A Buyer's Guide to Down Pillows

A Buyer's Guide to Down Pillows

Down pillows are a luxurious option for those interested in a soothing night of sleep, but there’s a lot to know about down pillows before you purchase

When it comes to selecting the right pillow for your unique sleep style, you’re going to want to spend some time doing a bit of research. The good news is, we’ve created a comprehensive down pillow buyer’s guide that can help take the guesswork out of the process. Down pillows are often the most expensive type of pillow you can purchase, so make sure you know what you really need before purchasing. You will also want to consider the benefits of synthetic down if allergies or budget are a concern. Let’s take a look at the main considerations to make when buying a down pillow.

Woman shopping for a down pillow | Mediflow


First, Think “Shell”

Down pillows contain thousands of tiny, soft down feathers, and these diminutive elements can easily sneak out of a pillow that features a loose-weave cover. The outer shell should be constructed of at least 200 or higher thread count to ensure no stray feathers go missing.


Inspect the Fill Power

When shopping for a new down pillow, the fill power is an important factor to consider. Comb through the available options and look for a fill power number ranging from 300 to about 900 on the upper end of the spectrum. The fill power number indicates the amount of loft provided by a single ounce of down and so the higher the number rises, the more loft and resiliency you can expect from the same amount of filling as a pillow with a lower number.  Higher fill power numbers also cost more, so you’ll need to decide what you value more when choosing a pillow.


Identify Your Sleep Position

Your sleeping position plays a big role in determining what’s the right pillow for you. Stomach sleepers tend to demand a thinner, softer pillow than side or back sleepers. This is because they need to minimize the chance of neck strain during the night.  If you like to fall asleep on your back, you can get away with a much thicker down pillow - though aim for one with a medium firmness level. Side sleepers often seek a thicker or firmer pillow and so a down pillow should only be selected if it is very well filled or has a waterbase for optimum comfort and support.


Determine Your Budget

Down pillows come in a variety of sizes, fills, and quality levels. The one area that is important to all of us is budget, so don’t think that simply spending more is the answer to finding the right pillow for your needs. Goose down is a luxurious fill option but costs about $125-200, a serious investment indeed. If your budget doesn’t allow for goose down (and keep in mind, you’ll likely need two pillows for your bed), you should consider the Mediflow Down Plus Pillow which uses duck down in combinations with an adjustable waterbase, or the Mediflow Floating Down Alternative Pillow which uses the down-like Comforel® fiber also in combination with a unique responsive waterbase.


Consider Your Allergies

Before you invest in any down pillow, make sure you’re not allergic to it. If you experience an allergic reaction to dogs and cats, you may be allergic to down. If you do have allergies and still want to purchase a down pillow, the Mediflow Down Plus Pillow is specially washed and treated during manufacturing to make is hypo-allergenic and the Mediflow Floating Comfort Down Alternative Pillow is also hypoallergenic, allowing you to sleep comfortably all night long.


Take Pillow Maintenance Into Account

Down pillows are a luxurious option, but they can also require more care. Down pillows require maintenance to ensure a long life and you should ask yourself if you’re ready for this commitment before investing. You can wash down pillows at home, but they demand specific drying routines. If you’re already groaning at the prospect of having to devote more of your life to maintaining something in your home, you might want to consider a synthetic down pillow. Or, pay a dry cleaner to spruce up your down pillows periodically.

Down works amazingly well in high-end pillows, and the soft, fluffy, feather-like clusters have been used for decades as a luxurious and supportive fill material for discerning sleepers. If you’re ready to invest in down pillows for your home, make sure you keep this buying guide handy before you place an order!

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