Down pillows are fluffy, feathery, and considered by many to be the ultimate in sleep luxury. But with so many different options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Well, that’s where my best down pillow roundup comes into play!
In this guide, I’m presenting what I believe to be the six best down pillows on the market, all of which I’ve personally tested. And don’t worry — I included something for all sleeping positions so everybody can find their perfect match. Plus, I’ll detail the methodology behind my picks at the end of this review so you’re equipped with all the info you need to do some shopping on your own!
Best Down Pillows 2023 – Our Top 6 Picks!
- Firmest Support – Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Down
- Best for Stomach Sleepers – Casper Down Pillow
- Best for Side Sleepers – Luxe Pillow
- Best for Combination Sleepers – Brooklinen Down Pillow
- Best for Neck Pain – Parachute Down Pillow
- Best for Back Sleepers – Boll & Branch Down Pillow
Firmest Support – TEMPUR-Down
The Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Down combines feathers and memory foam for a nice balance of cushioned comfort and support.
4.00 / 5
First up is the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Down, ideal for folks in search of firm support.
The TEMPUR-Down offers a unique spin on the traditional all-down pillow, as it combines both waterfowl feathers and the brand’s proprietary memory foam. Essentially, a down-filled outer pillow envelops a shredded memory-foam inner pillow to strike a cozy balance between plush and supportive.
I’ll admit that this is my personal favorite because down pillows are often a bit too soft for me, especially when I sleep on my side. Back and side sleepers who love the feathery feel of down, but avoid it because it’s so soft and compressible, should definitely give this medium-firm pillow a try.
Meanwhile, stomach sleepers can take comfort in the fact that the middle insert is removable. If you find that this pillow is too firm or lofty, simply remove the memory foam core to enjoy a super soft, low-lofted pillow.
For the full scoop on how this pillow compares to Tempur-Pedic’s other models, be sure to check my full Tempur-Pedic pillows review!
Price: $169–$209, with a five-year warranty
Perfect For: Down lovers in search of firmer support!
Best for Stomach Sleepers – Casper Down Pillow
Casper Down Pillow
This pillow is filled with 100% ethically sourced down, and reminds me of the pillows I’ve enjoyed at hotels!
4.60 / 5
Next up is the Casper Down, a perfect pick for stomach sleepers in need of an extra-soft pillow.
The Casper Down pillow is filled with ethically sourced down, and covered in 100% cotton. It’s plush, fluffable, and reminds me of the pillows I’ve seen at hotels. But the thing that makes this a particularly good pick for stomach sleepers is its extra-soft feel and low 2″ profile. Remember — stomach sleepers need a soft, compressible pillow in order to maintain healthy posture through the night.
Aside from feel and support, something that sets this pillow apart is its easy wash care. Many down pillows (including several in this roundup) must only be dry-cleaned or spot-cleaned in order to prevent any damage to the materials. But this one can be washed and dried by machine, which makes maintenance nice and simple.
See how this pillow compares to Casper’s down-alternative pillow in my full Casper pillow review!
Price: $139–$179, with a 30-night trial period and one-hear limited warranty.
Perfect For: Stomach sleepers in search of an extra soft, low-lofted pillow!
Best for Side Sleepers – Luxe Pillow
Luxe Down Alternative Pillow
This pillow is made with polyester gel fiber that very closely mimics the feeling of down. It's a great choice for back and stomach sleepers.
4.00 / 5Read Full Review
Filled with a blend of white duck and goose feathers, the super-fluffy Luxe Pillow pillow features a high fill power of 600. We’ll discuss this in greater detail later on in our buying guide, but fill power is the measure of how fluffy a down product is, and ranges from 300 to 900. The higher the number is, the more lofty and fluffy it’s going to be!
When it comes to this pillow in particular, its high 600 fill power gives it a high profile of 5″ tall. It also has a medium level of firmness which, in my experience, helped it maintain its shape throughout the night. This makes it most compatible with side sleepers, or back sleepers who prefer a firmer feel.
It’s worth noting that this brand also makes a down alternative pillow that, I have to say, feels remarkably like real down.
If you want to learn more about both options, be sure to check my full Luxe pillows review.
Price: $129–$149, with a 100-night trial period.
Perfect For: Back and side sleepers looking for a super fluffy pillow!
Best for Combination Sleepers – Brooklinen Down Pillow
Brooklinen Down Pillow
The Brooklinen Down pillow is available in three firmness levels, making it versatile for a variety of sleepers.
4.30 / 5Read Full Review
If you’re a combo sleeper with sensitive skin, allow me to introduce the Brooklinen Natural Down pillow.
Amply stuffed full of white duck down, this pillow features a luxuriously high fill power of 600. It’s super-lofty and fluffy, but soft enough to compress into a low loft of 2″. In my experience, this ability to fluff or compress it into the loft of your liking makes it great for sleepers of all styles, especially if you switch positions.
But what’s really great about this pillow, in my opinion, is that the down is treated with a special antibacterial technology that makes it extra resistant to allergens. If you avoid real down because of its potential to irritate allergies or sensitive skin, I heartily recommend you give this one a try! And when I say try, I mean Brooklinen gives you a full year to return this pillow if you’re unsatisfied.
For the full scoop, be sure to read my full Brooklinen pillow review!
Price: $99–$129, with a generous 365-day return policy and lifetime warranty.
Perfect For: Combo sleepers looking for a hypoallergenic pillow!
Best for Neck Pain – Parachute Down Pillow
Parachute Down Pillow
The Parachute Down Pillow is filled with European white down and great at alleviating neck pain!
4.30 / 5
If you’re looking for a pillow to alleviate neck pain, the Parachute Down might be the one for you.
This pillow is filled with European white down, which is considered to be a superior type of down thanks to its extra fluffy feel. It’s lightweight, supportive, and features a very high 750 fill power, which gives it a big ol’ build best suited to back and side sleepers. That said, the Parachute Down is offered in three firmness options to accommodate sleepers of all styles.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, I’d go with the softest one in order to prevent any strain on your neck or back. But keep in mind that Parachute offers a 60-day trial period, so you’ve got some time to experiment with the firmness that works best for you. Personally, I found the medium option to lend itself best to my combo-sleeping needs.
Curious about Parachute products? Take a look at my Parachute sheets review!
Price: $129–$209, with a 60-day trial period.
Perfect For: Sleepers in search of a pillow that’ll relieve their neck pain!
Best for Back Sleepers – Boll & Branch Down Pillow
Boll & Branch Down Pillow
Say hello to a longer-lasting, ethically sourced, all-around great down pillow that is perfect for all types of sleepers.
4.60 / 5
Last but not least is the Boll & Branch Down, an eco-friendly pillow perfect for back sleepers.
For those unfamiliar with this brand, it emphasizes environmentally responsible practices, asserting that “better ethics mean sweeter dreams.” Sleepers can rest easy knowing that the down in this pillow is Fair-Trade certified, ethically sourced from American farms, and triple-washed for antibacterial purposes.
It comes in soft or medium-firm options. While I suggest that stomach sleepers go with soft to guard against neck pain, I tested the medium-firm pillow and found it to be ideal for back-sleeping. It offered a cozy, balanced feel that let my head sink into the pillow while still holding it in neutral alignment with my neck. If you’re a back sleeper in search of a fluffy down pillow, I can’t recommend this one enough.
Learn more about this brand’s bedding in my full Boll & Branch sheets review!
Price: $158–$218, with a 30-day trial period.
Perfect For: Back sleepers looking for a balanced, responsibly sourced pillow!
Methodology: How To Shop For A Down Pillow
Okay, folks, now that you’ve seen my six favorite down pillows, let’s dive deeper into the methodology behind my picks. When you’re shopping for down pillows, it’s important to consider materials, fill power, and the cluster-to-feather ratio in order to find the one that meets your unique sleep needs.
Yes, down pillows are all filled with feathers, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same! Some are stuffed with goose feathers, some are filled with duck down, and others are filled with a blend of both. The color, texture, and durability of down can vary from pillow to pillow, depending on the animal it’s sourced from.
Geese are known for producing large down clusters, which often result in a fluffier, loftier pillow. Goose down also tends to be more durable as compared to duck, which can increase a pillow’s lifespan (but also the price).
Another main selling point for goose down is its white color, which makes it harder to see individual feathers through a cover fabric. This doesn’t affect the feel, but many sleepers prefer white down for aesthetic reasons.
In general, duck down is a bit less fluffy and durable as compared to goose down…but it’s also less expensive. Many bedding brands combine duck and goose down in order to create a balanced feel while also appealing to folks on a budget.
That said, all-duck down pillows can be just as luxurious as those sourced from geese, depending on fill power and the cluster-to-feather ratio. And while it may cost a little extra, sleepers can shop specifically for white duck down to make sure the pillow is uniform in color, and no gray spots peek through the cover.
Fill Power, Loft, and Firmness
Fill power is the term used to measure the loft and fluffiness of a down product, and typically ranges from 300 to 900. The general rule of thumb is the higher the fill power, the fluffier a down pillow will be. In the bedding world, down pillows with a fill power of 600 or higher are considered luxurious, but it’s important to remember that loft and firmness go hand in hand.
While it’s true that a high fill power pillow is likely to look lofty, its ability to maintain that loft under pressure has a lot to do with its firmness. So, let’s talk about how to land on the loft and firmness that works best for your preferred sleeping position.
- Stomach Sleepers: Down pillows are often perfectly suited to stomach sleepers because they’re plush and compressible. That said, some bedding brands offer down pillows in several firmness options to accommodate different positions, and I suggest that stomach sleepers choose the softest one. Having a soft, low-lofted pillow is a great way for stomach sleepers to guard against neck pain.
- Back Sleepers: Back sleepers are most compatible with a medium level of loft and firmness. So, I suggest picking a high-fill power pillow with a soft to medium firmness rating, as these traits can complement each other to create a balanced feel. By the same token, folks who prefer firmer support may want to choose a lower-lofted pillow to prevent the head from craning forward.
- Side Sleepers: Because down is so soft and compressible, I suggest side sleepers pick the firmest, loftiest down pillow they can find. Remember, down is always going to compress at least a little bit, but side sleepers can compensate for that with an extra-firm feel. To accommodate side sleepers, some brands combine down with a denser material like memory foam in order to boost loft and firmness.
For more information on keeping healthy sleep posture, be sure to check my complete guide to picking the right pillow for your position!
Okay, here’s where things get a little confusing. While down clusters are technically feathers, they’re not the same as the feathers that come from the back or wings of ducks and geese. Instead, down clusters are softer, fluffier feathers that come from the insulating layer on the belly of the bird.
Non-cluster feathers that come from the back and wings are longer, less pliant, and can make a pillow feel more firm. And though clusters are generally considered to be more luxurious than feathers, sleepers who prefer a firmer feel might actually want a greater number of feathers. Conversely, those looking for a softer, more plush pillow should aim for a higher concentration of clusters.
Oh, and don’t worry — determining the cluster-to-feather doesn’t require any measuring on your part. This information can be found on the “materials” tag on the pillow itself, or under the “materials description” on the bedding brand’s website.
Is goose down better than duck down?
"Better" is a subjective word. Goose down is usually going to be fluffier than duck down, but that's not going to appeal to everyone, especially if they enjoy a firmer feel. Another difference between the two types of down is that goose feathers are going to be white, and therefore not as visible through the pillow. Duck feathers are often gray, although you can sometimes find white duck down for an extra charge.
What's the difference between down pillows and feather pillows?
Essentially, down pillows are made of feathers that come from the chest and underbelly of a duck or goose. It's worth noting that these feathers don't have quills. Feather pillows do have quills and come from the wings and backs of ducks and geese.
How long do feather pillows last?
Feather pillows can last between five and 10 years. However, depending on the pillow, the feathers may start to compress after a while and become uncomfortable. That's why some folks prefer to replace their pillows every one to two years.
Now that you’ve seen my top favorite down pillows on the market, you’re well on your way to picking the one that’s perfect for you. Just be sure to keep a close eye on materials, fill power, and the cluster-to-feather ratio in order to find the one that works best for your individual sleep needs. Sweet dreams, everybody!