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Do you prefer pillows with an exceptionally plush feel that sink beneath your head and neck? Are you more partial to light pillows that are very moldable and ideal for snuggling? If you answered yes to either question, then you may be a great candidate for a down pillow. Down refers to the inner plumage of ducks and geese, which is very soft and lightweight. Some pillows only contain down while others contain a blend of down and feathers, the coarser outer plumage of the same birds.

Ethical sourcing is an important consideration for down pillows. Since the down and feathers must be extracted from animals, consumers should research how different pillows are sourced and constructed.

Read on to learn more about down pillows in terms of pricing, available designs, and performance across different categories. Below, you’ll find our top eight picks for down pillows sold today. Each selection is based on experiences and reviews from verified owners, as well as our own product research and analysis.

In-Depth Reviews

The Brooklinen Down Pillow is plush, lofty, breathable, and long-lasting. You can choose from three density levels based on your preferred sleep position, and all orders come with a generous 365-night sleep trial

  • Pros

    1. Three firmness levels to accommodate different sleep positions

    2. Breathable cotton shell reduces heat retention

    3. Lengthy sleep trial lets you test the pillow for up to a year

  • Cons

    1. Pillow cannot be machine-washed

    2. May trigger allergy symptoms

Price Range

$109 – $149


Canadian white down clusters or down/feather blend


Plush, Mid-Plush, Firm

The Brooklinen Down Pillow exemplifies many of the qualities people have come to love about this pillow type. The interior does not include any chambers or baffles, resulting in a traditional feel – though support level depends on the selected loft level. The soft “plush” feel contains 100 percent down, resulting in deep sinkage around the head and neck. This will be the most comfortable choice for many stomach sleepers. The medium “mid-plush” and firm feels mostly contain feathers, so you’ll feel more reinforcement and sink much less. We recommend these loftier options for side and back sleepers.

A shell made of smooth cotton sateen encases the entire pillow and double-stitched seams help to keep the cover intact and prevent escaping fill. The down and feathers are also treated during production to remove microbes that trigger allergies for some sleepers. Spot or dry cleaning is recommended if stains occur, but you can freshen up the pillow and expand its shape by placing it in a dryer on an air fluff setting.

Regardless of which loft you choose, the Brooklinen Down Pillow is very affordable. Brooklinen also allows you to return the pillow in exchange for a full refund within 365 days of purchase, even if you’ve used and cleaned it. Shipping is free for customers in all 50 states, as well.

Boll & Branch’s Down Chamber Pillow is plush on the surface and supportive to its core, giving sleepers the best of both worlds. Three density levels are available — we recommend the low loft for stomach sleeping, mid-range loft for back sleeping, and high loft for side sleeping.

  • Pros

    1. Multiple density options to accommodate different sleep positions

    2. Chambered construction delivers exceptional plushness without sacrificing support

    3. Cover composed of breathable, silky-smooth organic cotton

  • Cons

    1. Not suitable for people with down and feather allergies

    2. People who prefer exceptionally firm pillows may not be satisfied with any of the density options

Price Range

$159 – $219


White down, down/feather blend



The Boll & Branch Down Chamber Pillow has a luxuriously plush feel without sacrificing support, which is a tricky feat for down pillows. It also comes in three firmness levels — soft, medium, and firm — so you can choose the option that works best for your sleep position and personal preferences.

The pillow is composed of three chambers to achieve an optimal balance of cushioning and support. The soft version contains down in all three chambers, resulting in an ultra-plush feel. In the medium and firm designs, you’ll find feathers in the core and down in the two outer chambers. This results in firmer support while maintaining cradling on the surface.

Side sleepers on our team preferred the firm model and, in some cases, the medium. These pillows were thick and voluminous enough to support the head and neck. Back sleepers gravitated toward the medium option, while stomach sleepers benefited most from the deep compression of the soft pillow. The shell is made with breathable cotton, and down and feathers retain minimal heat, so the Down Chamber Pillow stayed fairly comfortable for hot sleepers.

Boll & Branch offers free shipping for orders in the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive a 30-night sleep trial to try out the pillow.

The Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow is ideal for anyone who enjoys exceptionally soft surfaces. Pure down with 700 fill power ensures an exceptionally plush feel, and two available densities mean there’s an option for every sleep position.

  • Pros

    1. 700 fill power down is luxuriously plush and lofty

    2. Silky-smooth cotton shell is reinforced with thick piping

    3. All orders include a yearlong sleep trial

  • Cons

    1. Frequent fluffing needed to maintain a full shape

    2. Strong odor may be present for the first few nights

Price Range

$120 – $159


100% European white goose down


Medium Soft, Medium Firm

Quince’s Luxe Goose Down Pillow showcases the supreme plushness and loftiness of its namesake fill material, creating a cloud-like surface for your head and neck. A silky-smooth cotton sateen cover reinforced with durable piping adds to the hotel-inspired design, and the sticker price is approachable for most budgets.

You can choose from two density levels depending on which sleep position you primarily use. The soft/medium design is best suited to stomach sleepers because it sinks quite deeply, cushioning the head and minimizing neck strain when you lie face down. Side and back sleepers should consider the medium/firm pillow because it props the head up higher, and this helps ensure even alignment and fewer pressure points in the neck and shoulders.

A smooth cotton shell encases the fill. Thick piping reinforces the seams to prevent rips and tears, but proper care is important for keeping the shell intact. Wash the pillow in cold water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, then tumble dry on the lowest possible setting. A certification from the Responsible Down Standard indicates Quince’s commitment to ethical and humane practices, so you can sleep soundly knowing no animals were harmed to procure the down.

U.S. customers qualify for free standard shipping with their order. Each Luxe Goose Down Pillow purchase comes with a 365-night trial period — one of the longest in the online bedding industry.

With the Legends Hotel Supreme Down Pillow, you can bring the comfort and elegance of a luxury suite to your own bedroom. Plush goose down encased in smooth cotton sateen creates a cloud-like cradle for your head and neck.

  • Pros

    1. Available in four firmness and density levels

    2. Cotton sateen shell is smooth, silky-soft, and breathable

    3. RDS certification ensures ethical and humane animal treatment

  • Cons

    1. Pillow is not machine-washable and can only be dry cleaned

    2. Fill may emit a strong odor for the first few nights

Price Range

$169 – $369


100% 600-fill power white goose down


Soft, Medium, Medium Firm, Firm

The Legends Hotel Supreme Down Pillow from The Company Store has a luxurious design similar to the kind of pillow you might find in a high-end hotel. It contains 600 fill power white goose down, creating a cloud-like feel for the head and neck, while the shell is made from sateen-woven cotton with a silky-soft feel. The borders are double-stitched to enhance longevity and prevent fill from leaking.

The pillow is available in four firmness options — soft, medium, firm, and extra firm. The soft model is the least dense and offers the thinnest profile, making it best suited to stomach sleepers. The medium and firm options are fuller and comfortable for back sleepers and some side sleepers. The extra firm pillow is the thickest and beneficial for side sleepers, since it amply fills the space between neck and bed surface.

The down carries certification from the Responsible Down Standard to ensure no animals were mistreated to obtain the plumage. You can choose between a standard, queen, or king size. 

The Supreme Down Pillow qualifies for free shipping. The Company Store also offers a sleep trial, which allows you to test out the pillow for 30 nights. You may return the pillow during this time period for a full refund minus a small return fee. The pillow is also backed by a lifetime warranty.

The PlushBeds Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow contains lofty duck down, which creates a luxuriously plush surface for your head and neck. A cotton shell with double-stitched seams completes the hotel-inspired design.

  • Pros

    1. Above-average support for a down pillow

    2. Feathers and 550 fill power down provide plush, cloud-like cradling

    3. RDS certification ensures ethical and humane animal treatment

  • Cons

    1. Pillow can only be dry cleaned or spot cleaned

    2. Returns are not allowed at any point

Price Range

$120 – $136


550 fill power white duck down, feather fill



Down pillows are known for their softness, but the PlushBeds Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow stands apart from the competition for providing support in addition to fluffiness. This is ideal for sleepers who enjoy luxuriously plush pillows but also need a pillow that supports the head and neck.

The core of the pillow is filled with a feather and down blend. The density of this core is what gives the pillow its firmness. Meanwhile an outer layer of fill contains 550 fill power white duck down, which is very soft and cradles the head and neck. The cover is made of 100% cotton cambric with a 230 thread count, and the edge is double-stitched for durability.

The pillow has a medium feel that is best suited to sleepers who need some support for their head and neck but who also enjoy or require contouring. The pillow has Responsible Down Standard certification that helps ensure the down was produced using humane and cruelty-free methods.

PlushBeds offers a two-year warranty with this pillow but does not allow returns, due to sanitary reasons. Shipping within the contiguous U.S. is free.

The Helix Down & Feather Pillow is plush and lofty, making it particularly well suited to side sleepers and people with frequent neck pain. Affordable pricing and free shipping to all 50 states should also appeal to shoppers with tight budgets.

  • Pros

    1. Triple-chamber construction features soft down padding and a supportive feather core

    2. Double-stitched perimeter helps the shell resist wear and tear

    3. RDS certification indicates animals are treated ethically during every stage of production

  • Cons

    1. Pillow is not machine-washable and should only be spot cleaned or dry cleaned

    2. Some owners report an unpleasant smell for the first few nights

Price Range

$95 – $110


White Down, Feathers



For all of their positive qualities, down pillows feel exceptionally soft and may not provide adequate support for the head and neck. Aches and pains can follow. The Helix Down & Feather Pillow features a three-chamber design consisting of down cushioning the surface and feathers filling the core. This results in a plush feel as you lie down, but the feathers reinforce the outer chambers to prevent excessive sinkage. 

A shell made of crisp cotton cambric encases the fill. Double-stitched seams strengthen the perimeter and protect the fabric from rips and tears that can allow the down and feathers to escape. The pillow isn’t machine-washable — spot clean the shell if stains occur — so you may want to invest in a pillowcase or protector. Standard and king sizes are available. A certification from the Responsible Down Standard ensures plumage is never collected from live birds, and that the animals are humanely treated, fed, and sheltered during their entire lifespan.

The Down & Feather Pillow carries a relatively low price-point compared to other pillows of comparable construction and quality. Helix also delivers the pillow free of charge to customers in all 50 states. Your order comes with a generous sleep trial spanning 100 nights in length. If you decide to keep the pillow after the return period ends, you’ll also receive a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Pacific Coast’s Hotel Down Surround Pillow boasts luxurious construction with lofty fill encased in soft organic cotton, but its sticker price falls well below average. The plush feel is a good match for people with chronic neck or shoulder pain.

  • Pros

    1. Down and feather fill and lyocell fibers cradle the head and neck while maintaining support

    2. Soft organic cotton cover is trimmed with cording to prevent rips and tears

    3. RDS certification indicates ethical animal treatment and practices

  • Cons

    1. Pillow may be too large for some household washing machines

    2. Strong initial odor may take up to 72 hours to dissipate

Price Range

$79 – $89


550 Fill power Hyperclean down and Resilia feather


Medium Firm

Down and feather pillows are prized for their luxurious softness, and the Hotel Down Surround Pillow from Pacific Coast is no exception. The decadently plush surface relieves pressure buildup in your head and neck, and the price-point is reasonable compared to other quality pillows we’ve tested. 

The pillow is composed of two chambers, with the outer chamber containing a blend of down and lyocell and the inner chamber filled with feathers. The result is a medium firm (6) feel that provides a nice balance of support and cushioning, which should appeal to many side and back sleepers.

A shell composed of organic cotton encases the fill. The fabric is highly breathable, allowing air to circulate and maintaining a cool feel on the surface. Thick cording trims the cover’s perimeter to strengthen the fabric and reduce the potential for rips and tears. The pillow is machine-washable and compatible with most household appliances. Make sure your machines are large enough to accommodate the pillow.

Pacific Coast offers a 30-night trial, during which you may return the pillow for a refund minus shipping charges. Shipping is free on orders over $99 in the contiguous U.S. For orders below $99, Pacific Coast provides low-cost shipping. You’ll receive a three-year warranty against structural and material defects.

Thanks to a thick profile with densely packed fill and gusseted side panels, the Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow truly lives up to its name — people who use this position receive ample cushioning to fill the space between their head and shoulder. Blended down and feathers create a luxuriously plush surface that won’t sink or compress too deeply.

  • Pros

    1. Plush, cloud-like down and feather fill

    2. Gusseted design ensures exceptional shape retention

    3. Shell composed of silky-smooth cotton sateen

  • Cons

    1. Initial odor may be unpleasant for the first few nights

    2. Too thick for most back and stomach sleepers

Price Range

$159 – Standard $199 – King


85% European white down, 15% down/feather blend



Side sleepers often struggle with down pillows because they are not lofty enough, resulting in uncomfortable sinkage along the head and neck. As its name implies, the Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow is designed to remedy this issue. A thick 3.5-inch gusset along the sides helps the pillow maintain a thick, full shape that is conducive to the side sleeping position. This gusset is reinforced with thick piping for added longevity.

Although the pillow has a medium feel, most of its fill consists of premium European white down. This creates a plush, cloud-like feel. The cover is made from smooth cotton sateen, making this pillow a good option for people with sensitive skin. Parachute recommends machine washing the pillow in a cold, gentle cycle with mild detergent if it needs to be cleaned, though dry cleaning is also acceptable. Standard and king sizes are available.

Parachute offers free shipping to all 50 states, as well as Army and Air Post Office locations. You may return the pillow for a full refund within 60 days of your original order, even if it has been used or cleaned. A three-year warranty is also included with each purchase.

Best Down Pillows Video

Our product experts got hands-on with some of our favorite down pillows, offering an in-depth look at each pillow’s design and materials. Watch the video to get a better idea of how the pillows feel and perform.

What Is Down?

Down feathers, or simply just down, are the soft inner plumage found beneath coarser exterior feathers of ducks and geese. Ducklings and goslings are entirely covered in down when they are very young; as they age, the exterior feathers will develop. Since down’s primary purpose is to insulate birds against the cold, the material has become very popular in jackets, vests, gloves, and other garments intended for cold weather. Down is also exceptionally soft and lightweight, making it ideal for pillows, comforters, and other bedding accessories. Some products contain 100 percent down and are labeled as such, but most feature a blend of down and feathers.

The plush feel of down pillows causes them to sink deeply beneath your head and neck while you sleep. This distinguishes down pillows from other pillow types – such as memory foam, latex, and buckwheat – that feel firmer and provide stronger support. Goose down typically comes in thicker clusters. As a result, goose down pillows often feel plusher and more insulating than those filled with duck down.

Read on to learn more about how to find the best down feather pillows. This guide will discuss price expectations, size availability, pros and cons for sleepers, and ethical considerations for this type of pillow.

How to Choose a Down Pillow

Most down pillows offer a similar feel characterized by exceptional plushness and deep sinkage beneath the head and neck. However, there are subtle differences between these pillow models that make them better suited for some types of sleepers and less suited for others. Important considerations include the type of down used, ratio of down to feathers, cover material, loft, and price-point. We also encourage shoppers to research the down and feather harvesting practices of different companies to ensure their pillows and other products are ethically sourced and manufactured.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Down Pillow

While misleading claims and specs are widely used throughout the mattress and bedding industry, this problem is particularly common with products containing down. Some pillows contain 100 percent down, but most contain a blend of down and feathers from the same type of bird. The feathers provide more support to stabilize the pillow and prevent excessive sinkage.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates how down and feather pillows and other products are labeled. According to the International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory (IDFL), pillows containing at least 75 percent down require the percentage of down to be listed on the product tag. If a pillow contains less than 75 percent down, then percentages for both down and feather fill must both be listed. Only pillows that contain 100 percent down can carry this listing.

Below, you’ll find the most important considerations to take into account when shopping for a down pillow.


Loft, or thickness, affects how supportive the pillow feels. Side sleepers generally need more loft in order to align the head and neck with the spine, which in turn reduces pressure throughout the body. Back sleepers need some loft to keep their body on an even plane, but too much can elevate the head and create neck and shoulder pain. For most stomach sleepers, a low-loft down pillow allows them to rest comfortably without contorting their head too much.

Fill Ratio

As we discussed above, 100 percent down pillows can be found but they are somewhat scarce and usually quite expensive. High feather content in a down pillow may drive down the price-point and make the pillow more supportive, but this can cause the pillow to feel less plush. For most sleepers, 50 to 80 percent down is the sweet spot – you’ll feel soft cushioning of down without sacrificing feather support for the head and neck.


Support is tied to both loft and down/feather content. For any given sleeper, the pillow should keep the head and neck upright and even with the rest of the body. Other factors like head size and sleep position can change how supportive a pillow feels, too. It’s important to note that traditional down pillows sink a bit and do not offer the same support as pillows with sturdier fill materials, such as memory foam, latex, or buckwheat hulls.

Firmness Level

How soft or firm you prefer your pillow to be is likely tied to your sleep position and head/shoulder dimensions. When browsing different down pillows, look for the “fill power” of each model. This indicates how dense the down fill is and, consequently, how firm or soft the pillow will feel. A lofty down pillow with high fill power will probably be the firmest option – but even then, down pillows tend to feel softer compared to other pillow types.

Pressure Relief

While down molds closely to the head and neck, the material doesn’t conform evenly to provide support and alleviate pressure quite like foam or latex. Since down pillows tend to sink a bit, some sleepers may experience added or increased pressure as their head falls back.


Most down pillows are sold in traditional standard, queen, and king sizes, all of which have a rectangular shape. Some brands offer body pillows padded with down and feather fill, as well, but these models are fairly rare. Contoured and orthopedic down pillows are virtually non-existent; in order to reduce neck and shoulder pain, these pillows are constructed from foams, latex, and other denser materials.


The average down pillow costs between $80 and $200 in a standard or queen size. Expect to pay more for pillows with 100 percent down content or a high content of goose down. Those with higher ratios of feather fill will typically cost less.

Quality Materials

The quality of a down pillow can affect how it performs in different areas. Dense down with a high fill power will give the pillow a fuller shape that requires less fluffing and shaking on your part. Cover quality is also important, since shell fabrics that deteriorate quickly can cause the down and feathers to escape and essentially ruin the pillow.


Moldability refers to how snuggly a pillow is and whether it can be scrunched into different shapes to provide more or less support. Down pillows are very moldable due to their soft fill. They are a great option for people who like snuggling with a pillow or prefer a bolster between their knees.

Temperature Regulation

Since down insulates birds beneath their exterior feathers, you may notice more heat buildup with down pillows. That said, these pillows generally don’t sleep as warm as pillows with polyfoam or memory foam fill. The composition of the cover can play a role in temperature regulation since some fabrics – such as organic cotton and cotton percale – are more breathable than others.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Down Pillows?

Down pillows offer an exceptionally plush and lightweight feel that distinguish them from other pillow types. Some sleepers find the softness and sinking effect quite comfortable – but for others, the pillows do not provide enough support to the head and neck. And while down pillows can provide above-average insulation in colder weather, the insulating properties of down cause them to sleep excessively warm for some people.

  • If you prefer a softer feel for your pillow, then you’re probably well suited to down. The material offers unparalleled plushness and cushioning for the head and neck, even compared to feathers, and you’ll sink quite deeply into the pillow.
  • Down’s main purpose is to keep ducks and geese warm. As a result, many down pillows provide excellent insulation during colder times of the year.
  • The soft and lightweight feel of down pillows makes them ideal for snuggling. They can also be scrunched into different shapes.
  • Most down pillows are designed for durability. The covers will be piped or double-stitched around the seams to prevent down and feathers from escaping and the fill itself will not lose its softness over time.
  • While you can find plenty of budget-friendly options, most down pillows – particularly those with high down content – are fairly expensive.
  • Since down has natural insulating properties, this fill material can cause the pillow to absorb body heat and sleep somewhat warm. This is especially true if the shell and liners are made from less breathable fabrics like polyester.
  • Since down pillows tend to sink quite a bit, they may not provide enough support for some sleepers. Thankfully, many down pillow manufacturers offer these models with different loft and firmness options.
  • Most down pillows do not maintain a full shape very well, so you’ll need to fluff them regularly. Many can be placed in a dryer for expedited shape recovery.

Who Is Best Suited to a Down Pillow?

We recommend down pillows to anyone who feels most comfortable on a very soft surface that sinks deeply beneath the head and neck. However, how much you like or dislike lying on a down pillow may depend on your sleep position, body type, head size, and other factors. Our picks for who is and isn’t suited to a down pillow include the following:

Who is suited:

  • Side Sleepers: The best down pillows for side sleepers offer a high loft and dense fill. Side sleepers often develop pressure points because their head, neck, and shoulders are not aligned with the spine. A fuller down pillow ensures that their body remains on an even plane. Down pillows with less loft may cause added aches and pains.
  • Back Sleepers: The back sleeping position promotes spinal alignment, so the key for these sleepers is even support from head to toe. A mid-loft down pillow that sinks a bit while reinforcing the head and neck will be ideal for many back sleepers, but too much loft can cause pain to develop around the neck and shoulders.
  • Sleepers Who Enjoy Moldability: Down pillows are highly moldable, allowing you to scrunch them into different shapes to add or decrease support. They are also quite snuggly and provide good padding if you enjoy sleeping with a pillow between your knees.
  • Hot Sleepers: Although down has insulating properties, most down pillows sold today sleep fairly cool because the fill is not too dense. The pillows usually contain a fair amount of feather fill, as well. Feathers don’t absorb body heat quite like down.

Who is not suited:

  • Sleepers Over 230 Pounds: Since people who weigh more than 230 pounds tend to have larger heads and broader shoulders, many find down pillows uncomfortable because they sink too deeply and do not provide adequate reinforcement. These sleepers may want to consider a pillow with solid memory foam, latex, buckwheat hulls, or other supportive fill types.
  • Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers may feel comfortable on low-loft down pillows that are somewhat flat. This way, they won’t need to turn their heads to the side – leaving them vulnerable to neck and shoulder pain. Unfortunately, many down pillows have medium to high loft and will be too thick for stomach sleepers to rest comfortably.
  • Those with Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by temporary loss of breath during sleep. People with sleep apnea require enhanced neck and head support to maintain an open airway and minimize choking episodes. Most down pillows do not provide this level of reinforcement.
  • Vegan Shoppers: Vegans oppose products that use animal-based components, even if the animals are not killed or harmed in the process. Down and feather pillows will not be suitable for dedicated vegans, but down alternative pillows – cushioned with polyester puffballs that mimic the softness of authentic down – can be a comfortable substitute.

Which Down Pillow Sizes Are Available?

Down pillows are widely available in the standard, queen, and king sizes. Although some brands offer down and feather body pillows, these models are much less common. Next, we’ll discuss the most common pillow sizes and dimensions. Please note: the dimensions listed below may vary by a few inches, depending on the manufacturer.

Standard: The standard size typically measures 20 inches wide by 26 inches long. This size is ideal for people who sleep on a twin, twin XL, or full mattress, as well as couples that share a queen, king, or California king. Standards are quite common.

Super Standard: The super standard size measures 20 inches wide by 28 inches long, giving sleepers a bit more space than a traditional standard. This size is not particularly common, but some brands offer “standard” sizes that are technically super standards based on their measurements.

Queen: Another very common size, the queen measures 20 inches wide and 30 inches long. If you tend to change sleep positions or toss and turn, the queen offers a bit of extra space compared to the standard.

King: A typical king size pillow measures 20 inches wide and 36 inches long, so this will be an ideal size for anyone who moves around frequently in bed. Keep in mind that this size will take up most of the surface of a twin or twin XL mattress, so you may only need one if your bed is this size.

Body Pillow: A body pillow is quite long – usually 54 inches or longer – but its width will be about 20 inches. You can sleep with a body pillow beneath your head while snuggling with it, a favored position among many pregnant women. Unfortunately, you’ll have a hard time finding body pillows made from authentic down. Down alternative body pillows are much more common.

How Can You Tell if Down Is Ethically Sourced?

A manufacturer that offers ethically sourced and cruelty-free down and feather products should carry a certification attesting to these qualities. The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) is considered one of the most prominent certifying organizations for this type of material.

In recent years, manufacturers of down and feather products have faced added scrutiny for how these materials are harvested from ducks and geese. As noted during an in-depth report from CBS News, plucking down and feathers from live birds can leave bloody wounds and open sores on the animals. Inhumane living conditions for animals and force-feeding practices are other issues that have come under attack from animal rights activists.

The RDS carries strict criteria. In order to earn this certification, manufacturers cannot pluck down or feathers from live birds or force-feed the animals. The RDS also requires “holistic respect for animal welfare,” which means the birds must be treated humanely from the time they hatch until they are slaughtered. The RDS awards this certification after thoroughly auditing the manufacturer during a series of onsite visits, animal inspections, and staff interviews.

Many manufacturers claim their down products are ethically produced, but you should still ask to see certifications that prove these products are made humanely.

Frequently Asked Questions About Down Pillows

How much do down pillows cost?

You can usually find a standard or queen size down pillow in the range of $80 to $200. However, fill content can affect the price since pillows containing 100 percent down tend to be quite expensive, whereas pillows with a high content of feather fill often cost much less.

How do I clean a down pillow?

Many down pillows should only be spot cleaned or dry cleaned if stains occur. Washing them in a machine can damage the down and also cause rips in the cover that lead to escaping fill. However, you can place most down pillows in a dryer to recover their shape. Some down pillows can be washed and dried in your household machine, so be sure to check the care tag just in case.
Where can I buy a down pillow? Down pillows are widely available through online and brick-and-mortar sellers. However, you’ll want to check the product specs to ensure you aren’t buying a “down” pillow that contains 90 percent feathers.

How long do down pillows last?

Most down pillows are well made and offer decent longevity, so expect them to last at least two to three years. Cover durability is a key concern. If the fabric does not hold up well over time and the seams come apart, then the pillow may lose some of its fill. You can use a pillowcase or protector to extend the lifespan, too.

Are down pillows adjustable?

Most down pillows cannot be adjusted by adding or removing fill, but many manufacturers offer multiple loft options and allow you to exchange the pillow if it feels too thick or thin. You should never attempt to adjust a down pillow yourself unless it is explicitly designed for customizable loft. Otherwise you could permanently damage the pillow.

Do down pillows have an odor?

The treatments and cleaning procedures for down and feather fill can result in a distinct odor for new down pillows. However, most people say these smells dissipate within a few days. Try placing the down pillow in a dryer before using it for the first time. This will help its shape expand and flush out unwanted odors.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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