Everyone enjoys a great night’s sleep — but there are times when they can be difficult to achieve. That’s why we love bringing you guides to the best mattresses, apps, and other great accessories to help you get some shut-eye. Of course, a central component of a great night’s sleep is the spot upon which we rest our weary heads — so we definitely can’t leave out the best pillows on the market.
And, when you think of hotel-soft, clean, white pillows, what else do you think of but down pillows? Down, which is the bottom layer of a bird’s feathers — hidden under the top layer — beats out other pillow fillings for the softest and most comfortable pillow. Down pillows, if treated well, can outlast nearly every other pillow on the market, providing a cozy sleep experience for around 10 years. Plus, down pillows offer a lot of customization if you know what you’re looking for. Whether you’re a side sleeper who needs a higher loft or a stomach sleeper who needs a barely-there pillow, you can find the right pillow in down. If you’re waking up in pain or with headaches, can’t sleep through the night, or have a hard time falling asleep, the switch to a high-quality luxury pillow-like down might be the answer you need.
At a glance:
- Best luxury pillow: King – $280
- Best mid-range pillow:
King – $140
- Best budget pillow:
Queen – $40
- Best adjustable pillow:
King – $165
- Best firm option pillow:
Queen – $130
- Best eco-friendly: Boll & Branch Down Pillow — $150
- Best for all sleep positions: Parachute Home Down Pillow — $90
- Best RDS (Responsible Down Standard): Riley Home White Down Pillow — $130
Best luxury pillow: East Coast Bedding’s Premium Quality European White Goose Down Pillow
Looking for the most luxurious down pillow out there? Check out East Coast Bedding’s down pillow. Sure, it’s a steep price point, but remember: down pillows last a long time, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable pillow. What price would you put on a good night’s sleep? If you’re having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, it’s likely affecting your mental and physical well-being, so give yourself permission to splurge on an extravagant, 100% white goose down pillow.
Best mid-range pillow: Egyptian Bedding’s Goose Down Pillow
If you’re comparing the price to other pillows, Egyptian Bedding’s goose down pillow might seem to be a bit expensive. However, if you’re looking for the quality and comfort that goose down has, you’re going to have to fork over a few more dollars. This pillow, stuffed with a combination of down and feathers, is great for sleepers looking for a little bit more loft. Especially if you’re a side or stomach sleeper, that feather/down mix will lift your head and neck off the mattress a little bit more.
Best budget pillow: Downluxe Goose Feather Down Pillow
Because of the luxury quality of goose down, it’s rare to find inexpensive yet high-quality true down pillows. Most often, you’ll wind up with a pillow stuffed entirely with feathers — not down — which means you’re at risk of getting poked and prodded all night. Not so with this goose down pillow by Downluxe. Plus, this pillow is machine washable, unlike most other down pillows, making it easy to take care of and keep clean. Downluxe’s goose feather down pillow has a 33-ounce filling weight, which means this is also a great choice for back and side sleepers who need more height.
Best adjustable pillow: Royal Hotel’s Adjustable-Height Down Pillow
If you love latex pillows, especially if you’re a side or back sleeper who needs a firmer pillow, Royal Hotel has the adjustable down pillow for you. If the pillow is too lofty and you’re favoring your stomach, unzip the pillow and remove the insert. Then, if your back pain is coming back or you’re just feeling a change in the winds, throw the insert back in and you have a great pillow to sleep on your back or side again. If you’re looking for even more customization, check out the other firmness options Royal Hotel offers: Extra firm, firm, medium-firm, or soft.
Best firm option pillow: Continental Bedding Superior 100% Down Pillow
Featuring a fill power of 700, Continental Bedding’s down pillow is another great choice for those sleepers who need something a little more firm. Firmness isn’t something you typically find in 100% down pillows, so this is the perfect option for the sleeper who wants to feel cradled yet supported. However, if you sleep hot, this is still a down pillow, so take the time to think about this one before throwing it in your cart. Either way, because it’s down, you’re looking at a longer-lasting firm pillow that won’t go flat over time.
Best eco-friendly pillow: Boll & Branch Down Pillow
Triple washed in eco-friendly detergent, Boll & Branch pillow down is cleaner than the standard, as well as produced in safe, fair trade work environments. Boll & Branch Down Pillows offer you a choice of density (Soft, Medium, or Firm), and size (King or Queen). All Boll & Branch products are sustainably made, free of pesticides and harmful chemicals, and assembled in the U.S. What’s more? Their packaging is made of recycled materials and can be recycled. Their classic stitching and logo detail can be a reminder you’ve chosen excellence while you enjoy a 30-night risk-free trial, free shipping, and free returns.
Best for all sleep positions: Parachute Home Down Pillow
With a luxurious 750 fill power, the Parachute Home Down Pillow leads the way in indulgence. This pillow, offered in two sizes (Standard and King) and three densities (Soft, Medium, and Firm — recommended for stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and side sleepers, respectively), is wrapped in a 100% cotton sateen shell and stuffed with premium European down. Whether you’re buying for yourself or looking for a gift, this cloud-like pillow will exceed your expectations.
Best RDS (Responsible Down Standard): Riley Home White Down Pillow
Riley Home takes the lead in Responsible Down Standard among down pillow providers, meaning they maintain the highest quality down while ensuring the strictest standards of humane treatment for the animals used. Choose from two densities of the lush Riley Home White Down Pillow, Plush or Firm, and two sizes, Standard or King, when ordering this decadent pillow. Once received, you can enjoy the convenience of its machine washability as well as a five-year warranty.
The Pros and Cons of Down
If you’re a stomach sleeper or a back sleeper, you can rest assured down pillows are a good choice, especially if you’re looking for that hotel-soft pillow that will cradle you at night. But, before you head off to check out the other down pillows out there, consider not just the benefits of a down pillow but the downsides, too. Down pillows aren’t for everyone, so check out our pros and cons before you drop the big bucks.
The Pros of a Down Pillow
- It’s like sleeping on cloud nine. Plainly put, down is cozy. Down is soft and moldable, perfect for sleepers who like to sleep with an arm under their pillow.
- It’s natural. Down is natural, so you don’t have to worry about what went into the making of your pillow, as you might with memory foam.
- Long-lasting. Take care of your down pillow and it will take care of you. Other pillows, such as memory foam, offer unmatched support, but have a reputation of falling apart after two or three years.
- Allergen-free … typically. Down isn’t hypoallergenic by nature; it comes from an animal, after all. However, thanks to advances in the manufacturing process, higher-end companies will ensure to clean and remove allergens from the down used to stuff their pillows.
The Cons of a Down Pillow
- It’s like sleeping on cloud nine. A dream for some, a nightmare for others; some sleepers, especially back and side sleepers, just won’t enjoy the down pillow experience, as it’ll make them feel unsupported and throw their spine out of alignment.
- Not so vegan-friendly. Vegans beware, down is an animal product. There are some vegan down alternatives but, like any substitute product, they’re hit or miss.
- Difficult to clean. Down is a luxury material, and most luxury materials need better care. Unfortunately, that means you shouldn’t just throw your down pillow in your washing machine.
- Down is pricey. You’re getting a luxury pillow, so you’re paying a luxury price. If you’ve found an inexpensive down pillow, it’s likely made of a mix of down and feathers.
Looking for more great stuff? Find more on our sleep hub.
- The 10 best pillows for back sleepers in 2020
- The ultimate pillow guide: The 9 best pillows for all type of sleepers
- Standard Textile sheets, duvet, and pillow review: Hotel luxury in your bedroom
- How to choose the best bed sheets: Price, fabric, and color
- The 8 best latex pillows for neck and back pain