Down Pillows: Everything You Need To Know

So you are thinking about investing in a down pillow and wondering if the down pillow will perform well. In this article, we will answer FAQs to give you the tools to come to the correct conclusion.


  • Are down pillows suitable for allergy sufferers?
  • What down is best, duck or goose?
  • Can you wash down pillows?
  • How much do down pillows cost?

Grab a coffee, and let’s get into it.

Are down pillows worth it?

Yes, they are sumptuous. If you are choosing a down pillow, you are looking for luxury and opulence in your bedroom that will give you the confidence that when your head hits the pillow, you will sleep the night through.

Down pillows are softer and fluffier than a mix of feather and down. They also provide adequate support, so you are not waking with a stiff neck every morning.

Combined with a satin pillowcase, the down pillow can be enjoyed for many years to come and makes a statement of how you take care of yourself and your loved ones.

What is considered to be the best down pillow?

Hungarian goose down. If you are looking to buy the best, you will have to consider the Hungarian goose-down feather pillow. It’s not 100% down, but it’s still considered the best.

Hungarian goose feathers are sandwiched in between layers of Hungarian goose down. Why do they add goose feathers to an already sublimely comfortable pillow?

The feather in the middle of the pillow provides additional support as goose down ( and any other type of down) has a propensity to crush and flatten over a few days.

Flattened down pillows are not a problem. They can be easily plumbed to restore their sift sumptuous properties.

Are down pillows hypoallergenic?

It’s debatable. Feathers and down are not hypoallergenic by their very nature, but this doesn’t mean you can enjoy the feeling these pillows give when you sleep.

Quality pillows have an outer barrier that can contain allergens. If finished with a unique sateen cotton cover that’s tightly woven, it will become hypoallergenic and dust mite-proof.

If It is certified by the Nomite anti-allergen standard, you will be saved from wheezing and sneezing.

The weave is so tight not even on down feathers will make an appearance through the cover.

Is duck or goose down better for pillows?

Goose down. Goose down has a larger structure to duck down just because they come from a larger bird.

The large structure plays two major roles for your down pillow. The first is your pillow will be fluffier than duck down. The second role is the down traps sufficient air to prevent the need for constant plumbing of the pillow.

Duck down is known to give an odour despite being washed multiple times to eliminate the oils that waterproof the down.

How often should you replace your down pillow?

It is recommended every 3 years maximum. That may seem a short amount of time when you have paid so much for a pillow, but there are factors involved.

If your down pillow is lightly used, such as in a spare room, then clearly replacing it every 3 years would make no sense to anyone.

If you have maintained and washed the down pillows as instructed on the care label, you may see up to 5 years of use and longer from the down pillow.

How do you wash real down pillows?

Be gentle, and don’t use a detergent that creates lots of soapy bubbles. Inevitably to get the most from your down pillow, you will need to wash it maybe 3 times per year, depending on use.

You can wash a down pillow in a washing machine by the care label, and keep the wash cycle cool and short. It is important not to use a washing detergent to create a bubble bath effect. Use a low foam detergent if possible.

The last thing needed is a build-up of soap residue from washing the down pillow. It may be a good idea to run a rinse cycle separately to ensure the soap is rinsed out completely.

Dry naturally on a line or indoors in a ventilated room. It should dry within a few hours in an average-temperature home.

Why does my down pillow smell?

It’s normal. When you first receive your down pillow, it will have been packaged in plastic for weeks on end. Leave your pillow to air for a few days, the smell will go.

If your down pillow starts to smell, there are reasons for this. Down is affected by heat, humidity and moisture over a long period.

If your down pillow does smell, you can freshen it up by airing it outside in a shaded area, this should suffice.

Duck down can have its own odour. This is why duck down pillows are less common than goose down pillows.

However, with airing and washing, the odour should dissipate completely.

Pros and cons of down pillows

Even with the most luxurious of things, there can be ups and downs, so let’s take a look at what’s good and what’s not so good:

Down make a super soft pillowCan cause allergies if not certified allergy-free
Breathable so remains cool in the summer and warm in the winterNot great for side sleepers as the shape sets into the pillow
Easy to plump and retains its shape easilyExpensive to buy
Lasts longer than other pillow fillers.Down feathers can poke through the covering 

The pros and cons are well balanced. The biggest drawback is allergies, so you must ensure the pillow covering is certified Nomite.

How much do down pillows cost?

As little as sub £100.00, surprisingly, you can enjoy a down pillow for less than you think. Down pillows have always been expensive and out of the average person’s reach in the street.

The truth is you can get a down pillow for around £80.00 that will last you twice as long as a synthetic pillow, but you have the comfort.