We all have a favorite when it comes to personal sleeping comfort. A pillow is an essential element to make the sleep session more memorable. The best feather pillows are comfortable, firm, modifiable, and provide enough support to make you sleep through the night even when the alarm goes off. Besides latex, feather pillows are among the most sought option for many sleepers who enjoy a comfortable sleep while lying on a cool and exceptionally soft support system.
What’s in a Feather Pillow?
Feather pillows are made of two materials:
The feathers which are a plumage of geese or duck or both, and the duck down which is the softer plumage that forms the inside of the pillow.
Almost always they will contain a substantial amount of down fill which is about five percent. But most of it is made of feathers and is usually firm all while staying soft and malleable. Besides their synthetic prowess, they are also popular due to their availability and affordability over the years.
While some people love feather pillows, others find them uncomfortable, unsupportive, or even noisy. Down alternative, a synthetic material made out of polyester microfiber might be a more suitable alternative for folks with certain forms of allergies. It’s a great option if you prefer the non-feather types.
This review will explore everything you need to know to decide whether a feather pillow is right for you. We will answer questions related to size, component, cost, and the key advantages and disadvantages of feather pillows.
Why Would I Choose a Feather Pillow?
The fluff from the stomach of geese and ducks are softer which makes feather pillows surprisingly easy to care for and machine washable. Their unique features such as lightweight, breathable, and heat-proof, make them an ideal choice to use for any season. Feather pillows are also malleable meaning that you can quickly shape and fold them to your comfort.
Soft and fluffy as they are, feather fills may not be a good choice for those who want a firm neck and shoulders support. That said, feather pillows can be a perfect choice for side sleepers and back sleepers.
Feather Vs. Down Filling: Which is Better?
When it comes to selecting the perfect bedding, we believe that comfort is a priority.
There are two popular types of pillows in the market:
Feather pillows and Down pillows.
In some instances, these varieties may be marketed as using feathers and down interchangeably, which gives customers the impression that they are similar.
So, what is the difference between down and feather pillows? Let’s find out.
Feathers come from the wing and back feathers of ducks and geese. They are a bit thicker and larger than down and often provide softness.
They contain a quill that runs down the middle of the pillow and can be felt occasionally when poking out the pillow.
Down on the other hand is a soft group of fibers mostly from a duck or goose which is the closest set to the bird’s skin just near its chest. It contains a soft underlayment or undercoating of the feather.
It’s protection, and insulation characteristics render it among the most popular set in the market. Down provides maximum contouring inside any pillow.
Most feather pillows are made of a mix of both feather and down with a ratio of roughly 95:5 percent. So, it is important to check the ratio before choosing feather pillows.
Feather fills tend to be less expensive than down fills. Adding more feathers to a pillow will increase the softness, offer more support and durability. Having more down on a feather pillow will increase its loftiness and help regain its natural shape even after using it for the entire night.
However, it won’t provide the same feeling like a down-filled pillow. Using larger feathers on the pillow –although less expensive – can feel uncomfortable since the quills can break and cause a tickling or poking effect to the user.
Duck or Goose Feather Pillows Which is Better?
While there is no huge difference between goose and duck down, goose feather tends to be larger, softer, and fluffier than duck feather, which is why they seem to be chosen more often. Similarly, goose down have the highest fill power because geese are larger than ducks. For this reason, goose down tend to be the most expensive.
Benefits and Weaknesses
As is the case with most other pillow types, some people will like them while others will have a thing or two that may not satisfy their taste. Based on the composition and performance, feather pillows have numerous benefits and a couple of drawbacks.
In this section, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of feather pillows.
What are the Benefits of Feather Pillows?
- Lightweight: Among the most loved features of a feather pillow is its lightweight nature. Feathers weigh three pounds or less, so moving, flipping and adjusting your pillow won’t be a struggle.
- Durable: Feather pillows can serve you well in real-time, and they serve you for years before you feel the need to replace them.
- Soft: Since these pillows are so scrunchy, they qualify as an ideal choice for sleepers who like to snuggle with a pillow while sleeping.
- Moldable: As feathers are easily compressed to achieve a specific shape of desire, it’s easier to mold them to the size or position of your liking to achieve optimal loft.
- Reduced Heat Retention: Feather pillows tend to regulate heat exceptionally well. Unlike down pillows that can retain a considerable amount of heat, feather decorative pillows don’t. Thus, they offer a more comfortable feel for any sleeper who wants to sleep cool.
- Affordable: If you prefer a set of cheap pillows then feather pillows are a perfect choice. The cost of these pillows is relatively lower than that of duck down which is economical for people who are shopping for a new pillow.
What are the Weaknesses?
- Odor: Some people notice a distinct smell in feather pillows, specifically those made from low-quality duck feathers. While the scent may go away with time, it is not always the case.
- Extra feathers poke: If the feathers are too large, you may get the odd quill or frequent poke through the seams or the cover of the pillow. Though the quills may not cause any serious harm, it can be irritating at times.
- Support problems: As a result of the easily compressed and re-shaped nature of the feather fill, they fail to provide enough support for some people. This can lead to spinal misalignment, as well as back and neck pain.
- Hard to clean: Feather pillows should be dry-cleaned based on the special instructions provided. This can become expensive over time.
- Allergic reactions: Some sleepers can be allergic to dust mites or microbes on feather pillows. Although some can be treated make them hypoallergenic, overall, they aren’t recommended.
Best Feather Pillows: Our Top Picks
Downluxe Goose Feather Down Pillow-Best Feather and Down Pillows
For over two decades now, Downluxe has been a go-to-sleep shop for quality sleep products and this goose feather pillow is a no exception to the excellent products that are up for sale in this company.
These pillows come in a set of two queen-sized pillows with well stitched and reinforced seams to hold the feather fillings in place. With 90 percent goose feather fill, and 10 percent goose down, you have the right ratio balance to create a highly plush, extra soft pillow without sacrificing support and luxury.
The 100% cotton cover is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mite, mold, and mildew to ensure you have a healthy sleep throughout the night. This option is moldable making it ideal for stomach and back sleepers. It also provides excellent head support thanks to the double-layered fabric design which makes among the best rated down feather pillows.
This option features a 300-thread count that supports the feather fill and allows for efficient airflow for a good night’s experience. The piped edges are double-stitched to help keep the feather fill intact and allow for easy machine wash and dry when needed, but its recommended to know how to dry clean them for long life.
Puredown Natural Goose Down Feather Pillow- Best Feather Pillows for Side Sleepers
With its extra softness and fluffiness, Puredown natural feather pillow is a perfect choice for side sleepers. Side sleepers love something thick and firm, and feather pillows are often designed to fit these needs.
The outer layer is 100 percent cotton packing, 95 percent Siberia Goose Feather, and 5 percent goose down to give it a soft, yet supportive interior. The polyester layer holds the feathers inside the pillow and is thick enough to prevent quill from poking through it. Similarly, the hypoallergenic qualities including cored brown piping, double diamond quilting, and a double-layered fabric design prevent regular pricking from feathers.
The pillow is usually vacuum packed and rolled in the shipping box, so you’ll need to put it in the dryer to fluff it to original size. The packaging and feathers themselves can have a slight odor, but you can let it air out after unwrapping it to get rid of the smell.
They are available in both king and jumbo sizes which are measured as a standard king or queen based on the current measurements in the targeted market.
Down and Feather Company Extra Firm Feather Pillow- Best All-Around Feather Pillows Without Down.
If you want comfort and support in a pillow, then extra firm feather pillow from Down and Feather Company is the ideal choice. They offer their standard fellow pillow in a variety of soft and slightly firm feel to fit the needs of all sleep positions.
It is made of 100% high-quality goose feather to prevent poking while sleeping at night. The cotton shell wrap on this pillow may look old-fashioned, but it looks as good as new.
When compressed, feathers sleep firmer which provide more support for side and back sleepers. If you don’t get the right support while sleeping on your back, you can fold and slide the pillow down your neck for added support. The result is a peaceful and more comfortable night’s sleep.
The 10-year warranty guarantee is a boost to the quality and life of this pillow.
L LOVSOUL White Goose Feather Medium Firm Bed Pillow- Best Goose Feather Pillows
The unique pillow from L Lovsoul is plush, soft and makes you feel relaxed without worrying about allergenic problems.
The Goose feather medium-firm pillow is designed with three chambers to provide ultimate comfort at night. The outer chamber is 100 percent goose down while the inner chamber is made of 90 percent goose feather and 10 percent goose down. The queen size pillow comes with an outer casing made of 100% Egyptian cotton, which is cozy and comfortable. The design makes it firm enough for a good night sleep while maintaining that soft feeling.
The ultra-comfortable fabric on the pillow cover features a 1000-thread count to prevent the feather fill from leaking out. It also maintains its softness and comfort qualities that you need for healthy sleep.
The silver-grey pipping and the stitching line makes this pillow durable. You can use a pillow cover to protect the pillow and increase its lifespan. It’s a perfect choice for all sleepers, no matter the sleeping positions because it will hold your head’s weight perfectly and keep the neck in a neutral position to provide enough support needed for peaceful night’s sleep.
The item is vacuum packaged and tightly wrapped for safety while shipping. Once you receive it, remove from the package, shake gently, then leave it for a while to achieve full fluffiness.
Three Geese White Goose Feather Bed Pillow- Best Hypoallergenic Down Pillows
There are those with respiratory allergies looking for an alternative to keep off the reaction. The Three Geese Goose Feather pillow is a perfect option with a 100 percent feather packed inner layer and two outside chambers made of superior microfiber, making them ideal for cuddling.
The hypoallergenic casing is 100% cotton and finely stitched with a smooth 600-thread count shell. It is OEKO-TEK certified meaning that it has no traces of harmful substances.
The medium-firm pillow supports the natural shape of the upper spine and leaves enough room to position your head and shoulders. For this reason, it’s one of the best choices for back and side sleepers who prefer little loft but still want enough support. The single stitched and corded edges add a durable and luxurious look to this standard feather pillow.
The manufacturers offer a 30-night sleep trial with a money-back guarantee if the product doesn’t fulfill your needs.
JA COMFORTS Goose Feather Down Pillow- Best Value Feather Pillows
The Goose feather pillow from JA Comforts features high-quality natural filling that contains 95 percent goose feathers and 5 percent down for a soft yet slightly supportive pillow. They are comfortable and breathable which makes them an attractive option for people with backache, or those who have insomnia.
The 100% cotton cover is another exciting quality that helps keep the feather intact and evenly distributed for extra comfort. People with sleep problems such as asthma and allergies will find this pillow useful thanks to the hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant qualities.
The pillows are vacuum sealed for safety, and a simple clap on it with your hand will make it regain its original shape within no time. You can also put it in the dryer and ensure the no-heat setting is on for the feathers to redistribute for that fluffy look.
On top of a quality pillow, you get a 90-day sleep trial and a three-year warranty to cover you if you don’t like the pillow after using it for a while.
Continental Bedding Superior Down Pillow- Best Down Feather Pillows
Ultimate comfort, excellent support, and unmatched quality are what Continental Bedding Down pillows are all about. These pillows are 100% cotton with 300-thread count stripped shell to prevent feathers filling from falling off.
The down filling acts as a premium insulator, and the 700-fill power helps retain its fluffiness and loft. As a result, you receive maximum head and neck support. The ultra-clean goose down, packed in a damask cotton fabric are hypoallergenic making it ideal and safe for all sleepers. The finishing is made of reinforced seams and superior stitching to keep the goose down intact while maintaining a luxurious look.
Continental bedding has taken the initiative to be RDS certified to promote animal welfare and ensure the down dreams materials come from geese that are not exposed to any harm.
On arrival, you can simply fluff up your pillow by shaking it around to regain its loft.
Luxury Goose Feather and Down Bed Pillow- Best Luxurious Feather Pillows
How does it feeling laying you head on a luxurious pillow? Like a king, right!
The goose feather and down pillow offers more than that. The pillow features a 300-thread count and is 100% cotton fabric to offers maximum comfort for a good night’s sleep.
Experience the softness and support from the content of this pillow which makes up 85 percent goose feather and 15 percent goose down. Plus, you will be getting two luxurious pillows for the price of one in the same package.
All types of sleepers can find this option appealing. It also has other exciting features such as the cotton fabric that is durable, it’s hypoallergenic and supremely soft and firm.
The pillow is machine washable. Upon receiving the package, open, fluff gently, leave it for several hours to gain their full loft. Ensure you use the pillow casing for long life.
Beckham Hotel Collection Luxury White Down Feather Pillow (Set of 2)- Best Pillow for Combination Sleepers
If you need a comfortable pillow that offers hotel quality support and quality, then Beckham Hotel collection is the best choice in the market. Made with a unique blend of down or feathers and down fibers, this pillow provides comfort plus the right head and neck support.
The pillow features a two-chamber design (inner and outer chamber) made up of the down feather in the inner chamber and super gel fibers in the outer chamber. This combination makes it an ideal pillow for all types of sleepers. They are available in a set of 2 for a single pack.
The model is allergen-free and resistant to mold, dust mites, and mildew. It’s also RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified by Control Union, to safeguard the welfare of ducks and geese that provide the raw materials (down and feathers).
Buyers have a 30-day sleep trial where you will get a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the pillow.
Homelike Moment Goose Feather Down Pillow (Set of 2)- Best Pillows for Comfort
The standard goose feather pillow is made with plush and softness in mind. The natural filling that is 90 percent goose feather and 10 percent goose down are carefully selected to provide maximum comfort for side and back sleepers. They act as a cushion when you want to lay your head down, and you can even place them on your back while reading on the bed to get the right support.
The soft fabric is 100% hypoallergenic and double-layered to hold the feathers and down in place. It also comes with a gusseted edge to allow the goose down to reach a higher loft for a more comfortable feel, plus blue piping to ensure the feather down fill is good-looking. You can get this option in 2 pack standard pieces that are worth every cent.
These hotel quality pillows are machine washable, but a dry clean or professional launder is highly recommended.
What to Look for When Choosing A Feather Pillow
Dreaming of a good night’s sleep is one thing, and getting the right pillow that allows you to rest your head or neck in comfort is a dream come true for many people. For those looking for a fluffy, soft pillow with high-quality materials, feather pillows fit the bill.
If you are unsure of which pillow is the best fit for your needs, then there are some few factors you need to consider.
Let’s explore them.
Feather pillows are soft and moldable. Similarly, the absence of too much loft helps to prevent spine misalignment. Stomach sleepers can benefit from these pillows thanks to their softness and firm support. For back and side sleepers who have a hard time attaining the right support from a new pillow, they can consider laying a feather pillow on top of another set to achieve this.
It is important to look at the features of the pillow you’re interested in to ensure you choose the right one for your sleep position.
The pillow’s cover or outer shell should be a major concern when choosing a good pillow. It contains the filling which your head, neck, stomach, and shoulders will lie depending on your sleeping style. For this reason, you don’t want to look for a pillow that pokes you in the middle of the night. The best quality covers should be 100 percent cotton.
High-quality feather pillows must have a certain amount of down filling. Down is the soft protective layer that is underneath the top layer of the birds. It’s added to feathers to reduce the firmness and provide a plush feel, as feathers alone are a little firm and somewhat uncomfortable. Although those options with a small amount of down are slightly expensive, they are the best choice for most sleepers.
Everyone has a certain level of firmness they want when it comes to pillows. The firmness of feather pillows is determined by the percentage of feathers or down in it. The more the feathers, the firmer it will be, and the fewer the feathers, the softer the pillow. The choice depends on your sleeping position.
Note: Side sleepers may prefer a firmer pillow, while a back sleeper may be comfortable with a slightly softer feather pillow. Stomach sleepers tend to go for cozy, soft pillows.
Allergic people are always sensitive to materials that can aggravate allergies. Although there is a slight chance that cheap and poor-quality feathers may be a problem for allergic people, the feathers fill in your pillow have undergone thorough cleaning to remove any dirt, dust mites, bacteria, and dander from the birds.
While much may have been said about feather pillow containing more traces of allergens than those with synthetic material, the opposite is actually true. If you feel that your pillow may be a source of allergens, the best solution is to clean it to get rid of pollen spores and dust mites. Also, ensure the cover is always well laundered.
What Sizes Can You Find for Feather Pillows?
Feather pillows come in different sizes. Here are the most popular sizes available.
Standard: This is the most popular and versatile size measuring 20’’ x 26”. They are famous for the compact size that allows them to fit in nearly all pillowcases. Also, they tend to have the lowest price tags.
Super Standard: Measuring 20” x 28”, super standard pillows have the same width as a standard size but two inches longer. They are made for people who want sizes that are not too compact, and those that don’t turn too much.
Queen Size: Queen Pillows are slightly larger than a standard size pillow. They measure 20” x 30” which makes them ideal for people who toss or turn a lot during the night.
King Size: Measuring 20” x 36’ which is a full 10 inch longer than a standard size, and six inches longer than the queen size, king-size pillows are ideal for people who toss or shift position more. You can use them as headrests or backrests when sitting up in bed to read or watch a favorite television program.
Feather pillows also come in two more sizes.
Euro: The unique feature of a Euro pillow is that it is square-shaped. They come in different dimensions that can vary, but the length of each side remains the same.
Body Pillow: As they are exceptionally wide, body pillows are made for people who want a bolster for their body. Also, some people use it to snuggle while they sleep.
How to Clean Feather Pillows
Feather pillows are incredibly soft with a luxurious look, but it is important to take care of them by washing them frequently. Dry-cleaning will help kill any bacteria and even clean off dirt, dust, sweat, and oils. This will help ensure the pillow smell fresh and is ever clean.
Here are some basic tips to help you take care of your pillow:
Washing a Feather Pillow
How do you wash your pillow? Here are the essential tips.
- Wash your pillows in a cycle- two pillows at a time to keep your washer balanced.
- The water temperature is not much of a big subject. You can use either hot, warm, or cold water; your choice. But keep in mind that the material could shrink in a hot wash.
- You can use a non-chlorine detergent for whitening.
- Use the fastest speed or an extra spin cycle to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Rinse properly and in the process add an extra rinse cycle to ensure all the soap is removed.
- Use gentle soap but avoid additives.
- Don’t use fabric softener as it may form a coating around the feathers.
- To dry the pillow, start by a quick hand fluff between each cycle. Though the pillow can still be damp, it will feel dry to touch.
- Add a couple of drier balls or clean tennis balls to speed up the dry time. It won’t hurt the washer.
- To get rid of odor, stains or mildew add a portion of either hydrogen peroxide (for yellow stains), white vinegar (for mold and mildew), and baking soda (for odor). You can also use essential oil for a sweet, subtle scent otherwise use a pillow protector to keep the pillow clean for longer.
Who is Best Suited to Use a Feather Pillow?
When it comes to pillows, every individual has different desires and preferences. There are those interested in sleeping cool, while others want something comfortable to rest their head.
We take a look at who might love feather pillows and who might dislike them.
Best suited for
Side-sleepers: They need a little loft. Such balance coupled with the option of re-shaping the size of the pillow makes these pillows are an excellent choice for people who sleep on their side.
Back-sleepers: The right size of a feather pillow can provide a comfortable neck and head position for people who sleep on their back.
Hot sleepers: As feather pillows tend to retain little body heat, they are perfect for hot sleepers.
Individuals who need a pillow for cuddling: Some people tussle and turn a lot in their sleep, and they may want to correct their head or neck position. A feather pillow is moldable, which makes an ideal choice for those who want to cuddle with a pillow.
Not Appropriate for
Stomach-sleepers: Though stomach-sleepers may love feather pillows for their softness, too much loftiness may be a problem. They may sink too deep into low-loft pillows, while extra lofty pillows can cause spinal misalignment.
People with chronic snoring problems: An extremely low-loft pillow that sinks a lot can worsen problems related to chronic snoring, which occurs when the breathing system become blocked or narrowed.
Smell or noise-sensitive sleepers: Presence of unpleasant odors or noise especially when moving the pillow, and poking through the pillow cover can be a distraction when sleeping.
How Long do Feather Pillows Last?
The life span of a pillow is subject to the quality of materials and how well it’s cared for. Feather pillows are so durable that it’s easier to clean regularly, at least once every six months. This means that they can last for 5 to 10 years or more. Synthetic materials can last for 1 to 2 years, depending on the materials, quality, and usage.
Which is Warmer Feather or Down Pillow?
In most cases, feather and down pillows are filled with down from either ducks or geese. Down is the lighter and fluffy covering, usually on the belly of the bird, and they are responsible for generating the optimum insulation and warmth. The general rule of thumb is the higher the down filling, the warmer the pillow. Therefore 90% good down pillow will be warmer than 90% duck down pillow.
Do Feather Pillows Go Flat?
Some pillows go flat because of absorbing too much moisture over time. Feathers pillows flatten sooner than down feather pillows and stay that way over time. How fast the pillow flattens depends on the combination of feathers within the pillow. Ideally, a feather pillow will last for seven years or more. After that, you should consider replacing them.
In general, feather pillows are often medium-soft but offer less neck support compared to other types, but the good news is, they are easy to shape which is why they are the best pillows for stomach sleepers. Also, these pillows are an excellent choice for most sleep positions as long as there is enough feather fill for proper body support.
For allergic people, you may consider a blend of feathers and skin-friendly materials, and you can find a perfect fit on our list to offer you the comfortable feeling you desire. You can be sure our best picks are made of small feathers to fill the case and prevent quills from poking through the cover materials.