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Feather pillows have long been prized for their softness and conforming. Although easily confused with down, feathers are a distinct material that provides a different sleep experience. With varying compositions, densities, feels, and constructions, feather pillows come in a wide range of options to suit diverse needs and preferences.
We rigorously tested dozens of feather pillow models to assess their performance. Based on our test results, we’ll share our top picks. To help you select the best option for your sleep needs, we’ll also discuss important factors to consider, such as loft, firmness, and sleep position. Finally, we will go over basic cleaning and maintenance tips.
The Sleep Doctor's Picks
FluffCo Down & Feather Pillow
Helix Down & Feather Pillow
Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow
Parachute Down Pillow
FluffCo Down & Feather Pillow
- Two firmness options: soft and firm
- Pillow-in-pillow design blends support and softness
- Free pillow protector included
- Those who like a hotel feel
- All sleep styles
- Value shoppers
With two firmness options and a free pillow protector, the FluffCo Down & Feather Pillow offers value and plush support across sleep positions. It begins with a 233 thread count cotton shell for softness and breathability. The included pillow protector is also made of cotton with a 300 thread count. Both surfaces felt cool and comfortable to our team members.
The FluffCo Down & Feather Pillow uses a pillow-in-pillow design consisting of an inner pillow filled with white duck feathers and an outer pillow with 600 fill power white duck down. Our testers noted that the inner feather layer provided gentle support, while the outer down layer added airy cushioning. This fill is Responsible Down Standard certified, meaning a third party verifies that the supplier does not subject the birds to unnecessary harm.
The soft version of the pillow has less fill for a plusher feel, and the firm option contains additional fill for loft and support. Team members of varying weights found the soft pillow compressed easily, promoting neck alignment in the stomach and back sleeping positions. Testers who preferred to sleep on their sides enjoyed the additional support of the firm option, which helped prevent their heads from sagging.
This pillow can be spot cleaned or dry cleaned, but the included pillow protector may help shield against spots and stains. Shoppers can choose standard or king size. Orders over $75 ship for free in the contiguous U.S. Returns are free within 30 days.
We determined that the FluffCo Down & Feather Pillow is suitable for all sleep styles thanks to its combination of support and moldability. The included pillow protector makes it a good option for value shoppers.
Helix Down & Feather Pillow
- Three-chamber design with feather blend core for extra support
- Breathable cotton cambric cover
- German piping and double stitching for improved durability
- Sleepers who enjoy the plushness of down
- Those who scrunch up their pillow
- Shoppers who value a sleep trial
The Helix Down & Feather Pillow uses a distinct three-chamber construction intended to cushion the head and neck without going flat. For many side and back sleepers, this design provides exceptional comfort and support.
A breathable cover made of 100% cotton cambric felt smooth and cool to our testing team. Double stitching and German piping along the edges fortify the seam to enhance the pillow’s longevity. The inner core consists of a down and feather blend designed to resist clumping for consistent support. Two outer chambers contain 550 fill power white down for lofty fluffiness. Responsible Down Standard certification verifies that the materials come from farms that respect animal welfare.
During testing, this pillow was comfortable for most of our team members. The inner core helped maintain the pillow’s shape and loft, which encouraged good spinal alignment for our side and back sleepers. Our stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also enjoyed plush support.
Size options include standard and king. The Helix Down & Feather Pillow comes with free shipping in the contiguous U.S. Customers also receive a 100-night sleep trial and a one-year limited warranty.
The Helix Down & Feather Pillow’s inner support and outer softness enhanced the sleep experience for our side and back sleepers. With its unique three-chamber design, this pillow is a good fit for sleepers looking to maintain their posture without sacrificing plushness.
Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow
- Two firmness options: soft/medium and medium/firm
- 700 fill power European white goose down
- Combination sleepers
- People who want a down pillow that's easy to clean
- Those who prefer a long sleep trial
The Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow offers two firmness options, supportive comfort, and a generous sleep trial. Made with premium materials, it’s available in soft/medium and medium/firm density.
A 100% cotton sateen shell encases the pillow, creating a smooth, breathable surface. Our testers noted that the double-stitched edges and German piping gave the pillow a sturdy feel and polished appearance.
Inside, 700 fill power European white goose down adds plushness and loft. Goose down clusters are typically larger than duck down clusters, contributing to exceptional fluffiness and durability. The fill’s Responsible Down Standard certification verifies that it meets animal welfare guidelines.
Due to the loftiness of the higher fill power, our team members felt this pillow was best suited for side and back sleeping. It kept our testers’ heads and necks in proper alignment, and the consistent loft maintained support when they changed positions.
The Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow is machine-washable for easy cleaning. Shoppers can choose between standard, queen, and king sizes. Orders come with free shipping within the U.S. and free returns for 365 days.
The Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow is an excellent choice for combination sleepers looking for a high-quality, easy-to-clean pillow that balances support and plushness.
Pacific Coast Feather Best Pillow
- Breathable cotton shell designed to block quills
- Thoroughly cleaned feathers to reduce allergens
- Affordable price
- Side and back sleepers who like a plush surface
- People who prefer feather pillows but have allergies
- Shoppers looking for value
The Pacific Coast Feather Best Pillow is plush and affordable with fewer potential allergens than many models. Given its budget-friendly price-point and quality construction, it is well suited to value seekers.
This model has a 230 thread count brushed cotton shell with an internal barrier designed to prevent feathers from poking through. The fill consists of fluffy Hyperclean Resilia feathers that have been washed approximately eight times to remove dirt, dust, and debris that could otherwise trigger allergy symptoms. The Feather Best Pillow comes with a 30-day allergy free warranty that allows shoppers to return the pillow if they experience allergy symptoms.
Because of its high loft, this pillow is best suited for side and back sleepers. Our team members enjoyed the plush but springy feel of the Resilia feathers, which made it easy for them to change positions without the pillow going flat. Sturdy stitching and piping around the edges prevent feather leakage and improve overall durability.
The Pacific Coast Feather Best Pillow is machine-washable, so it’s a good option for people concerned with pillow hygiene. Customers receive free shipping on orders over $99 in the contiguous U.S. In addition to the allergy free warranty, the pillow comes with a 30-night sleep trial and a three-year limited warranty.
We recommend the Pacific Coast Feather Best Pillow for budget-conscious side and back sleepers. It may particularly appeal to those with allergies who want a feather pillow.
Best Firmness Options
Parachute Down Pillow
- 750 fill power European white down for supportive softness
- Three firmness options satisfy virtually all preferences
- Machine-washable for easy care
- Sleepers of all weights and position preferences
- Shoppers who prefer a generous warranty period
- People who want an easy-to-clean down pillow
With three firmness options, the Parachute Down Pillow is designed for sleepers with varying position preferences.
A smooth cotton sateen shell wraps around 750 fill power European white down. The fill includes 85% down and 15% down and feather blend. This combination creates a fluffy 7-inch loft. A double-stitched piping seam helps secure the edge for greater durability.
We tested each of the three density options to determine what positions they best accommodate. Our stomach sleepers found the soft option most comfortable. It allowed their heads to sink deeply enough for adequate alignment. However, the loft was a bit high for some testers. The medium density worked well for our combination sleepers. Its balance of comfort and support allowed testers to change positions easily. Our side and back sleepers preferred the consistent support of the firm option.
The Parachute Down Pillow comes in standard and king sizes and is machine-washable. Orders ship to all 50 states in the U.S. The pillow has a return window of 60 days and comes with a three-year warranty.
Thanks to its plush, supportive design and three firmness options, the Parachute Down Pillow is comfortable for most sleepers. Given its high loft, we especially recommend it for back, side, and combination sleepers.
Why You Should Trust Us
Over our many years in the sleep product industry, we have fine-tuned an extensive set of tests to evaluate pillow performance. Our team includes experts of varying sizes and sleep preferences to garner different perspectives. They perform subjective and objective assessments on dozens of models to gather data on critical qualities, such as firmness, breathability, durability, and ease of care. We then leverage our expertise and test results to help shoppers choose the best pillows for them.
What's the Difference Between Feather and Down Pillows?
Both down and feather pillows typically contain waterfowl feathers, but they vary in their feel, performance, and price-points.
Down is the fine, fluffy feathers underneath the outer feathers of waterfowl. It gives pillows a light, airy loft that compresses easily. However, down generally comes with a higher price tag. Feather pillows contain more of a bird’s sturdy outer feathers, leading to firmer support. That said, the quills may occasionally poke through the shell, and feather pillows require more fluffing to prevent flattening.
Feather vs. Down Pillows
Feather pillows contain the back and wing feathers of ducks and geese. They are often more supportive than down pillows. They frequently include some down for added comfort.
Down pillows use the soft, fine feather clusters from the underside of ducks and geese. Down is very light and fluffy, giving pillows an airy, plush loft that compresses easily.
Pillow Height, Firmness, Support, and Keeping Your Spine Aligned
A pillow should not only feel comfortable, but it should also keep your head and neck in proper alignment to prevent tension and discomfort. Because of this, pillow height, firmness, and support needs vary depending on sleep position.
Know How Much Pillow Height (or Loft) You’ll Need
The loft of a pillow refers to its height or thickness. Your preferred sleep position dictates the necessary loft, but this may vary slightly depending on your head size, body weight, and mattress firmness. With feather and down pillows, a higher fill power usually indicates a higher loft.
What Pillow Loft Do You Need?
Side sleepers typically need a pillow with medium to high loft (5+ inches) to maintain proper spinal alignment. This should fill the space between the neck and shoulder.
A medium loft (3 to 5 inches) is most effective for back sleepers. The pillow should neither push the head forward nor let it tip back, either of which could create neck tension.
Due to the nature of the position, stomach sleepers generally prefer a pillow with a low loft (under 3 inches). Anything higher can tilt the head upward and strain the neck. Some stomach sleepers prefer sleeping without a pillow.
Combination sleepers often use a medium loft pillow that provides comfort and support for multiple positions. They then mold the pillow to accommodate their current position of choice and support proper alignment.
How Firm Should Your Feather Pillow Be?
The ideal pillow firmness varies depending on the sleeper’s position preference. A pillow’s firmness relates to its level of support and overall feel. Firmness determines how much your head sinks into the pillow, which, by extension, affects spinal alignment. Although feather pillows are typically relatively soft, the density of the fill influences the firmness.
What Firmness Do You Need?
A moderately firm pillow balances the support and conforming side sleepers need. It allows the neck and shoulders to relax without letting the head sink too low.
Back sleepers usually need a medium firm pillow. A suitable model won’t prop the head forward nor flatten excessively under its weight.
For stomach sleepers, a soft to medium firm pillow is best for keeping the head and neck level. Anything firmer can tilt the head at an unhealthy angle.
Combination sleepers do best with a moldable, medium firm pillow that can adapt to changes in position. Models that are very soft or firm generally aren’t suitable for multiple sleep styles.
Proper Support and Keeping Your Spine Aligned
Support from your mattress and pillow can affect your comfort, quality of sleep, and how you feel the next day. Ideally, your mattress and pillow should work together to promote proper spinal alignment and reduce muscle strain.
Because different positions require different levels of support, we recommend assessing your sleep style. You should also factor in your physical needs before making a purchase. Body shape and weight influence how deeply you sink into your mattress and pillow, so they affect your support needs. Some sleepers also have neck or back pain, which may play a role in their decisions. Others prefer a specific pillow size. No two people are alike, so finding optimal support is a matter of determining what works for you.
Are Feather Pillows Good for Neck Pain?
Since feather pillows tend to be soft and highly conforming, they are a good option for some people with neck pain. Quality models provide moldable support that sleepers can manipulate as needed to maintain their posture and relieve muscle tension. However, feathers tend to flatten over time, resulting in a loss of support.
Adjustable feather pillow models are also available. Owners can add or remove fill as needed to customize the loft and firmness. If you are unsure of what you need or if your needs may change, an adjustable feather pillow can give you greater flexibility.
Long-Term Care for Your Feather Pillow
Proper care extends the life of your feather pillow. Using a pillow protector and pillowcase are easy ways to help prevent bacteria, mold, and mildew from causing premature damage. Feather pillows can usually be spot cleaned and set in the sun to freshen up. Some need delicate care, so always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Can You Wash Feather Pillows?
Many feather pillows can be washed by hand, some are machine-washable, and others are dry clean only. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s care instructions to avoid damaging your pillow.
If your pillow is machine-washable, use a front-loading washer or a top-loading model without a central agitator for best results. If you must use a machine with an agitator, place two pillows inside vertically for balance. This can help prevent them from wrapping around the agitator and sustaining damage.
How to Machine-Wash and Dry a Feather Pillow
If your feather pillow is machine-washable, we suggest using a spacious front-loading washer on the delicate setting with mild detergent and cool to warm water. An extra rinse and spin cycle help remove soap residue and excess water.
Feather pillows can also go in the dryer on low heat or no heat. Fluff between cycles to prevent clumps. Once dry, massage the pillow to remove any remaining clumps and check for lingering moisture that could lead to mold.
How Do You Keep a Feather Pillow From Poking You?
A quality pillow protector with a tight weave provides a sturdy barrier between you and the feather quills. Daily fluffing is also important for preventing the fill from building up in certain spots. Otherwise, the quill ends have ample opportunity to get stuck on the shell and work their way out. Finally, patch any ripped seams and handle your pillow with care to ward off new leaks.