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What is the best down pillow on the market? Reviews and shopping tips for a perfect purchase

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Last Updated: 26 February 2020

Have you ever woken up in the morning tired and exhausted simply because a sore neck caused you too much trouble? If yes, you definitely need a new pillow. Just like choosing the right mattress helps to prevent back pain, the right pillow can eliminate neck pain entirely. If you have already experienced what a sore neck feels like, you know what a vital body part it is. If you haven’t — don’t wait till you can’t get out of bed or move your body because of the stiff neck — and yes, this is as bad as it can get.

Here, we would like to pay your attention to best down pillows — some of the fluffiest and the most natural pillow types out there. Generally made of goose or duck down, these pillows are soft and relaxing. At the same time, they can ensure steady neck support, making your mornings cheerful and pain-free. Still, to achieve this kind of effect you will have to choose the pillow wisely. This is exactly why we’ve come up with this article — it will offer you useful tips on how to choose the perfect pillow for your personal ‘sleeping style’ and draw your attention to some of the leading models on the market.

Quick Comparison
Best Down Pillow Reviews

Top 10 Best Down Pillows reviews

Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow
best value
Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow
100% hand-plucked goose down pillow.
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Pillow is hypoallergenic.
Rating: 10 / 10
Cuddledown Stomach Pillow
best price
Cuddledown Stomach Pillow
Pillow with duck down fill.
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Hypoallergenic pillow.
Rating: 9.9 / 10
Five Star Down Alternative Pillow
Five Star Down Alternative Pillow
100% cotton cover eliminates slipping.
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Filled with microfiber.
Rating: 9.7 / 10
ExceptionalSheets Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow
ExceptionalSheets Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow
Rating: 9.5 / 10
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4
The name pretty much says it all — this is an incredibly soft pillow for stomach sleepers.
Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Down Pillow
Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Down Pillow
Rating: 9.4 / 10
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5
Available at a very affordable price, Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Down Pillow provides stable neck support and is great for back and side sleepers.
Better Down Premium 100% White Goose Down Firm Pillow
Better Down Premium 100% White Goose Down Firm Pillow
Rating: 9.0 / 10
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6
If you are looking for something in between ‘medium’ and ‘firm’ density levels, this model could be the perfect choice for you.

You might have already guessed that best down pillows are some of the means to prevent neck pain. Still, choosing the perfect model is not always easy. Probably, the surest way to find the perfect pillow is to start with the leading brands and manufacturers. So, we have compiled a list of quality models that have already proven its worth to thousands of customers across the globe. We are starting from the best of the best and gradually moving on to less popular models. Quick note: even though Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow is seen as the obvious leader, the models described below are of no lesser quality. After all, choosing a pillow is an individual thing, and the right choice will depend on a lot of factors. This quick compilation lists the major features of the most popular pillow types, and its main goal is to help you find the perfect model tailored to your needs. So, here goes — our best of the best pillow list based on consumer ratings and our own expertise in the industry.


1 place :

Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow Review

Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow Review

Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow with 750 fill power is the perfect example of a ‘golden middle’. The model is neither too soft, nor too firm, which makes it a perfect choice for the vast range of shoppers. Densely packed, 100% hand-plucked goose down pillow ensures supreme support for your head and back, finally giving you a chance to forget about the restless nights. 500 TC Egyptian Cotton Cover with a double line of silk piping does not only protect the pillow from accidental rips and tears but also makes it smooth to the touch. Available in Queen size, the pillow is also hypoallergenic. Sold in sets of two, Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow is a solid investment for everyone who does not enjoy folding pillows before going to sleep.

Why We Like It?
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2 place :

Cuddledown Stomach Pillow Review

Cuddledown Stomach Pillow Review

Another example of a hypoallergenic pillow with duck down fill, Cuddledown Stomach Pillow, can satisfy even the most demanding of shoppers. The distinctive feature of Cuddledown stomach pillow line is that these models are available in four firmness levels (from soft to extra firm) and four sizes, which pretty much covers the entire selection of pillow ‘varieties’ available on the market. Quality, the pure cotton shell will prevent a pillowcase from slipping, so even if the case does not fit precisely, the mismatch will not cause you any trouble. Depending on the exact model in this product line, the thread count may vary from 245 to 400. All in all, Cuddledown line is designed to satisfy the wide range of shoppers.

Why We Like It?
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3 place :

Five Star Down Alternative Pillow Review

Five Star Down Alternative Pillow Review

Filled with microfiber, Five Star Down Alternative Pillow is a highly affordable solution available in four firmness levels. No matter if you want your pillows soft of a firm, this line can offer the perfect option you need. Designed with two gusset ribs 1.5 inches apart, the pillow ensures steady support for uneasy sleepers. This pillow will stay right in place even when you toss and turn, which is great news indeed. 100% cotton cover eliminates slipping and is easy to maintain. Differently from the delicate down pillows, this model is also washable. Similar to the Cuddledown line, Five Star Down Alternative Pillow comes in four sizes, including standard, queen, king, and Euro. So, finding a perfect pillow size will not cause you any trouble.

Why We Like It?
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4 place :

ExceptionalSheets Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow for Stomach Sleepers with Cotton Casing

ExceptionalSheets Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow for Stomach Sleepers with Cotton Casing

The name pretty much says it all — this is an incredibly soft pillow for stomach sleepers. The cotton casing may not be as smooth to the touch as silk and satin, but it ensures easy maintenance and eliminates pillowcase slipping. The low-density filling makes this pillow soft to the touch. Similar to most of the models described above, this product line includes four different pillow sizes. Available either separately or in sets of two, ExceptionalSheets pillows are produced by a reputable US brand, which accounts for their usability and long-lasting life. Filled with Cotton Poly Blend, ExceptionalSheets is the only pillow with an ‘extra soft’ firmness level. So, if standard ‘soft’ is not soft enough for you, ExceptionalSheets is the best down pillow you can find.

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5 place :

Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Down Pillow Review

Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Down Pillow Review

One more example of a machine-washable pillow that ensures easy cleaning and guarantees low maintenance. This hypoallergenic model is available in standard, Queen, and Kind sizes. Quality hand-plucked duck fill in a cotton case with a 1-inch gusset comes in two firmness levels: firm and medium. The medium model comes with 550 fill power and 400 thread count. The firmer version comes with the same thread count and slightly denser, 600 fill power. Light and compact, both options are not only machine washable, but also machine dryable. Available at a very affordable price, Pinzon Hypoallergenic White Duck Down Pillow provides stable neck support and is great for back and side sleepers.

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6 place :

Better Down Premium 100% White Goose Down Firm Pillow Review

Better Down Premium 100% White Goose Down Firm Pillow Review

Another example of a 100% natural, quality goose down filling. Made in the US, this pillow is available for sale either separately or in sets of two. Similar to most of the pillows described above, Better Down goose filled pillows leave some room for imagination. These firm, densely filled, pillows come in three US sizes: King, Queen, and standard. Premium, 233- thread count cotton case is nice to the touch. 550 fill power makes Better Down 100% White Goose Down Pillow one of the softest models in the ‘firm’ category. So, if you are looking for something in between ‘medium’ and ‘firm’ density levels, this model could be the perfect choice for you.

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Pros and Cons of Side Sleeper Pillows

Pros

  • Durable
    Most down pillows have higher than average durability in comparison to other pillow types. Quality duck and goose down pillows are designed to last for decades.
  • Washable
    Even though a few down pillows will have to be dry-cleaned, most of the models are machine washable — you just have to follow some basic precautions and cleaning will not cause any trouble.
  • Adjustable
    The biggest perk of using down pillows is that even the firm models are soft and easy to adjust. These cuddly pillows adjust to shape of your body, making your nights trouble-free.
  • Ensure great support
    Even despite their softness, best down pillows still ensure proper, stable head and neck support.
  • Designed for different sleepers
    Down pillows come in several density and firmness levels, which is why any person, regardless of the sleeping habits, will find something to one’s liking. Designed for people who enjoy sleeping on their side, on their back, on even on their stomach, down pillows exemplify an individual approach to any shopper.

Cons

  • Not always hypoallergenic
    It is possible to find a couple of hypoallergenic down pillows, but the vast majority of them may cause allergies. So, not the best choice for allergy-prone people.
  • Require regular fluffing
    Down pillows get flattened over a night’s sleep, so you will have to re-adjust their shape every night — if you do not want to sleep on a flat pillow, of course.
  • Usually expensive
    It is possible to find a couple of affordable models, but most down pillows are a bit above the budget category. In the long run, their durability will pay for itself, though.
  • Not perfect for large people
    Large guys may lack proper neck support with these pillows — as it was already mentioned, they get flattened under pressure.
  • Require deodorizing
    There is also some potential for smell, so these pillows will have to be regularly cleaned. Ideally, you should do it every 3-5 years.

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing the Best Down Pillow

No doubt, reviews can be pretty helpful while choosing quality pillows. However, they are not always enough to wrap your head about the whole buying process. This quick guide, on the other hand, should offer more than enough information to get you started with the search for a perfect pillow.

What are Down Pillows?

So, what the best down pillow is, exactly? In a nutshell, down is the fuzzy substance between feather and goose/duck skin. Goose and duck down is the most widespread filling material, which is soft, fluffy, and snuggly. Down pillows are soft and adjustable, and even firm density models are easy to fluff.

Some of the most common alternatives for down filling are memory foam, synthetic, and down & feather mix. Synthetic and memory foam pillows are also hypoallergenic, while the mix of down and feather, paradoxically, balances somewhere in between softness and firmness.

Down pillows vs Feather Pillows: What’s the difference?

Down vs feather

People tend to confuse down pillows with feather ones. Sure, these two are quite similar — most feather pillows have down-filled, too. There is no such thing as a 100% feather pillow; however, there are 100% down models with zero feathers. All in all, pillows with higher feather percentages are firmer and do not easily get flattened after a night’s sleep. However, feathers are also pointy and they can pierce fabric casing, scratching your neck. This, however, is never the case with 100% down pillows.

Choosing pillow fill power based on your sleeping habits

If have never shopped for pillows before and have zero ideas what you are dealing with, there are two major aspects that can help you define the best type of pillow for your particular needs: how you sleep and how firm you like your pillows.

Sleeping positions

  • On your back – This sleeping position calls for a sturdy neck support to prevent neck pain in the morning.
  • On your side – Perhaps, one of the most widespread sleeping positions out there. As a rule, medium-firmness pillows are perfect for side-sleepers.
  • On your stomach – Stomach sleepers will appreciate extra soft pillows to plunge their faces in.

Fill power and density

For every sleeping position, there is at least one perfect firmness level to prevent neck and back pain. Quick note: firmness is often confused with fill power, but the truth is quite different. The higher the fill power, the longer the pillow will last. When it comes to density and firmness, it is possible to point out four distinct types of :

  • soft: suitable only for stomach sleepers;
  • medium: ideal for side-sleepers;
  • firm: suitable both for side and back-sleepers; the choice is strictly preferential;
  • extra firm: a must for back sleepers, but can accommodate side sleepers as well.

Figure out the best size

No matter what they say, size is important. There are only four types of pillow sizes on the market:

  • Standard Pillow (20″x26″): a small, highly compact piece for side-sleepers who keep one of their arms under the pillow.
  • Queen pillow (20“ x 30“): a slightly bigger model for those who occasionally sleep on their back and prefer extra comfort.
  • King pillow (20“ x 36“): the biggest and the heaviest of all US sizes, suitable for all sleeping habits.
  • Euro Pillow (26X26): a square Euro model, perfect for back and stomach sleepers.

Before you hit the stores

By now, you should know at least approximately what kind of pillow you are looking for. Yet, hitting the stores is an entirely different matter. The following tips will help you avoid some pretty common shopping mistakes.

Define what you are looking for

Taking time to evaluate your sleeping habits is crucial because the choice in the stores is overwhelming. In other words, you have to know at least approximately what it is you are looking for to make an informed purchased decision.

Do your research

Your homework is a part of the shopping process if you would like to find a perfect pillow, tailored to your needs. So, you should take a couple of hours to research several stores and brands, read customer reviews — that is, comparison shop.

Major aspects to focus on

There are a couple of other things to focus on apart from the size, filling type, and firmness level. The lifespan of the best down pillow is probably the most important one. This aspect is defined by fill power — the higher the fill power, the longer your down pillow will last. That is, a model with 700 fill power will last twice as long as the one with 550 power.

Another aspect that can help determine the potential lifespan of the pillow is its shell (aka casing). The higher the thread count, the stronger (and, consequently, the more durable) the fabric is.

Remember that price is not always a reliable indicator

Expensive does not always mean ‘of the highest quality’; on the whole, reviews should be helpful in finding the balance between quality and price. Remember, some brands simply have a strong name, and it always possible to find cheaper pillows of the same quality.

Test drive in the store

Don’t hesitate to test drive a pillow in the store: lie on it to see how it feels. Standing next to the wall is another common test.

Don’t jump to conclusions

Finally, don’t buy the first pillow you see; consider different options before jumping to conclusions.

When you get home: care and maintenance tips

Down pillows are relatively low maintenance, but you still have to take care of certain precautions.

  • Dry-cleaning. Probably, the easiest and the quickest way to remove the smell, if any. Since you will have to clean down pillows once in 3-5 years, dry cleaning will not cause any significant damage to your pocket.
  • Washing. Some of the down pillows are machine washable, which saves you time and money on dry-cleaning. Make sure to read maintenance instructions before you wash the pillow, though. Always use the most delicate washing mode the machine offers, and use low temperatures. Ideally, wash two pillows at once (this will prevent shell tears) and use little detergent.
  • Drying. The keyword here is low heat. Don’t put the pillows next to a power source and fluff them a couple of times a day until they are completely dry. Normally, that should take 3-5 days.
  • Quality pillow covers reduce maintenance efforts. Finally, do not forget that sturdy pillowcases are your best friends, protecting the pillows from stains and odors.

Best Down Pillows: the takeaway

By now, you are already a pillow shopping pro! If you take some time to consider all of the tips, mentioned above, the choice of a perfect down pillow will not cause you any trouble. To quickly summarize the major highlights of the article, here’s what you should remember while shopping for down pillows. First, these models come in different firmness levels, and the right choice will depend on your sleeping habits exclusively. Next, fill power and thread count are the major aspect that determines the lifespan of your pillow. The higher they are, the longer the pillow will last. And finally, you can always make use of our top-rated models list— that’s pretty much everything you need to know to find a perfect pillow that will bring you the most serene nights and help you get rid of the neck pain once and for all.

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Best Choice
Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow
Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow
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Rating: 10 / 10
Cuddledown Stomach Pillow
Cuddledown Stomach Pillow
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Rating: 9.9 / 10
Five Star Down Alternative Pillow
Five Star Down Alternative Pillow
Check Price
Rating: 9.7 / 10