Eiderdown: The Best Insulating Material On the Planet

Eiderdown is the down made by the eider duck. About 75% of the eiderdown worldwide comes from Iceland and is considered to be of the highest quality. Its unique properties give it powerful insulating effects, despite being one of the lightest materials known to man. Because of its unique properties, it’s considered to be the best insulation for clothing and comforters. Eiderdown is a type of down feather that’s located under the bird’s tougher exterior feathers. The female eider duck plucks the feathers off her chest into her nest in order to keep her eggs and young warm. In Iceland, there are certain areas where the eider ducks gather during the summer to lay eggs. The farmers who own these areas provide sanctuaries for the ducks, even going so far as to create structures and habitats for them to help lay their eggs safely. When the eggs are close to hatching, the eider farmers take some of the eiderdown out of the nests and replace it with dry hay. When the bird and their young leave the nest at the end of the summer, the farmer takes the rest of the eiderdown. Each bird nest produces 15-17 grams of eiderdown a year, or about 0.5-0.6 ounces. Eiderdown is the lightest, softest, warmest and most comfortable natural material on the planet. As you might imagine, eiderdown products don’t come cheap. Comforters filled with eiderdown range anywhere from $4,700 to $8,200, depending on size, while jackets can set you back a whopping $8,000.