What to Look For When Buying a Down Pillow

Down pillows have long been heralded for their plush and literal “light as a feather” appeal and differ significantly from feather pillows for quality. The options are endless when it comes to down decisions, but with proper research, you can navigate and find that perfect bundle of feathery heaven to rest your head upon.




Ducks or geese, it’s all the same right? Not so, my pillow searching pals. As a rule of thumb, when it comes down to it, the larger and more mature the bird and the colder the climate it originates from will yield thicker down clusters. But still, you can find high quality of either. Here are some helpful guidelines to finding the right material match.

Duck Down

If you are looking for a quality down pillow that costs less, then duck is the way to go. In the bedding market they are cheaper, especially in the U.S., because duck down is much more readily available.

Goose Down

Geese are cold climate birds and large in stature and therefore produce larger down clusters. If we follow the rule of thumb as mentioned above, goose down is regarded as the higher quality product because of this.



Fill Power

Fill power is the amount of space that an ounce of down will occupy in cubic inches within a pillow. The higher the fill power equals the larger the down clusters. Larger down clusters are known to last longer (years) and will sleep softer and warmer than smaller clusters.


This fill power represents the smaller side when it comes to down pillow prowess- but don’t knock it. Once again, it depends on what you are looking for. Because the down clusters are smaller, the pillows will have to be replaced more frequently but if you are looking for a firmer pillow, then this one is for you.


This is a good in between when it comes to fill power. The down clusters are a little bit larger than those used in 600 fill power, so the life expectancy is better and the pillow is softer but still firm.


If you are looking for top of the line quality, then the 800 and above range is where you want to explore. The large down clusters come from a more mature bird- a big factor in down quality. A pillow of this magnitude will last years, retain higher loft and will make for a lighter, softer pillow.



Color Variation

Down comes in a multitude of colors, from dull gray to snowy white and some peppered with black. Does this make a difference? It’s all about the aesthetics. White is preferred because it blends better with white bedding, but other than that the color of the down does not matter when it comes to quality.

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