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How Long Do Down Pillows Last? (How to Make Them Last Longer) – The Bedding Planet

How Long Do Down Pillows Last? (How to Make Them Last Longer)

The fill quality of a pillow, the frequency with which it is used, and how well it is cared for and cleaned impact how long it will last you.

In general, pillows have an average lifespan of 18 months to three years, with lower-quality pillows having an even shorter lifespan. According to the saying, if you buy cheap, you’ll buy twice.

New pillows are soft and fluffy, thanks to their substantial filling. As time passes, they get increasingly thinner. Pillows may contract and become flat as a pancake in other settings.

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the durability of down pillows specifically and how to make them last longer!

Afterall, having an idea of life expectancy for a particular type of pillow before buying is vital.

How Long Do Down Pillows Last

How Long Do Down Pillows Last?

Down filling is very durable, so you can expect a down sleeping pillow to last between 8 to 12 years. However, the down will compress overtime and become flat due to frequent use. So in order to sleep with the best support possible you should ideally change your down pillow every 12-24 months.

Now, excessive pillow fighters and restless sleepers will discover that their down pillows have a shorter lifespan. Furthermore, those who hit their pillows to feel more comfortable may find that their pillows have a shorter life expectancy as well.

On the other hand, if you take well care of your down pillow (more on this later in the post) it’s possible to have it last for up to two decades.

Factors That Influence Durability of a Down Pillow

We already know that down pillows can last up to a decade and still provide the optimal support expected of a good pillow.

However, one of the most important ways to get the best lifespan from a down pillow is by buying one of great quality. You can achieve this by checking for features that will ensure the pillow lasts long before buying. 

Confused about what exactly to check when buying a down pillow? That’s exactly what this piece is for! Read on to find out more.


Buying a down pillow with a loft that suits your sleeping position will make it last longer.

The amount of loft or thickness in a pillow influences how supportive it feels. Side sleepers often require more loft to maintain the head and neck aligned with the spine, which reduces pressure throughout the body.

Back sleepers need some loft to keep their bodies on a level plane, but too much loft can elevate the head, causing neck and shoulder pain.

Most stomach sleepers will be able to relax comfortably without bending their heads too much if they use a low-cost down pillow with a low loft.

Filling ratio

The amount of down filling used in a pillow will affect how long it lasts, where the more down there is in a pillow the longer it will last.

Usually down pillows are combined with other stuffing types in order to make the pillow cheaper. 100% down pillows are available, but they are challenging to find and typically quite expensive.

Firmness level

Firm down pillows are firm because they ar filled with a larger quantity of down, this increases the durability of the pillow.

Now, your sleeping posture and the size of your head and shoulders will most likely determine the firmness or softness of your pillow.

When comparing different types of down pillows, keep the “fill power” of every pillow in mind. This describes the density of the down fill and, as a result, how hard or soft the pillow will feel when you lie down on it.

Although down pillows with a high fill power are likely to be the firmest option, they are often softer than other pillows.

We recommend that you go with the firmness level that will be best for your sleep and not how long the pillow will last. Afterall, achieving the correct sleeping posture is much more important than how long your pillow will last.

Quality materials

The quality of a down pillow can affect how well it performs and how long it lasts. As explained above, using a dense down fill with a high fill power will give your pillow a fuller form, necessitating less fluffing and shaking in the morning, which is known to reduce the longevity of your pillow.

Furthermore, high quality down that has been taken good care of during the production of the pillows will last longer as well.

The quality of the cover is also essential because deteriorating shell materials may allow the down and feathers to escape, rendering the pillow useless faster.

How to Make Down Pillows Last Longer

To get down pillows’ said lifespan, you must put some things in place to get the best results. These include:

Use a pillow protector

Most people use a pillowcase with their pillows; it’s a common practice. Pillow protectors, on the other hand, are less common.

One of the simplest methods to protect a pillow is to use a pillow protector. A pillow protector not only keeps stains, sweat, oil, and other contaminants off your pillow, but also keeps bugs out. Dust mites will flatten a pillow that was once lush and fluffy.

If you keep your pillows clean, you’ll have to wash them less frequently. The fill inside a pillow breaks down faster the more you wash it. The moral of the story is that down clusters aren’t very good at dealing with abuse.

A good pillow protector will keep your pillows looking clean and fresh, keep pests away from them, and help them last longer. Here’s a good pillow protector (affiliate link) that me and my wife use on both our pillows.

Make sure to do your down pillow laundry correctly

In general, you should wash your pillow every three to four months. When washing your pillow, be sure to follow the washing instructions on the tag. Down is a highly delicate material that requires special care.

The instructions will most likely direct you to wash in cold water on the gentle cycle of your machine. Use a mild detergent, preferably liquid rather than powder. Bleach and liquid fabric softeners should also be avoided.

Remove any pillowcases or protectors before washing to avoid adding other items or clothing to the machine.

It’s best to wash two pillows at a time to save space in the washer or dryer. A single cushion tends to bounce around a lot.

Allow time for proper drying

You’ll need to dry your down pillow after you’ve washed it thoroughly. Wet or damp pillows are more likely to attract and grow mold, so thoroughly drying the pillow is essential.

Dry the pillow(s) on the lowest heat setting and toss in a few clean tennis balls to keep the down fluffed and clump-free.

If you prefer to air dry your clothes outside, begin the process early enough in the day so that they are completely dry by nightfall. Because of their shape, down clusters can hold several times their weight in water.

Depending on the temperature, a pillow may take several hours longer to dry than regular clothing items.

When making your bed, fluff your pillows

Fluff your pillows daily if you don’t use pillow protectors. A thin layer of dust, dandruff, and other debris will cover your pillows. Dust mites will be less attracted to your pillow if you keep it as clean as possible.

Fluffing your pillows has a secondary purpose. You’ll probably notice that the pillow has an indent from where you slept when you wake up.

The down inside is also compressed as a result of the indent. Over time, compression wears the goose down filling down.

Rotate your pillows every night

Every pillow has a consistent wear pattern, with the majority of it occurring where the pillow meets your head and shoulder(s). The area around your head and shoulders has a lot of friction, which causes wear and stress on the down clusters.

Your head will be in the center of the pillow regardless of which position the pillow is placed. Your shoulders, on the other hand, are aligned with the boundaries.

Rotate your pillow every night to ensure it wears evenly (or when you make the bed in the morning). The portion of the bed that was previously at the top will now face the foot of the bed.

Replace it instead of repairing it

You may notice that a few down clusters have leaked out now and then, which isn’t a big deal. On the other hand, if you see that a handful or more has poured out, you most likely have a busted edge or seam.

Your first inclination might be to replace the pillow entirely, but repairing a pillow is pretty simple, especially if you know how to use a needle and thread.

At a fraction of the cost of a replacement, you can buy replacement down fill in 1/4 pound increments, which is usually enough to refill and repair an average pillow.

Locate the hole in a down pillow and enlarge it if necessary to repair it. Replace the missing fill, then use a needle and thread to close the opening. That’s all there is to it!

It should take less than 5 minutes to complete the process.

Don’t abuse your down pillow

If you’re not sleeping, don’t use your down pillows for anything else. That means no yelling at your pillows, no pillow fights, etc.

As previously stated, down clusters are delicate by nature, and friction can be very damaging. Only use a down pillow when you’re sleeping!

Avoid compressing it

Avoid compressing your pillows for storage for the same reasons mentioned previously. The compression only adds more friction to down, which is already a brittle substance. It may be tempting to vacuum seal a pillow when it is not in use, but this will shorten the life of your pillow.


If you follow the suggestions above, your down pillows will last for a more extended period. Pillows can last for years if they are taken care of properly and are not subjected to abuse.

If you follow one of the other precautions listed above, a pillow protector is also an excellent alternative. It is a really crucial topic, and we cannot emphasize it enough. As a result, it’s the most critical piece of advice you can receive.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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