The City Mattress Blog


What are Down Pillows Made of?


Down feather pillow

There are many different types of pillows. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and will work best for individual sleepers. You wouldn’t want to take a large, L-Shaped pillow to nap on the plane! Just the same, no one brings a travel neck pillow into the bed each night. What pillow is right for you if you value comfort and luxury? If you want the best of the best, you’re going to want to look into down feather pillows.

Down feather pillows mold to the shape of your head, regardless of your sleeping position. You would be forgiven for thinking so large and fluffy would be warm, when in fact the opposite is true. These all-natural, luxury pillows are a good choice for those who get too warm at night, as down allows for airflow through the pillow. This serves to keep your head cool. Down feather pillows are available in a variety of lofts, meaning they can be filled to match the density you prefer.

What’s the Difference Between Down and Feather?

Before we go any further, let’s answer the most basic question “What are down pillows made of?” Down pillows are made from feathers. Not just feathers will do, though. You may have heard the terms feather and down pillows used interchangeably. Most people think of them as the same thing, but they’re actually a bit different. Down feather pillows are made from clusters of down taken from the chest area of a goose, swan, or duck. They look like the fluffy white dandelions that one would blow on to make a wish.

Down pillows are only made from quill-less feather clusters of the chest and underbelly of birds. Feather pillows are comprised of soft, quill-containing feathers from the wings and backs of the birds. Essentially, a down pillow means you can enjoy the soft support of the fluffy parts of the feather, without the possibility of a pokey part sticking you on accident!

To make it a bit more complicated, many pillows have a combination of feather and down. A feather and down pillow, like Down Décor’s Chamber Down Pillow, means you get many of the benefits of a down pillow at a slightly more affordable cost. After all, down pillows are a luxury item! The Chamber Down Pillow has an inner core made up of a down/feather blend for firmness and shape retention, covered in a thick layer of 100% White Down, so your head touches only the softest part of the pillow.

It’s important to understand that these feathers have been thoroughly cleaned before being used to fill a pillow. The City Mattress Luxury Down and Feather Pillow is made by artisans dedicated to meticulous craftsmanship. It is made from 80% White Feather and 20% Snow White™ down. Our down is thoroughly cleaned and sterilized twice, ensuring the natural filing is free of dust, dirt, and allergens.

Understanding “Fill Power” 

Fill power refers to the amount of fluffiness or height, also called loft, in the pillow. Fill power is the amount of space that an ounce of down will occupy in cubic inches within a pillow. The higher the fill power equals the larger the down clusters. Larger down clusters are known to last longer and will sleep softer and warmer than smaller clusters.

Think of fill power as fluff! The maximum fill power number is 850, and this figure represents the highest quality down feather pillows you can get. Many options tend to have a fill power of about 500. Anything over 650 is considered extremely high quality.

Tips for Caring for your Down Pillow

Down pillows can last up to 20 years with proper care and cleaning. That is significantly longer than other pillow options. For one, be sure to use a zippered pillow protector and pillowcase to cover the pillow. This will keep natural body oils from absorbing into the feathers. If your down feather pillow is ever soiled, check the label for washing instructions. Machine washable down pillows require two additional rinse cycles to remove soap residue and two additional spin cycles to remove excess water. Only use the washing machine if the label says it is okay to do so, though. Use a low heat setting to dry the pillow, stopping to hand fluff every 20 minutes. You will know the pillow is dry when no lumps can be felt.

City Mattress carries numerous down feather pillows. This includes pillows from some of the world’s best brands, like SFERRA and Malouf. In fact, the SFERRA Cardigan Goose Down Pillow is one that has a loft over 800! You won’t believe how lightweight yet supportive this pillow is. If you haven’t done so yet, you owe it to yourself and your night of sleep to take a serious look at making the switch to sleeping on a down feather pillow.