If you are looking for a soft and sumptuous night's sleep, then duck feather pillows may be an excellent place to start. For those who aren't aware already, down feathers are the very fine feathers that you find beneath the tough exterior feathers of a bird. Besides goose down pillows, few other materials are more luxurious. Pillows made from feather down are long-lasting and irresistibly cosy. They are easy to look after and provide a decent amount of support for your head and neck.
When searching for the right feather down pillow for you, there are several things you need to look out for. Firstly, make sure to purchase a 100% cotton cover for your cushion. Ideally, it should have a thread count of 230+. This means the pillow cover will have robust seaming, preventing the small feathers from escaping. It will also prevent oil and dust from seeping in. Next, you need to ensure that you have picked a high-quality duck feather down pillow.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion).
|BRAND||DUCK FEATHER DOWN PERCENTAGE||COVER THREAD COUNT||FIRMNESS||WARRANTY||PRICE|
|Soak & Sleep||Down: 15%|
|233||Soft-Medium & Medium-Firm||2 Years||£25|
|230||Medium||NA Years||£23.99 (pair)|
|John Lewis||Down: 15%|
|233||Soft-Medium||NA Years||£24.95 (pair)|
|The White Company||Down: 0%|
1. Soak & Sleep Duck Feather & Down Pillows
|• 85% duck feather |
• 2-year guarantee
• RDS Certified
|• Those who prefer a choice of firmness|
• All sleeping positions
• Those seeking insulation
Soak & sleep offers a range of duck feather and down pillows to its customers. Their duck feather pillows have received many 5-star reviews, with customers rating highly for comfort and quality. The pillows are available in a variety of sizes, from standard and super king to square. Customers can also choose between soft/medium pillows and medium/firm pillows.
The Soak & Sleep feather pillows are made from a combination of duck feathers and feather down. This makes them more affordable whilst still maintaining their softness and support. While 15% of the pillow's filling is made from duck feather down to provide insulation, the other 85% is duck feather, creating the main bulk of the 850g pillow. The pillow can be easily cleaned in washing machines at 40 degrees, which is recommended every 6-12 months. Whatsmore, the Soak & Sleep feather pillow has been certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). This means that the materials have been responsibly sourced, especially regarding the wellbeing of animals.
The Soak & Sleep feather down pillow is suitable for back, front, and side sleepers. As such, anybody can use this product for a restful night's rest. It comes with a 2-year guarantee, speaking of the pillow's quality. Soak & sleep have also tested their product against EN standards with a high emphasis on fill quality and feather down content.
2. Snuggledown Duck Feather & Down Pillows
|• 100% cotton cover |
• Made in the UK
|• Back and side sleepers |
• Those seeking spinal alignment
• Sleepers suffering from aches and pains
Snuggledown is a family-owned business that has been making products for over 100 years. Their pillows are made on-site in Lancashire. They have a few options to choose from, including softened feather and Hungarian goose feather; however, we will be focusing on their duck feather and down pillow.
The Snuggledown Duck Feather and Down Pillow is a medium support pillow designed for back and side sleepers. The medium support is intended to aid in spinal alignment and any aches or neck pain. The materials consist of an outer 100% cotton cover with a 230 thread count and an inner filling of 15% duck down and 85% duck feather. Snuggledown has made this pillow washing machine and tumble drier friendly, as well as being hypoallergenic with natural fillings.
This standard UK king-sized pillow (48 cm x Width 74 cm) has also received thousands of reviews, with customers highlighting the softness, sleep quality and comfort.
3. John Lewis Natural Duck Feather and Down Standard Pillow
|• Micro-Fresh® Technology |
• Life Natural treatment
• 5-year warranty
|• Those with sensitive skin|
• Sleepers who enjoy a soft/medium feel
• Individuals seeking extra support
John Lewis & Partners offers a natural duck feather and down pillow on their official website in a standard size. Most reviewers have left a 5-star rating on the feather pillow, with excellent quality, value, and comfort ratings. Its firmness is described as soft/medium.
The John Lewis & Partners pillow is filled with a combination of natural duck feathers and feather down. The higher ratio of duck feathers helps to provide the sleeper with greater support whilst still ensuring the product is breathable and comfortable. The pillow's cover has been finished with Life Natural, an odourless peppermint treatment that helps to keep the pillow free from dust mites. Furthermore, the product has been treated with Micro-Fresh® Technology to keep the fabric 99.9% germ-free.
Those concerned with animal welfare should know that John Lewis & Partners have sustainably and ethically sourced the materials used for their duck feather and feather down pillow. This pillow is suitable for back and side sleepers and comes with a 5-year guarantee. It can also be machine-washed at 40 degrees but not tumble-dried.
4. Dreams Flaxby Duck Feather & Down Pillow
|• Medium-soft feel|
• Piped edge cover
• Ethically sourced
|• Those seeking durability |
• Back and side sleepers
• Individuals looking for breathability
The Flaxby feather pillow is made in the UK and can be purchased Dreams website online. It is currently available in one standard size - 74cm in width and 48cm in length. Customers seem pleased with the Dreams product, giving it an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 - high ratings were given to the quality of product and design.
The Flaxby feather pillow is filled with duck feathers and feather down and has a medium-soft firmness rating. Its cover is made from 100% cotton and has a thread count of 230; it is designed to keep any feathers from poking out. The breathable cover also has a piped edge for extra durability and support. The product is machine-washable at 40 degrees so that nasty bacteria can be eradicated with a thorough clean.
The Dreams brand has ethically sourced duck feather and feather down filling and comes with a 1-year guarantee. John & Lewis also state that this pillow is a suitable choice for back and side sleepers.
5. Homescapes White Duck Feather Pillows
|• Soft to medium feel |
• Anti-dust mite
• RDS Certified
|• Those seeking spinal alignment |
• Hot sleepers
• Individuals with allergies
Homescapes are selling a pair of duck feather pillows on Amazon, with a firmness rating of medium, and the product the standard size of 75cm x 48cm in length. Amazon has listed the Homescapes pillow as a choice product, with a high average reviewer rating.
The Homescapes pillows are filled with 1kg of white duck feathers and down feathers. The pair of pillows are both encased in a 100% cotton cover that has a thread count of 233, preventing any feathers from escaping. It is described as soft to medium, providing enough support to keep the sleeper's spine and neck aligned. The Homescapes' breathable cotton cover should help anybody prone to overheating during the night, making it appropriate for those looking for a cooling pillow. Furthermore, the cotton is tightly woven to prevent dust mites from infiltrating the pillow, making this product hypoallergenic. The pair of pillows can also be machine washed at 40 degrees.
All the feathers used to fill the product are RDS certified, assuring customers that they have been ethically sourced. These feather pillows are appropriate for back and front sleepers. Homescapes claims that side sleepers will also receive the correct amount of support by piling the two pillows together.
6. The White Company Duck Filled Cushion Pads
|• 100% duck feather |
• 240 thread count
• Tested by European Standards
|• Those who prefer a choice of sizes |
• Ethically-minded individuals
• People seeking breathability
The White Company sells cushion pads that are made with a duck feather filling on their official website. These pillows come in an array of different sizes: small rectangle, small square, medium square, large square, and bolster.
The cushion pads from the White Company are made with pure cotton that has a 240-thread count. This means that their products are breathable plus effectively stop feathers from escaping the pillows. The cushion pad's filling is made from 100% duck feather and feather down, which has been carefully cleaned without the use of bleach. Their pillows can be washed and tumble dried. However, the White Company does recommend using a professional launderer.
The White Company has all its products thoroughly tested by European standards to ensure quality. In addition, all the duck feathers and feather down has been ethically sourced, as the brand uses cruelty-free suppliers. For hygiene reasons, the White Company will not accept any returns once the packaging of their pillows has been opened.
Duck Feather Pillow Features
There is a wide variety of feather pillows currently on the market and many products to choose from. However, due to the number of options, it's good to be familiar with the different features so you can be sure to pick the right pillow for you. Here is a list of points to consider before purchasing.
- Feel: Feather pillows can offer a soft feel and often have a soft-medium to medium firmness rating. While they may not feel as soft as down pillows, they tend to feel softer than more dense materials, such as memory foam. The feel and firmness can also depend on how stuffed they are.
- Cover: Having a comfortable yet durable cover is essential so that the feathers don’t poke out of the pillows. Many duck feather pillows have cotton covers that are designed to be soft and breathable.
- Price: The cost of duck feather pillows can vary depending on the materials and branding. Typically, for a good quality pillow, you can expect to pay around £15 - £30. However, more luxury options can go up to £100. Pillows with a higher down percentage may cost more as down is typically more expensive.
- Certifications: As feathers are sourced from animals, many companies include certifications to ensure that their materials are ethically sourced. Look out for the RDS certification (The Responsible Down Standard), which monitors the feather and down industry with a focus on animal welfare. Other certifications include Certi-PUR and GOTS.
- Warranty: Many established bedding companies will offer a guarantee with their pillows. If you’re looking for durability, it’s worth considering a pillow with a higher warranty. It’s common to find a time period between 1 and 5 years.
Reports have shown that the global down and feather market will see a growth of 7.30% between 2020 and 2027. This will give it a global estimated value of USD 5.2 billion.
Ethics Behind Duck Feathers
The controversy surrounding the sourcing of feathers has been debated over the years. However, despite unethical practices existing in certain parts across the world, the RSPCA claims that this only accounts for 1% - 2% of production. The animal organisation states that most animals are slaughtered before the feathers are collected.
In the rare cases of unethical practices, the feathers will often be retrieved through harvesting or live-plucking. Harvesting is when you remove loose feathers by hand while the birds are naturally moulting. However, poor handling can lead to the birds feeling high-stress levels, especially if the birds are not ready to moult. Live plucking is when feathers are forcibly removed, which can cause pain and injury for the birds. This practice is condemned by most feather and down associations across the world.
Due to the nature of obtaining feathers, many companies reassure their customers by highlighting their animal welfare policies to ensure materials are obtained ethically. Some companies also have approval from the RDS (The Responsible Down Standard) to ensure the animals have not been harmed.
Duck Feather Vs Goose Down
If you've been browsing for a duck feather pillow, you may have also come across goose down pillows. While the two types of pillows share many similarities, there are also some differences that you should be aware of before committing. While pillows can differ depending on the design and company, these are some general differences.
|Duck Feather||Goose Down|
|○ Duck feather pillows tend to be cheaper and can range from £10 to £30.||○ Goose down pillows can be more expensive, typically ranging from £30 to £100.|
|○ The feathers are often obtained by removing them from the duck's wings and back.||○ The down is obtained from the fluffy parts of the bird, usually found on the underbelly.|
|○ Duck feather pillows can often weigh more than down pillows.||○ Goose down is typically lighter than feathers.|
|○ Can offer more support and sturdiness and feel like you are sleeping on top of the pillow rather than sinking into it.||○ These pillows can provide more sinkage and cushion with a softer feel.|
|○ Duck feather pillows may not be as durable as down and typically last at least 2 - 3 years.||○ Goose down is known for being more durable and long-lasting, with a typical warranty of at least five years.|
Asthma & Allergies
It is a common misconception that feather pillows may be detrimental for those suffering from allergies or asthma. While this may be the case for some, this theory has been disproven on several occasions. The Asthma & Allergy Center admitted that medical advice surrounding this issue should be reconsidered after doing their own studies and research.
Studies were done to determine whether feather pillows were safe for people with allergies or those who have asthma. The study✓ found that, after 90-days in different bedrooms, the feather pillows had not been contaminated with any dust-mite allergens.
Another study✓ was undergone with 269 patients who suffered from allergies or respiratory symptoms. The aim was to discover how many suffered from feather allergies or if any of the patient's existing symptoms became worse. Results showed that allergies to the feathers themselves are very rare, and most of the reactions were caused by the dust-mite allergens found within the feathers.
This information is based on studies and research; however, you should always consult a medical professional if you have any health concerns.
Cleaning A Feather Pillow
While washing and cleaning a duck feather pillow may be daunting for some, it's actually quite simple if you follow the proper recommendations. It's suggested to wash the feather pillows about once a year; if you wash them too much, then it could cause the pillows to deteriorate faster.
Before placing it in the washing machine, you should check that there are no tears in the pillow as it could cause the feathers to come out. If you find any tears, try sealing or stitching them back together before washing. Using a gentle cleaning cycle with a cold or warm temperature is also recommended so as not to cause any damage. Using less soap than usual may also protect the pillow from any damage.
Finally, if you want to put the pillow into a dryer, make sure to put it on a low or no heat setting. Remember always read the label and instructions before washing, as some pillows may require specific measures to be taken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Duck or goose feather pillows, which is better?
There is little difference between duck and goose feather pillows; instead, most companies give the option of duck feather or goose down pillows. Duck feather pillows can offer more support and tend to weigh more than goose down.
How are duck feather pillows made?
Most feathers are collected from the back and wings of the bird. The feathers are commonly collected after the bird has been slaughtered; although, there are rare cases of unethical live-plucking. It's worth checking animal welfare certifications attached to the product before purchasing.
How to wash duck feather pillows?
You can wash a duck feather pillow by putting it into the wash on a gentle cycle at a low or no heat temperature. Be sure to always read the instructions before washing, as different pillows may have different recommendations.