Best Down Pillows: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Looking for a plush pillow that gives you the impression of sleeping on a cloud? It’s possible with a down pillow. Down pillows are one of the most popular and luxurious pillows on the market. Incredibly soft, fluffy, huggable, and lightweight, down can appeal to anyone.
If you’re not sure where to find the best down pillow, start here. We share our favorite down pillows and provide a comprehensive guide on what to look for, as well as the pros and cons of down and the price range you can expect when shopping for one.
30 Second Summary: Best Down Pillows of 2020
- Our Recommendation: Continental Bedding Premium Firm White Goose Down— This supportive pillow has it all: soft goose down, breathable Egyptian cotton, and easy maintenance all wrapped up into the perfect down pillow.
- Runner-Up: Downlite Extra Soft— The Downlite Extra Soft is filled with pure duck down filling and encased in a cotton damask casing, offering a smooth, plush sleeping surface without losing its shape.
14 Best Down Pillows of 2020
|Continental Bedding White Goose||Luxury feel at a value price.|
|Downlite Extra Soft||Low loft is ideal for stomach sleepers.|
|Royal Hotel Down||Firm, yet soft filling holds its shape.|
|Luxuredown White Goose||Perfect medium-firm option with an adjustable loft.|
|Original Queen Anne||Helps to reduce back and neck pain.|
|Egyptian Bedding Goose||The breathable cotton cover keeps cool with the comforting feel of soft down.|
|East Coast Bedding 100% White Goose||Combination of a plush surface and soft down helps reduce nerve tension.|
|SOL Organics||Eco-friendly option made with certified organic materials.|
|Unite Down White Duck||Dust mite-resistant shell prevents allergen build-up.|
|Downluxe Goose Feather||Feathers and down offer good balance of support and comfort.|
|Puredown Goose Gusset||Gusseted sides expand the pillow and hold its shape.|
|Pacific Coast® Double Down||2-in-1 pillow design with a firm core of feathers surrounded by down.|
|Kassatex White Goose Down||Combination of goose down and feathers for a medium-firm feel.|
|Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck||A combination of duck down and fiberfill creates a firm, supportive surface.|
1. Continental Bedding White Goose
The Continental Bedding Premium Firm White Goose Down pillow offers a plush sleep surface without sacrificing support. This pillow contains 100% white goose down and comes in a 100% Egyptian cotton shell.
This goose down pillow is pure luxury. With a 550 fill power (amount of space down takes up in one once) and 27 ounces of down, the Continental Bedding pillow gives the right support for back and side sleepers by cradling the head and neck for healthy spine alignment. This pillow doesn’t flatten easily and is simple to care for.
While one queen-size pillow is priced at $110, customers felt they got more value by buying a set of 2 priced for $180. It’s also available in standard and king sizes.
Continental Bedding makes our favorite down pillow, but to learn about our other recommended options, read our post on the best rated pillows of the year.
Continental Bedding Premium Firm White Goose Down Highlights
- Filled with 100% white goose down
2. Downlite Extra Soft
The Downlite Extra Soft down pillow is made using 100% white duck down with a 525-550 fill power. The pillow is encased in a 250 thread count cotton damask shell for a smooth, cool feel.
Thread count merely refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per one square inch of fabric, giving you an idea of how breathable it is. While a 250 thread count may seem low in comparison to some of the other options available, it’s perfect to boost breathability and combat heat retention within the cover. Meaning, this pillow is great for hot sleepers.
This pillow is specifically designed for stomach sleepers. Its low loft won’t go flat or lose its shape, giving excellent support for spinal alignment. For those sleepers who need more loft, this can be added as an additional layer on top of your current pillow.
Unlike some down pillows, the Downlite Extra Soft down pillow is hypoallergenic. Customers can rest easy knowing that their allergies won’t be aggravated at night. This pillow is available in standard, queen, and king sizes.
Downlite Extra Soft Highlights
- Ideal for stomach sleepers
- 100% white duck down fill
3. Royal Hotel Down
The Royal Hotel Down pillow is made with 35 ounces of 100% white goose down at 750 fill power. It comes with a 500 thread count 100% cotton cover, boasting supreme softness.
This pillow has a firm feel and support. It helps reduce neck and back pain, while still offering the soft comfort of down. While it’s dry clean only, it can be fluffed in the dryer on low heat.
The Royal Hotel Down pillow is available in four firmness settings— adjustable, firm, medium-firm, and soft, and comes in two sizes— queen and king. The adjustable pillow comes with a memory foam insert, surrounded by down. While it can only be bought as a set of 2, it is a great value for the $160 price tag.
Royal Hotel Down Highlights
- Hotel-like luxury
- 100% white goose down
- Available in a set of 2 pillows
4. Luxuredown White Goose
The Luxuredown White Goose pillow contains 650 fill power 100% white goose down. The case is made of 100% cotton sateen with a 330 thread count for softness and warmth, but it shouldn’t cause the sleeper to overheat.
Because of its medium loft and firmness, the Luxuredown White Goose pillow is an ideal choice for side and back sleepers, but it might be too high for stomach sleepers. Its moldable structure makes it adjustable to fit any preferred shape.
Made in the USA, this pillow is hypoallergenic, meaning it shouldn’t aggravate allergies or cause congestion at night. It comes in three sizes— standard, queen, and king.
Luxuredown White Goose Highlights
- Ideal for side and back sleepers
- 100% white goose down
- Highly moldable
5. Original Queen Anne
The Original Queen Anne down pillow contains 100% goose down with a 650 fill power. The shell is made using 230 thread count cotton.
This pillow is ideal for any sleeper, depending on the type of firmness you choose. Stomach sleepers would do well with the soft option, while the medium or firm options would be better for side and back sleepers. Both the company and Amazon provide a handy reference chart on the product page, allowing the customer to choose the right pillow if they suffer from back or neck pain, hug their pillow, or roll around in their sleep.
The Original Queen Anne pillow has a reputation of providing high-quality pillows for big names like Hilton, Marriott, and Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind, this pillow is our most expensive option at $240. We couldn’t find a warranty on their website, but it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Original Queen Anne Highlights
- 100% goose down
- 30-day money-back guarantee
6. Egyptian Bedding Goose
The Egyptian Bedding Goose pillow contains 90% goose down and 10% feathers with a 750 fill power for a comfy, plush feel. The pillow casing is made of 1200 thread count 100% Egyptian cotton.
As a hypoallergenic option, this pillow shouldn’t aggravate allergies or cause respiratory issues at night. It’s medium-firm, making it an ideal option for side and back sleepers. It also comes in two sizes— queen and king.
The Egyptian Bedding Goose pillow is one of our less expensive down options— roughly half the size of other down pillows. Don’t mistake the lower cost for poor quality— this pillow has excellent reviews with high customer ratings.
Egyptian Bedding Goose Highlights
- 100% Egyptian cotton cover
- Ideal for all sleepers
7. East Coast Bedding 100% White Goose
True to its name, the East Coast Bedding contains 550 fill power 100% white goose down, all wrapped in a 300 thread count cotton casing for a soft sleep surface.
The soft, plush feel of goose down helps relieve nerve tension in the body, allowing for a better night’s rest. This pillow can also reduce neck and back pain.
The down filling from the East Coast Bedding pillow is Responsible Down Certified (RDS), meaning their down is ethically extracted from white geese. It comes in three sizes— standard, queen, and king, and is a good pillow for side sleepers.
East Coast Bedding 100% White Goose Highlights
- Great for side sleepers
- 100% goose down fill
- RDS Certified
8. SOL Organics
The SOL Organics (or Sustainable Organic Living) pillow contains 100% Canadian duck down and comes wrapped in a GOTS-Certified cotton case for breathability.
SOL Organics markets their firmness levels to customer’s preferred sleep positions. Their soft pillow is for stomach sleepers, the medium is for back sleepers and the firm is for side sleepers. Choosing a pillow with the right firmness based on sleep position allows for healthy spine alignment.
The duck down filling feels cozy and plush. Made from organic materials and produced in Canada, the SOL Organics pillow is also hypoallergenic— ideal for those with allergies. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee and comes in two sizes— standard and king.
SOL Organics Highlights
- 100% Canadian duck down
- GOTS-Certified cotton
- 30-day money-back guarantee
9. Unite Down White Duck
The Unite Down White Duck pillow has a blend of down and feathers from white ducks in its filling. The cotton casing is OEKO-Tex® 100 certified, meaning it was produced without the use of harmful chemicals.
With a low thread count of 233, the casing provides good airflow— making it a great cooling pillow for hot sleepers. This pillow is 100% organic and uses ALLEREST fabric to prevent allergens from penetrating the pillow’s surface. Double-stitched seams help prevent the filling from spilling out.
The Unite Down White Duck pillow comes in standard size only. It’s available in two colors— grey and dark grey. This pillow is machine-washable or dry clean.
Unite Down White Duck Highlights
- OEKO-Tex® 100 certified cotton cover
- Double-stitched seams
10. Downluxe Goose Feather Down
The Downluxe Goose Feather Down pillow contains a blend of white goose feathers and down for a medium-firm feel. It includes a 100% cotton casing for breathable, moisture-wicking comfort.
The firmness of this pillow gives customers a perfect balance of softness and support. This type of firmness is best for side and back sleepers because it cradles the head and neck and aligns the spine. Plus, the breathable filling offers good air circulation to prevent overheating.
The Downluxe Goose Feather Down pillow includes double-stitched seams to reinforce the pillow’s structure and prevent fill from spilling out. This pillow comes in two sizes, with two styles to choose from— queen, gusset queen, king, and gusset king.
Downluxe Goose Feather Down Highlights
- Feather down blend
- RDS and OEKO-Tex 100 certified
- Ideal for side and back sleepers
11. Puredown Goose Gusset
The Puredown Goose Gusset pillow contains 600 fill power 75% goose down and 25% goose feathers. The casing is made of 233-thread count 100% cotton for breathability.
The pillow’s gusseted sides really make it stand out. Gusseting is fabric paneling sewn into the sides of a pillow to give it structure and maintain its shape. It also expands the pillow, evenly distributing the filling. Soft, yet supportive, this pillow may help reduce neck pain.
Available in two sizes— queen and king— the Puredown Goose Gusset pillow only comes in a set of 2, however, the company includes free pillow protectors. These protectors are made of 100% Egyptian cotton with a 300 thread count. They include an “invisible” zipper for easy removal that won’t poke the sleeper.
Puredown Goose Gusset Highlights
- Gusseted edges
- RDS Certified
- Reduces neck pain
12. Pacific Coast® Double Down Around
The Pacific Coast Double Down Around pillow has a unique design. It contains a core of all-natural duck feathers, surrounded by duck down— essentially, it’s two pillows in one. It comes encased in a 100% cotton shell.
The two layers of filling provide support with the feathers and comfort with the down. This unique combination gives the pillow its medium-firm feel, ideal for side and back sleepers. The casing is made from a special ALLEREST fabric that specifically blocks dust mites and allergens.
Available in queen and king sizes, the Pacific Coast Double Down Around pillow includes a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 5-year warranty.
Pacific Coast Double Down Around Highlights
- Pillow within a pillow for better support
- Duck down and feather blend
- 5-year warranty
13. Kassatex White Goose Down
The Kassatex White Goose Down pillow contains a blend of white goose down and feathers with a 650 fill power. It includes a 350 thread count breathable cotton shell.
To reduce potential allergen build-up, Kassatex double cleans both their down and feathers before filling their pillows. Soft and light, these pillows provide breathable insulation without overheating. It’s available in three firmness options— soft, medium, and firm, so the price will vary. A medium queen pillow is priced at $180, while the most expensive combination is a Firm King for $270.
The Kassatex White Goose Down pillow comes in three sizes— standard, queen, and king. It’s machine-washable and includes a 60-day sleep trial.
Kassatex White Goose Down Highlights
- White goose down and feathers
- Ideal for all sleepers
- 60-day sleep trial
14. Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck
The Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck pillow contains 75% white duck down and 25% fiberfill with a 550 fill power. It comes with a removable, 400 thread count 100% cotton casing.
Sanitized and processed in the USA, the hypoallergenic materials prevent oil and dander from building up on the surface. Plus, it’s OEKO-Tex® 100 certified, so you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals lingering in your pillow.
The Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck pillow is an ideal option for back sleepers— firm and supportive, it gives optimal head and neck support while properly aligning the spine. It comes with a 1-year warranty and is machine-washable.
Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Highlights
- 75% white duck down, 25% fiberfill
- OEKO-Tex 100 certified
- Ideal for back sleepers
What is a Down Pillow?
Down refers to the soft, protective layer found below the feathers on a bird. Down is one of the most comfortable and luxurious types of pillows on the market. Breathable, cool, and silent, down acts as a natural insulator.
Unlike other pillow types, down can be re-cased, meaning the down can be removed and re-stuffed into a new casing when the old one becomes worn and/or stained. If properly taken care of, a down pillow can last up to 10 years.
Companies selling down pillows should list the down versus feather ratio. To be labeled as a down pillow, the filling must contain 75% down— the other 25% can be feathers or down alternative.
The down to feather ratio can also affect a pillow’s firmness levels. Higher amounts of down will produce a softer pillow, while a higher amount of feathers will result in a firmer pillow.
Difference Between Down and Down Alternative
Because of its luxurious feel, down is considered one of the most expensive pillows available. As a result, many manufacturers created down alternative pillows as a budget-friendly alternative. Down alternative has a similar look and feel to down, except it’s made with synthetic fibers, like polyester fiberfill. Down alternative is also hypoallergenic— ideal for those who like the feel of down but are allergic to feathers.
What to Look for in a Down Pillow
Before you make a purchase, consider a few other features, such as, down type, fill power, cover thread count, and price. Knowing everything about a down pillow will help you choose the absolute best model for your needs and budget.
Fill power refers to the amount of space an ounce of down takes up inside a pillow. Fill power contributes to a down pillow’s fluffiness or loft and its overall durability. It can also help a pillow retain its shape over time.
Typically, a down pillow with a fill power of 700 or higher will have the best quality. In contrast, a down pillow with 550 is the most common and least expensive— the higher the fill power, the more expensive the pillow.
Goose down vs. Duck down
Between the two, goose is more expensive because of its larger, durable down clusters. Goose down is better quality due to its larger clusters, retains heat more effectively, and holds a higher fill power than duck.
Duck down is less expensive than goose due to its smaller clusters— it’s still durable, just not at the same level as goose down. Duck is also more likely to produce a slight odor. Like goose down, it has a nice cushioning effect.
Cover Thread Count
As we mentioned earlier, thread count indicates how many horizontal and vertical threads are in one square inch of fabric. A high thread count can lessen the chance of feathers from escaping but you should shoot for a thread count between 200-300 for the best breathability.
Pillows with a thread count higher than 600 may be less durable, simply because some companies boost their thread count using poor quality threads. High thread count is also more likely to cause a sleeper to overheat since more threads allow less air to circulate through the fabric.
As previously mentioned, down pillows come with a higher price tag. The cost depends on what type of down a pillow contains and the down-to-feather ratio. Pure down pillows made using goose down will cost the most. Duck down comes in next, followed by down alternative as the cheapest option. Below is the average price a customer can expect to pay for down, feather, and down alternative pillows:
- Average cost of a down pillow: $70-$100, while some brands may cost $300+
- Average cost of a feather pillow: $25-$50
- Average cost of a down alternative pillow: $20-$30
Pros and Cons of a Down Pillow
Down is considered one of the best pillows money can buy, but before you start shopping, read through the pros and cons of a down pillow. While a luxury down pillow sounds wonderful, it may not be the right choice for your needs.
- Soft, plush feel
- Breathable, cool surface
- Contours to the neck and may reduce neck pain
- Moldable shape
- Can last for years if properly maintained
- Expensive price tag
- Needs regular fluffing
- Allergy potential due to feathers
- Low loft, less support
- Not ideal for those with orthopedic issues, like chronic back pain
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are down pillows better?
We all have personal preferences, so some people may prefer down pillows more than others and for different reasons. Many sleepers love down pillows, though, because they’re easily moldable to meet any sleep needs, they’re quiet and soft, and they’re lightweight but durable.
How often should you replace down pillows?
For hygienic purposes, you should replace pillows after one or two years, and down pillows are no exception. Down pillows are usually long-lasting, but more inexpensive pillows may break down between years one and two.
Why do pillows turn yellow?
Pillows turn yellow over time as sweat and body oil accumulate. Using a pillowcase and washing both your pillow and its pillowcase regularly can prevent pillows from turning yellow. Once you begin to notice your pillow take on a yellow tinge, we suggest tossing it.
How often should pillows be washed?
We suggest washing pillowcases when you wash your bedding (once a week, ideally), washing pillow covers once every two or three weeks, and washing your actual pillow once every three months. Of course, washing your pillow more frequently never hurts, but a wash every few months is all you need to keep your pillow fresh.
What kind of pillows do they use in 5-star hotels?
Most hotels use down, down alternative, or feather pillows because they can be comfortable for all sleep styles due to their versatility. Stomach sleepers can easily flatten these pillows while side and back sleepers can fluff to them till they feel cushioning enough.
Did You Find Your Next Down Pillow?
As one of the best pillows out there, down gives a soft sleep surface that’ll set you up for a good night’s sleep. We hope that our buying guide helps steer you in the right direction.
If you’re looking for a pillow with more support, check out this article on the best memory foam pillow.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.