Out of all the various types of pillows available at your fingertips, feather pillows are not only ones which have been around for a long time, but also a type which continues to remain popular for numerous reasons. Unlike the specially shaped contour or pregnancy pillow there is nothing too fancy about this type. They are an entry level product which rate high and sell in abundance, possibly due to their cheap price tag and overall benefits over the drawbacks.
What Are Feather Pillows?
In short, feather pillows are filled with the wing and back feathers from geese or ducks or sometimes both. Almost always they’ll also contain a small percentage of down feathers which make up about 5%. The bulk of the feathers themselves amount to approximately 95-100% and are usually quite firm which is why down is used as the softener. They are most commonly oblong shaped in the traditional manner and available in the common sizes.
In recent times, like most products of this nature the best place to buy pillows is certainly online. If you happen to be in a retail outlet you can fold, fluff, punch, and scrunch all you like to get a good feel and understanding of what you’re about to buy. Alternatively if you choose to buy pillows online the best advice is to read other peoples opinions, reviews and buying guide like the one we have compiled below:
As the name might suggest, goose feather pillows are made up from the filling of wing or back feathers of geese. This is usually the preferred option over duck feather as it’s of a better quality, which also means they are more expensive than duck. The color is purer too being a solid white; even though the outer cover usually disguises the color quite well, sometimes the shade of white beneath is apparent. The best pillows are usually a goose feather and goose down combination and can be any mixture ratio, though it will almost always be more feather than down.
Duck feather pillows are a cheaper option but in no way will they be an unsatisfactory purchase. Good selections in this category can be found pretty cheap. They are less popular than geese, probably due to the price being so similar yet the quality of these being considerably less, however there is still an abundance of choice, being heavily available online and in large department stores. Unlike goose feathers, the duck filling is a slightly off-white but this shouldn’t make a difference if you have a pillow case to cover. Some manufacturers choose to bleach the feathers for a purer finish but this takes away the natural element in our opinion and is unnecessary.
The best feather pillows are ones which contain a portion of down filling. Down is the fine protective layer which exists underneath the top layer of birds. The down is what’s added to reduce the firmness and produce a more plush feel, as just the feathers alone will be rather firm and perhaps somewhat uncomfortable. Ones which have a small percentage of down (as opposed to none at all) are usually better quality and slightly more expensive. A common mixture is anything between 5-50% down with the remainder being feather.
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.
Like with mattresses, you’ll surely want to know how soft or firm it is; this determines the level of support provided when it’s time to sleep. Too soft and you’ll have very little support at all. Too firm and you’ll most likely end up in pain. In general, feather pillows are almost always a medium-soft and provide less neck support compared to others, but on the plus side due to these properties they are easily shaped which is why they are usually considered the best pillow for stomach sleepers.
The pillow sizes are quite uniform across brands give or take an inch. The one you decide to buy depends on personal choice and budget, but in general they’re are most commonly available in the following sizes:
Standard = 20″ x 28″
Queen = 20″ x 30″
King = 20″ x 36″
Pros and Cons
A particular model or type may be better suited for your needs than the other, but the benefits may be outweighed by the cost or some other factor. Therefore, it’s time now to learn about the pros and cons of feather pillows, so please read the below to hopefully aid your decision making process:
Price: If you’re after a set of cheap pillows then this is the kind you should buy. Even the best feather pillows can be found online for reasonable prices. Considering they can last anything up to 10 years, the lifetime value is good.
Lifespan: Compared to others, these are relatively hard wearing and will last you a fair number of years before you feel the need to replace.
Sleeping position: Generally, due to their soft and fluffy nature which allows them to be easily shaped, these are considered to be good all rounders, but particularly served best as a stomach sleeper pillow.
Easy to shape: It’s relatively important for some people to have the ability to mold and scrunch into various shapes or height; there is a great deal of flexibility with these to mold and shape as you please which is great for those who like a custom feel.
Sleeps cool: Unlike memory foam properties, these sleep cool. Essentially what this means is when you’re asleep, as body heat is dissipated from your head and upper body, the pillow doesn’t trap or retain this heat, instead it releases it effectively thus allowing the surface temperature to remain normal. Heat dissipation and temperature regulation is an often overlooked factor which is influenced by the materials used manufacture.
Pain relief: Due to the lesser support compared to the likes of a natural latex or memory foam pillow, for those suffering with various upper body pain, especially in the shoulders, these aren’t proven to be the most popular option.
Extra poke: Normally the cotton covers are resistant to it, but occasionally especially on the cheap versions you may get the odd quill or two poke through. Though the quills will not cause you harm, it can be annoying at times.
Support: Due to the easily compressed and shape-able nature of this fill, depending on your preference the level of support provided can be considered sub-par in comparison to others.
For the money you really can’t go wrong with products from this team, and don’t let the low prices put you off either; they are known to provide good quality products at affordable figures. This set is one of those typical examples; the interior is filled with a common combination of 95% white goose feathers and 5% white goose down. Unlike other brands and models which have a natural smell that can sometimes last a number of days, there is no odor from this one. The comfort will leave you pleasantly surprised, combined with the medium firmness which gives adequate support for most sleeping positions, altogether makes this a set of top rated pillows.
This pair of goose feather pillows are an extremely popular set which rate highly in our books and with hundreds of verified owners too. Aside from the common 95/5 combination, there is a 100% organic cotton cover with 240 thread count. The other numerous positives about this one are the cheap price and the super comfy soft feel. Never lacking in quality, set yourself two alarms for the morning because whether you buy a Standard or a King you’ll almost certainly need it!
Available in Standard, Queen and King, the blended down and feather pillow has a 50/50 mix which provides a perfectly soft and fluffy feel. Naturally hypoallergenic, it features a soft 233 thread count with 100% cotton cambric cover. Although very lightweight it doesn’t feel poorly made, instead it oozes quality and resembles well made models which are double in price. If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach and don’t specifically require orthopedic support, this is a well priced highly recommended choice for those who like a firm yet plush relaxing sensation.
Another great addition to the selection is this luxury bed pillow from Sweet Home Collection. This one also has a 95/5 goose feather and down ratio but instead has a very high 400 thread count 100% cotton cover unlike the others which average 250. Available in three different sizes: Standard, King, and Queen, these come sold in pairs. Out of the five reviewed here these keep your head positioned properly which means so far in comparison they may not make an ideal stomach sleeper pillow but will be good for neck support if specifically required.
Yet another product from the popular company, we couldn’t resist adding this one to our reviews. As far as grey duck feather goes this is one of those cheap pillows that never fail to impress. We found that the 95/5 ratio grey duck down and feather blend produces a good combination of medium-soft firmness which has resulted in an exceptionally comfortable set of fluffy pillows. The only negatives is that they’re sold as a single unit as opposed to pairs like some others, and also the 60% cotton 40% polyester could have driven the price down a little further in comparison to others reviewed here which offer an all important hypoallergenic 100% cotton. Overall, these aren’t going to disappoint.
On paper much of these share the same or very similar specs, however there are certain qualities and factors which make them better than their peers. Of the 5 listed here we have concluded our favorites to be the pair of queen size white goose feather and down pillows by Blowout Bedding.
The 100% organic cotton cover has a thread count of 250 which is higher than others in its price range. The blend of 95% feather and 5% down has been treated to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungus, mold, and mildew and at the same time provide a medium firmness which appeals to a wider variation of sleeping positions. Unlike others, there is no bad odor and more importantly in our experience the quills or feathers didn’t poke through. Some other options in the same price range are only sold singularly which potentially means double cost, whereas these are sold in pairs; great value at an already low price.
Overall, for the money these are the best rated pillows from our carefully picked choice of reviews; a highly recommended purchase which will not disappoint.