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A comfortable and supportive pillow can help ensure that you get restful sleep each night, without experiencing shoulder or neck pain. When choosing a new pillow, consider what you prefer in terms of thickness, softness, temperature regulation, and sleeping position.
Sleepers who want a plush experience may prefer feather pillows. These pillows typically contain feathers, down, or a blend of both. Feathers tend to have more structure for support, while down is softer. Soft feather pillows conform to the shape of the head and neck, but they may not provide the same amount of pressure relief as latex or memory foam.
With so many options available, finding the right pillow may seem overwhelming. To help you narrow down your search, we’ll highlight the best feather pillows on the market, based on extensive product research, verified customer reviews, and testing. We’ll also break down the features, benefits, and drawbacks of feather pillows that you may want to consider.
SF readers get the best price at Brooklinen
With three firmness options to choose from, the Brooklinen Down Pillow can accommodate most sleeping positions and body types. The Plush option should suit most stomach sleepers, while the Mid-Plush is particularly suitable for side and back sleepers. Side sleepers may also benefit from the Firm Down Pillow. Standard and king sizes are available.
The cotton shell features a 400 thread count sateen weave for a smooth feel. While the Plush model is filled completely with Canadian white down, the Mid-Plush and Firm models have an inner feather core for more support.
Brooklinen treats the cover with Ultra-Fresh Antimicrobials to help keep the pillow clean. The Down Pillow requires spot cleaning, and should not be machine washed. You can use the dryer for fluffing if you have a setting that does not use heat. Leave the pillow outside to air out when weather permits. Dry cleaning is suitable for large stains, but it may degrade the down faster and remove the natural oils, which reduces the pillow’s lifespan.
You can exchange or return this product within one year of purchase if you aren’t happy with it. The company offers a refund to your original payment method, or you can opt for store credit. Shipping and returns are free within the U.S.
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Well-made down and feather pillows can be fairly pricey, but the Pacific Coast Touch of Down Pillow is a great example of an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality or performance. The pillow contains a core chamber of supportive Resilia feathers surrounded by plush Hyperclean down, which is washed multiple times to reduce allergy potential. A woven cover completes the hotel-esque design.
The Touch of Down Pillow has a medium firm feel, making it particularly well-suited to people who normally find these types of pillows too soft. The cover is also quite breathable and the fill doesn’t absorb too much warmth, so hot sleepers should also find the pillow comfortable. Additionally, the entire pillow can be machine washed and dried, saving you time and money whenever it needs to be cleaned.
In addition to a reasonable price-point, the pillow comes with a 30-night trial period. You’ll also receive a standard warranty against structural defects that lasts three years and an “Allergy Free’ warranty in case the fill triggers any symptoms. All orders in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free ground shipping.
Use code CLOUD15 for 15% off orders of $150 or more on Boll & Branch pillows.
The Boll and Branch Down Alternative Pillow contains PrimaLoft, a synthetic material that imitates the soft, lightweight feel of traditional down. With three firmness levels to choose from, there is an option for nearly every sleeping position and preference. Stomach sleepers will likely prefer the soft option, while back and side sleepers are more likely to benefit from the medium or firm options.
The embroidered organic cotton cover has piping around the edges. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification indicates that the Down Alternative Pillow does not contain any harmful chemicals.
Available sizes include standard (20” x 28”) and king (20” x 36”). Boll and Branch offers free shipping in the U.S., a 30-day risk-free trial, and free returns.
Best for Side Sleepers
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The Helix Down and Feather Pillow has three chambers for ample support and a soft, conforming feel.
The inner core is filled with a blend of down and feathers engineered to provide neck and shoulder support. The two down outer layers with 550 fill power give sleepers the plush experience they typically expect from a down pillow. This innovative design also helps keep the fill evenly distributed.
Double stitching along the edges creates a durable seam. The lightweight cotton cover is soft and breathable.
The Helix Down and Feather Pillow comes in standard (20”x 28”) and king (20” x 36”) sizes. Helix offers a 1-year limited warranty and a 100-day trial. Shipping is free within the U.S.
Best for Neck Pain
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Most down pillows are available in a single loft level that makes them best suited to certain sleep positions. With the Hotel Collection Feather Pillow from Down & Feather Company, you get to choose from four thickness options based on your normal position and personal preferences. The thinnest pillow will probably be most comfortable for stomach sleepers, while the thickest option should provide enough loft for side sleeping. Back sleepers – as well as anyone who prefers a mid-range thickness – should consider either of the middle lofts.
The pillow contains Hungarian goose feathers, a signature fill the company has showcased in other pillows and bedding products. The feathers provide good structure and stability, but the pillow still feels fairly soft. The cover is composed of long-staple Egyptian cotton, a luxurious fabric renowned for longevity and cooling properties. A charming blue-and-white stripe pattern gives the exterior a charming, classical look.
The cost of the pillow varies slightly depending on which loft you choose, but all price-points are very reasonable considering the high-end fill and cover materials. As part of the “Perfect Pillow Policy,” each customer receives one year of free pillow adjustments. Your order is also backed with a 30-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.
Best Luxury Down
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Kassatex uses 650 fill power European white goose down, which helps provide warm insulation for sleepers who get cold at night. Goose down clusters tend to be denser and more insulating than duck down. The pillow has a high loft, but sleepers can sink into the down fill. Soft, medium, and firm options are available.
The 350 thread count cotton cover is breathable and smooth to the touch. Kassatex uses the RestAssured cleaning process, which exceeds regulatory requirements. The company also treats all components with environmentally friendly bluesign soap.
The Goose Down Pillow can be machine washed on a warm and delicate cycle. Bleach should not be used. Kassatex recommends double rinsing the pillow and tumble drying it with low heat. Adding tennis balls to the dryer will help fluff the pillow as it dries.
You can choose between standard/queen (20”x 28”) or king (20” x 36”) sizes. The company provides free shipping and a 60-day, no-risk trial period.
Feather pillows typically are softer than other types, making them ideal for sleepers who like to sink deeply into their pillows. That said, not all feather pillows are the same. Many vary in their feather/down ratio, which affects the amount of support they provide. Firmness, loft, and shape should be kept in mind when choosing a feather pillow.
Shoppers may also want to consider if the feathers or down are sourced ethically. Vegan shoppers may want to consider a down alternative pillow instead.
Some feather pillows contain all feathers or all down, while others may have a mix of the two. If you don’t want your head to sink deeply into the pillow, you may prefer a pillow with more feathers than down, as this type of pillow tends to have more structure.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates how companies label their feather and down pillows. The materials used to construct the pillow should be listed in the product description and on the pillow tags. Feathers and down are typically sourced from ducks or geese.
Feather pillows can contain down, feathers, or a feather/down blend. Pillows with 100% down can be harder to find and more expensive. Pillows with more feathers than down tend to be more affordable. Pillows that are filled with 50% to 80% down tend to balance the plush feel of down with the structure and support of feathers. Synthetic down alternative pillows are also available.
Your sleeping position and your pillow should work together to support your head, neck, and spine. The loft and firmness of the feather pillow you choose should help you maintain spinal alignment. Side sleepers usually benefit from a thicker, firmer pillow. Pillows with lower lofts are more suitable for individuals who sleep on their backs or stomachs.
Loft refers to a pillow’s thickness. Choosing a pillow with the highest loft is not always optimal, as the ideal loft will depend on your sleeping position, mattress firmness, and body type. People who sleep on their sides typically need a higher loft than stomach or back sleepers.
When choosing a down or feather pillow, shoppers may want to consider the fill power of the pillow. Fill power is a measurement of density, indicating how many cubic inches one ounce of down takes up. A higher fill power can indicate a loftier pillow.
Support refers to how well the pillow keeps the head, neck, shoulders, and spine in alignment. Given that your pillow provides about 20% of your total sleeping surface, this factor is essential in choosing the right pillow. For more support, you may want to consider a pillow that has more feathers than down.
Down and feather pillows tend to be softer than other models, due to the nature of the fill material. That said, many manufacturers offer feather pillows in soft, medium, and firm options. There are several factors that indicate firmness, including construction and the ratio of down to feathers.
Pillows constructed with inner support chambers or additional feather fill may feel firmer than pillows filled exclusively with down. Loft or thickness may not be an accurate measure of firmness if the pillow has mostly down, which tends to be softer than feathers.
Pressure relief helps prevent neck and shoulder pain from developing by keeping the spine aligned. Sleepers may find that they sink into down and feather pillows more, which can put strain on the neck and shoulders. Memory foam and latex pillows tend to be more supportive and pressure-relieving.
Most feather pillows have a rectangular shape and are produced in standard sizes. Some vendors sell longer body pillows with feather and down fill. However, availability is limited. Due to the softness of feathers and down, this type of fill is typically not used for contoured or ergonomically shaped pillows. If you experience neck and shoulder pain, you may want to consider a foam or latex pillow instead.
The price of a feather pillow will depend on its fill and construction. Pillows with higher down ratios will cost more, especially those with 100% down. Feather pillows with little to no down are generally more affordable, and may appeal to shoppers with limited budgets.
Material quality affects multiple factors, including support, comfort, temperature, and moldability. High-quality down and feather fill is more likely to keep its shape over time.
The quality of the cover is also important. Most sleepers prefer a breathable cover that helps prevent heat retention. For feather pillows, a pillow cover that prevents the fill from escaping is ideal.
Moldability allows you to shape a pillow so that it supports your head and neck as you sleep. Because down is softer than feathers, down pillows tend to be more malleable.
In general, feather pillows don’t sleep as warm as memory foam or other foam materials. That said, feathers and down act as natural insulation, and may sleep warm for some. A breathable cotton cover can help wick away heat and moisture for hot sleepers.
Shoppers should consider potential benefits and drawbacks when shopping for a feather pillow. While feather pillows can provide a luxurious, lofty feel, this type of pillow may be too soft for some sleepers to get the support they need.
People who sleep on their backs or sides and like to cuddle their pillow may prefer a feather pillow. Depending on the materials and construction, feather pillows can also be beneficial for hot sleepers.
Feather pillows may not be advantageous for people with allergies, those who awaken easily from noise, or consumers who prefer vegan products.
Feather pillows are particularly suitable for:
Feather pillows are less suitable for:
Feather pillows are typically available in the following sizes, though sizing and availability will vary between manufacturers.
There are additional considerations that shoppers should keep in mind when shopping for a feather pillow. These factors include budget, care and maintenance, and the difference between feather and down pillows.
Many feather pillows cost between $25 and $75. Down pillows are more expensive, costing between $80 to $200 on average. Fill content and construction largely determine the price. With feather/down blends, the larger the down ratio, the more expensive the pillow will be. Down alternative pillows tend to be more affordable, and basic models usually cost between $20 and $30.
Most feather pillows can be washed, but make sure to read the label to determine what cleaning method to use. Some feather pillows are machine-washable with cold water or a delicate setting. Other pillows may need dry cleaning.
You can fluff some feather pillows in the dryer with a low heat or air fluff setting. Machine washing two pillows together can help ensure that the washing machine doesn’t get out of balance.
Pillows of all types need cleaning at least every six months to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells, sweat, and oil.
You may want to replace your feather pillow every two to three years. Using a pillow cover will help extend the life of the pillow. You should replace your feather pillow if it has one or more large stains that cannot be removed, or if the down and feather fill has been damaged by moisture.
It may also be time for a new pillow if you regularly wake up with neck or shoulder pain, headaches, or fatigue. Changing your preferred sleeping position is another reason to get a new pillow, as you may need one with a different firmness or loft. You should always replace pillows when they no longer give you the support you need. Regularly replacing your pillow is essential for hygienic purposes.
You can find most standard, queen, and king sizes at brick-and-mortar and online stores. Most feather pillows are available at pillow and bedding manufacturers, department stores, or home furnishings retailers. Feather body pillows are harder to find.
Feather pillows are not usually adjustable, as this would require the addition or removal of fill. That said, shoppers can often choose between several different loft or firmness options.
Since feather pillows are highly moldable and conforming, sleepers can also scrunch the pillow to their preferred shape. Fluffing the pillow regularly helps it maintain its loft and prevents flattening over time.
Feather pillows and down pillows may differ in construction, materials, and price. Feathers make up the coarse outer plumage on birds. Down is the soft, insulating plumage found underneath the feathers. As a result, feather pillows tend to have more structure and support, while down pillows are softer.
Down typically retains heat more than feathers, making down pillows less suitable than feather pillows for people who sleep hot. Feather pillows tend to be more affordable than down pillows.
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