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If your favorite time of the day is the time you spend in bed, you’re far from alone, and that’s why we’re so dedicated to helping you get the most out of the bedroom. And, for sleep product newbies, the most accessible way to start is by buying the right pillow. But with such a huge range of pillows, and in such a variety of materials, sizes, fillings and lofts, it can be hard.
But let’s start with the traditional pillow: that hotel-soft, clean, white pillow. Typically, those words are associated with down pillows. Down is the layer of feathers underneath a bird’s top layer of feathers, and down provides unmatched softness and comfort in a pillow. If you take care of it, your down pillow can outlast nearly every other pillow type, and down gives you a lot of variety depending on fill power, loft, amount of stuffing and more. So, if you’ve noticed waking pain or headaches, you’re waking up in the middle of the night or having a hard time falling asleep, and you’re ready to make a change, a high-quality down pillow may be the answer you need.
Queen – $270
Far and away the priciest option on this list, East Coast Bedding offers you an incredibly luxurious down pillow. Sure, it’s a steep price point, but keep in mind down pillows are high-quality and will last for years to come. Plus, what price would you put on a good night’s sleep? Poor sleep can have a huge impact on your mental and physical well-being, so it’s worth splurging on a luxurious, 100% white goose down pillow, especially if you’re waking up in pain or getting poor sleep at night.
King – $140
This price point might not seem midrange, but because down is a luxury material for pillows, you’re unfortunately going to be forced to fork up a few more bucks if you’re looking for the perfect down pillow. However, you’re getting a high-end pillow at a great price point because Egyptian Bedding has stuffed its pillow with a mix of down and feathers. This means the pillow won’t allow you to sink into it as much as 100% down options, but hybrid sleepers who switch to their stomach, back, or side throughout the night have a few options with this pillow.
King – $58
For a goose down pillow at an even better price, Puredown’s Natural White Goose Feather Egyptian Cotton set is a great starter down pillow. Like Egyptian Bedding’s model, this pillow is made with a mix of down and feathers, which is what allows the price to be so reasonable. You don’t have to worry about the feathers poking through the pillow and into your face, though, because Puredown uses a stitching method that keeps everything contained and poke-free.
King – $165
If you love the feel of down but you’re a back or side sleeper who needs a firmer pillow, the way latex pillows can be, Royal Hotel has a solution. This down pillow has an adjustable height: just unzip the pillow and remove the insert, and it’s a great down pillow for stomach sleepers. Royal Hotel also offers this pillow in a variety of firm options, so it’s a great choice for the sleeper who needs a little extra customizability.
Queen – $128
With a 700 fill power, this pillow offers some extra firmness that you don’t typically find in 100% down pillows. It’s the perfect down option for those of us who want to feel cradled by our pillow but also need some extra support, though hot sleepers beware. Like most down pillows, Continental Bedding’s pillow might go slightly flat over time, but just fluff it back up and it should bounce back to shape.
The Pros and Cons of Down
Down pillows are a great choice for the stomach sleeper or back sleeper looking for that hotel-soft pillow that will cradle you as you sleep, but down pillows certainly aren’t right for everyone. If you’re looking to drop some money on a down pillow, make sure to check out our pros and cons before pulling the trigger.
The Pros of a Down Pillow
- It’s like sleeping on cloud nine. Down pillows are just cozy. They are soft and moldable, perfect for sleepers who want to put their arms under the pillow or want to feel cradled.
- It’s natural. You don’t have to worry about the mysteries of memory foam and other highly manufactured pillows, as down is natural.
- Long-lasting. If you take care of your down pillow, down has the potential to last longer and keep its shape. Memory foam pillows, while great for some sleepers, are known to fall apart after a few years.
- Allergen free … typically. Down is an animal product, so it’s not hypoallergenic by nature. Thanks to new manufacturing processes, companies can remove allergens from their pillows. Pro tip: When buying your down pillow, double check to ensure it’s hypoallergenic.
The Cons of a Down Pillow
- It’s like sleeping on cloud nine. For side and back sleepers, or for sleepers who need to feel like they’re sleeping “on top” of their pillow rather than “in” their pillow, down isn’t for you.
- Not so vegan-friendly. If you’re a vegan consumer, down isn’t right for you, as it’s an animal product.
- Difficult to clean. Sure, down lasts longer if it’s taken care of. If it’s not taken care of, or thrown in the wash, it’s likely to fall apart.
- Down is pricey. If you find an inexpensive down pillow, it’s probably not 100% down, but made with feathers or down alternative. Down is super soft, but can also be super expensive.
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