The Best Down Pillows in 2020
(Expert Guide & Reviews)
We have carefully examined 17 pillows to present you with the top 5 best down pillows. To be precise, our experts tested 6 pillows with goose down, 5 with duck down, and 6 with a blend of feathers and down.
They ranked them following a strict methodology, which you can check out below.
Plus, we compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you choose the pillow best suited for your sleep needs.
The Top 5 Best Down Pillows
The 5 Top Rated Down Pillows
1. Parachute Down Pillow Review
The Parachute down pillow is filled with high-quality white down. It offers a luxurious plush feel while providing ample support to your head and neck. Its cover is made of 100% sateen cotton, so it’s silky smooth to touch.
It’s amazing that this pillow comes in three firmness options. So besides choosing between two sizes, you can opt for the right firmness level based on your sleeping style. However, if you’re a strict side sleeper and looking for the best down pillow for side sleepers, you might want to check out the Parachute down pillow specially designed for this sleeping position.
Also, it’s very easy to keep this pillow clean since it’s machine-washable. Another important thing to mention is that this product is both RDS and Oeko-Tex certified, showing that the brand cares for both people and animals.
Finally, the Parachute pillow is backed by a 3-year warranty and a 90-night sleep trial.
- An airy and supportive pillow
- Three firmness options
- Soft pillow cover
- Not ideal for hot sleepers
2. eLuxury Goose Down Pillow Review
Looking for the best goose down pillow? eLuxury offers a goose down pillow that features a simple design but exceptional comfort. Its fill is made of goose down that creates a fluffy, soft feel. Since it has a medium loft, it’s best suited for side and back sleepers. Depending on your preferences, you can choose one of three sizes—a standard, queen, or king size pillow.
Instead of focusing on the stylish look of the pillow cover, the manufacturer paid great attention to its functionality. It’s made of 100% cambric cotton, so it’s quite soft and breathable—another reason why this is one of the best goose down pillows. Plus, the cover can easily be washed in a machine.
It’s also great that eLuxury offers free shipping and a 30-night trial period. So if the pillow doesn’t meet your expectations, you can simply return it and get your money back. However, the pillow isn’t covered by a warranty, unlike their mattress. For more details about it, read our full eLuxury mattress review.
- Plush and supportive
- Soft 100% cotton cover
- Available in three sizes
- Too soft for some sleepers
3. Helix Down & Feather Pillow Review
The Helix down pillow is often reviewed as one of the best rated down pillows. This is because it’s a great choice for most sleepers since it offers a medium-soft feel. It consists of three chambers, and thanks to its innovative design, it provides better support than most down feather pillows.
The inner core is filled with a combination of feathers and down, so it’s denser and firmer than the two outer cores, which are made of white down. Since down is a very adjustable material, most sleepers will find this pillow comfortable regardless of their preferred sleeping position.
The cover is made of 100% cambric cotton, which is very soft and breathable. Plus, the entire pillow has very good air circulation. This makes it one of the best feather and down pillows for hot sleepers, who will be able to have a great night’s rest on it. If you tend to sleep hot, check out our list of the top 10 cooling pillows as well.
Helix offers a 100-night trial period for this pillow, which means you can return the pillow if you don’t like it for some reason. In addition, it’s covered by a one-year warranty. What’s more, the pillow is Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified, meaning that the company also takes care of the animals’ welfare.
Helix is also well-known for its wide selection of mattresses. Read more about them in our detailed review.
- Exceptional support
- Excellent air circulation
- Soft, breathable cover
- One firmness level
4. Casper Down Pillow Review
Anyone shopping for the best value in down pillows should check out Casper’s. It’s an excellent pick for anyone looking for a soft, fluffy pillow. It features a five-chamber design, ensuring that your head and neck are naturally aligned. Both the inner and outer chambers are stuffed with a down-feather blend. However, the inner chambers contain 60% down and 40% feather, while the outer chamber’s fill contains 80% down and 20% feather.
The cover is made of 100% cotton, so it’s very soft to touch and quite breathable. Thanks to good air circulation, the Casper down pillow sleeps cooler than most down pillows, so it’s often recommended as one of the best down feather pillows for hot sleepers.
When it comes to its maintenance, it’s good to know that the pillow is both washer and dryer friendly. While you can choose between two sizes—standard or king—there’s only one firmness level.
You should know that this down pillow is RDS certified, showing that Casper values the welfare of animals. If you decide to buy it, you’ll have a 100-night trial period to make your final decision. In addition, the pillow is covered by a one-year warranty, which isn’t so common, even among the best rated down feather pillows.
You can also read our in-depth review of mattresses made by Casper.
- Soft, breathable cover
- Good support
- Soft, fluffy feel
- One firmness level
5. Brooklinen Down Pillow Review
The Brooklinen down pillow offers a wide variety of options. Besides choosing between standard and king size, you can opt for one of three firmness levels. Therefore, it offers an amazing level of comfort to all types of sleepers regardless of their sleeping styles.
The plush option is filled with down, and it’s an amazing choice if you need the best down pillow for stomach sleepers. Both the medium and firm options are stuffed with a mix of feathers and down. Since side sleepers often need more support than other sleepers, they will probably find the firm pillow most comfortable.
All variants have a 100% cotton sateen cover, which is very soft to the touch. When it comes to its cleaning, the Brooklinen down pillow isn’t the best down feather pillow you can find since it’s not machine-washable. Instead, you should spot clean it, or you can dry-clean it from time to time.
Keep in mind that the pillow is certified by Downmark (the Down Association of Canada), so it follows ethical harvesting practices. Also, it’s Oeko-Tex certified, meaning that it doesn’t contain any harmful substances.
- Three firmness options
- Very supportive
- Breathable cover
- Only two sizes available
How We Chose the Best Down Pillows
Our Ranking Methodology
When faced with a wide variety of down pillows, it isn’t easy to make the right choice. To make your shopping experience more pleasant and less time-consuming, we’ve presented you with our top 5 list. In order to be as objective as possible when ranking down pillows, our experts have come up with a set of key criteria, which you can see below.
The best quality down pillows should keep your head and neck naturally aligned. Otherwise, you may wake up with aches and pains, and we don’t want that to happen. Therefore, we looked for pillows that provide an adequate amount of support for all sleeping positions.
In addition, a pillow should offer some nice contouring to feel comfortable. Most down pillows are quite cushioning. Plus, they tend to easily adjust to different sleeping styles. All you need to do is to fluff them from time to time.
However, keep in mind that the best down pillow for a side sleeper probably won’t be the best option for a stomach sleeper. In fact, your preferred sleeping position will greatly affect your choice of pillow—especially its firmness level and loft (thickness). That’s why it’s fabulous that some models come in several firmness options.
Once you find a comfy pillow, which helps you have a good night’s rest, you’ll probably want to enjoy its benefits as long as possible. With this in mind, it’s crucial to get one of the best down-filled pillows made of quality materials.
Therefore, we inspected all the materials used in each of the reviewed models. Our team of experts focused equally on the fill material and pillow cover since they both affect the comfort level of a pillow and its durability. The down fill power is one of the key factors that affect the feel and quality of a pillow.
Regarding the cover, we believe that the best down and feather pillows should have covers made of 100% cotton, since they’re very breathable and exceptionally soft to touch. Also, it’s important to look at the thread count because the higher it is, the less likely the down fill is to escape. We’ll talk more about this, as well as the down fill power, below.
Finally, we valued those brands that use only certified materials. For example, the Oeko-Tex US certificate proves that no harmful substances have been used. RDS is another important certificate showing that the manufacturer takes care of the welfare of animals. We believe that anyone who makes the best down pillows should possess this certificate.
When investing in a high-quality down pillow, which usually isn’t cheap, we believe you shouldn’t pay extra for its delivery. Therefore, we listed only those that come with free shipping.
Unfortunately, not many brands offer a trial period like they do for mattresses. Also, since pillows aren’t as expensive as mattresses, even some of the top rated goose down pillows are seldom covered by a warranty. We tried to recommend only those models that come with both of these buying perks—or at least one of them.
On average, down pillows are the most expensive type of pillows. They typically cost between $90 and $120, while some models even cost a few hundred dollars. We tried to compare pillows with different price tags and see what each of them offers. Our goal was to present you with models that will give you the most bang for your buck regardless of the price.
How to Pick the Best Down Pillow for Your Needs
When shopping for a down pillow, you should consider a few things in order to get the best model for your needs. Here you can find everything you need to know about this type of pillow. But first, let’s see what’s considered a down pillow.
What Is a Down Pillow?
As its name suggests, a down pillow is filled with down. You probably already know that this is in fact the soft feathers found below the exterior feathers of ducks or geese. They are much fluffier, and therefore, down pillows offer a more plushy feel than feather pillows—something you’ll see confirmed in many down pillow reviews.
Some brands use a blend of down and feathers. However, a true down pillow should be at least 75% down. In addition, some models consist of several chambers, where the inner ones are usually stuffed with feathers, while the exterior ones are filled with down.
Keep in mind that many brands also offer down alternative pillows, which have a polyester filling. The best down alternative pillows have a very similar fluffy feel to real down pillows. However, we’ll talk about the difference between down and down alternative in more detail later on.
Who Should Get a Down Pillow?
The following types of sleepers will generally enjoy sleeping on a fluffy down pillow the most:
- Hot sleepers usually don’t complain about down pillows because they’re generally very breathable.
- Sleepers who like to snuggle in bed with their pillows will enjoy them since down is a very soft and adjustable material. If you’re one of them, we recommend looking for the best soft down pillow.
- People of average and below-average weight usually need a softer pillow that’s not too thick.
Who Should Look for Another Type of Pillow?
Certain types of sleepers may not like the feel of down:
- Heavier individuals generally need firmer and thicker pillows.
- Habitual snorers should also look for higher-loft pillows that will keep them in a more upright position, even if they’re already using one of the best anti snoring devices.
- Sleepers allergic to down should avoid this type of pillow for obvious reasons. They can instead look for the top rated down alternative pillows.
Types of Down Pillows
Down feathers can be harvested from ducks and geese. So pillows are often classified according to the type of down used for their filling.
Goose Down Pillows
In general, goose down is considered more luxurious than duck down, and thus, it’s also more expensive. Since geese are bigger birds, their down clusters are also bigger. Therefore, pillows stuffed with this type of down often have a higher fill power. In addition, goose down is more durable. However, the best quality goose down pillows might be somewhat pricey.
Duck Down Pillows
Pillows made of duck down are also high quality, but they’re more affordable. That’s because duck down clusters are smaller and have a shorter lifespan. Also, customers more often complain about the odor of duck down compared to goose down.
Down vs. Down Alternative
Many brands offer pillows stuffed with down alternative. The best alternative down pillows have a very similar feel to down pillows since they’re also quite soft and fluffy. However, you should know that this is not real down. Instead, these models are filled with synthetic materials—most commonly, polyester microfibers.
Since down alternative pillows are typically less durable than down pillows, they’re more affordable. So if you like the feel of down but you’re on a tight budget, this can be a good option for you.
In addition, people allergic to down can look for the best down alternative pillow, which is hypoallergenic.
When shopping for a down pillow, it’s important to consider its fill power. This measure refers to the amount of space taken by an ounce of down. As expected, the higher the fill power, the better the quality of pillow it is. This is because larger feather clusters make fluffier, more durable pillows.
Generally, a good down pillow should have a fill power of at least 500. However, many down pillows’ reviews consider a fill power of 650 necessary for a high-quality pillow. Keep in mind that besides quality and longevity, fill power also affects the price. So a higher fill power usually also means a higher price tag.
In addition to pillow filling, you should check out the pillow cover since it also greatly affects the pillow’s comfort and durability. One of the indicators of high quality is thread count, which refers to the number of threads per one square inch of fabric.
The higher the thread count, the smoother the pillow surface will be, making the pillow more comfortable. Also, the top rated down pillow should have a cover with a higher thread count to ensure that the filling stays inside the pillow to prolong its longevity.
How Sleeping Position Affects Your Choice
Down pillows are very adjustable and can easily adapt to all sleeping positions. However, a specific sleeping style usually requires a specific pillow thickness or loft.
- Side sleepers typically need firm pillows with a higher loft to keep their head and neck properly aligned. Therefore, the best down pillows for side sleepers are the ones with a higher fill power.
- Back sleepers will generally find down pillows very comfortable since they’re mostly of medium thickness.
- Stomach sleepers should look for softer, thin pillows because otherwise, they’ll probably wake up with aches and pains.
Most manufacturers produce pillows in the following sizes:
- Standard (20″ x 26″) – This size is the most popular since it suits most sleepers. It’s also the most affordable.
- Queen (20″ x 30″) – Sleepers who often toss and turn prefer a queen-size pillow.
- King (20″ x 36″) – Besides being for sleepers who change their sleeping positions often, the best king size down pillows are great if you need a backrest.
In addition to these common sizes, there’s also a super standard, which is a bit longer than a standard size: 20″ x 28″. Also, if you prefer a square shape, you can opt for a Euro size, which comes in a variety of dimensions.
- Adjustable: Down is a very soft material, and it conforms nicely to a sleeper’s head and neck. The best down pillows, many reviews note, easily adjust to different sleeping positions, so they’re suitable for most sleepers.
- Long-lasting: Down pillows typically last longer than polyester ones.
- Breathable: Both the filling and cover of down pillows are quite breathable, so they don’t retain much heat.
- Silent: Down doesn’t produce virtually any noise.
- Lightweight: You can easily move a down pillow without any effort at all.
- Allergies: Some people are allergic to the microbes that can be found in down. In their case, it’s better to look for the best rated alternative down pillows.
- Maintenance: Down pillows have to be fluffed frequently. Plus, most of them can only be dry-cleaned.
- Odor: A new down pillow may have a slightly unpleasant smell, but it should quickly fade away.
- Availability: There isn’t as wide a selection of down pillows as there are other types of pillows.
- Price: Down pillows are usually pricier than other types of pillows.
What are the best down pillows to buy?
Different types of sleepers need different firmness levels and different loft heights. Therefore, your choice will mainly depend on your sleep needs. Here’s our choice of the top 5 models, which offer great value for the money and are suitable for most sleepers:
- Helix Down Pillow
- Parachute Down Pillow
- eLuxury Goose Down Pillow
- Casper Down Pillow
- Brooklinen Down Pillow
You can read more about each of these models above.
Are down pillows better than other types?
Compared to other types of pillows, down pillows are more durable and offer exceptional comfort to most sleepers since they’re very adjustable. Plus, they’re silent, lightweight, soft, and fluffy. Down pillows are also a solid pick for hot sleepers because they’re quite breathable.
Is duck or goose down better for pillows?
Goose down is more valued than duck down because it’s more durable, but it’s also more expensive. Since duck down clusters are larger, pillows with this kind of filling have a higher fill power. Still, there are a number of quality pillows filled with duck down, which also offers great comfort at a more affordable price.
Do down pillows smell?
Some down pillows can have an unpleasant odor when unpacked. However, it should quickly dissipate in a well-ventilated room.
How often should you replace a down pillow?
A high-quality down pillow can last around 5 years. However, you should replace it if it doesn’t provide comfort like it used to do. If you keep waking up with pain in your neck or shoulders, or you often have a headache in the morning, it’s probably time to buy a new pillow. Another sign that you should replace your old pillow is if you constantly have to fluff it to get it back to its original shape. Also, an old pillow can cause allergic reactions due to accumulated dirt and dust mites.
Hopefully, our top 5 list of the best down pillows and our detailed buyer’s guide will help you make the best choice for your needs.
If you have any questions, we’re here to help you!
Happy shopping and sweet dreams!