Feather and Down pillows are the royalty of the pillow world, no doubt about it. The more down they have in them, the more expensive they typically are. However, the average consumer can find a reasonably priced model if it contains a higher percentage of feathers vs. down. There’s luxury available at every level when it comes to the best feather pillows, and we’ve rounded up the best options here for you. Take a look through our buyers guide, and cruise through our luxurious list of the best feather pillows on the market.
General Thoughts on Feather Pillow Materials & Design
Feather pillows are usually flatter than other pillow types making them a good option for side and stomach sleepers. Unlike down, the feather’s quills tend to naturally start to lay flat, or align with each other, thus making the pillow even flatter over time. The pillows quickly adjust to the movement of the head and neck, this creates adequate head support while still maintaining a proper spine alignment.
Furthermore, the soft feather pillows are easily moldable which means they can be easily shaped to offer a more custom feel in terms of loft and relaxation. Feather pillows are rated as some of the most comfortable and luxurious pillows in the market alongside pure-down pillows, which are more costly. Feather pillows offer a cost effective option and have an above-average lifespan.
A good night’s sleep plays a huge role in maintaining personal health. One key element to ensure healthy, restful sleep is having a pillow that provides comfort and support to the neck and head. Feather pillows are light, fluffy, soft pillows filled with carefully selected natural materials and can provide ideal support and comfort at a fair price. A higher percentage of down translates to a more softer/moldable/cuddly pillow that will last longer.
Five of the Best Feather Pillows
Here are the best feather pillows of 2016.
This well-priced pillow has a filling of 95% white goose feathers and 5% white goose down. Despite having a low price, this pillow is manufactured by a reputable company that is well known for its quality products. The pillow filling comes pre-treated to prevent allergic symptoms and remove bacteria, fungus, mold as well as mildew.
It has a thread count of 250 which means the fabric is strong enough to prevent poking by the feather quills while maintaining a soft and smooth surface. This set of pillows provides medium firmness which is perfect for most sleeping positions. Unlike most brands, these pillows do not have a lingering odor. They are also available in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.
This traditional feather pillows, made by Down & Feather Co., come in various firmness options such as soft, medium, firm and extra firm. The pillow is filled with high quality 100% Hungarian goose feathers and enclosed in fashionable blue and white stripped 100% cotton shell that has a 220 thread count. The shell is well-sealed using a knife edge stitching technique to prevent the feathers from falling out. The use of high quality feathers means less poking when one is sleeping. It provides the ideal density for back and side sleepers and guarantees a comfortable and neutral position for the spine.
This Original Soft Feather Pillow is the best alternative for people looking to replace their old traditional style pillows. Additionally, Down & Feather Co. has perfected making and designing of pillows for over a hundred years.
This pillow has a filling of 95% white goose feathers and 5% white goose down. It is enclosed in a 100% cotton cover that has a 240 thread count. The fillings are prior-processed with antibacterial treatment to avoid growth of fungus, bacteria, mildew and mold while still maintaining long lasting freshness. The white goose feather/down combination delivers coziness and support by gently cushioning the pressure points in the upper body. The White Goose Feather and Goose Down Pillows by Sweet Jojo Designs are sold in a set of two and are available in queen and king size. They have a comfy soft feel and are very cheap which makes them some of the top rated feather pillows in the market.
This hypoallergenic pillow is filled with 75% white goose feathers and 25% white goose down. The outer shell is made of preshrunk 100% cotton and has a 235 thread count. The fillings are pretreated to remove and prevent growth of bacteria, fungus, mildew and mold. The high percentage of soft white goose down provides coziness while the feathers provide the ideal loft. The 25% down percentage also makes it fluffy and easily moldable thus it is a good option for any sleeping position. The moderate firmness keeps the head and neck level with the rest of the body. The pillows are available in queen, king sizes and custom sizes of 1’8”×2’2” and 2’2”×2’2”.
These luxury bed pillows are filled with premium quality 95% white goose feathers and 5% white goose down. The pillow shell is made of 100% cotton and has a 400 thread count which prevents the feathers from falling out and also ensures a soft and smooth surface. They are uniquely stuffed and designed to allow breathability, keep the head cool and provide support all through the night. The pillows have an appealing stitching style that allows a wide array of choices for decorative pillow cases.
The manufacturers, Sweet Home Collection, have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and supportive customer care team to ensure the consumer gets value out of the product. This luxury bed pillow is available in standard, queen and king sizes
Key Benefits of feather Pillows
- Health benefits – Feather pillows are the best option for people with asthma as compared to man-made synthetic options. Studies show that tightly woven or allergen-proof covers on the pillows provide an effective barrier against allergens like dust mites. Some researchers observed that pillows filled with synthetic materials tend to contain more dust mites over time than feather pillows. Feather pillows offer medium firmness, which is enough to provide adequate loft and comfort for stomach sleepers and side sleepers. Just like mattresses, the right kind of pillow brings about numerous health benefits mostly drawn from having a comfortable, night’s sleep.
- Reputation – Most people that use feather pillows can attest that they are lowly priced, durable, comfortable and have minimal heat retention. Temperature regulation and heat dissipation is an often ignored factor and is mainly dependent on the materials used. Feather pillows do not trap or retain body heat, rather they effectively release the heat hence the surface remains cool all through the night. The pillows are also very light making them the most preferred for travel. Due to the soft materials used, they are very moldable and cuddly for peaceful night’s rest.
- Price – Feather pillows are generally reasonably priced without forgoing quality. High quality feather pillows are cheap and provide and provide value for money as they can last up to 10 years. The cheapest pillows in the market are polyester pillows. However, they have a short life span (six months to two years) and pose potential threat to personal health and the environment due to the chemicals used.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Feather Pillow
The feather quills in these pillows tend to flatten over time and may be favorable for stomach sleepers; however over time a flat pillow becomes very uncomfortable which results to consistent fluffing. Manufacturers have tried to curb this issue by adding down clusters to the feathers which slows down the degeneration. Nonetheless, feather pillows require frequent fluffing preferably on a daily basis to get rid of dust mites and keep it clean and fresh.
Cleaning is also a major issue, if not properly cleaned the pillows may get damaged or lead to health issues. Drying the pillow too hot can easily scorch the fill and also if left wet for too long may lead to a foul-smelling mold. Moreover, washing and drying can result to clumping of the down clusters which will cause the pillow to become flat and lump. Caution should be taken in dry cleaning feather pillows to prevent damage and help them have a longer lifespan. A pillow protector which is actually quite cheap can help in keeping the pillow clean and stain-free, away from oils and moisture.
Feathers especially down is often reported to cause allergic reactions, but the greatest reason for the allergy symptoms is that the feathers and down may harbor dust mites or mold. The feathers tend to be more allergenic with age due the continued contamination over time. It is recommended that feather pillows be replaced every six months.
Feather pillows may feel sweaty especially during summer since the feather-fill can restrict free air flow. In addition, they may not offer ideal support for people with bigger body sizes or people suffering from neck or upper body pain. Other alternative pillow types include latex, micro-bead, buckwheat, foam, polyester and cotton & wool pillows. However, 100% down pillows offer the best alternate to feather pillows.
Some of the major elements to consider before choosing the best feather pillows are outlined below:
Types of Feathers
These pillows have a blend of feathers and down collected from geese or ducks, with a higher percentage of feathers than that of down. Goose feathers offer the best quality fill over duck feathers and are equally more expensive. The color of goose feathers is also more solid white. Duck feathers on the other hand are a cheaper and less popular option. They have a slightly off-white color; however some manufacturers may bleach them for a more pure appeal. The best feather pillows tend to have goose feather and goose down mixture at various ratios, although feathers are always more.
The cover is the outer shell of the pillow which will be in contact with the head, neck and shoulders thus it is important to consider it before choosing the pillow. The most ideal covers tend be 100% cotton with a 200+ thread count. Covers containing a proportion of polyester blend combined with cotton simply mean lesser quality. The thread count helps determine the tightness of the fabric used. A tightly woven fabric prevents being poked by the feather quills. A higher thread count indicates that the fabric is tightly woven as compared to a fabric with a lower thread count. A pillow with a higher thread count offers the best quality and usually feels soft and smooth. Some covers are made hypoallergenic materials like bamboo to bar against allergens.
The firmness of a feather pillow is mainly determined by the amount of down or feathers stuffed into it. The more feathers it contains the firmer it will be and vice versa. Cozy, soft pillows are the most ideal for stomach sleepers as they don’t raise the head too much while side sleepers tend to need firmer feather pillows.
The size of pillow is mainly dependent on personal preference, brand and budget. Feather pillows like other types are available in common sizes like Regular (20” × 26”), Standard (20” × 28”), Queen (20” × 30”) and King (20” × 36”).
The preferred sleeping position is a major factor to consider before purchasing any pillow. The ideal pillow must comfortably support the natural spinal curves. A pillow that is too high or too low will not allow for a comfortable and neutral neck position. Feather pillows are generally moldable and provide medium to soft firmness which is ideal for stomach and side sleepers. Persons with large body sizes tend to have big-sized heads or broad shoulders thus require thicker pillows to support their weight. Feather pillows may not properly provide the required thickness and loft to support the head especially for side sleepers.
The firmness of a mattress is also a key consideration when buying a new feather pillow. A firm mattress will require a pillow with more thickness/loft while a softer one will require a pillow with less thickness/loft. This is to ensure proper support and neck alignment and will prevent shoulder or neck pain. Lastly, some of the high quality pillows come with a manufacturer’s warranty.