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A mattress topper is an extra layer added to the top of a mattress to change its feel. Toppers can make the bed softer or firmer, and they can add more cushioning or support. While choosing the right mattress for you can improve your sleep experience, combining it with the right mattress topper can take your sleep surface to the next level.
Several different materials are commonly used in mattress toppers, including latex, polyfoam, memory foam, down alternative, down, and feathers.
Feather mattress toppers, also called featherbeds, typically contain feathers, down, or a combination of the two. The down and feathers used in a topper may come from ducks, geese, or both. Feather toppers are perhaps best known for their softness and luxury, but many sleepers also appreciate their breathability, responsiveness, and added support.
Even if you’ve narrowed down your topper search to feather toppers, you’ll have a lot of choices to make. There are many feather toppers on the market, and their unique materials and designs have direct impacts on their performance. We’ll cover our top picks for the best feather mattress toppers, explain what makes them unique, and go over some of the most important factors to consider as you shop.
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The Parachute Down Mattress Topper is a luxury topper that balances plushness and support. This 550 fill power feather bed is constructed of two chambers. The top chamber has a softer feel for surface-level cushioning, while the bottom chamber is firmer to limit sagging and sinkage.
Premium, all-natural European white down makes up the topper fill. In total, it contains 85 percent down and 15 percent down and feather fibers. The use of primarily down gives the topper an especially soft, cozy feel without as much risk of feather quill shafts poking out. A sateen cotton shell encases the fill and lets airflow into and out of the topper so that excessive heat can escape.
Thanks to its baffle box construction, the down and feather fill fluffs up nicely and stays evenly distributed across the surface. This topper measures 3 inches thick, leaving plenty of room for the sleeper to sink in and enjoy a luxury hotel feel. Parachute uses down which has been certified by the Responsible Down Standard, meaning the birds were cared for following certain guidelines about humane treatment. The topper is dry clean only.
Free domestic ground shipping is available within the United States. The Parachute Down Mattress Topper is eligible for a 60-day return policy and a 3-year warranty.
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The best feather toppers provide a balance of softness and support, resulting in a cloud-like feel without excessive sinkage. That’s the case for the Standard Textile Down Featherbed, which features a top layer of plush pure down over a second layer that primarily consists of feather fill. Most sleepers will sink a bit beneath the surface, but the base layer provides decent reinforcement for side and back sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds.
The topper’s shell is made of breathable cotton, which offsets the down’s heat-insulating properties to a noticeable degree. Thick baffle-box stitching helps the topper maintain a full shape with minimal clumping or shifting, and also prevents fill from escaping. The seams are piped for added stability.
The down and feathers have received certification from the Responsible Down Standard, ensuring the topper is cruelty-free. The featherbed is also OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified, which means it does not contain any harmful chemicals and is safe for all ages.
The Down Featherbed’s price-point is quite reasonable compared to other similarly constructed toppers. Standard Textile also offers full refunds and free shipping on all returns initiated within 90 days of your original purchase.
SF readers get the best price at Brooklinen
The Brooklinen Down Mattress Topper offers a balanced feel that’s hard to come by with feather beds. The topper contains 600 fill power white duck down to create a luxuriously lofty layer that will make any mattress feel softer, but white feathers form the base layer to ensure decent overall support. And while a breathable cotton shell circulates air and helps the topper sleep cool, the down and fathers also insulate heat well and offer plenty of warmth.
Made in Canada, the topper features large baffle boxes that distribute the fill quite nicely and reduce the need for constant fluffing. Brooklinen offers three sizes: full, queen, and king. In order to preserve the topper’s structure and prolong its lifespan, you should only dry clean it as necessary and never attempt to wash it in a machine.
The price-point for this topper is quite reasonable, given the loft and quality of its down-feather fill, and Brooklinen will ship it for free for all U.S. orders. Each purchase comes with a trial period that allows customers to test out the topper for an entire year and return it if not satisfied.
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Many people are unable to enjoy the invitingly plush feel of down and feather toppers for a simple reason: these materials trigger allergy symptoms that negatively affect sleep. These individuals are prime candidates for the Down on Top Feather Bed from Pacific Coast. The Hyperclean down that forms the uppermost layer of this topper is washed at least eight times to all but eliminate allergens. Every purchase is also backed by Pacific Coast’s Allergy Free Warranty, which ensures buyers will receive a full refund if they experience any unpleasant symptoms.
A layer of Resilia feathers make up the base layer. Feathers provide more support than down, so most sleepers can sink into the topper and enjoy the cloud-like sensation without sinking excessively and bottoming out. The shell is composed of 230 thread count cotton to promote air circulation and keep the surface cool.
A fill power of 525 keeps the topper feeling luxuriously lofty. Thick blue cording along the border helps prevent rips and tears that allow fill to escape, and the sides are equipped with handles to assist with fluffing the topper. You shouldn’t machine wash the topper – dry cleaning is recommended – but you may spot clean the shell if stains occur.
In addition to the Allergy Free Warranty, each purchase is backed by a 3-year standard warranty against structural defects. Pacific Coast’s sleep trial lasts 30 nights in length, and all returns qualify for free return shipping. Standard ground delivery is also free of charge for all orders of $75 or more in the contiguous U.S.
Best Pressure Relief
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Featherbeds generally offer a plush feel that many sleepers enjoy, but some find these toppers too soft and sink excessively as a result. The Legends Hotel Ultimate Down Featherbed from The Company Store stands out from the competition thanks in part to a medium feel that resists deep sinkage for people who weigh up to 230 pounds – especially side and back sleepers.
The fill primarily consists of white feathers that provide decent reinforcement, along with a decent amount of down to provide the lofty feel people have come to expect from this type of topper. These materials have been certified by the Responsible Down Standard, ensuring no animals are harmed or mistreated in order to produce the topper.
The shell is made of cotton twill, a smooth and durable material that is less likely to rip or tear than sateen and percale, so escaping feathers and down shouldn’t be a problem. Deep baffles also help to evenly distribute the fill and prevent clumping or shifting. The topper should only be spot cleaned, not dry cleaned or machine washed.
While the sticker price for this topper is somewhat steep, The Company Store will ship for free anywhere in the lower 48 states for orders of $50 or more. All returns are honored within 90 days of the original purchase, even if you’ve slept on the topper.
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The Natural Nights Goose Down Topper from Down & Feather Co. epitomizes many of the characteristics people have come to expect from luxury feather beds. The topper contains large clusters of Hungarian goose down with a fill power of 700+, ensuring a very plush and lofty feel.
The shell – made of 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton – is also impeccably crafted. The cotton has earned certification from the Global Organic Textile Standard while the fill is certified by the Responsible Down Standard, so owners can rest easy knowing both components of the topper are sustainably and ethically produced.
The cotton also promotes excellent breathability and cooling to counteract the down’s heat-trapping properties, resulting in above-average temperature regulation for this type of topper. Double-stitching between the baffles also reduces the potential for tears and rips, which can prevent fill from escaping and extend the topper’s lifespan. You can choose from twin, full, queen, and king sizes.
The expensive price-point for this topper reflects its high-end composition and design, and may limit it to shoppers with large budgets. As an added incentive, Down & Feather Co. will provide a 10-year warranty against structural defects. You’ll also be able to try out the topper for up to 30 nights before deciding whether to return it or keep it.
These are some of the main factors to consider as you consider a feather mattress topper. While some of these factors may not be as important to you as others, most shoppers will want to prioritize a few of these items over the rest to help find the best topper for them.
Some manufacturers may make misleading claims that imply their feather topper will be the ideal solution for any sleeper, but it’s important to remember that each individual has unique needs and preferences. While a topper may feel comfortable for many people, it may not be right for your needs. Focusing on the actual traits of different toppers with your needs in mind can help you find the best match for you.
Because down and feathers vary widely in price, so do mattress toppers that use these materials. Budget-friendly options can cost less than $100, while some luxury options are over $1,000. However, most feather toppers cost between $100 and $300.
Your preferred sleeping position affects your pressure points and spinal alignment, so it is an important factor in determining which feather topper is best for you.
Side sleepers may prefer a feather topper with more cushioning to reduce pressure buildup around their hips and shoulders. Down fill usually adds plushness, so a topper with more down may appeal to side sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers usually need more support to keep their spines well aligned, so they may prefer a topper with a significant feather layer to help prevent them from sinking in excessively.
Feather and down toppers are often seen as high quality, but as with most materials, quality varies. Down generally has a stronger reputation for quality than feathers because it’s usually softer, fluffier, and lacks quills. Goose down is also typically higher quality than duck down because geese usually produce larger down clusters, lending to a fluffier topper. Some inexpensive toppers may also use chicken feathers, which tend to be more prickly and less soft.
The firmness of a feather topper can affect its supportiveness and pressure relieving capability, but feather mattress topper manufacturer’s do not typically rate the firmness level. Luckily, shoppers can deduce a lot about a feather topper’s feel based on its construction. A topper with more feather fill will typically be more supportive, while a topper with more down will probably be softer and fluffier. Many feather toppers contain both feather and down to strike a balance between softness and support.
The thickness of a feather topper influences how significantly it alters the feel of your existing mattress. If you like the feel of your existing bed, a thin feather topper can provide a bit of plushness. If your existing bed is too soft or too firm, a thicker topper can adjust the feel so that it more closely matches your needs and preferences.
Feathers and down do not contour to the body and redistribute weight like memory foam, polyfoam, and latex, so a feather topper may not relieve pressure as much as some alternatives. However, some sleepers feel the cushioning of a feather topper reduces their pressure points.
The pressure-relieving properties of a feather topper depend largely on its thickness and materials. While most feather toppers can relieve pressure to an extent, thicker toppers and those that contain down typically provide more cushioning than thinner toppers and those with exclusively feather fill.
How long does a feather mattress topper last?
Like most mattress toppers, feather mattress toppers typically last for at least two years. However, high-quality feather toppers that are well cared for may last for much longer.
How can I clean a feather mattress topper?
Most feather mattress toppers are dry clean only. Owners should follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to protect their feather topper’s quality and longevity.
Where can I buy a feather mattress topper?
Feather mattress toppers are widely available through manufacturers, bedding companies, home stores, and department stores.
How can I store a feather mattress topper?
Feather mattress toppers can typically be rolled up and packed into a storage bag or container. The topper should be kept in a dry area away from direct sunlight in order to prevent potential damage. If you’re unsure of how to store your feather mattress topper, contact the manufacturer for instructions.
Are feather mattress toppers ethical?
Down and feathers are often harvested when the birds are slaughtered for food, so it can be viewed as ethically akin to leather. More potential ethical concerns arise from a process known as “live-plucking,” during which feathers and down are removed from a living bird. Since this process is extremely painful, it is prohibited in some parts of the world.
If you’re concerned about how the ducks and geese are treated, you may prefer to look for RDS certified products. This standard prohibits force-feeding and live-plucking.
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