What Is A Down Pillow Made Of

If you’re curious what is a down pillow made of, you can assume from the name itself, which is the down of birds. One can consider it the most luxurious pillow because the materials are harder to find than others, and the resulting feel of the pillow is uniquely soft and lightweight.

However, you can save costs by making the down pillow yourself. You can even experiment with different pillow stuffings. Below is additional information about this luxurious pillow. 

What Is A Down Pillow Made Of


What Are Down Pillows Made Of?

Down pillows are made from a bird’s down, which is found on the chest area. Think of the down as soft, fluffy, and short feathers you typically see on baby birds. One might even consider them like a bird’s undercoat since they are the inner plumage beneath the chest region’s coarse feathers. 

You can notice that down covers ducklings and goslings entirely before they develop feathers. This is why these materials are uniquely lightweight and soft for pillows. Some manufacturers also take advantage of the insulator property of down and make jackets and gloves for the cold weather. 

When using a down pillow, you’ll notice how luxuriously plush it feels when you lay your head. Compared to the firmer foam or buckwheat, down pillows will deeply sink your head for a cozy and comfortable sleep. However, this makes it less ideal for supporting body regions, so some brands mix it with feathers to achieve a firmer feel. 


Goose vs duck down

When looking at down pillows, you have probably stumbled upon goose down and duck down. A quick summary of their difference is that goose down is plusher and more insulating than duck down. The Canadian Down And Feather Company mentioned that goose down is more expensive because they are commonly odorless from having fewer oils than duck materials. 

However, you can always get high-quality duck down to ensure that they are cleaned thoroughly. Furthermore, having more natural oils enhance the down’s longevity and softness for the pillow. Overall, always check if your down pillow comes from reputable sources that meet humane and cleanliness standards. 


Down vs down alternative

Speaking of oils and odor, some people are sensitive to them and experience allergic and respiratory reactions. However, they can still enjoy the plush and lightweight features of down pillows by choosing down alternative pillows. From the name itself, these pillows use materials that mimic down without actually using such material. 

Down alternative pillows use high-quality polyester microfibers. They are easier to clean than down pillows and also come at a lower price. However, these materials are synthetic with shorter longevity, which can be a turn-off for sleepers that prefer something natural and long-lasting. 


Down vs feathers

One of the most common confusion among buyers is the difference between down and feathers. A feather pillow is more affordable than a down pillow, but it is also less soft due to quills. Remember that down are soft and short, while feathers are large, less fluffy, and have quills that can poke through the pillow. 

Feathers are also flatter than fluffy down, and they are found on the back and wings instead of the chest. However, those that need a firmer pillow can choose a down pillow with a mix of feathers to lessen its softness. The combination of the two materials will also reduce the price of the pillow. 


How To Choose The Best Down Pillow


Shape and materials

When selecting among the down pillows in the market, consider the shape and moldability. You want something that has good size for your sleeping position and space in the bed. Most down pillows are rectangular in sizes ranging from king, queen, and standard.

The pillow should also be moldable since down is incredibly soft. You can reshape it according to what’s comfortable and supportive. Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in good-quality but pricier materials such as the fill and cover to ensure a long pillow lifespan. 


Support and comfort

Your head size and sleeping position will dictate what support is suitable for you. Remember that you must maintain an aligned spine and fill the neck gap to avoid body pain. You can also choose down pillows with feathers to get firmer support. 

Down pillows are moldable, so they should conform to the head and neck and relieve pressure. However, some sleepers might prefer other materials like foam to keep the neck from sinking far. Finally, consider a breathable cover to compensate for the down’s insulator properties. 


Firmness and loft

The final consideration involves the firmness level or fill ratio and the fill power. As mentioned earlier, the pillow stuffing will dictate the firmness and price point of the pillow. And according to the American Down And Feather Council, the measure of loft is the fill power, and you can use it to find the best thickness for your sleeping position. 



The most luxurious pillow in the market is the down pillow. So what is a down pillow made of, and why is it unique? Down refers to the bird’s undercoat that is plush, soft, and short instead of the flat feathers with quills. 

This material provides a soft and cozy pillow that will last longer than other pillows. However, always learn the differences between a goose and duck down.