How To Choose A Down/Feather Pillow

Benefits of down pillows

Down and feather has been the go to choice for fill in pillows since the beginning of pillow time. This is because down is a natural insulator which can offer warmth in addition to luxurious softness. Feather and down pillows are also diverse because feather and down can be used in different combinations that can offer different levels of firmness ranging from sumptuously soft to firm and supportive. Knowing how different combinations offer different levels of firmness, will help to determine what pillow might be right for you, so here is a breakdown that will hopefully help you to find your perfect feather and/or down pillow.

While down can keep you warm in those colder months, it is also a natural fill that breathes, which means that it will allow airflow both ways, dispersing heat better than synthetic options that can trap it and make you clammy and uncomfortable throughout the night.

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Photo cred: Wikipedia

Down clusters are these luxuriously soft, fluffy, little cotton-ball like feathers closest to the bird’s (goose or duck) skin which offer protection and warmth. Down is light and fluffy and has tiny fiber like feathers without a quill. The quality of these little clusters is determined by their fill power, which means the amount of space in cubic inches 1 ounce of down will occupy; basically, measuring the amount of fluff that the cluster offers. The bigger the cluster, the more air it can hold which means the warmer and loftier it will be.

Support and Recommendations

Down pillows are going offer the softest support. While the down does hold air, it also compresses under pressure and will lend a lot of “give”. Down pillows are wonderful if you’re looking for something that you can sink into. This is ideal for stomach sleepers since the pillow will be soft and comfortable on your face and will allow you to sink in enough to where you’re head isn’t propped up to high.

pcf touch of down blog

If you need something with a bit more support but still crave the down like softness, a pillow with 50% feather and 50% down would be a great alternative. The larger feathers on the outside of the bird (with the quill) are strong and resilient and lend support to a pillow. The equal combination of both offers a nice balance between softness and support.

Pillows with 75% feather 25% down pillows offer enough support for side sleepers. The higher percentage of feather helps the pillow to maintain its shape, keeping your head and neck aligned throughout the night. 75/25 pillows are great because they’re not too hard and not too soft and will provide both loft and support for side sleepers.

If it’s something firm that you’re looking for, I’d recommend a 95% feather 5% down pillow. The very high feather content will lend support and firmness to the pillow. 95/5 pillows will be the firmest option for someone looking for a very supportive feather and down bed pillow.

The descriptions above do describe a very general range of pillows and there are others that have inner chambers with different combinations of feathers and down but as long as you remember that feather=firmer, down=softer, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the support level offered in different pillows.

Blog Author: Monique, Lead Bedding Expert

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