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Updated January 2023
Why trust BestReviews?
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. Read more  
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. Read more  
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.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
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 and in singles or packs of 2 pillows.

Cons

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

Best Bang for the Buck
Bedsure Goose Down Feather Pillows, Set of 2
Bedsure
Goose Down Feather Pillows, Set of 2
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Incredible Value
Bottom Line

A pair of 2 budget-friendly down pillows that feel luxurious and well-made despite their reasonable price.

Pros

Pack of 2 goose down pillows that are available at a low price. Cotton shell is soft and breathable. Pillows provide excellent support and are easy to fluff up for customizable comfort. Choice of 3 sizes.

Cons

On the firm side, and you don't get a choice of firmness levels. Vacuum packed pillows take a while to fluff up once opened.

Hotel Collection European White Goose Down Pillow
Hotel Collection
European White Goose Down Pillow
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Nice Warranty
Bottom Line

Although expensive, the outstanding warranty that comes with this pillow makes it worth considering.

Pros

Stuffed with premium European white goose down and covered with a 500 thread count cotton shell. Pillow maintains its shape, even after washings. Backed by an impressive limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

Pillows feel somewhat hard. Only two sizes available. No choice of firmness. Pricey.

puredown Goose Feathers and Down Pillow
puredown
Goose Feathers and Down Pillow
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Down and Feathers
Bottom Line

If you prefer a pillow with a combination of down and feather fill, this is your best choice. Otherwise, check out competitors on our list.

Pros

This pillow is filled with down and feathers for mid-level support. Easy to shape and position the fill for optimal comfort. Shell is made of cotton. Available in 3 sizes and a choice of singles or doubles.

Cons

Feathers may occasionally poke through the shell. Somewhat noisy and "crunchy."

East Coast Bedding European White Goose Down Pillow
East Coast Bedding
European White Goose Down Pillow
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Firm Support
Bottom Line

A thick down pillow that's worth considering for anyone who prefers firm support.

Pros

European white down covered with a 100% cotton shell that features a satin-like finish. Pillow feels well-made. Available in a choice of 3 sizes and in singles or packs of 2 pillows.

Cons

Price is on the high side. Pillows are thick and firm, which won't appeal to everyone. Some owners detected a bad odor.

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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Category cover

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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