Why Use a Down Pillow? The Benefits & Drawbacks – The Bedding Planet

Why Use a Down Pillow? The Benefits & Drawbacks


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The choice of a good pillow is generally cited as one of the most critical elements in getting a good night’s sleep.

A pillow’s function is to keep your back, neck, and head in the best possible position while you sleep, allowing you to be as comfortable as possible.

Pillow manufacturers have created a wide range of pillow designs over the years, with the majority of the distinctions being drawn between different types of stuffing. There are memory foam, polyester, feather, down, and a range of different materials to choose from.

Have you been contemplating switching to a down pillow but are unsure what you’d gain from doing so?

If that’s the case, this article is an excellent location to begin your quest for solutions. Continue reading to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of down pillows, as well as why you should use them.

A Brief Overview of Down Pillows

The first thing that many people want to know is what a down feather is and where they can get one. While duck and goose down are the most common sources of pillow down, swans and other waterfowl can also furnish pillow down.

Down is used as an under plumb or undercoating in birds. It is found beneath the bird’s feathers, near the skin, and may be identified from feathers by its color.

Down grows as wispy clusters composed of numerous thin filaments that grow in all directions at the same time. The majority of a duck’s or goose’s down is found in the chest region.

Cases For Using Down Pillows

Binding down filling in pillows is required to create a breathable, soft cushion with pockets of air to provide greater comfort and breathability.

Because of its insulating properties, down is also used to keep people warm in jackets and other forms of bedding, such as blankets and comforters.

While down pillows are extraordinarily warm when packed snugly and thickly, they do not retain much heat. On the other hand, when they are packed in a way that allow some space between the down, they can be used as cooling pillows, as I discussed in further detail in this post.

What’s The Feel of a Down Pillow?

Down pillows, as opposed to feather pillows, are puffy and velvety. It is easily shaped to fit snugly against your head and neck, resulting in the ideal contour for any individual.

A down pillow also provides flexible support throughout the night, allowing you to easily change positions while sleeping. It has a luscious texture and is really fluffy.

It is a fantastic choice for guest rooms due to its adaptability because it can easily accept a variety of shapes and sleeping arrangements.

Benefits of Using a Down Pillow

If you’re considering buying new down pillows, you might be wondering what you’ll receive for your money.

Aside from being exceedingly comfortable, sleeping on down pillows has a slew of other perks. Down pillows are made from bird feathers taken from the bird’s back, chest, and wings.

Down, unlike feathers found in other parts of the body, is not waterproof, which makes it considerably softer and more suitable for use in pillows compared to feathers.

With good reason, duck and goose down pillows are the most popular type of down pillows.

Keep in mind that the down pillow is best for:

  • Those who enjoy a fluffy loft
  • People that move around a lot while sleeping
  • Those who suffer from nighttime chills

The following are good reasons to use a down pillow amongst the other types available:

1. Down pillows conform to your body

In addition, the natural softness of the down allows the cushion to contour around your head and neck, allowing the pillow to mold to your unique head and neck form.

If you have ever experienced neck pain, this can be extremely beneficial to you. If you use low-quality pillows, your head will frequently be forced into an uncomfortable position, which can cause unnecessary strain.

Because of the inherent softness of the down, there is no pressure applied to the back of your neck while you are lying on the pillow while you sleep.

Once again, this is perfect if you are currently experiencing discomfort while attempting to sleep. The down filling allows you to sink into the cushion for maximum relaxation.

2. Natural breathability for all-year-round comfort

A down pillow is a perfect solution for those who find that their present pillows are either too chilly or too warm, depending on the weather.

If you move around a lot while you sleep, you won’t wake up with the uncomfortable sensation of a chilly pillow against your face or neck due to the natural insulating properties of down. This is especially important in the winter months when it is cold outside.

Down is also breathable, which means that heat and moisture can readily escape from the pillow, which is especially advantageous on hot summer evenings when you can easily overheat and get restless in bed.

3. Quality pillows are worth their money in the long run

While down pillows are more expensive than cheaper synthetic pillows, their superior quality means that you won’t have to replace your pillows as frequently as you would with cheaper synthetic pillows.

When you use badly constructed synthetic pillows, they are likely to lose their quality considerably more quickly, requiring you to acquire a new pair in order to achieve the same degree of comfort as before.

Down pillows, on the other hand, will last for many years if they are properly maintained. As a result, down pillows can be thought of as a fantastic long-term investment.

4. Down pillows have been shown to improve sleep quality

A down pillow’s ability to regulate temperature while also conforming to your individual shape can aid in the improvement of overall sleep quality.

For those who have trouble falling asleep or waking up throughout the night, why not give down a shot and see if it can make your nights more restful and restorative?

5. Down pillows provide fluffy comfort

Down feathers have the appearance of small tufts of cotton, and they feel similar to them as well. This results in unparalleled softness in both the animal and pillow domains.

As you lie down on your pillow, the down clusters together, compressing in an airy manner beneath your weight while maintaining its wonderfully fluffy comfort level. You’ll get the sensation of sleeping on a cloud, which may be an overused metaphor, but it’s no less accurate for that.

6. Down pillows keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer

Although it may be difficult to understand given that we do not have a feather fill, down is a fantastic resource when it comes to warding off the cold. With their down, birds are able to catch and hold pockets of air, which causes them to become warmer and warmer as more air is trapped. 2

Consequently, nothing pairs better with a large, warm blanket on a chilly winter night than a down pillow filled with down. While you’ll be nice and toasty, you won’t be overheated.

Are you concerned about how a down pillow will perform throughout the summer? There is no requirement because down is a permeable material, thus excess heat will not be retained for long. 3

7. Down pillows are simple to clean and maintain

Maintaining a down pillow properly is the most effective method of extending its longevity, and fortunately, this is a quite simple process. The following is the proper way to wash a pillow with down filling:

  • Vacuum

Vacuum the surface of the pillow with a handheld vacuum cleaner. Stains will remain, but cleaning should remove any dust mites and other particulates that may have accumulated.

  • Wash

In the event that there are any special directions on the tags, you can throw the pillows in the washing machine right away—preferably two at a time for better dispersion.

Coldwater is best (heated water and cloth are not the best of friends), and a mild soap should be used to avoid damaging the fabric. A second rinse cycle will aid in the removal of any remaining soap.

  • Dry

When drying your down pillows, use the lowest heat setting possible, just like you would when washing them.

Use air drying or tumble drying, and toss in a few dryer balls to ensure that the pillows retain their shape. Because a down feather-filled pillow does not have the same water resistance as its wing and back counterparts, you should be prepared to run another drying cycle on it if necessary.

Giving your down pillows a thorough cleaning every six months should keep them in good condition. Another option is to cover your pillows with a pillow protector or pillow cover to help prevent stains and dust mite infestations.

8. Down pillows are extremely long-lasting

Eventually, no matter how pleasant your dreams were while resting on your favorite pillow, you will have to part ways with your beloved sleeping companion.

While down pillows are designed to last for a long time, with good care, they can last even longer than that—about 5-10 years, if not a couple more. 

9. Down pillows are manufactured from feathers that have been ethically sourced

Although the advantages of utilizing down pillows are numerous, you might be concerned about the well-being of our feathered companions given the current state of the environment. However, there is no need to be concerned about the fowl.

The Responsible Down Standard ensures that the down used in down pillows is sourced ethically and has been certified (RDS). Curious what that means exactly?

Well, the RDS works hard to verify that birds used for down and feathers were not subjected to animal cruelty in any manner, shape, or form, or at any point in the supply chain, and that this is accurately determined.

Down pillows are a gift, and it is only proper to express gratitude to those who gave them to you.

The Drawbacks of Using Down Pillow

As much as there are numerous benefits you stand to gain from using down pillows, it’s important that you also know the downsides of using a down pillow. This helps you weigh your options and recognize any possible deal-breakers before purchase. For instance, you could be allergic to geese and duck feathers and vice versa.

The following are possible drawbacks you could experience using down pillows:

1. Allergens

Due to the fact that down pillows are formed of natural fiber, it is far more difficult to assure that they are entirely hypoallergenic. Furthermore, they are not recommended for anyone who has a sensitivity to or allergies to ducks or geese.

2. Spikiness

Despite the fact that the spikes on down feathers are not as sharp or rigid as those on outer feathers, they can nonetheless pierce through the ticking of a pillow and irritate or poke the skin beneath the pillowcase.

3. Lack of Support 

A down pillow used overnight continues to sink into the curves of the head, resulting in a night of more comfortable sleep. But, if the pillow becomes overly compressed and flat, which is common with down pillows overtime, it can cause discomfort, as well as contribute to neck pain in some cases.

4. The lumpiness of the down pillow is a possibility

Using a pillow for an extended period of time may cause oils and moisture from your body to interact with the down filling, causing it to clump together and interfere with the smooth consistency of the down.

5. Down pillows need to be fluffed on a regular basis

Down pillows require “fluffing up” after each usage in order to maintain their attractive appearance as well as to replenish with air, which aids in the preservation of the pillow’s softness.

6. Cruelty to animals

Concerns have been raised concerning the ethical implications of the gathering or plucking of down feathers. Being an animal byproduct, using it for human comfort raises a number of difficult ethical questions about animal welfare.

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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