Feather pillows are an excellent option for individuals who are looking for a soft pillow, that fluffs up well and that is also affordable.  Feather pillows are made from wing and back feathers of ducks and geese and can sometimes contain a small percentage, usually under 10% of down, to make it a bit softener.  Feather pillows have been around a long time and are a favorite of cost conscious shoppers, who want the softness of a down pillow, without the cost.

Top 5 Feather Pillows For 2017

#Brand & ModelFeatherDownThread CountPrice
1DownLuxe Dobby Stripe90% Goose10%300$$
2AIKOFUL Feather And Down Pillow85% Goose 15%Not Available$$
3Quality Rest Classic Feather Pillow75% Goose25%340$$$
4Westin Hotel Feather And Down Pillow50% Goose50%Not Available$$
5Queen Anne Pillow Company -The Duchess25% Goose75%330$$

Types Of Feather Pillows

When it comes to purchasing a feather pillow, you want to at least know some of the basics, such as what types of feathers are used in the pillow, the percentage of down if any and also the thread count of the outer shell or cover.  At mattress oracle, we realize that not everyone is a pillow expert, that is why we create these short primers, to get you up to speed on the differences of each pillow type and what to look for when shopping for a new pillow.

Duck Feather

Duck feather pillows are exactly what they sound like, they are pillows that are filled with duck feathers.  The benefit of duck feather pillows are they are a bit cheaper than goose feather pillows, but still offer the same softness and fluffiness as a goose down pillow.  The drawback to duck down pillows are the feathers tend to be smaller and you need more of them, this means the chances of you getting poked by a feather or feathers coming out of your pillow are greater.

Goose Feather

Goose feather pillows are made from feathers of geese, they come from the wings and backs of geese.  Since the geese feathers are larger less of them are required for each pillow.  And while it is true that goose feather pillows do cost a bit more than duck feather pillows, there really isn’t a huge difference in the price.  At mattress oracle, we personally favor the goose feather pillows over duck feather pillows, due to the fact you are getting a superior pillow and in most cases the price difference isn’t that much.  In fact the  IDFL, the worlds largest down and feather institute, rates goose feather pillows as being superior to duck down pillows.

Down

Almost all feather pillows will contain a bit of down in them, to provide a bit more softness and comfort.  Most pillows will contain roughly 5% down in them, however there are some that contain 25 or even 50% down.  Though once you get into the higher percentage of down in a feather pillow, they tend to cost more and it makes more sense just to purchase a down pillow.  If you are not familiar with the difference between feathers and down, the down is the super fine layer of feathers closest to the birds skin, near the belly.  The thing about down is  there are no quills to poke through your pillow and they generally retain heat better than feathers and fluff up a bit more.

Shell

The shell is the outer cotton layer that you first see when looking at a pillow.  The thing to look for is a pillow that has a thread count of around 250-500+, which means that the pillow’s outer shell of cotton layer will be soft. Cheaper pillows will generally have a lower thread count or a blend of polyester and cotton that you generally want to stay away from.

The cover or outer shell is more important than you think. This is the container of the filling which your head, neck and shoulders will have contact with all night depending on your sleeping position. The better quality covers are usually offered as 100% cotton with a 200+ thread count which is most ideal, whereas alternatives to this would be containing a percentage of polyester blend combined with cotton which indicates lesser quality.

Pros and Cons of Feather Pillows

If you are looking for a luxurious and super soft pillow, then feather pillows provide a great option.  Feather pillows also are more affordable than their down counterparts and still provide many of the same benefits.  Feather pillows are ideal for back and side sleepers who prefer a slightly softer pillow that they sink into.  While they do offer some firmer feather pillows, if you have back or neck problems and really need a firm pillow, then you generally want to stay away from feather pillows, and instead go with a latex pillow or more firm memory foam pillow.

Pros

1.Good Heat Transfer – Feather pillows offer fairly good heat transfer allowing you to stay cool throughout the night.  This is due in part to the fact that air can fairly easily flow between the feathers and unlike memory foam pillows which tend to retain or trap heat, feather pillows do an excellent job of drawing heat away from you.

2. Affordable Price- While not the cheapest pillows on the market, compared to down pillows feather pillows are noticeably cheaper and still provide some of the same benefits.  And they also can be fluffed up and retain their shape over time.

3. Great For Back & Side Sleepers- Feather pillows are fantastic for back and side sleepers who really want the feeling they are sleeping on a cloud.  Compared to other types of pillows like latex or even memory foam, feather pillows really do an excellent job of cradling your neck and head and giving you that super soft feeling.

4. Lifespan- The great thing about feather pillows compared to conventional pillows that wear out over time, is the fact that you can fluff them up and they are good as new.  While you maybe paying a bit more, you also don’t have to go out and buy a new pillow every 2-3 years.

Cons

1. Poking – One of the main reasons feather pillows aren’t as popular as down pillows, is the fact that the feathers do have quills on them and they do have the tenancy to go through the outer shell and poke you.  While it doesn’t happen all of the time, when it does happen it can be annoying.  People often wonder what the feeling of it is like and whether it hurts or can cause you to bleed.  And really the best way to describe getting poked by a feather pillow, is a short sharp poke, you will notice it, but it won’t draw blood or hurt you or cause long term discomfort.

2. Not Machine Washable- Similar to down pillows, most manufactures will recommend that you take your feather pillows to the dry cleaners to have them washed.  This can be an added cost and something to consider if you plan on doing this.  The main difference is at the dry cleaner, they will open the pillow up and remove the feathers inside, wash the casing or shell and then resew the pillow.  That said, you can still wash your feather pillows in a normal washing machine, and then tumble it dry, with some tennis balls in the dryer and you shouldn’t have a problem and many consumers do it this way.  However, most manufactures do not recommend machine washing pillows, since the feathers can trap water on them and if you don’t get your pillows 100% dry, this could potentially cause odors or mildew to be trapped in your pillow.

3. Not Firm- Finally feather pillows are not ideal for individuals who prefer a firm pillow or who have neck or back problems and really need a firm pillow with plenty of support.  The same qualities that make feather pillows fantastic for back and side sleepers who really want a luxurious, soft and comfortable pillow, is a slight drawback for folks that want a firmer pillow.

Feather Pillow Reviews

Downluxe Dobby Stripe White Goose Feather (Set Of 2)

downluxe-doby-feather-pillowsDownluxe dobby stripe white goose feather is a package of two fantastic pillows, each are filled with 80% white goose feather and an impressive 10% white goose down.  These pillows come in two sizes, either standard/queen or king sizes and are perfect for all types of sleepers.  Sporting a 300 thread count 100% Egyptian cotton shell or cover, these pillows are a fantastic value.  The manufacture even claims you can machine wash them, which is pretty important since you do want to wash your pillows at least a couple times a year and taking them to the dry cleaner can get expensive.

AIKOFUL Feather And Down Pillow- Firm( Set of 2)

aikoful-feather-pillowThe Aikoful feather and down pillows are quite nice, since they have 15% white goose down and 85% hypoallergenic white goose feathers in them.  This set is for their firm, but they also do have a softer pillow with less fill if you prefer a super soft feather pillow.  The case is 100% cotton, with a very nice gray piping stitching  going around the pillow, giving it a really suprior and elegant feeling.  We were really impressed with the quality of these feather pillows as well as the price and consider them an all around great value.

Conclusion

In terms of comfort, feather pillows are some of the finest pillows you can purchase, they are incredibly soft and fluffy and conform to your head and body.  They are ideal for side and back sleepers who really want a pillow they sink down in, yet still provides them the support they desire.

westin-hotel-feather-and-down-pillowsSince we spend so much time in bed, finding the perfect pillow is just as important as finding the perfect bed.  That’s why it is difficult to select just one feather pillow, since all of these are premium pillows in their own regard.  That said, there can truly be only one winner and for 2017 the top feather pillow, had to be hands down the Westin Hotel feather and down pillow.  You can say that Westin has a bit of an unfair advantage, in having hundreds of hotels around the world, and you can also say they know a thing or two when it comes to mattresses and bedding supplies.  Not only is their feather and pillow, extremely well regarded by customers, but their 50/50 blend of feathers two down, allows you to truly get all of the fantastic properties of a down pillow without the high cost.

quality-rest-classic-pillowOur runner up had to be hands down the Feather and Co, Quality Rest Classic Feather Pillow, it has 75% white goose feathers and 25% white goose down, making it a dream to sleep on.  The shell is made up of the finest long-staple Egyptian cotton you can possibly find and the entire pillow is hypoallergenic.  Not to mention the satin corded perimeter piping, really accents and set’s off the pillow.  It goes without saying that Feather and Co makes some of the finest pillows on the market, the only downside is the price.  They do cost quite a bit more than most of the feather pillows we have reviewed and one of the reason’s it didn’t make our top pick for 2017.  That said, if you purchasing a premium quality feather pillow, you should be expecting to pay a bit for it and this pillow is priced fair.