Many people love laying their head against a soft feather pillow at night.
Traditional feather pillows had some downsides though. The feathers weren’t always cleaned properly, so they weren’t great for people with allergies and asthma. Feathers could leak out or poke you in the face, and they flattened easily. However, today’s real feather pillows have come a long way.
If you enjoy the feeling of plush feather pillows, rejoice! There are options out there that will suit your needs and desire for a soft, cozy pillow.
Best Feather Pillow Reviews
1. Best Feather Pillow Overall: Puredown
For: Side, back and stomach sleeper.
The Puredown pillow is a comfortable and luxurious goose feather and down pillow that is hypoallergenic and lightweight.
Puredown’s set of two feather pillows features soft 233 thread count cotton covers and double layered fabric so the feathers can’t poke you in the face while you sleep. The pillows’ stuffing consists of 95% Grey Goose Feather and 5% Grey Goose Down for a thick, comfortable pillow. The box design is double stitched for durability and to avoid shifting of the inner filling. It’s cover is 100% cotton and offers medium support.
These imported pillows offer luxurious comfort using recyclable and environmentally friendly materials. They are Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and OXIPOWER, TWICE AS NICE certified. People with allergies and respiratory issues can rest easy knowing that these pillows are hypoallergenic. The stuffing materials are lightweight, carefully chosen, and thoroughly cleaned.
These are some of the best down pillows for back sleepers. They’re machine washable and ship vacuum sealed. When you open them, you can fluff the pillows into shape manually or let them sit for a few hours to expand naturally. The company recommends sunbathing them on a regular basis as a way of maintaining better pillow health.
Pros: Beautiful double diamond lattice quilting, cored brown piping, strict and consistent production guidelines ensure high-quality goose feather pillows each time
Cons: Cover is not removable, can be noisy when compressed
2. Best Feather Pillows for Side Sleepers: Continental Bedding
For: Side and back sleepers.
If you sleep on your side, your head and neck need a specific kind of support for comfort, and the Continental Bedding Pillow provides the perfect height.
Continental Bedding’s pillows are made with 100% Hungarian White Goose Down and provide medium support. The fill power of these goose down feather pillows is 700, meaning that they’re lofty, durable, and the best down pillow for side and back sleepers. The striped outer shell of these pillows is made from soft 300-thread count, 100% cotton. Customers love that they’re USA-made and hypoallergenic.
Continental’s high-quality, double-stitched pillows combine softness and comfort for the best sleep possible. Since down is a natural insulator, these pillows will stay warmer and softer other pillows. This company is proudly RDS certified, meaning the down is completely safe and that animal welfare is put first during production.
These pillows are shipped flat and may flatten over time. To help them regain shape, shake the pillows around a little or leave them to air out for a few hours. This helps them regain their original height and fluffiness. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t love these pillows you can return them and get your money back.
Pros: Machine washable, can be customized by seller to be softer or more firm, never get poked by feathers.
Cons: No removable cover, needs regular fluffing to maintain shape and loft.
Buy Continental Bedding Pillows on Amazon
3. Best Priced Pillow: JA Comforts
For: Side, back and stomach sleepers.
JA Comfort’s set of two duck feather down pillows are incredibly comfortable and supportive. You’ll love the great low price tag and excellent workmanship.
JA Comforts’ 2-pack pillows are made with naturally captured 95% grey duck feather and 5% grey duck down. One thing that makes these duck feather pillows unique is that there are four fabric layers: two 100% cotton outer layers and two 100% polyester inner layers. These layers protect the pillows’ filling and allow for a soft sleep surface with no chance of being pricked by feathers.
Customers who try these pillows are guaranteed better sleep or their money back, with no reason necessary to return. There’s a 90-day sleep trial and 3-year warranty, so if anything goes wrong, you’re covered. These pillows are made in the USA and imported. They’re great for all seasons since they absorb moisture and are breathable. They provide soft support making them suitable for stomach sleepers.
High-quality double-stitching prevents feathers from escaping through the fabric, so these pillows stay full and comfortable for a long time. They also support machine washing and drying for easy maintenance. Since these pillows are nice and fluffy, they’re great at protecting cervical vertebrae so you get a better, pain-free night’s sleep.
Like others, these pillows come vacuum sealed, so you’ll need to fluff them into shape or let them sit for a couple of hours to expand. If you’re on the hunt for the best feather pillow for side sleepers, these are a great option.
Pros: Good for people with allergies, soft and breathable, reversible.
Cons: Some customers find them noisy, cover is not removable.
Buy JA Comforts Bed Pillows on Amazon
4. Best Firm Feather Pillow: The Pillow Guy
For: Side and back sleepers.
If you’re constantly tossing and turning because your pillow doesn’t offer the support you need, then you owe it to yourself to invest in the Pillow Guy.
The Pillow Guy’s White Down Overstuffed set of two pillows are made with 100% Goose Down and feature a pillow shell made with 200-thread count 100% cotton. The company makes these pillows in the USA and the Goose Down used is RSD certified. You can expect expert craftsmanship and design, with a cover that’s completely down-proof. These pillows offer a firm support – making them ideal for side and back sleepers.
The pillows come with exceptionally soft white sateen removable pillow protectors and nice blue satin piping. They’re hypoallergenic, so allergy sufferers can sleep soundly knowing that the down in these pillows is free of chemicals and irritants. These luxury down pillows are cleaned rigorously and tested by a third party to make sure that they’re safe and of the highest quality.
These pillows are machine washable. You can choose to either tumble or air dry them. The removable cases with hidden zippers make it easy to take the pillows out to clean. The fabric used was chosen for its breathability, allowing better air flow to keep your head cool when you sleep, and they’re double stitched for superior durability.
If you’re looking for heavy feather pillows, these overstuffed ones weigh a little more than your average lightweight feather pillow. They also come with a 30-day sleep trial. If you don’t sleep well with these pillows you can return them and get your money back, no questions asked.
Pros: 650 fill power means pillows regain shape well after compression, 100% cotton removable pillow protector, Anti-microbial, dust-mite, and bed bug resistant
Cons: too firm for some folk.
Buy Pillow Guy Pillow on Amazon
5. Best Hotel-Quality Feather Pillow: Pacific Coast
For: Side, back and stomach sleepers.
We love the Pacific Coast’s Double Down Around Pillow since it’s proven to be durable and doesn’t seem to go flat and unsupportive with use. This is a medium to firm pillow yet is still soft but without the “sinking feeling”.
Pacific Coast’s Double Down Around set of two pillows contains a combination of Hyperclean 95% natural duck feather and 5% duck down fill. These pillows feature a unique pillow-in-a-pillow design with a resilient inner feather pillow. Down is stuffed in-between for loft and comfort. A 100% cotton cover provides softness and prevents dust-mites from entering.
These pillows were designed to be machine washed and dried for easy maintenance. They have a fill power of 550, so they’re lower loft than some other feather and down pillows but still a good quality. Pacific Coast pillows are made in the USA using imported materials. If you’re looking for a pillow that’s soft and fluffy but supportive with a medium to firm support, these are a good choice.
Pacific Coast’s proprietary AllerRest fabric is specially made to prevent dust, dirt, and allergen exposure without using any chemicals or pesticides. For sleepers who are reluctant to try these pillows, there’s a 30-night comfort guarantee, or you get your money back. For those who are satisfied, these pillows come with a 5-year limited warranty making them a good choice if you want a long-lasting pillow.
Cons: Hotel quality pillows, no feathers poke you or escape from the pillow, easy to fluff up and shape to your liking
Pros: No removable cover, not for people who dislike softer pillows, too compact for some sleepers
Buy Pacific Coast Pillow on Amazon
Down and Feather Pillows Buyer’s Guide
The best feather pillows are typically made with a combination of feathers (the outer layer of plumage) and down (the inner layer of plumage) of ducks, geese, and other waterfowl. They’re known for being soft, cool, and long-lasting, which is why many prefer these pillows over inexpensive, uncomfortable pillows and pricey alternatives like memory foam or latex that typically sleep hot.
Are Feather Pillows Healthy?
Back in the day, feather pillows were one of the only options people had. Despite their pros and cons, you didn’t really have a choice and sometimes had to make a feather pillow work even when it wasn’t ideal. In those times, feather pillows weren’t made sustainably; feathers were picked from live birds and weren’t always cleaned very well, which caused issues for people with allergies and asthma.
These days, things are very different. That’s why with so many different options available (memory foam, latex, etc.) people are rediscovering their love for feather pillows. Today, most companies that make feather pillows follow the RDS (Responsible Down Standard), whereby feathers for pillows are not plucked from live birds, making animal welfare a priority.
Are duck feather pillows good for people with asthma?
These newer pillows go through rigorous cleaning processes to make sure that they do not trigger allergies or asthma. Many are even labelled as hypoallergenic. According to Harvard Heath, feather pillows repel dust-mites which makes them a good choice for those with allergies. If you like the feeling of a feather pillow but are very sensitive to them, you can also buy special allergy covers for them.
A study conducted in 2002 by Custovic et al. looked at two-year-old pillows and found that there was a higher accumulation of pet allergens in synthetic pillows than feather ones. Other studies have found that symptoms related to dust-mite allergies are reduced when using feather pillows, even though other pillow types have become popular in recent years.
A 2011 study by Gordon and Grimmer-Sommers found that if you have poor sleep quality and waking symptoms like stiffness, headache, and pain, the current pillow you’re using might not be good for you. In their study, feather pillows were associated with lower ratings of sleep quality and comfort, but details like the loft of the pillows and materials used in the pillows were not included in detail.
Like most things in life, feather pillows are not all good or all bad. For some people, feather pillows represent luxury and comfort, while others might not agree. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when wondering if a feather pillow is the right type for you:
- One of the best types of pillows for temperature regulation
- Easy to mold into the shape that’s most comfortable for you
- Can be more affordable than most other pillow types
- Long-lasting (if well cared for, feather pillows last approximately 2 to 3 years)
- Provide good head support
- Feather/down combos are soft for people who like to snuggle with their pillow at night
- Not as many options for side sleepers
- Some feather pillows have an odor
- Feather only pillows can be a little too firm for people who like conforming pillows
- Regular shaking/fluffing is required for feather pillows to keep their shape
- Can be too cool on winter nights or if you live in cooler climates
- They lose shape when weight bearing, so feather pillows aren’t always ideal for heavier people
What to Look for in a Feather Pillow
If you’re looking for a great feather pillow that will help you sleep like a baby, take note of all the factors below. The best down pillow review will include all of these things, so ideally, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting before you buy your pillow.
Traditional feather pillows were not machine washable and needed to be spot cleaned. This could make them hard to care for. Luckily, a lot of newer feather pillows are machine washable but it’s important to wash them right, so they don’t shrink or fall apart.
Not sure how to wash feather pillows? This video has some good basic rules to follow.
Always check the label and follow the instructions carefully if you want your feather pillow to last. Only use a small amount of soap when washing your feather pillows and make sure that the soap is well rinsed, so residue won’t trigger allergies or skin irritation.
It’s important to wash your pillows every six months to a year. When we lay on our pillows every night, they accumulate a lot of things like moisture from sweat, oil from our faces, and skin cells. They also pick up things like the creams we use on our faces or makeup if we forget to take it off at night. If left uncleaned, these things make our pillows wear out much faster.
When washing pillows, try to make sure you wash them two at a time to keep your washing machine balanced. Before washing, check for holes or tears that could allow extra water to get into the pillow and make sure to sew these up well. If you love your down pillow but the case is ratty, learning how to recase a down pillow with new fabric can help you give it a second life.
As a rule, when you use a machine to wash and/or dry a feather pillow you want to do so on a low temperature. When drying, you want to use a low temperature for a longer period (think hours compared to your typical 30 to 60-minute cycle). You need to make sure that they’re dried very well otherwise you risk mold growth or them getting lumpy and ruined in general.
Certain feather pillows that aren’t machine washable can be dry cleaned. Whether you buy a feather pillow that requires dry cleaning depends if you want to take on that extra cost. Another thing to consider when it comes to feather pillow maintenance is the cover. Some have removable covers which makes it easier to wash the outside of the pillow without damaging the feathers and down inside.
Feather pillows come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes depending on your needs. Here are some of the basic sizes and information to help you decide which size is right for you:
- Standard: These are generally the smallest feather pillows you’ll find, measuring at 20 inches wide and 26 inches long. They’re usually the most affordable.
- Super Standard: Two inches longer than the standard size for those who find standard too compact.
- Queen: Four inches longer than standard. Better for people who toss and turn in their sleep.
- King: Ten inches longer than the standard size pillow, these are next closest to a body pillow. King pillows are good for people who toss and turn or use their pillow as a head and back rest while reading or watching TV.
- Euro: These pillows are unique because they’re square shaped. They come in several different sizes.
- Body: Body pillows are longer and typically used by people who like to snuggle up to a pillow at night. They’re great for pregnant women and people with hip or knee pain because they provide extra support and alignment.
As you can imagine, the price of your pillow goes up as the size increases. Still, it’s better to go with a larger size if you think standard will be too small. You don’t want to struggle to stay comfortable while you move around at night or find yourself with your head off your pillow by morning. A quality pillow is an investment, so get in the size that will give you the best possible night’s sleep.
When looking at pillow descriptions, you’ll usually see a certain firmness listed which can range from soft to firm. To figure out what firmness is right for you, start with your typical sleep position.
You might be wondering, are feather pillows good for your neck? Ideally, your pillow should allow for proper alignment of your neck, shoulders, and spine. You don’t want your neck to be leaning back or craning forward or you’ll likely wake up feeling stiff and sore.
Stomach sleepers should usually look for a flatter, softer pillow. Medium or firm feather pillow(s), depending on how high, will put your neck at an odd angle that won’t be very comfortable. The best feather pillows for stomach sleepers will be low loft and not too firm.
Back sleepers also usually want a pillow that is flatter, and softer, although if you tend to wake up with neck pain you may need a pillow that’s more medium/firm for extra support.
Side sleepers on the other hand, want to look for a pillow that will allow their head to stay straight, so it should be as high as the distance between your ear and shoulder. The best feather pillows for side sleepers are medium to firm, since soft pillows can cause your head to tilt down at an uncomfortable angle.
When it comes to feather pillows you will see different fill combinations, but most are a mix of feather and down. Feather-only pillows usually don’t last as long and tend to flatten more over time. Therefore, many people prefer a combination of feather and down.
One thing you’ll notice when browsing through feather and down pillow descriptions is a number called ‘Fill Power’. This number indicates the quality of down clusters in a pillow, their height, and how long they’ll retain firmness. A pillow with a fill power higher than 650 is considered premium in quality compared to one with a lower number. The best down pillow will have an 850-fill power or higher.
Pillows with higher fill power will have larger down clusters and tend to be more supportive. Larger down clusters are also lighter and more insulating than pillows with lower fill power numbers. That said, if you tend to sleep hot you may want a pillow with a slightly lower fill power to allow for more airflow and keep cooler at night. Keep in mind that fill power only applies to down and not feather-only pillows.
Buying a feather pillow with the right cover is important because you don’t want feathers poking you in the face while you sleep. You also want a barrier so that allergens can’t get into your pillow. A cover with a tight weave is the best choice.
One thing that you’ll want to note when looking at pillow cover materials is the thread count. A thread count between 200 and 800 indicates a quality fabric that is soft yet durable. A lower thread count will not be as soft or durable. Higher thread counts are more luxurious and higher quality.
A popular option for feather pillow covers is 100% cotton because it’s a soft and breathable fabric. Polyester is also a good choice for pillow covers because it’s water resistant, comfortable, and breathable.
One of the pros of feather pillows is that they tend to be durable and long-lasting when made well and cared for properly. When well-maintained, a good feather pillow typically lasts about two to three years. Although they tend to flatten under pressure, it’s easy to fluff feather pillows up manually or by letting them get air for a few hours outdoors when it’s sunny.
For even more durability, look for a feather pillow with double stitching. Double stitching is great because it can help stabilize the shape of your pillow, looks great, and reduces the chance of holes and tears affecting the lifetime of your pillow. Also, keep in mind that the higher the fill power in a down and feather pillow, the longer it will last. A pillow with low fill power will lose shape and loft more easily.
Cost of a Feather Pillow
Although some feather pillows can be expensive, most are usually affordable in comparison to other pillow types. When searching for a basic feather pillow, you’ll likely find options available in the $20 to $50 range.
To give you an idea of the comparison, basically the only pillows you’ll find consistently at a lower price point are down alternative and polyester pillows. Down only pillows are more expensive, usually in the $70 to $100 range, as are other pillow types including latex, memory foam, buckwheat, and natural/alternative pillows.
Of course, there are more expensive feather pillows out there. The price is going to be based on a few different factors, like what kind of waterfowl the feathers came from and how mature the birds were. The older the birds, the larger the down clusters and therefore you get better fill power and durability. Taking care of birds for a longer amount of time costs more though, which brings up the price.
Other factors that will affect your pillow price are the processes used to make the pillow, the down to feather ratio (more down will be more expensive) and the other materials used (for the cover, for example).
Other Pillow Types to Consider (and Why)
After reading all about feather pillows, you might be unsure as to whether they’re the right choice for you. Here are some other common pillow types as well as some of their benefits and drawbacks to consider:
Best For: Memory foam pillows conform to the shape of your head, providing more stability and pressure relieving support for people with neck, head, and shoulder pain.
Price Range: $50-$60
Best For: Latex pillows are a great choice for those who need a hypoallergenic pillow that is very supportive. Organic latex pillows are a great investment because they’re durable, with minimal smell, and handle heat and moisture better than synthetic latex.
Price Range: $40-$60
Best For: Buckwheat pillows are long lasting (approximately 10 years), adjustable, and supportive for people with neck pain. Air pockets make them breathable compared to some other pillows. However, buckwheat pillows are also heavier and too firm for some sleepers.
Best For: Alternative, all-natural pillows are made using organic, chemical-free materials like natural wool and plant-based foams. They’re great for environmentally conscious consumers, but they tend to be the most expensive pillows available.
Price ranges: $150+
Best For: Pillows made with 100% down are incredibly soft and lightweight, but they can lack the support that a down and feather combination provides. Down pillows are also more expensive.
Price ranges: $70-$100
Best For: Polyester pillows are inexpensive and easy to care for, but not the best choice for people with allergies because of their synthetic filling. Since they’re so affordable, they also need to be replaced more often than other, more durable pillow types.
Price range: $10-$15
Best For: Down alternative pillows are made with polyester puffballs. These pillows are good for people who like the feeling of down but have trouble with down pillows due to allergies/respiratory problems. Down alternative pillows also have a much lower price point.
Price range: $20-$30
The pillow you choose will have a lot to do with your budget and personal preference. If you dislike regularly fluffing pillows, suffer from neck, head, and shoulder pain, or prefer pillows that easily conform to the shape of your head, one of the above options might be better for you than feather pillows.
Feather pillows are great if you enjoy soft, snuggly pillows and don’t want to pay a fortune. However, it’s important to make sure you buy the right pillow for your needs by considering factors like fill, durability, and maintenance before deciding.
Remember that not all feather pillows are created equally. The companies reviewed above responsibly source their feathers and offer the best down pillows on Amazon. They follow strict cleaning standards to make sure that their pillows are high-quality, supportive, and safe for people with allergies.