less expensive than Goose down for 2 main reasons:

  • Duck Down is perceived as inferior
  • World supply of Ducks far exceeds that of Geese

Laboratory Testing

All filling and fabric used in the manufacture of our products is tested in independent laboratories overseas.

Man-Made Filling

Also known as synthetic fillings or fibres, these do not regulate body temperature and can make you sweaty. They have a lesser lifespan than their down counterparts but are generally a more economic option than down.

MICRO-MEMORY

A memory fibre exclusive to Lifson products in Southern Africa.

Natural Filling

Filling that is sourced from nature, for example: down, feathers or cotton. Down and feathers have a much longer lifespan than man-made fibres. Although sourced from nature, down and feathers [the ones that EDFA members like ourselves use as raw materials] are a by-product of the poultry farming industry and can therefore be considered ‘upcycled’ raw materials.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100

Means the fabric is free from harmful chemicals

South African Standards

There are aren’t currently standards in South Africa pertaining to the labelling, quality, sterilization and de-dusting of down and feather products. Therefore Lifson Products complies with European standards and is a member of the European Down and Feather Association to ensure our customers receive the best quality.

Tog Rating

A British standard that provides an indication of the warmth of a duvet based on its ability to preserve heat. The higher the tog rating the warmer the duvet. Tog rating however, does not tell you how well a duvet will regulate to your body temperature.

Traceability

In accordance with EDFA standards, all of the down and feather filling used in Royal Comfort products is fully traceable to the country of origin and the exact farm the filling was sourced from. So if it says ‘Hungarian Goose Down’ on the label, we can prove it really is from Hungary. We can also prove that it is sourced from a farm that uses ethical practices to harvest the down and feathers.

Veterinary Inspection

Every container of down and feather filling that Lifson Products receives is inspected on site by the South African department of agriculture.