Down pillows are popularly known for their superior softness. When looking for a snuggle pillow, there is no better option.
Made from the soft fluff found under duck’s and geese’s feathers, sleeping on a pillow made from this material is likened to sleeping on clouds.
Other than unmatched comfort, down pillows are extremely light and moldable. They can be scrunched to form the desired shapes for maximum comfort.
Their lightweight also makes them completely silent. Something to take note of if you are easily disturbed by noise.
However, there are a variety of factors to consider when considering down pillows.
So, in this guide, we list what to look out for in a down pillow, its benefits, and compare it with other popular pillows. We also review some of the best down pillows in the market.
Best Down Pillows 2021
#1 Best Overall
# Best Luxury Choice
#3 Best For Side and Back Sleepers
4# Best For Stomach Sleepers
#5 Budget Choice
Lincove Goose Down Sleeping Pillow
Later on, in this guide, you will learn that fill power, type of down, and the cover material are some of the things that dictate the quality of a down pillow.
We chose Lincove Goose Down, as it scores the highest in all these aspects. Additionally, the fact that it comes in different firmness levels means it’s a great choice for all types of sleepers.
This pillow features a 100% cotton sateen shell filled with 100% goose down.
It provides the perfect balance between comfort and support. The cotton sateen has a 600 thread count thus bearing an extremely soft and smooth surface.
The pillow also has different firmness levels. The soft fill version is great for Stomach Sleepers while the medium fill works best for back Sleepers.
The firm fill offers great support to side sleepers and people who need a higher loft or firmer support. It works to provide relief for any back or neck pain by giving your neck and head maximum support.
If you are looking for the perfect gift then look no further! This pillow is packed in a stylish package that is great for gifting or just for storing away.
You can rest easy with a 100% risk-free return if you’re not satisfied with the product but we highly doubt that that will be the case.
- – 100% cotton sateen and goose down
- – 800 Fill Power
- – OEKO-TEX® Certified
Siberian White Goose Down Pillow
(Best Luxury Choice )
If you’re looking for luxury, without compromising comfort and support then the Siberian white goose down pillow is for you. The Pillow is filled with a rare 100% European white goose down.
This down has an 800 fill power, which denotes the highest level of quality. The down is encased in a 400 TC combed cotton shell and packed in a classy vinyl casing. Combed cotton is an exceptionally soft cover material.
It gives off a much smoother finish due to the absence of short or broken fibers. The pillow which is made in the USA sources far and wide for the highest quality materials to give you the best.
- – 100% goose down fill
- – 450 thread count 100% Cotton.
- – Made in the US with the finest materials
Queen Anne Firm Down Pillow
(Best For Side and Back Sleepers )
Best For Side and Back Sleepers
Side and back sleepers need firmer pillows for maximum comfort and support. That’s what Queen Ann down pillow offers. Filled with 75% goose and duck feathers and 25% down, this pillow is not only comfortable but firm as well. It’s the best down pillow we found for back and side sleepers.
This pillow which boasts of big-name hotels and luxury cruise ships clients such as the Marriott and Celebrity cruise lines is entirely made in the USA. It bears a study structure with double-stitched and piped edges. The 330 thread count cotton cover keeps everything in and provides a comfortable sleep surface.
- – 25% down & 75% feather fill.
- -Made in the USA
DOWNLITE Down Pillow
(Best For Stomach Sleepers )
This pillow is a soft thin flat pillow, perfect for stomach sleepers. It features a 550 fill power that is good enough for stomach sleeping.
The low loft in this pillow helps correct neck issues when sleeping on the stomach or face down. It features a 250 thread count cotton cover and comes in standard, queen and king sizes for your convenience.
The USA made pillow is also hypoallergenic and easy to maintain. It’s machine washable.
- – Thin and Flat
- – Hypoallergenic
- – Assembled In the USA
- – Easy care
East Coast Bedding 2 Pack Goose Feather & Down Pillow
(Best Budget )
Two is better than one and that’s what the East Coast 2 Pack Goose down Pillows offers. For the price of one, you get two quality down and feather pillows. That’s why we found this pillow to be of the best value.
East Coast’s pillow is made of 15% goose down and 85% extremely fine goose feathers. This blend not only gives the pillow its soft, fluffy feel but also ensures that the pillow maintains its loft. Thus giving the user excellent support for both the head and neck.
The support offered by this pillow is great for any back or side slipper. It aligns your spine to maintain great posture throughout the night. Allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
With a stylish pinstriped 300 thread count cotton cover. This pillow not only adds to the aesthetics of the bedroom but is double coded to prevent feathers from leaking out.
East Coast pillows just like all the pillows in this list are made in the US and RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified. Therefore, you can rest assured the down was humanely sourced without animal cruelty.
- – Fine Feathers
- – Hypoallergenic, and RDS Certified
- – 30-night comfort guarantee
Down Pillow Buying Guide
What Qualifies The Pillow As A Down Pillow?
Down pillows are pillows made from the soft plumage of ducks and geese. To qualify as down the plumage has to be extremely fine and sourced from the chest, back, or wings of the birds.
As such, down material is the fine fluff that covers the bird’s body underneath the tougher outer feathers.
If feathers are considered light then down is lighter. When used in a pillow, down creates a soft light pillow that provides a snuggly comfort only likened to sleeping on clouds.
As such down pillows are known for their extremely soft nature and comfort.
Down pillows are ideal for stomach sleepers who need a soft surface that allows their head to sink in preventing an awkward bend of the neck.
However, feathers can be added to down pillows to boost support. This creates much firmer varieties for back and side sleepers.
Down’s benefits in a brief:
The weight of down pillows is the basis for most of its benefits. Down pillows are rather light and malleable, perfect for many uses.
For example, down pillows are perfectly silent and good for people who are easily disturbed by noise.
These pillows are also natural insulators and help keep you warm on chilly nights.
Besides, down pillows are easy to maintain with some of them being machine washable.
Later in this guide, we will go into more detail about the benefits of down pillows.
How To Shop For The Best Down pillows And What To Look For?
Down pillows are arguably the softest and most comfortable pillows to sleep on. However, different elements make up a good quality down pillow.
That’s why it’s important to understand some of these elements like the fill material, cover, size, and quality, before purchasing a down pillow. In this section, we go into detail about what to look for when purchasing a down pillow.
1- Know The Actual Fill Materials
The quality, feel, and price of a down pillow is dependent on the source of the down material. Geese and duck down are the most common source of down material.
Larger, more mature birds tend to provide denser and better quality down. The climate the bird resides in also dictates the quality of down material. Birds that reside in colder climates tend to have more quality down.
As such, goose down though not as readily available as duck down is considered higher quality. Geese thrive in colder climates and are larger than ducks.
They, therefore, produce denser and higher quality down. This kind of down is softer and much more breathable. For this reason, Pillows made from goose down attract premium prices.
Duck down is more commonly available. It’s not as dense as goose down but still makes very soft and comfortable pillows.
For this reason, pillows made from duck down are less costly than goose down. One drawback of duck down is that it often has a pungent odor when first used.
When it comes to the pillow structure, most pillows blend both down and feathers to achieve desired firmness levels.
Most plushy down pillows will contain 100% down, while firmer pillows will have a mixture of down and feathers. The outer feathers of duck or geese are much heavier; they, therefore, add support to a down pillow.
Most blended down pillows will contain feathers in the core and a top layer of down cushioning. However, please note that for a pillow to be labeled as a down pillow, it must contain at least 75% down, anything less than this is a feather pillow.
Depending on your needs, a pillow with more feathers will provide better support, while a pillow with more down will provide a softer, cuddlier pillow.
The less down used, the more affordable the pillow will also be.
With that said, the most important factor when to look out for in a down pillow is the fill power. Fill power simply means the measure of the fluffiness of the down. In technical measurement terms, it’s the amount of space that one ounce of down occupies in cubic inches.
Down pillows usually have between 500 to 800 fill power. The higher the fill power, the higher the quality of the pillow is.
2- Decide On the Right Size
The standard pillow is more compact and measures 20” wide by 26” long. It’s a great size for people who don’t turn or toss at night. It also maintains a consistent loft which is great for someone who needs consistent support.
Standard pillows are also much more readily available and better priced than the rest of the sizes.
If you have a larger bed, let’s say a queen or king-size, you can fit three or four standard pillows on there. Depending on their cover cases, this can add to the aesthetics of the bed and they can act like prop up pillows.
The queen down pillow measures 20″ wide by 30″ long. These pillows have more room and can better accommodate, people with larger shoulders or those who turn and toss. The extra room also allows the pillow to be more moldable.
The Kingsize measures 20″ by 36″ it’s the largest and ideal for king size beds.
This kind of pillow is long and ideal to use as a backrest when sitting up in bed to read or watch TV.
Another size of the down pillow is the Square European pillow, whose standard size measures 26″ wide by 26″ long. This type of pillow, though not as common, is great for use as a backrest.
3- Understand the Pricing
Down pillows are some of the most expensive pillows out there. However, some are more expensive than others.
Averagely, most down pillows will cost about $75 to $100. These are mostly duck-down pillows or goose down pillows with lower fill power.
A higher fill power pillow of 800FP will attract a higher price with some costing as high as $300.
However, among the most expensive down pillow is the eiderdown pillow, which can run into thousands of dollars.
It’s said to be a secret only known to kings and rarer than a Ferrari.
Depending on the type of down, it’s fill-power and quality of the bird. You are bound to pay more for high fill power down, or down from goose and animal conscious processing of the down.
4- Check Other Customers’ Complains and Compliments
Down pillows are not always readily available and are often found in big brand stores or trusted online sites.
Given the convenience of shopping online, it’s important to do your research before deciding on a down pillow.
To know what you are getting yourself into, make sure you read customer reviews. The complaints and compliments you read about a pillow will more often than not be what you will experience with it.
Pay keen attention to the patterns about certain features of the pillow that could be problematic. If the problem could possibly bother you, then you are better off getting another pillow
5- See How The Company Is Backing Its Pillow
Good companies have confidence in their products and stand behind them using a warranty. Ensure your peace of mind by first checking that you are allowed to return the pillow in case it’s not a good fit.
Trial periods are a great way to test out if a pillow is right for you, risk-free. Most pillow companies offer between 30 to 90-day trial periods.
You can return your pillow any time before the trial period elapses if you don’t like it.
Another way to guarantee that you are receiving a quality product is a warranty. Basically, a warranty guarantees that the pillow is quality. And that if it’s not, then the company will find a way to compensate you for the lack of quality thereof.
However, you must read the warranty keenly to know what is covered and what is not covered. Most warranties cover faulty workmanship and abnormal defects within a certain time.
How Will A Down Pillow Help You Sleep Better?
Soft and Comfortable
Down pillows are arguably the softest pillows. The softness and lightness of the pillows create great comfort. The down naturally contours to your body shape as you lie down creating a cradling experience.
As such, down pillows are great snuggle-pillows. Their malleability allows them to be scrunched up to different shapes and forms to achieve the desired comfort.
This pillow guarantees comfort for any sleeper. So whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper, you can rest easy with a down pillow.
Down pillows are worth the investment. If properly maintained they can last you years. Some down pillows last as long as 8 years. These pillows also get softer with use but this can make it lose its loft.
So, if you are a stomach sleeper, the thinner the pillow gets the better for you. However, if this happens to a non-stomach sleeper, then one can try to add more down to rejuvenate the pillow.
Silent & Lightweight
Down pillows are light and easy to move around. Because of down’s fine nature, down pillows are also very silent.
Unlike other pillows that produce sounds as you shift on them, down pillows remain silent. This is great for someone who is easily disturbed by noise.
Great for back sleeping
Back sleepers need equal amounts of support and comfort. Down pillows offer superior comfort with their incredible softness, however, to boost the pillow’s support factor, feathers are usually added.
Feathers help boost the loft of the pillow and offer more support. This way back sleepers get a proper amount of support that allows their head, neck, and spine to be properly aligned.
Works well for light and medium-weight sleepers
Down pillows work well for medium and lightweight sleepers. Since heavyweight causes down pillows to bottom out.
At high fill powers of 800 and above, a down pillow is dense enough to support light to medium weight properly.
One of the greatest benefits of down pillows is their malleability. If you love to mold your pillow into the desired shape, size, and loft, then a down pillow will be a delight.
Down pillows are naturally fluffy. Unlike other pillows that lose their shape and form, you can easily return down pillow into their natural shape and form by fluffing them.
Cool and fresh
Down feather pillows especially higher fill power pillows are breathable.
They remain cool by allowing air to escape when compressed. Down pillows moldability allows the pillow to be fluffed up which injects fresh air into the pillow and keeps it cool and fresh.
Down Pillow VS Latex Pillow
Comfort and support
Down pillows are luxuriously soft in nature that the experience of lying on them is compared to sleeping on clouds. As such, they are great for comfort purposes. People who love snuggly pillows will appreciate the snuggle-factor in a down pillow.
In terms of support, down pillows often bottom out under the pressure of added weight.
To get a sufficient amount of support from down pillows, you have to scrunch them to your desired loft. This means regular fluffing and molding is needed.
Latex pillows, on the other hand, are better known for their support factor. Due to their resilient nature, latex pillows quickly bounce back to their original form once the pressure is withdrawn from them.
Rubber which is the main ingredient in Latex pillows makes them very responsive in nature. This, added to the dense nature of latex, ensures optimum support.
Latex’s ability to contour to the head, neck, and shoulders of the sleeper without too much give, ensures consistent support through the night.
Down pillows are made from the down of goose or ducks. Down are the fine feathers that cover a bird’s body. They are usually found underneath outer feathers.
Latex is a natural substance derived from rubber trees. There are two types of latex, Talalay and Dunlop latex.
These two types of latex are distinguished by the method of production. With Talalay producing a much softer and fluffier latex foam, while Dunlop produces a rather dense and firm foam.
Cooling and breathability
Down pillows are great insulators. The reason down material is preferred in comforters is because it traps heat, keeping you warm and toasty on chilly nights.
However, unlike memory foam, down pillows don’t sleep hot, they are more breathable. But if sleeping hot is a problem for you, you are better off skipping down pillows all the same.
Natural Latex pillows sleep cool. Latex foam features an open cell structure that allows the free flow of air. This allows for proper aeration which helps latex pillows sleep cooler.
The “floating on” sleep experience provided by a latex pillow, also allows one to sleep cooler. This is because sinking too much into other types of pillows traps hot air that heats up the head.
Down pillows as mentioned earlier are generally more expensive than other types of pillows. Down pillows have a price range of $75 to $300, while latex pillows range between $40 to $150.
100% organic natural pillows, albeit rare, are more expensive than other latex pillows and their price is not that different with high quality down pillows.
With proper care, down pillows can last up to 10 years. On the other hand, Latex is one of the most durable bedding materials.
High-density latex can last up to 20 years without compromising on its performance. This is because latex is a very strong material.
Its resilient nature keeps it from getting too compressed thus avoiding tearing and breaking
Odors and noise
Down from duck has been associated with a strong odor. However, well cleaned down should not smell at all.
Down from younger birds often contains fat which is the cause of the smell on duck down. However, when properly cleaned the down should lose all the fat and smell.
Latex has a rubbery smell when first opened. However, this should dissipate after airing it out for several hours.
When it comes to noise, down is absolutely silent. This is actually one of the advantages of down pillows.
They are silent and great for people who easily get disrupted at night.
Latex is a good motion isolator, as such, it also sleeps relatively silent.
When it comes to maintenance, always read the manufacturer instructions first. Some down pillows are dry clean only while others are machine washable.
If you have to machine wash your down pillow then remember to follow the right steps to avoid damaging your pillow.
Latex pillows are dry clean or hand-wash only. Afterward, you can air dry. Never machine-wash a latex pillow. It will get damaged in the washer.
Down Pillow VS Memory Foam Pillow
Comfort and support
Both down and memory foam pillows are soft and comfortable. However, memory foam offers more support than a down pillow.
The pillow’s ability to contour to the head, neck, and shoulders allows it to provide optimum support without bottoming out.
As such, memory foam is suitable for all types of sleeping positions whereas down pillows are more suited for stomach sleeping.
Down pillows need constant fluffing throughout the night to maintain the preferred loft. To help with this, some down pillows add feathers to the core to boost the pillow’s support function.
The support offered by such pillows is, however, still inferior to the support offered by memory foam pillows.
Down pillows are made from the soft fluff found on ducks and geese’s chest, back, and wings.
Depending on the type of bird, the down used to make a pillow can be denser and higher quality than others. Mostly goose down is regarded as higher quality down.
Memory foam, on the other hand, is a viscoelastic polyurethane material, that was originally created to cushion space pilot’s chairs.
The advanced technology used to make memory foam makes it a very soft and conforming material, perfect to use in a pillow.
Memory foam pillows work by absorbing heat which then softens the pillow. In turn, it molds to the shape of the head, creating a cradling experience that is likened to sleeping on clouds.
Cooling and breathability
Both down and memory foam pillows sleep warm. Down pillows are insulating by nature. Air is usually trapped by the down clusters, creating a warm comfortable environment to lie on.
Compared to memory foam, down is more breathable and hence sleeps slightly cooler than memory foam pillows.
Originally memory foam pillows were created with a closed-cell format. This created a problem of overheating since the foam did not allow proper airflow.
Since then manufacturers have been creating open-cell memory foam and adding cooling agents such as gel and copper. This has, in turn, led to the creation of cooler memory foam pillows.
Some also shred the memory foam to create a more breathable and adjustable pillow.
Down pillows are somewhat expensive than memory foam pillows.
Basically, down pillows cost between $50 to over $300 while memory foam pillow costs $50 to $150, though some can cost higher than this.
Memory foam pillows are more durable than down pillows. Down pillows tend to compress quickly which leads to faster deterioration of the pillow.
The ability to return to its original shape albeit slowly helps memory foam last longer by avoiding tears and breaks caused while compressing.
Odors and noise
Thoroughly cleaned down shouldn’t smell, however, down from ducks is likely to bear some odor when new. This should dissipate after washing and drying the pillow thoroughly.
Memory foam on the other hand often has a toxic odor due to the chemicals used in its manufacturing process.
Some of these chemicals have been associated with learning disorders and serious side effects. As such, it’s better to look for memory foam produced without the use of harsh chemicals. Chances are, it won’t smell too much as well.
To eliminate the odor in a memory foam pillow, air it out for a couple of hours or days and the order will be gone.
Both down and memory foam pillows are silent. Down pillows make no noise whatsoever. This makes them the perfect pillows for people who are easily disturbed by noise. Memory foam is good at isolating motion thus very silent as well
Naturally down pillows are easy to maintain and just need regular fluffing and a bit of cleaning. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, down pillows can either be dry cleaned or machine washed.
When machine washing down pillows always makes sure to follow the instructions provided to avoid damaging your pillow.
Memory foam, on the other hand, is a dry clean or hand wash kind of pillow. You cannot throw a memory foam pillow into the washer.
This is because the material could easily get destroyed and its heaviness when wet could ruin your washer.
To keep both pillows cleaner for longer, invest in protective covers that you can clean regularly.
Down pillows as seen in this guide are soft pillows that provide superior comfort to their users. Derived from the softest duck and goose plumage, down pillows offer a soft feathery surface to lay on.
This provides many benefits, like optimum comfort for stomach sleepers. Or a silent and moldable sleep surface among many other benefits.
However, there are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a down pillow. Some of the most important include the pillow’s fill, fill power, size, and cost.
If you get these factors right, then you can end up with one of the best down pillows.
Speaking of the best down pillows, this guide we also review some of the best down pillows in the market. If you are in the market for one, this is a helpful section to start your journey.