Down pillows feel so soft, but they can clump up, and they may trigger allergic reactions. Where can we find all the perks of down pillows without the lumps and runny noses?
Here’s a handy list of alternative pillows that provide many of the benefits we associate with the down pillow without the drawbacks.
When we look for pillows, we seek soft cushions that provide needed support to our heads and necks - and sometimes, to other parts of our bodies. For decades, down pillows have served as the gold standard for pillows. Down feathers - as in, the fine feathers that lie under birds’ tougher pennaceous feathers -- have been considered sacred by some Native American tribal communities for centuries, and Russian and Scandinavian farmers have utilized down feathers for insulation since at least the 17th century.
To this day, some people continue to value down pillows for their incredibly plush softness. But since down feathers tend to attract dust mites and mold as they age, they become more allergenic. Vegans also tend to shy away from down feathers, as they’re animal byproducts -- some are even plucked from live birds. If you’re concerned about allergies and/or animal cruelty, can you find pillows that match down pillows’ softness without being stuffed with feathers? Fortunately, we’ve found some worthy alternatives that won’t keep you up at night.
Original Casper Sleep Pillow
Casper’s pillow provides all the softness you want with the value you need. It has a unique “pillow in pillow” design that combines a supportive inner pillow with a soft outer pillow to ensure plenty of softness as well as support. It has a polyester microfiber fill that creates an adaptive and supportive surface, and it has a percale cotton cover that allows for maximum airflow that helps you keep your cool.
Casper’s original pillow is machine washable for easy care, and it’s so clump-resistant that it only needs a quick fluff to bring it back to full life. To make this pillow even better, it comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Sahara Nights Pillow
There’s a reason why Sahara Nights regularly ranks on our best pillow lists: It’s simply that good. This pillow utilizes polyester gel fiber that feels remarkably similar to down. Yet unlike down, Sahara Nights’ gel fiber is designed to avoid sinkage and avoid the triggering of allergies. At the same time, this pillow feels incredibly soft, and it retains its shape as it adjusts to the head and neck.
Sahara Nights delivers luxury hotel quality comfort with its pillow, but without the sniffles or the high price. Even better, if you buy a second Sahara Nights pillow, you’ll automatically score 10% off.
Avocado Green Pillow
Have you ever wished for a pillow that’s made with all non-toxic materials, has an adjustable fill, has a machine washable cover, and is certified organic? If so, then check out Avocado’s Green Pillow. This pillow is handmade at Avocado’s Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certified factory in Los Angeles. It has a fill of organic kapok that makes for a lighter and softer vegan alternative to down feathers, sustainably sourced organic latex that provides resilience and durability, and an organic jersey cotton cover that wicks moisture and ensures cool breathability.
The Avocado Green Pillow is GreenGuard Gold certified for safety, Vegan Awareness Foundation certified free of animal products, and GOTS certified organic for all materials and the finished product. Avocado offers a 100-night free trial for you to decide if this is the right pillow for you, a one-year warranty for extra protection, and even carbon-negative shipping at no extra cost.
Tuft & Needle Foam Pillow
While some memory foam pillows tend to warm up during use, Tuft & Needle’s signature pillow is different. How so? Tuft & Needle uses its own T&N adaptive foam that’s infused with graphite and cooling gel in order to provide a cooler resting experience. It’s also testified and certified by CertiPUR-US to ensure that it has no known harmful chemicals.
If you’re still worried about whether the Tuft & Needle foam pillow is right for you, fear not: It’s backed by a full refund guarantee with a 30-night sleep trial, and it has a gimmick-free three-year warranty.
Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow
If the thought of searching for a suitable replacement for your favorite down pillow has you sweating, then cool down with Coop Home Goods’ Eden pillow. The Eden is made with soft, gel-infused memory foam and microfiber fill to deliver a cooler night’s sleep. In addition, the Eden’s case is made with Coop’s proprietary Lulltra fabric -- a blend of bamboo-derived viscose rayon and polyester -- that provides additional breathability and softness. This pillow is also unique in its adjustability: You can unzip to add or remove memory foam fill, and Coop even provides an extra half-pound bag of fill so you can achieve the right loft for you!
The Coop Home Goods Eden pillow is CertiPUR-US and GreenGuard Gold certified to ensure safety and quality, and it’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Coop Home Goods also provides a 100-night trial for you to return the pillow for a full refund if it doesn’t work out for any reason, and it comes with a five-year warranty.
Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow
If you seek all the luxury of the finest down pillows without the plucky drawbacks, Boll & Branch has you covered. Their down alternative pillow feels like down because it works like down: Their PrimaLoft™ filling is a premium synthetic fiber that’s hypoallergenic while matching down’s lightweight loft. In addition, it’s covered in 100% organic cotton for a safe and soft night’s sleep. It even features details like piping around the edge and an embroidered outer cover that make this pillow feel extra special.
To seal their amazing deal, Boll & Branch offers a 30-night risk-free trial, free returns, and free shipping.
Birch by Helix Organic Pillow
Where can we find a down alternative pillow that’s only made with the finest eco-friendly, ethically sourced, and natural materials? Fortunately, Helix has the answer we’re looking for. The Birch by Helix Organic pillow features a core of crushed Talalay latex that’s wrapped on all sides in organic and cruelty-free wool, then covered in 100% organic cotton. This pillow is designed to be highly breathable and soft, the Talalay latex core - which is ethically sourced from Southeast Asian rubber trees - provides ample support, and the wool wrapping - ethically sourced from partner farms in New Zealand - guarantees moisture-wicking plushness.
Helix’s Birch Organic pillow is GreenGuard Gold and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified for eco-friendly safety, as it’s free of any polyurethane-based foams and harsh chemicals. It also comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a one-year limited warranty to provide some peace of mind.
The cover photo was taken by Amin, licensed under Creative Commons, and made available by Wikimedia.
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