The City Mattress Blog


Down vs Down Alternative Pillows


down & down alternative pillows

We all need great sleep, each and every night. You may not realize it, but beyond a high-quality mattress, the pillow you lay your head on is a huge part of creating a bed that feels like a slumber oasis. You see, your pillow serves a very important purpose. It supports your head and neck throughout the night, ensuring that you can wake up without neck pain or stiffness. We want you to find the perfect pillow for you, which is why we offer so many options both online and in our stores.

There are many different types of pillows. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and will work best for individual sleepers. If you want the best of the best, you’re going to want to look into either down pillows or a down alternative.

What is a Down Pillow?

A down pillow may as well be called a feather pillow, because that is what it is. It’s not just any feathers, though. These feathers are the softest available. Down is made from the fluffy undercoating of feathers and holds its loft up to three times longer than synthetic alternatives and is very soft. Down pillows are very light and soft. They’re also durable. With proper care, a down pillow can last for many years past a cotton, latex, or memory foam option!

We recommend that you purchase the best pillow you can afford. Spending a little bit now can prevent you from waking up with aches and pains for years to come! If you’re looking for true luxury pillows, you’re looking for SFERRA down pillows. They are known across the globe for their amazing sheets and duvets, and this world-famous brand also makes four high-quality pillows. Regardless of which SFERRA down pillow option you choose, this pillow will be just right for you- not too full and not too flat.

What is Down Alternative

Down provides a luxuriously soft pillow that will cradle your head in a cloud of comfort. Yet, let’s say you don’t like the idea of a down pillow. You are allergic to feathers and while down pillows are exceptional, they’re certainly not hypoallergenic. Perhaps you live a vegan lifestyle and avoid any product made with animals involved. In either of these cases, you’re going to instead look into down alternative pillows. This down alternative fill is made of puffs of polyester. Down alternative pillows cost significantly less than real down, are easier to care for and fairly durable, and offer pretty similar softness and comfort.

Comparing Down vs. Down Alternative 

The biggest similarity between down pillows and down alternative pillows is their softness. Both can help you get an amazing night’s sleep, but they are definitely different. The difference between down and a down alternative is clear. When looking for your new pillow, you are going to want to look into several factors, like the cost, comfort, warmth, breathability, ease of care, allergens, and durability. When you breakdown the benefits and drawbacks of each choice, the best pillow option for you will become more clear. 

Pros & Cons of Down 

If you are saying “Only the best will do!” then you’re going to want to begin your pillow purchase search by looking into down pillows.

  1. The industry standard for luxury is a high fill power, down pillow. If you want luxury, you want down!
  2. Down pillows are a bit harder to clean than those made from a down alternative, but most are machine washable. Just be sure to check the care instructions and be sure you completely dry your down pillows. You don’t want to accidentally ruin a pillow that costs this much!
  3. Down is a natural product, made from a fluffy layer under the feathers of geese that keeps them warm. If you like natural products and try to avoid synthetic materials and chemicals, this option is right for you.
  4. Down makes for a luxuriously soft pillow that will cradle your head comfortably. This support lasts a long time. They retain their supportive properties for extended periods of time, unlike other pillow options filled with synthetic materials.

Pros & Cons of Down Alternative

Now that we’ve looked at why down is great and why some sleepers may not find it to be a good fit, let’s look at the alternative. Consider the following:

  1. Synthetic down alternative typically provides a cooler sleeping experience than down, which traps and holds heat. If you sleep hot, this is something to consider.
  2. Cleaning down can be difficult and nerve wracking. Synthetic alternatives are nearly always machine washable. They need only occasional shaking and fluffing to keep the fill even and to maintain their shape.
  3. Down alternative pillows mimic the softness and comfort of down, but are hypoallergenic. This makes them a better choice for those sensitive to respiratory allergens.
  4. These synthetic pillows after a more realistic option if you are on a tight budget. Down pillows are a luxury item, and come with a luxury price tag attached.

Need Help Shopping?

The down vs synthetic choice is only the beginning! Both types of pillows also come in a variety of firmness levels. Maybe a hybrid or down blend is right. There is also duck down vs goose down to decide upon. How will you ever decide? The key is to let an expert help you! Find your nearest City Mattress location to see and feel many of our pillow options in person. By visiting a store you also speak with one of our industry experts. We’ll explain all of this to you, and more. When you leave, you’ll know for sure you got the right product for you!

If you prefer to shop online, we make it easy to connect with a Sleep Expert this way as well. Simply click on the red “Contact us” button in the lower, right-hand corner. You’ll speak to a live person who works in our stores every day. It is that easy!