Many of us look forward to getting back to bed as soon as we wake up in the morning, and there’s absolutely no shame in that. Whether you’re the type of person who reads a few chapters before bed, looks at Twitter one more time, or you’re someone who just wants to get in bed and pass out, those final moments before we fall asleep might be the only time of the day we get fully to ourselves.
Among other reasons, that’s why we’re so dedicated to helping you make the best of your time in bed. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to start is by buying the right pillow. We all sleep differently – on our sides, with an arm tucked under the pillow, with no sheets, with plenty of sheets, with a noise machine, in the pitch dark – so we know that one pillow isn’t going to work for everyone. There are so many factors that go into finding the perfect pillow for you. But let’s start somewhere simple: down pillows.
Down pillows are typically what you think of when you think of hotel-soft, clean, white pillows. Down is the layer of feathers underneath a bird’s top layer of feathers, and it provides an unmatched level of softness and comfort. If you take care of your down pillow, it can outlast nearly every other pillow type, and down pillows have a high level of variability depending on fill power, loft, amount of stuffing and more. So, if you’ve been unsatisfied with your pillow, you might want to try out down pillows.
Queen – $270
This ultra-luxurious option is great for stomach and back sleepers who wake up drowsy, with back pain, or with headaches. While the price point is steep, East Coast Bedding has made a name for itself in the world of sleep, and if you experience discomfort stemming from your pillow, it’s time to make a radical change. This 100% white goose down pillow will make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.
King – $140
At a reasonable price point, this pillow combines an impressive thread count as well as a high fill power, making it a luxury-quality choice. Hybrid sleepers who switch between back, stomach, or side sleeping will be able to choose between firm, medium firm, and soft options. It’s important to note that this pillow is stuffed with a mix of feathers and down, so while the price point is good, you’re not getting the same level of comfort that you would get if it were made with 100% down.
King – $60
If you want to try out down pillows but can’t drop hundreds of dollars on a luxury option, 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. However, while you might have to worry about getting poked with feathers in other feather/down mix pillows, Puredown uses a double stitching and self-piping method to contain pesky feathers.
King – $165
Down pillows are known for being a little too soft for back or side sleepers, who need something a little firmer, like latex. Back and side sleepers can feel comfortable testing out Royal Hotel’s adjustable down pillow, however. This pillow comes with a removable insert, so if you’re feeling some back or neck pain and need to switch things up, just add the insert for a higher loft and a firmer sleep experience. The pillow also comes in four other levels of firmness, so if you’d rather stick to something ultra firm or super soft, Royal Hotel has the choices you need.
King – $118
Snowe creates a firm and comfortable down pillow with this 750 fill power model. If you’re a side or back sleeper who loves the unrivaled softness that down offers, this pillow will give you all of that – and without the back and neck pain that other down pillows might cause. It comes with a cotton shell that’s soft and quiet, so you’ll be ready to sleep like a rock as soon as the pillow arrives.
The Pros and Cons of Down
Just as down pillows are a great choice for the stomach sleeper or back sleeper searching for the softest pillow out there, down pillows aren’t right for everyone. Check out these pros and cons before purchasing a down pillow.
The Pros of a Down Pillow
- It’s like sleeping on cloud nine. There’s nothing better than laying your head down on a pillow that feels like it’s cradling you.
- It’s natural. Down is a natural material and doesn’t need to be made with the chemicals associated with memory foam.
- Long-lasting. If you take care of your down pillow, it will last longer and retain its shape better than other pillows. Memory foam pillows, while great for some sleepers, lose their shape after a few years.
- Allergen free … typically. Because down is an animal product, it’s not hypoallergenic by nature. However, new manufacturing processes have enabled companies to remove allergens from their pillows. Pro tip: When buying your down pillow, just make sure it’s advertised as hypoallergenic.
The Cons of a Down Pillow
- It’s like sleeping on cloud nine. Sleeping on a cloud is right for some people, but can cause major back and neck problems in other people; especially for certain side and back sleepers. If you wake up with a sore neck or you prefer a thicker pillow, down probably isn’t right for you.
- Not so vegan-friendly. Perhaps the most obvious disadvantage of any down pillow is that down is an animal product. If you’re a vegan consumer, down isn’t right for you.
- Difficult to clean. Don’t think about throwing your down pillow in the washing machine unless you want a ripped pillow and a machine filled with feathers.
- Down is pricey. An inexpensive down pillow is typically mixed with feathers or other materials, which removes the main reason you’re buying a down pillow in the first place: softness.