The Best Goose Down Pillows in 2021
Nov 11th, 2022 •
Perched at the top of rankings for the best pillows is the coveted goose down pillow. Goose down is the fluffy insulated layer of smaller, tuft-like feathers that hide under the external layer of more rigid, protective feathers. It is the most valued filling on the market, and rightfully so. Not only do luxury down pillows provide the highest level of comfort, but this natural option is also made to last.
Are you looking to outfit your bed with this luxury item? Before you make the investment, educate yourself on the differences between products. Fill power, material, and a protective shell all play a part in the design of your perfect pillow. Keep reading to learn about our top picks for the best goose down pillows and what to look for when selecting your own.
The Best Goose Down Pillows
Best Price Goose Down Pillow
The Natural Goose Down Pillow Set by Puredown brings you the comfort of natural goose feathers at a price you’ll be comfortable with.
The purchase of this set gets you two 20-inch by 26-inch pillows. Each pillow contains 32 ounces of 100-percent goose feather down fill, creating ultimate comfort that conforms to your head and neck. The shell is composed of double-layered Egyptian cotton, ensuring that it’s both sturdy and safe. This option as a whole is both odorless and lightweight.
- High fluffiness and softness.
- Form stays put where you want it.
- Good for neck pain.
- Some reports of pillows falling flat.
- Some reports of pillows not being completely filled with down.
Best Luxury Down Pillow
The Downluxe Goose Feather Down Pillow Set includes two pillows of the utmost quality. Decorative piped edges lock-in, preventing the goose down from ever “being loose.”
With an opulent 33 ounces of plush goose down, this uber-comfy item will be your new favorite bed accessory. Not only is this item the best in its class, but it’s also the easiest to take care of. Points for durability are added for its carefully constructed shell. Simply throw these into your washing machine and rinse in cold water.
- Unique double layered fabric design.
- Great for both side sleepers and back sleepers.
- Feathers can fall out in the wash.
- Not 100% down.
Best Rated Goose Down Pillow
The Luxury Down Alternative Pillow Set by COZSINOOR provides a hypoallergenic option for those who want cloud-like softness and comfort but are allergic to traditional goose feathers. Alternative down practically mirrors the feel of natural goose down, but at a lower price. This set basically offers two pillows for the price of one.
Their protective covers are made from 100-percent organic cotton, which contains a high thread count and sports a sateen finish. Another plus of alternative down is its level of breathability. The combination of the cooling cotton cover and breathable body will wick away moisture and aid you in a breezy sleep.
- Perfect balance of comfort and support for the spine.
- Improves sleep quality.
- Helps you sleep cool.
- May flatten or seem too soft.
- Pillows may seem too full to some.
Best Fill Power
Get your fill with JA COMFORTS Goose Feather Bed Pillows. This product is sold as a single item, allowing you to mix and match sizes or just start with one. Each pillow consists of 95-percent goose feathers and five-percent down filling.
Standing at an astounding 37 ounces of filling, this option raises the bar when it comes to fill power. Fill power means next level cushiness and support. This 20-inch by 28-inch pillow is contained by a 100-percent cotton cover that prevents the feathers from tearing or pricking you in your sleep. Enjoy all-around comfort when you add this fluffy headrest to your bedtime routine.
- Comfortable, dry, and breathable.
- Contoured toward the shape of your body.
- Depending on your preferences, may be too full with not enough give.
- Potentially makes a crunchy sound.
What is a Goose Down Pillow?
Goose down is made from the undercoat feathers of geese and ducks. These feathers, known as down, are prized for being super soft, long lasting, and luxurious. Most goose down pillows made today are actually made of a mix of feathers and down clusters, where the ratio of down to feathers impacts how soft the pillow feels and accordingly, the price.
Pros and Cons of Down Pillows
There are both benefits and risks to using goose down pillows. Know the facts before you decide to purchase a down pillow.
Besides being light, fluffy and supportive all night long, the movement of the down clusters create air pockets that are beneficial for several reasons. They insulate, allow your pillow to breathe, draw moisture from your head, and form a natural cushion of air. Down clusters also help the pillow retain its preferred shape and form for how you sleep. According to the level of fill power, meaning how much down is in the pillow, the pillow will spring back right into shape.
However, 100% goose down pillows may pose a health risk for many individuals with allergies and/or asthma. Down pillows containing feathers can emit millions of feather fragments into the air that can enter your respiratory tract. The older your down pillow is, the more likely it can get infested with dust mites.
Duck vs. Goose Down Pillows
Goose down is different from duck down. First of all, there is more goose down available, as geese are larger than ducks and therefore produce more down. Goose down is fluffier, whereas duck down creates a denser, thinner pillow. Which filler you prefer relates to how you sleep and what effect you would like your pillow to have.
Down vs Down Alternatives
While down refers specifically to the under feathers of ducks and geese that create insulation, down alternatives are created with man-made synthetic materials like rayon, polyester, and cotton. Down alternatives tend to be heavier to create the same effect as natural down in terms of fill power and warmth. Down alternatives are also less expensive, as they are not created from limited, natural resources.
How to Find the Best Goose Down Pillow
The goose down pillow is a traditional option that has evolved with time. When looking for your perfect goose down pillow, keep an eye out for these keywords; fill power, material, and shell.
Fill power essentially refers to how packed your pillow is. Higher fill power is more desirable because it leads to better support and a cushier experience. The bigger your down clusters, the higher the fill power that causes your pillow to spring back and retain its shape and form. Fill power ultimately translates into how much all-night support you receive.
Fill power is a standard measurement used to assess down quality. A 20 gram or one-ounce down sample is measured and tested in an environment where it is compressed and evaluated. The more air an amount of down can trap, the more the down can insulate. Fill power ranges from around 300 (in³/oz or 175 cm³/g or Lorch 75 mm/30g) to 900 (in³/oz or 520 cm³/g or Lorch 225 mm/30g), where the lowest fill power relates to feathers and the highest is typically goose down feathers, even though some rare species have a higher fill power than geese.
You want to pick a pillow that is best for how you sleep in terms of sleep position. Whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, or stomach sleeper, know which goose down pillow is right for you.
- If you are a side sleeper, you need the firmest kind of pillow that is able to support your head, neck, and shoulders.
- If you are a back sleeper, you need medium support in order to preserve the alignment of your neck and spine. By keeping your head properly elevated with this medium support, you are able to maintain spinal alignment.
- If you are a stomach sleeper, you need a soft pillow to keep your neck straight while sleeping. Choose a breathable pillow that maintains air circulation.
Material is clearly the most important part of a goose down pillow. The most luxurious of all pillows, nothing beats the natural softness of goose feathers.
Alternatively, there are different down options out there that get close to the real thing and can be a good option for those who have allergies or are looking for the most inexpensive option.
Thread count of your goose down pillow matters. Most pillow covers are 100 percent cotton, where for goose down pillows, you want to make sure the thread count makes the cover strong enough to contain the down. A 500 thread count strikes a balance between being soft and smooth and also being able to contain the down. For breathability though, a 233 thread count pillow will do the trick. This thread count helps maintain comfort and breathability while still protecting the pillow from wear, preventing feathers from coming out.
A shell is much more than your typical pillowcase. Choose one that has excellent construction and protective lining to keep feather quills from being a buzzkill. Without a quality shell, your pillow will quickly turn from plush to prickly.
There are just a few important things to remember when washing goose down pillows, or any kind of feather pillows.
- Remember to put two pillows in the washer at the same time to balance your washing machine.
- Use less liquid laundry detergent than normal and run on a delicate cycle.
- You can choose hot water to kill allergens and dust mites; however, cool water protects the feathers.
- In terms of drying, place the two pillows together in the dryer using low heat on a gentle cycle.
- Add dryer balls to help prevent the down from clumping and drying unevenly.
Goose down pillows are more expensive than your average pillow. The fill power and the ratio between feathers and down in a pillow both contribute to the price of the item. The average price of goose down pillows ranges between $60 and $100, though there are pillows costing lower and higher than this range.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a goose down pillow like?
Comfortable and luxurious, goose down pillows are typically softer with enough air and space inside to be able to create shapes with the pillow to best support your sleep during the night. The pillow is made with a thick cover to keep the down or combination of feathers and down inside the pillow.
Is duck or goose down better for pillows?
Goose down actually has a higher fill power, as geese are larger than ducks and hence create more volume of down. Goose down pillows are fluffier, while duck pillows are more dense and flat. It depends on your personal preference.
Why are down pillows so expensive?
Down is harder to come by than feathers, as less down is produced by geese than feathers. The price of pillows typically comes down to the filling, so a material that is harder to come by and is on demand is more expensive.
Are down pillows hypoallergenic?
There is a common perception that down pillows are bad for allergies, leading to the creation of down alternative pillows and anti-allergen pillows. However, whether down pillows are bad for allergies is debatable. Just make sure down pillows are cleaned to hypoallergenic standards.
Can goose down pillows be washed?
Yes, goose down pillows are machine washable and dryable.
Here’s a quick recap of our favorite down pillows we’ve reviewed:
|Down Pillow||Material||Best for||Rating|
|Puredown||Egyptian Cotton||Best Price||4.3/5|
|Downluxe||JACQUARD quality 100% cotton||Best Luxury||4.2/5|
|COZSINOOR||100% Cotton||Best Rated||4.6/5|
|JA COMFORTS||100% Cotton||Best Fill Power||4.2/5|
Goose down pillows easily add exceptional comfort to your bed set-up. They are more expensive than other commonly used pillow materials; however, the money you spend will come back in spades through the coziness you’ll feel.
Choose one of our top picks for best goose down pillows and gain a better night’s sleep that raises your overall sleep standards.
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