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Are down and feather pillows different from each other? Which one is better when it comes to comfort and quality? All of these questions have been heard a few times, so we will help you decide between the two, and see what’s the deal with feather pillows vs down pillows.

Down Pillows

Down pillows are filled with down, which is the fuzzy insulator found underneath a goose or duck feathers. Goose down is generally preferred as pillow filling since it is bigger in diameter and fluffier compared to a duck’s.

Larger clusters of down give a higher loft to pillows and at the same time makes them last longer. While they are sturdy, some people are allergic to it.

Down clusters are spherical and look like a dandelion. The natural round shape gives the down pillow its loft and is a great pillow fill because down always come back to its natural shape even after squishing and light pressure applying.

Feather Pillows

Typical feather pillows have fillings of mixed down and feathers. Feathers are heavy, so they are supportive, but they have quills and tend to wear down faster.

Additionally, feather quills tend to poke through the pillow. This may be a good sign to some, but losing feathers only means the pillow also lose support. Likewise, feather pillows tend to get flattened over time.

Feather Pillows vs Down Pillows 2

Feather Pillows vs Down Pillows

In order to find out which of the two pillows is better, let's look into their differences and similarities.


Here is a short rundown on the differences of feather pillows and down pillows.

1. Firmness

Pure down pillows are often considered fine and luxurious. They are delicate and fluffy while feathers are more rigid because of their quills. Expect an airy, loftier, lighter, and softer feel when using an all-down pillow.

On the other hand, feather pillows provide crispness and added structure, which is ideal for those who do not want their pillows to be too mushy and overly soft.

2. Cost

Generally, an all-down pillow is pricier compared to a feather pillow as the material is rare. Also, pure down pillows do not flatten even after a long night since the down clusters spring back to their shape even after compression. On the contrary, feather pillows tend to flatten as the night progresses.

3. Fill Power

One of the differences between feather pillows vs down pillows is the fill power. Technically speaking, fill power is the amount of air that one ounce of down can trap.

In pillow talk, you will have loftier and plusher pillows with higher fill power. They also maintain support longer compared to a pillow with a lower fill power.

For instance, 500 fill power can already be classified as high-quality, while a fill power of 600 and up is luxury. On the other hand, the 800 fill power pillows are the most luxurious.

With that in mind, generally speaking, down pillows have a fill power while feather pillows have low or no fill power.


Now that we have looked into their differences, let us discuss the similarities of the two pillows.

1. Things That Can Destroy the Pillow

When you have a nice pillow, it is just normal to want to make it last. However, down and feather pillows have their enemies, and these will make these comfy pillows deteriorate faster than expected.

  • Compression: This factor crushes the pillow fillings and breaks them down, resulting in a less fluffy or flatter pillow. While compressing the pillows is basically unavoidable, re-fluffing them every morning can help.
  • Moisture: Geese and ducks may have lived in the water, but it is a known fact that moisture can deteriorate feather or down pillows quicker than usual. Perspiration, for instance, contributes to the moisture the pillow absorbs. Expect your pillow to age faster if you sweat buckets at night, but airing the pillows out every now and then can help dry out moisture and make your pillows last longer.
  • Oil: The oil content in your facial products like moisturizing creams can be absorbed by the pillow fill, soaking it in oil. To minimize the contact between your face products and pillow, make sure to use a pillow protector and case. Take note that the oils in your skin products can also contribute to the yellowing of pillowcases and shells.

2. Care Tips

Here are some tips on keeping your favorite down or feather pillows in good shape:

  • While pillow fights can be fun, avoid using your down or feather pillows on these fun games. Folding them is also not advisable. Your pillow will serve you for years if you do not abuse them.
  • Do not wash your feather pillows since they are not designed for that. To keep them clean longer, use a pillow protector plus a pillowcase that you can change after a few days or so. If it really needs some cleaning, you may bring your pillow to a professional cleaner.
  • You can wash down pillows but make sure they are properly dried after. Moist down clusters will breed mold and mildew in as short as 24 hours.
  • It is advisable to dry it in moderate heat for three to four hours, and do not rely on the dryer’s auto-dry option.
  • Do not lie on your pillow when your hair is wet or damp.
  • Avoid using moisturizing creams at night.
  • Change pillowcases regularly.
  • Air your pillows out by hanging them on the clothesline under the sun. This will help keep the pillows fresh and allows any trapped moisture to evaporate.
  • Do not hang your pillows outside if you live in a place where the climate is humid.
  • If it smells already, it's time to change pillows!
Feather Pillows vs Down Pillows 3


After looking into what both pillows can and cannot offer, we have to say that down pillows are better than feather pillows. Compared to feather pillows, pure down pillows are more expensive, but due to their durability and 700 fill power range, you can use them for years; thus, making them practically a bargain.

Overall, pure down pillows provide a balance of durability, luxury, and great value for money.