14 Nov 2023
What Are the Benefits of Down Pillows?
17 Feb 2023
Like your mattress and duvet, your pillows play just as important a role in creating a bed that’s comfortable from head to toe. Low-quality pillows can greatly impact the quality of your sleeping experience; those with subpar fillings fail to provide proper support and temperature control, the two pillars of a good night’s sleep. We’re here to explain why down pillows should be the first choice for anyone seeking these qualities in their bedding.
The main benefits of down pillows include their softness and malleability, heat-retention, and heat-regulating properties. They adapt to the shape and temperature of your body to keep you comfortable and supported to the optimal degree. Down pillows are also suitable for use all year round, are more hygienic, and are more durable and longer lasting than other types of pillows. In short, down pillows can generally improve your sleeping experience to a significant extent thanks to these collective benefits.
What is the Filling in Down Pillows?
Down pillows contain down, an all-natural filling made from the soft feather undercoat of waterfowl like ducks and geese. As a filling, down is considered to be the height of luxury and quality compared to feather and synthetic alternatives.
What sets down apart from regular feathers is the structures of each of these fillings. Feathers are taken from the outermost coat of the birds; their original purpose is for the birds’ protection and waterproofing. These feathers have a hard stem or ‘quill’ running the length of each individual feather. Down, on the other hand, lies beneath the outer coat of feathers and against the birds’ skin; the primary purpose of the down layer is to keep the birds warm in extremely low temperatures. The individual down feathers have no quill, instead being clusters of soft directionally-varying filaments.
Due to this quill-less structure, down is incredibly soft, flexible, and durable. The filaments of the down feathers create insulated pockets of air that trap heat; this results in a filling that retains warmth exceptionally well, while also being breathable and light. Feathers alone are unable to provide the same quality, as their hard quill impacts their comfort and reduces their resilience against compression. So, not only are down pillows more comfortable, they last much longer than their feather counterparts.
To get the full benefits of both fillings, you can purchase pillows containing a blend of feathers and down. For instance, our Luxury Goose Feather & Down Pillows offer an ideal balance of both materials; they provide the ultimate support, comfort and heat-regulating properties, and can be plumped to their original state daily. This is a great choice if you want luxurious, top-quality pillows at an affordable price.
What Are the Benefits of Down Pillows?
Down Pillows Are Exceptionally Soft
If you’re looking for a pillow that will provide the ultimate comfortable sleeping experience, down pillows are the best choice.
As we’ve explained, individual down feathers are made up of light, fluffy filaments, and lack any form of hard quill. This creates a soft filling that you can confidently sink your head into; you don’t need to worry about being poked by a rogue quill, as would be the case with feather pillows. To also compare down with synthetic pillows, synthetic fillings tend to be firm and prone to clumping. Down pillows will stay soft and fluffy, no matter how much you use them, or how much you wash them. Even if you prefer a firmer pillow, you can choose a down pillow with a higher ‘fill power’; down pillows with a higher fill power will be fuller and firmer without sacrificing their luxurious softness.
Down Pillows Adapt to the Form of Your Body
Down pillows are the most ergonomically friendly, adapting to the form of your body whichever way you lie on them.
Thanks to the filling’s natural malleability, down pillows will contour around your head and neck, adapting to your individual shape. This further adds to the supreme comfort you experience when using down pillows, particularly if you suffer from neck pain. Cheap, synthetic pillows often exacerbate neck pain by forcing you to sleep in an unnatural position for your upper body; down pillows instead reduce the pressure on your neck as they will form around your unique body shape. Considering that you use them every night, this is an invaluable property that you want your pillows to have. Down pillows will always provide support to your body no matter what way you lie on them.
Down Pillows Retain and Regulate Heat
Down pillows have the best heat-retention and heat-regulation properties of any filling type.
Again, as we’ve discussed, the original purpose of down was to keep birds warm in their cold habitats. The structures of the down clusters form air pockets that trap heat within the filling. Using down pillows will therefore keep you warm and cosy at night - especially if you pair them with a down duvet. And, in spite of their exceptional heat-retentive properties, down pillows are also highly breathable; the down filling regulates the temperature of the pillow, keeping you warm and cosy without causing you to overheat.
Down Pillows Can Be Used All Year-Round
Following from the previous point, down pillows have the best heat-regulating properties of any pillow type. This makes them perfect for use all year round.
A common issue that people face is having pillows that are too warm or too cold depending on the weather. The natural breathability of down pillows completely negates this issue regardless of the external temperature. In cold weather, the insulating properties of down ensure that there are no cold spots on the pillows; this means that, during the winter months, you can move around the pillow freely without encountering any uncomfortable cold sensations. Oppositely, in warm weather, heat and moisture are able to escape the pillow’s filling; as such, you’re able to use down pillows in the summer without becoming too hot while you’re sleeping.
Down Pillows Are More Hygienic
Down pillows are more hygienic than synthetic alternatives.
A major disadvantage of using synthetic pillows is their tendency to collect allergens and other undesirable substances over time. Pillows with synthetic fillings gather bacteria, dust mites, skin cells, and sweat at a much faster rate; this makes synthetic pillows less hygienic between washes, and may trigger reactions in those with sensitivities to such substances. Also, synthetic pillows don’t respond well to washing, and will decrease in quality with every wash. Down pillows, however, are much more resistant to these substances, and actually improve in quality with machine washing. As they don’t harbour unpleasant substances like synthetic pillows, you won’t need to wash them as often; it’s even possible to refresh down pillows without using the washing machine by setting them in the sun for a few hours.
Down Pillows Last Longer
Down pillows last significantly longer than pillows with synthetic fillings.
The typical lifespan of a synthetic pillow is around 6 months to 2 years. Over time, the synthetic filling tends to become clumpy, lumpy, and misshapen from usage and washing. The filling in down pillows is instead considerably more durable; the light filaments of the down feathers are flexible, making them incredibly resilient against compression and machine washing. Due to these properties, down pillows can last anywhere from 7 to 10 years before they will need replacement. You will therefore replace your pillows much less often; not only does this save you money, it’s also more environmentally friendly as it reduces your consumption of synthetic products.
Down Pillows Generally Improve Overall Sleep Quality
To draw all of the previous points together, down pillows will generally improve your overall sleep quality.
It’s a universal truth that you can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep. Considering their supreme comfort, heat-regulating properties, and resistance to allergenic substances, down pillows provide the best sleeping experience overall. If you’re currently suffering from poor sleep, switching your current pillows for down can make a huge difference; we guarantee that you’ll have the best sleep possible once you lay your head on a luxurious down pillow.
Should I Choose Duck Down Pillows or Goose Down Pillows?
Between goose down and duck down, the best type of down pillow is a goose down pillow. Assuming you’ve chosen to invest in down pillows, you’ll then face another choice of which type of down to opt for. Regardless of its origin, all types of down have the same basic structure; however, there are some qualities specific to goose down that set it apart from duck down.
The main difference between these two types of down is their textures. Geese tend to produce down with larger and thicker filaments; despite this, the individual filaments are lighter and more breathable. Duck down typically has smaller filaments that are also heavier and more dense. This difference in texture ultimately makes goose down pillows superior to duck down in their comfort and insulating properties. Furthermore, goose down is usually harvested from more mature birds; the plumage on older-aged birds tends to be of a higher quality. With all of this in mind, goose down pillows offer the utmost in quality and luxury above all other types of pillows.