What Is a Down Pillow: Everything You Need to Know

What Is a Down Pillow: Everything You Need to Know

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What Is a Down Pillow: Everything You Need to Know

Do you love snuggling your pillow while you’re fast asleep? A high-quality pillow can mean the difference between comfortable, refreshing sleep and waking up even more tired than before. If you experience the latter more often than not, then it might be time to replace your pillow.

Down pillows are designed to conform to the shape of your head and shoulders, regardless of whether you’re in your most comfortable sleeping position or not. They are made of organic materials, hypoallergenic materials that allow proper airflow through the contents of the pillow without softening or hardening beyond regular comfort levels. What’s more is that down pillow are available in all sorts lofts to perfectly match your preferred pillow-density.

But what is a down pillow?

Down pillows differ from traditional pillows in the sense that they made of organic animal products, specifically feathers from the backs, wings, and chests of goose and ducks. Most manufacturers of down pillows will sell replacement feathers when they’ve become crumpled up after months of use. Down pillows come is a wide range of densities and sizes.

What types of down pillows are there?

Basically, there are two types of downs used to make down pillows: goose and duck downs. However, there are three types of down pillows listed below.

Goose Down Pillows

Goose Down Pillows

If you’re looking for the king of all down pillows, then you have to go with goose down. Goose down is naturally super-fine, soft, and offer a consistent texture. Although they are the priciest option, you can definitely feel a difference in quality compared to other pillow types like memory foam, microbead, and buckwheat pillows. Though Hungarian and Polish goose downs are traditional, you can find other high-quality goose downs from Canada and the US.

Duck Down Pillows

Duck Down Pillows

The second type of down pillow is pillows stuffed with duck down. Duck down is normally smaller than goose down but is extremely soft and great for resting your head on. Duck down pillows are for fans of down pillows that are looking for a cost-efficient pillow. However, due to their smaller size, duck downs do have a shorter lifespan so you need to keep replacing the stuffing in order to ensure that your pillows provide maximum comfort Since duck down is more sensitive than goose down, pillows stuffed with duck down are recommended for occasional use rather than daily or nightly use.

Goose and Duck Down Pillows

The third and final type of down pillow combines both goose and duck downs. Combined down pillows are oftentimes sold in softer or denser models than all-duck or all-goose down pillows. They’re the middle-path between pure-duck and pure-goose down pillows. Because this type of down pillow combines both duck and goose feathers, it’s fair to say that the pillows will begin to distort in shape and lose its comfiness after several months of use. This is unfair to the goose down since duck down tends to break up quicker than their goose counterparts.

Down Pillows Pros and Cons

If you’re still unsure of whether a down pillow is best for you, take a look at our list of pros and cons.


  • ​Amazing aesthetics – down pillows are generally firmer and fuller when compared to other types of pillows.
  • ​Great for stomach sleepers – down pillows can adjust in shape to ensure that your back remains straight, even when sleeping on your belly.
  • ​Durable – the best goose down pillows have a lifespan of 10 years so a $150 investment is definitely worth it in the long-run.


  • ​Soft down pillows might not provide proper support.
  • ​Down pillows can lose their shape numerous times during the night so you may need to re-fluff your pillow every-so-often.
  • ​Costlier than other types of pillows.

​Buying Guide

If you’re still interested in purchasing a down pillow after reading our list of pros and cons, then there are several important aspects to pay attention to when scouring the market for one.


As we mentioned earlier, there are two main types of down used to make these pillows: goose and duck. Goose is more expensive but lasts longer, whereas duck is more cost-efficient, but you will need to constantly refill the stuffing every couple of months to ensure that the pillow offers maximum comfort.

Stuffing Capacity

How full the down pillow is can determine its durability and quality. Not only do fuller pillows take up more space, but they are also denser and better for those who like firmer pillows to hug or place between their legs while they catch some zzz’s. Be sure to check how firm the pillow is before purchasing one, but also keep in mind that these pillows will alter their shape to accommodate your head and shoulders.

Thread Count

Like with any pillow, the thread count is used to determine the softness, or lack thereof, of the pillow. Expensive, high-quality pillows usually have high thread counts, making your hand glide seamlessly across the pillow’s surface without feeling a thread. Down pillows are encased in all sorts of cotton casings with various thread counts. In general, a thread count of at least 200 should be soft to the touch.

Final Remarks

Now that we know the basics of what a down pillow is and what to expect from one, it’s now time to decide which pillow you want to go with. We highly recommend getting either a 100% goose down pillow or a mixture of both goose and duck downs since they are considerably more durable than pure duck down pillows. Memory foam pillows are also a great type of pillow if you’re looking for something that will mold to the exact shape of your head. However, down pillows are the better option if you’re looking for something that both adjusts its shape to your body and is aesthetically beautiful. There are a wide number of manufacturers that design and sell high-quality down pillows like Continental Bedding and Egyptian Bedding. Just be sure to find a model that suits your best in terms of looks, firmness or softness, and budget.