Best Feather Pillows Reviewed – Top 6 Products for 2017
Feather pillows are the most popular type of pillows you’ll find on the market. People have been using them for a very long time, the filling material is rather cheap and widely available, their price is very convenient, and they are just the standard thing most Americans are used to. They offer a lot of advantages when compared to synthetic fillings, including medium to sturdy support, decent level of comfort, and a very small price tag. To tell the truth, the low prices are the most attractive feature of feather pillows, as well as the fact that many people grew up with them and prefer buying something they are used to.
We probably need not give a definition of what a feather pillow is. What you need to know is that they are filled with feathers coming from the bird’s wings and back, unlike down feather pillows, which use those soft clusters that grow closer to the skin. Duck or goose feathers are used, but you can also encounter combination filling. However, due to the difference in texture and size, the best feather pillows are those that use only one of them. Besides that, most feather pillows contain a low percentage of those down feathers we mentioned (around 5%), which are meant to fill up the little space left between the big ones. This also helps avoid the formation of bald spots.
Feather pillows are available in a lot of shapes and sizes, from square to oblong, and from Standard to King and Queen, and most of the come with non-removable cotton covers. To give you an idea of the diversity of feather pillows on the market, here are our Top 5 picks from Amazon:
1. Blowout Bedding (Set Of 2)
This is the classic, oblong shape that most people are used to, and also one of the best quality combos regarding filling. The Blowout Bedding set is filled with 95% goose feathers and 5% down, which makes it the perfect balance between plush and supportive. Unlike other models which tend to have some natural smell to them, these feathers are deodorized completely before being used as a pillow filling.
A drawback of this unit is that it comes without a pillow cover – that being said, you might need to purchase it separately. Some customers have claimed that quills can poke through the surface of the pillow, and a sturdier pillow cover underneath your standard sheets is a necessary upgrade.
Shop the latest price and further details about this product here:
2. Sweet Jojo Designs (Set Of 2)
Another set of two, the Sweet Jojo Designs is a bit of an upgrade regarding quality compared to the Blowout bedding. These pillows are available in two different sizes – Queen (Standard) and King, and are a bit heavier than the previous unit. While the Blowout Bedding weighs 31 oz, the Sweet Jojo weighs 32 oz. The feathers in these pillows have been treated with an antibacterial solution as well, so you won’t have to deal with any unpleasant smells.
Another advantage of this set is the 100% cotton cover that comes with the pillows. It uses a 240 thread count fabric for better isolation. The pillows themselves are filled with 95% goose feathers and 5% down, which is the classic ratio you’ll see on the market.
The set is slightly more expensive than the Blowout Bedding. You can shop for it here:
3. Better Down (Single Unit)
If you’re looking for a softer pillow to put under your head, the Better Down is worth a look. This pillow is filled with a 50/50 blend of goose feathers and down, which will offer you the best of both worlds – great stability and support, an affordable price, and the characteristic plushness of down feathers. The unit is available in Standard, Queen, and King sizes, and comes with a natural and hypoallergenic cotton cover. The cover is made from 233 thread count fabric, which does a good job isolating the feather filling. However, you might want to invest in an extra zippered cover made from a denser fabric, as quills can poke through the existing one (according to some customers).
The pillows are very lightweight and are sold both as single units and in sets of 2. You can shop the latest price and check out more details about these pillows here:
4. Sweet Home Collection (Set Of 2)
Unlike the previous unit, which is more suitable for stomach sleepers, the Sweet Home collection feather pillows are great for back and side sleepers, as well as for those who toss and turn a lot in their sleep. They are made with the classic ratio of 95% goose feathers and 5% down feathers, which brings them more towards the firm and sturdy end of the spectrum.
Moreover, this pillow has a 400 thread count 100% cotton fabric cover, which will do a great job not only keeping the filling clean but also preventing the sharper quills from poking through. This will spare you an additional purchase. The pillow is available in Standard, Queen, and King sizes, and the Queen size measure 20 by 30 inches.
Overall, this unit is an excellent value for the price, and can be purchased here:
5. Blowout Bedding (Single Unit)
Another option that is great for those who are on a tight budget. Nonetheless, it offers an excellent quality for back and side sleepers, as well as for those who toss and turn a lot in their sleep. Filled with the classic ratio of 95% goose feathers and 5% down, the Blowout Bedding is great value for the price. An advantage of this model is that it comes in a square shape, unlike the other oblong ones. There’s also a huge variety of sizes, ranging from 18 x 18 inches to 28 x 28 inches.
A drawback about this unit is that it comes with a 60% cotton and 40% polyester filling, which is less resistant than a 100% cotton one. Besides that, this pillow in only available for purchase in single units, and not in sets of 2, like many other models are. However, if you’re a single person, or you’re purchasing this for your child, the price of the Blowout Bedding knows no rivals.
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After you’ve familiarized yourself with the variety of feather pillows out there on the market, you probably need to know the main aspects to look for when shopping for the ideal units for you and your family. There’s no real science behind it, only several features you can pay attention to if you wish to customize your purchase:
1. The material
You’ll have two options to choose from – duck and goose feathers. While to the average person, the feeling of goose feathers compared to that of duck ones will not seem much different, there are certain other aspects that differentiate them. One of them is the color – goose feathers tend to be lighter in color, closer to that pristine white look that most people look for. Depending on the material and density of the cover fabric, you may or may not be able to see the color of the darker duck feathers, and it might not look as beautiful and neat as something lighter.
Goose feathers are known to have softer quills and are bigger in size than duck ones. Also, their pure white color is considered the premium aspect a pillow filling should have. When it comes to the down used for blending, goose feathers are also preferred, as they are more elastic and have a higher fill power.
Duck feathers have a sturdier quill, are smaller in size, and can have an off-white to light brown color. However, that can be masked pretty effectively with a good quality fabric cover. Some manufacturers choose to bleach theirs, but it’s unnecessary, as it ruins their fragile structure. Duck feathers and down are also considerably cheaper than their goose equivalent.
Down is another notion you’ll probably see in the filling description. This refers to the undermost layer of feathers a bird has, which are much softer, more elastic and plush than the normal ones. A good ration of feather-to-down to look for is 90/10, although the most common one you’ll stumble upon is 95/5.
All pillows come with some fabric cover. Otherwise, it will be just a pile of feathers. The cheapest units usually have non-removable covers and can be washed in the machine according to the instructions. However, it’s better to look for a unit which has a removable cover, which can be laundered separately, and the pillow itself can be dry cleaned.
When it comes to the cover fabric, it’s better to go for a 100% cotton one which has a higher thread count. The thread count refers to the number of threads going up and across an inch of fabric. The tighter the fabric weave, the better it is at keeping the feathers inside clean, and also preventing any quills from poking out.
The firmness of a feather pillow depends on the ratio of feathers to down used for the filling. A 95/5 pillow will probably be firm enough to support your neck and shoulder muscles, and a 50/50 one will probably be plush enough for your head to sink into it. There’s no right answer to what is the perfect firmness – it all depends on your needs and preferences.
4. Sizes and shapes
Feather pillows come in a variety of sizes, but most of them will be available in 3 main ones – Standard – 20 x 28”, Queen – 20” x 30”, and King – 20” x 36”. These refer to oblong pillows, where the width is smaller than the length. However, there are also square pillows that will come measured in inches. You can find sizes between 18 x 18” and 28 x 28”.
Pay attention to the listing of the product, as some may come in sets of 2, and others are sold in single units. The price tag is totally irrelevant – it might seem like you’re buying a set of 2 when it costs $50, but you might have stumbled upon a more expensive single unit product.
Last but not least, you might need to know a couple of pros and cons regarding feather pillows. Just in case you haven’t made your final decision just yet, these might be able to convince you:
1. A small price. These pillows cost next to nothing and can be found virtually anywhere, making them incredibly convenient from all points of view. If you’re on a tight budget, feather pillows are probably the best starting item you can get out there.
2. A rather long lifespan. These can last up to 10 years if cared for properly, without losing shape or supportive properties.
3. Easy to adjust. Unlike dense materials such as foam or latex, feather pillows are soft and easy to adjust to one’s liking. You can fluff one side to support your head and give it a good shake to bring it back to its original shape.
4. Sleeps cool. This is one issue of high-end filling materials that manufacturers are still fighting against. The denser the filling, the more it tends to trap heat, and naturally, the hotter the pillow will become during the night. With a less dense filling, such as feathers, this is not a problem, as they ensure a proper air circulation and a cool surface all night.
However, several disadvantages of these units have caused manufacturers to look for more expensive alternatives. They include:
1. The support. A feather pillow is supportive to some extent and is sturdier than a down one. However, if doesn’t stand a chance near memory foam or latex pillows, which offer certified orthopedic grade support for your neck and shoulders.
2. The poking. Hardly counting as a real disadvantage, the poking of the quills through the cover can still be considered a con for some people. However, this problem can be solved pretty easily by purchasing a tight weave fabric cover and place it on top of the existing one.
3. The smell. Some of the feather pillows can have a characteristic “natural” odor or may smell of chemicals used to treat and sanitize the feathers. It goes away after a few days of use.
4. No special pain relief features. Compared to other materials such as memory foam and latex, feathers do not have any medical grade pain relief aptitudes.
This would be everything you need to know before hitting Amazon in search of your next set of feather pillows. If we were to give one recommendation out of the five products we included in our top, our choice would be the Sweet Home Collection Set of 2. These offer the bets proportion of feathers to down, which is 95/5, are stuffed with goose feathers, which are known to be the best quality ones by many parameters, and come at a pretty affordable price. Moreover, you get a tight weave cotton cover to go with them – made of 400 thread count fabric, it will minimize the risk of quills poking through it. It’s also available in some of the most popular sizes – Standard, Queen, and King, and will work well with most bed sheet sets.
We hope our guide stirred you in the right direction towards the right choice for you and your family. Good luck shopping!