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Best Down Pillows

Updated November 2023
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Ritz-Carlton The Ritz-Carton Pillow
Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carton Pillow
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

Get that high-quality hotel sleep in your own home thanks to this incredibly comfortable pillow.

Pros

It has a triple chamber stuffing makeup. The outer chamber is made of 70% white down and 30% natural Lyocell fibers while the inner chambers use duck feathers for an allergy-free experience. Great for all types of sleepers.

Cons

It only comes in three sizes and it’s expensive.

Best Bang for the Buck
downluxe Down Alternative Pillows Standard Size, Set of 2
downluxe
Down Alternative Pillows Standard Size, Set of 2
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Best Down Alternative
Bottom Line

This set of 2 down alternative pillows is a great option for those who are sensitive to down.

Pros

Pillows offer excellent head and neck support, making them great for back, stomach, and side sleepers alike. Stuffed with a polyester blend fiber that mimics the softness of down without potential skin and allergy conflicts.

Cons

These pillows regain shape and size quickly, but become quite flat during use.

Lincove Cloud Natural Canadian White Down Luxury Sleeping Pillow
Lincove
Cloud Natural Canadian White Down Luxury Sleeping Pillow
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Most Comprehensive
Bottom Line

Quality fill, a cotton shell, and a choice of support, size, and quantity make Lincove a top choice for down pillows.

Pros

Filled with Canadian white down that provides both softness and support. Shell is made of 100% cotton with 500 thread count for a silky soft feel. Available in firm, medium, and soft support. Comes in a choice of 3 sizes.

Cons

May have a strange smell when it arrives that takes a while to fade. Price falls on the higher end of the scale.

Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows, Set of 2
Beckham
Hotel Collection Bed Pillows, Set of 2
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Soft and Comfortable
Bottom Line

These pillows are suitable for hot sleepers who prefer medium fill that's not too soft or too firm.

Pros

Pack of 2 pillows with fluffy fill that's easy to adjust. Covers are made with 250-thread count fabric that's cooling and breathable. Pillows can be placed in the washer and dryer for simple care. Choice of queen and king sizes.

Cons

Pillows may lose their shape and flatten out a bit after sleeping on them for several months.

Homelike Moment Down Feather Pillows - 2 Pack
Homelike Moment
Down Feather Pillows - 2 Pack
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Microfiber Outer Shell
Bottom Line

The unique design of these down pillows prevents feather pricks while providing the comfort and support of down.

Pros

The inner layer is generously stuffed with 95% feather and 5% down making it very comfortable. The outer layer is stuffed with down-like microfiber to provide a soft barrier that prevents feathers from pricking through pillows.

Cons

These pillows are quite firm, which may not be suitable for all sleeping positions.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best down pillows

The feel of a luxurious cushion sinking beneath your head is one of the best perks of a down pillow. These pillows are warm, yet they allow air to circulate, providing temperature regulation in all seasons. They conform to the shape of the head while still maintaining structure and support.

Traditional down pillows are filled with a mix of the softest feathers from various birds. You can find soft down pillows, firm down pillows, and a range in between. Often, the best firmness for you is dictated by whether you’re a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper.

Down pillows may seem delicate, but they’re surprisingly easy to wash, and with proper care, they’ll last for years. If you’re looking for a pillow with the comfort of those found in deluxe hotels, down is a great option.

a man setting pillows on a bed
A higher-quality down pillow should offer better temperature regulation, loft, and volume maintenance than a low-cost down pillow.

Is a down pillow right for you?

Down pillows are soft and lightweight, but they do a good job supporting the head and neck. Unlike some types of pillow filling, down returns to its original volume when pressure is removed.

Consider your usual sleep position

A person who sleeps on their stomach might prefer a thinner pillow with a uniform depth. A side sleeper needs more support for their neck, which may mean a bulkier filling is right for them. Those with spinal conditions or chronic pain may need a firm down pillow with an ergonomically designed shape.

Consider whether you have allergies

Down pillows are filled with fluffy down from geese or ducks. Individuals with an allergy to feathers or waterfowl should avoid down pillows.

Down feathers do not have a long quill and are much softer than exterior feathers.

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What type of down is inside a down pillow?

The two main types of down pillow filling are goose down and duck down. Goose down has more substance with an airy, fluffy feel. It costs more than duck down because it has a higher fill and is harder to acquire. Because of the higher fill, it may be better for side sleepers than duck down.

Pillows filled with duck down cost less and tend to have a thinner structure that’s less lofty. Back sleepers tend to do well with duck down, as do stomach sleepers, as the fill tends to provide the right sort of support for these sleeping positions.

Down pillows vs. other pillows

Down pillows cost more than most other types of pillows because of the luxurious softness and nature of the filling. Down provides a cloud-like feel, while other materials are denser. Pillows with feathers inside are airy, but on the downside, the quills may sometimes stick out.

Down alternative pillows

If you want a down feel without the potential allergens, cost, cleaning difficulties, and ethical questions, consider a down alternative pillow. These pillows are made of durable and machine-washable polyester.

Memory foam pillows

Memory foam pillows have more structure than down pillows. They conform to the body and support the spine. They tend to be comfortable with a slight sinking feeling. Lumps are unlikely to be a problem, and if you use a shredded memory foam pillow, you may find it to be somewhat customizable.

Cotton and poly fill pillows

Cotton and poly-fill pillows are affordable and easy to wash, and they tend to suit all sleep positions. However, they may get more clumps and have less airflow than down-filled pillows.

Gel pillows

Gel pillows help to keep you cool like down pillows, though down pillows also provide warmth when needed. Gel pillows have a cushy feel but are not as soft as down, and they provide firmer support than down.

pillows and a dog on a bed
DID YOU KNOW?
Washing down pillows helps renew their fluffy structure, but it can also create lumps in the filling.
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What features do down pillows have?

Cover

Most down pillows have cotton covers that secure the filling inside. Cotton is gentle on the skin and allows for some airflow. The cover quality is measured by thread count. A thread count between 300 and 800 is associated with a softer and longer-lasting fabric due to a larger quantity of thin thread.

Filling

As mentioned, down pillow filling comes from geese or ducks and is made of the feathers closest to the animal’s skin. Some down pillows are made of a mixture of down and feathers. Down pillow filling is graded based on fill power. Most down pillows have a fill power between 600 and 900. Higher fill pillows tend to cost the most.

Size

Down pillows come in standard, queen, king, and body pillow sizes. Size depends on preference and usually corresponds with the size of the mattress. Body pillows are the longest and are intended to support most of the body’s weight.

How do you accessorize a down pillow?

Pillowcases

A pillowcase helps keep your pillow sanitary because it’s easy to remove and wash. Silk pillowcases are notoriously beneficial for skin and hair health and have a smooth feel. Hypoallergenic pillowcases are made of synthetic materials that do not contain allergens and resist dust.

How much do down pillows cost?

Inexpensive

Inexpensive down pillows cost between $20 and $40. Pillows in this range do not tend to have a high fill power. Many contain a mixture of feather and down filling.

Mid-range

Mid-range down pillows cost between $40 and $60. These pillows have higher thread counts of 300 to 500 and fill power between 550 and 650.

Expensive

Expensive down pillows cost more than $60. Some cost well over $100. High-end luxury down pillows like these tend to be hand-wash only with a fill power over 600 and a thread count between 400 and 600.

The quality of the down feathers depends on the age of the geese.

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Tips

  • Regularly fluff down pillows. Washing down pillows or shaking them restores the structure and volume of the filling to maintain support and quality.
  • Deodorize with various materials. Washing a down pillow with vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, or a scented detergent can help remove odors.
  • Dry in the machine with dryer balls. Dryer balls can be used to fluff up a down pillow as it dries in the machine.
pillows and a dog on a bed
Down pillows you no longer use can be upcycled as pet beds, throw pillows, cushions, or packing material.

FAQ

Q. Can I machine wash and dry down pillows?

A. Down pillows are machine washable and dryable, but they require diligence to prevent damage. If down pillows sit with too much moisture and do not dry fully, they can breed mildew and mold. When drying, too much heat could ruin the filling.

Q. Are down pillows ethically made?

A. If you are vegan or an animal cruelty advocate, these may not be the right pillows for you. There are several ways that companies obtain the materials for down pillows, and some use more ethical processes than others. Be sure to read about the company’s sourcing methods before purchasing to make sure you can stand by the product.

Q. Do down pillows wear out?

A. Most down pillows are washable, which helps to maintain their cleanliness and shape. With proper care, you may get five to ten years out of a down pillow. Consider replacing the pillow if it has an odor that does not dissipate with multiple washes or no longer holds its structure.

 

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