When you’re looking for a new pillow, there’s nothing that beats the ultimate luxury of goose down. However, with the prevalence of allergies and sensitivities, sometimes you may prefer a down alternative. No matter which category you fall in, rest assured, we’ve got you covered!
When selecting your pillow, there are a few things to consider:
- Do you need alternative materials? No matter what your reason is for not wanting actual goose down, there are a number of great down alternative pillows on the market that will meet every need.
- Is price a factor for you? Indeed, if you have a tighter budget, you may need to determine what other features are not as important to you – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a comfortable pillow.
- Do you prefer soft or firm? Of course, true down will be a bit on the soft side, there is a range of possibilities with alternatives and blends.
- What is the quality of construction? There are few universal criteria when it comes to your pillow, but you want the quality to match up with the price you pay for it.
Now that you have an idea of the things you should consider before you begin searching, let’s continue to the pillows!
Top Down Pillows
Let’s start with the alternatives, as they tend to be a bit less expensive.
Bamboo Alternative Down Pillow
To start, let’s take a look at Blissful Serenity’s Bamboo Alternative Down Pillow. When it comes to you, it’ll be shipped in a cool carrying case with a handle. You might think that you could reuse this case for other things, but due to the way the pillow is shrunk and packed inside, it’ll most likely rip when you open it. (The case, thankfully, not the pillow!)
Once you’ve pulled the pillow out of its case, it will slowly expand to its original, uncondensed size. It is still on the thinner side (being about 3” thick, when no pressure is applied), but it can work very well as a “topper” for another pillow. It’s very plush to the touch, and it has a fair amount of weight to it.
The lining on this pillow is very soft, and what’s better is that it’s easy to clean. The bamboo-polyester blend is comfortable to sleep on and the whole thing can be taken off and washed. It also helps to keep the user cool, because the air is free to flow around you. For those who sleep hot – this pillow is a winner. Users should be advised that there may be a faint smell to it when you first begin using it, but over time that will go away.
Overall Opinion: For the price, it’s a good pillow. It doesn’t have any extra frills – but not everyone needs frills!
Down Alternative Pillow – Five Star
If you’re looking for something a little different, consider the Down Alternative Pillow from Five Star. This is a bit on the thicker side, which is preferable for those who need more support. However, unlike most “down-like” pillows, you can’t really fluff this one up – it’s a solid, formed construction.
For those who prefer their pillows to stay fluffy and not clump up on you, this pillow could be a good bet. It’s not overly firm, and it cradles your head quite well. Back sleepers will find it forms a bit of a cave around your head, potentially blocking your ears some – definitely a bonus! But for side and stomach sleepers, you may find that the pillow puffs up around your face, which isn’t the most comfortable feeling.
The outer shell is made from mercerized, 300-thread-count cotton fabric. The filling is made of microfiber down alternative, which can even be thrown in the washer – the inner material doesn’t shift under normal circumstances. When you dry it, be sure to use a cooler setting.
Overall Opinion: This is still a rather inexpensive pillow, and you should consider that when forming your opinions. Some people will certainly have a problem with the higher gusset, and the plush filling can make it difficult to adjust to. But if you’re in need of a thick pillow that’s not too firm, this could be your answer.
White Goose Down Firm Pillow
We have now moved past the alternatives and onto the true down pillows. First in line is Better Down’s White Goose Down Firm Pillow. This pillow is filled with 100% white goose down, which is considered the highest quality down (as compared to duck down or down mix). Because of this construction, it can be difficult to get a consistent fill; some may find that theirs is too firm, while others may find it too soft. With pillows being largely subjective in the first place, this is even truer when it comes to down.
There is a lining inside of this pillow that can be a bit “crinkly”; this liner is there to keep the feathers inside from poking through, but it can be distracting while you’re trying to fall asleep. The sound of the liner may “break in” over time, though; it is uncertain upon first inspection.
The filling is rated at 550 fill power (for the queen size), but some other customers have noted that there is a quality control issue where some of the pillows do not receive the same amount of filling. However, the merchant was willing to correct the issue when contacted.
Overall Opinion: As far as full down pillows go, this is on the less expensive end of the scale. As such you should consider which specifications are more important to you and whether you can handle the drawbacks or not.
Royal Hotel’s Goose Down Pillow
All these other pillows are great, but what if you’re looking for two matching down pillows? Royal Hotel offers a set of two goose down pillows that are fit for a king (or queen!). 750 fill power and 35 ounces of white goose down per pillow ensures a luxurious feel. The 500 thread count Egyptian cotton cover is soft to the touch and feels nice against your skin.
It should be noted that, while the law only requires a product to be 75% down to be considered a down pillow, this particular pillow is made of 100% down. The label itself does not specify that it is goose down – so it’s up to you whether you choose to take their word for it or not.
It can be tough to buy a pillow without being able to feel it, and this is especially true with down. What is considered too soft for some may be too firm for another, and these pillows have been reported at every edge of the spectrum.
Overall Opinion: If you need a reasonably priced pair of pillows and you’re not too picky, these can be a great choice. They most likely won’t be your favorite pillows, but they will get the job done at a fair price.
Cuddledown 700 Goose Medium Pillow
If you’re someone who must have the best of the best, Cuddledown’s 700 Goose Medium Pillow is a wonderful choice. It’s much pricier than the other pillows on our list, but the quality shows through in the construction. These have a solid cover that will keep everything inside. Cuddledown offers multiple sizes and firmness levels, so please be sure to get the appropriate one for you – the majority of “bad pillow experiences” are due to selecting the wrong size or fill level.
The medium pillow is done to 700 fill power, with premium European white goose down. The 450 thread count cotton cover promotes air flow and helps to keep your head cool (an important consideration that many underestimate).
As with all down pillows, this has a potential to wear down over time, and once its worn in you may need to fluff it more often to get the same effect as that first night. If you’re going to be fluffing your pillow, though, it may as well be a nice, cozy pillow that you can reshape to your needs, and for that, the Cuddledown can’t be beat.
Overall Opinion: If price is no object, this pillow is ideal!