If you are looking for a pillow that will provide the ultimate plush feel, then a goose down pillow may be a good option for you. Down is the layer of fluffy feathers found under the tough protective exterior feathers of birds. The fine and light down feather fibres create the soft and sinking feeling under your head and neck for that extra luxurious feel.
There are, however, several factors to look out for when searching for the perfect goose down pillow. You will need to decide on what's best for you in terms of sufficient softness and support, the cover material, the ethical sourcing of the down, and, of course, decide how much you would like to spend - goose down pillows are generally on the pricey side.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)
|GOOSE DOWN PILLOW||DOWN AND FEATHER PERCENTAGE||FIRMNESS||TRIAL & WARRANTY||PRICE|
|Scooms Hungarian Goose Down Pillow||Inner core: 15% down and 85% feather|
Outer chambers: 90% down and 10% feather
|Snuggledown Hungarian Goose Down Pillow||Down: 80%|
|John Lewis Goose Feather and Down Pillow||Down: 15%|
|Brook + Wilde Marlowe Goose Down Pillow||Inner core: 100% feather|
Outer chambers: 90% down and 10% feather
|Medium & Firm||NA Nights|
|Umi Essentials White Goose Feather Pillows||Feather: 100%||Medium-Firm||NA Nights|
|Soak & Sleep Hungarian Goose Down Pillow||Inner core: 10% down and 90% feather|
Outer chambers: 90% down and 10% feather
|Soft, Soft-Medium & Medium-Firm||NA Nights|
|REM-Fit Goose Feather & Down Pillow||Down: 85%|
1. Scooms Hungarian Goose Down Pillow
|• 90% goose down in outer chamber|
• RDS certified
• Washing machine and drier friendly
|• Those who prefer medium firmness|
• Individuals with dust-mite allergies
• People seeking a 30-night trial
The Scooms Hungarian Goose Down Pillow offers medium support and is available in a standard and king size. The manufacturers claim it provides just the right amount of firmness and softness and will support the neck and contour the head.
The inner core of this pillow is made of 85% natural Hungarian goose feather and 15% down sandwiched between outer chambers made of 90% goose down and 10% feather. The cover comprises 100% super soft sateen cotton, 300 thread count, and a down and dust mite proof special tight weave. This pillow is breathable, anti-dust mite allergy (Nomite™ certification), and OEKO-TEX certified, which ensures the product has not been made with any harmful toxins or chemicals. In addition, it is durable and will retain its shape and support over time. This pillow is also machine-washable at 40 degrees, and can be tumble-dried if necessary.
This product comes delivered in plastic-free packaging - it is delivered in a reusable material bag in a cardboard box. Scooms is designed in the UK and constructed in Hungary, and manufacturers offer a 30-night trial and 3-year warranty. Customer reviews are very positive - many people commenting on the comfort and quality of the pillow. So, if you're in the market for a mid to upper price-range down pillow, this Scooms pillow could be a good option for you.
2. Snuggledown Hungarian Goose Down Pillow
|• 80% goose down |
• 300 thread count cotton cover
• Washing machine and drier friendly
|• Front sleepers|
• People who enjoy a soft feel
• Those who prefer to buy British
The Snuggledown Hungarian Goose Down pillow is a luxuriously soft pillow designed for front sleepers. This pillow is constructed using 80% goose down, and 20% small goose feather encased in 300 thread count jacquard soft-touch cotton. Manufacturers claim that it will provide you with just the right amount of sink-in support.
This goose down pillow is dust-mite resistant and washing machine and tumble drier friendly. Snuggledown is a 100 year old family-owned business with all products made in Lancashire, Britain. Overall, customers are very satisfied with their purchases and commenting that they are soft and comfortable. Worthwhile mentioning that some customers were not happy with a slight odour from the pillow.
3. John Lewis Goose Feather and Down Pillow
|• 85% feather and 15% down|
• Nomite™ certified
• 5-year guarantee
|• Back and side sleepers|
• People who enjoy a medium feel
• Those on a budget
The Natural Collection Siberian Goose Feather and Down Standard Pillow from John Lewis and Partners is a medium firmness pillow. According to manufacturers, it could be a good potential option for back and side sleepers. This pillow consists of 85% goose feather and 15% goose down, which ensures you have sufficient support and comfort. The cover material is 100% cotton with a 260 thread count.
With a greater ratio of feathers to down, this pillow offers a supportive and comfortable feel that's wonderfully quiet too. This product is Nomite™ certified, which means that it is suitable for people with dust-mite allergies. In addition, Micro-Fresh® Technology ensures your pillow stays bacteria-free whilst being kind to your skin.
This Siberian goose feather and down pillow is machine-washable up to 40 degrees.
It is made in the UK, budget-friendly, and has a 5-year guarantee. Customers review this pillow highly, many commenting on their plumpness and good support.
4. Brook + Wilde Marlowe Goose Down Pillow
|• 100% new white European goose feathers|
• 90% new white Masurian goose down
• Egyptian cotton cover with 380 thread count
|• People looking for a high-end buy|
• Those who enjoy a medium or firm feel
• Individuals who prefer to buy British
The Marlowe Goose Down Pillow from Brook + Wilde is available in a medium or firm feel. This super luxurious pillow consists of inner chambers with 100% new white European goose feathers and outer chambers with 90% new white Masurian goose down. If you're looking for a superior level of comfort and support, and you have a very flexible budget, this goose down pillow could be a good option for you.
The fillings are encased in 100% down-proof Egyptian cotton, which has a 380 thread count. This premium pillow from Brook and Wilde is made in the UK, and the manufacturers offer free delivery to the UK mainland.
5. Umi Essentials White Goose Feather Pillows
• Available in two different sizes
• RDS and Downpass certified
|• Those who enjoy a medium-firm feel|
• Individuals seeking a good deal
• Allergy sufferers
The UMI Essentials White Goose Feather Pillows come in a pack of two, are available in two different sizes, and offer medium firmness. This pillow has a three-chamber design, is filled with premium white goose feathers, and provides optimal support for the head, neck and shoulders. The cover is composed of 100% cotton with a brushed finish. In addition, the cover is soft, it has a down and feather-proof lining, it is hypoallergenic and breathable.
The manufacturers claim that this pillow is suitable for all sleepers - back, side, or front, and is also machine-washable. This pillow has several certifications such as RDS, Downpass, Oeko-Tex, and BSCI, ensuring that they are both a safe and sustainable brand. Customers seem mostly very happy with their purchases, commenting on the good quality and comfort. If you're looking for a good deal down pillow, this might be a potentially good option for you.
6. Soak & Sleep Hungarian Goose Down Pillow
|• Outer chamber 90% Hungarian goose down|
• Inner chamber 90% Hungarian goose feather
• 5-year guarantee
|• Those looking for a choice in firmness|
• Individuals with allergies
• People who value sustainability
The Soak and Sleep Hungarian Goose Down Pillow is an indulgent, light and lofty pillow that is soft, supportive and insulating, with a fill power of 600-650. You can choose between soft-medium, and medium-firm feel chamber pillows - both have a supportive central chamber suitable for back and side sleepers because of the depth. It is recommended that anyone with small shoulders go with the soft/medium.
The inner chambers consist of 90% Hungarian goose feather and 10% Hungarian goose down. The outer chambers consist of 90% Hungarian goose down and 10% Hungarian goose feather. The soft feel option has no chamber and is filled with 90% Hungarian goose down and 10% Hungarian goose feather. This pillow is recommended for front sleepers. The filling is encased in a luxurious 280 thread count cotton casing for a lightweight and breathable finish and piped edges, and double stitching makes it a durable option. The fabric is also NoMite certified and could therefore be suitable for those with sensitivity or allergies to dust mites.
Soak and Sleep claim to be a sustainable brand, and their goose down products have both STeP and GRS accreditation. This pillow is machine-washable at 40 degrees and can also be tumble dried. This brand is designed in the UK and manufactured in Hungary. A 5-year guarantee is offered, and free delivery within the UK. Overall, customers seem very happy with their purchases, commenting this goose down pillow is both supportive and comfortable.
7. REM-Fit Goose Feather & Down Pillow
|• 85% goose feather 15% goose down|
• 100% cotton cambric cover
• 5-year guarantee
|• All sleep positions|
• Hot sleepers
• Those who prefer to sponge-clean
The REM-Fit Goose Feather & Down pillow is a luxury pillow with large and lofty down clusters offering supreme comfort. The filling consists of 85% goose feather 15% goose down, sourced from free-range farming. The casing is 100% cotton cambric giving the pillow a smooth and natural finish on a cool and breathable sleep surface.
Manufacturers recommend this pillow for all sleep positions and offer free next day delivery within the UK. They also note that this pillow is not suitable for machine washing and must be sponge-cleaned only. A 5-year guarantee is offered on this product, and customer reviews are generally very positive.
Down is the layer of light, fluffy feathers found under tough protective exterior feathers of birds. Down is formed as a round cluster with dozens of soft fine filaments that originate from its centre. Most down grows on the breast and underbelly of birds. Very young birds only have down feathers. Thousands of fibres crisscross in every direction in these clusters, with space still existing between the fibres (similar to the head of a dandelion).
It is widely acknowledged that down is, therefore, able to trap and retain air, contributing to insulation, warmth, and breathability. These down clusters expand or “loft” to fill up space, creating thousands of tiny insulating air pockets. The more air that gets trapped in down clusters, the higher loft/”fill power”, making down light, warm, and breathable. In addition, these down feathers contribute to buoyancy in waterbirds. Due to the characteristics mentioned above, down from waterbirds, typically ducks and geese are often used in jackets, quilts, duvets, and pillows.
Did you know?
Down feathers fall into one of seven categories of feathers✓ based on their structure and location on the bird’s body.
The Differences Between Down And Feather
Down and feather both come from a goose or a duck. The table below points out some differences between the two, which may be helpful when making your decision between a down or feather pillow.
|Origin||○ Down is obtained from the fluffy parts of the bird, often found on the breast and underbelly.||☐ Feathers are often obtained from the bird's wings and back. |
|Structure||○ Looser clustered fibres that may compress more.||☐ Slightly more rigid structure due to quills.|
|Feel||○ Down feather has a more light, airy, softer feel that can offer more cushioning.||☐ Feather is not as soft due to quills and lack of clustering, but can offer more support.|
|Insulation||○ Down has excellent insulation.||☐ Feathers, typically, provide less insulation.|
|Weight||○ Down is generally lighter than feathers.||☐ Feather is generally heavier than down.|
Fill Power Explained
"Fill power" refers to the amount of fluffiness or height (also called loft) in a down pillow. The larger the down cluster, the higher the fill power. The higher the fill power, the more air a certain weight of the down can trap, and in turn, the more insulating ability the down will have. Higher fill power also usually indicates a higher quality down. Fill power ranges from about 550 to 850 for goose down.
Hungarian white goose down✓ has a fill power of 850 - the highest quality possible in a goose down.
Ethics Behind Down Feathers
Down production is a major industry, growing at a steady rate and expected to rise✓. However, because down is sourced from animals, ethical dilemmas exist. Ducks and geese are mainly farmed for meat, and down is largely a by-product of the meat industry. The main problem reported is the cruel and painful live-plucking of birds. As a result, there has been widespread scrutiny from the media, public, and animal rights groups. However, the RSPCA claims that 98% of down is collected after slaughter, and unethical practices are a small minority.
Certain organisations and certifying bodies have been set up to evaluate all parts of the supply chain to ensure the ethical treatment of the birds. Below is a list of some of the certifications you can look out for when purchasing a cruelty-free goose down pillow:
The Differences Between Goose And Duck Down
Although the down from these two birds are quite similar, it's worth mentioning the elements that may make them slightly different.
- Environment: The quality of a down cluster is dependent on the size of the bird and the climate. Geese are typically larger than ducks and therefore have larger clusters. They also tend to live in colder temperatures which contribute to the size of the cluster. Consequently, geese tend to have larger clusters, resulting in more air being trapped and greater insulation and a higher fill power.
- Availability: Down is essentially a by-product of the meat, liver, and egg industry, and as a result, the supply of duck is far greater than that of goose. This, in turn, explains why duck down is generally less expensive than goose down.
Down alternative is a synthetic form of traditional down and is usually constructed with a polyester microfibre. This material mimics the soft plushness of a goose down pillow and could be a good option for the following individuals:
- Those on a budget - down alternative is typically much cheaper than traditional down.
- People who want a machine-washable option - it is sometimes not recommended to put down pillows in the washing machine.
- Individuals with sensitivity or allergies to down (or more likely allergies to the dust mite allergens in the down pillow).
- Those who don't want to purchase animal-based products.
Down Pillows: What To Avoid
Goose down, like all bedding materials, offers certain advantages and disadvantages. Below are a few points you may want to take into consideration if you are searching for, or currently using, a goose down pillow.
Goose down is a natural fibre and may break down and compress over time, unlike memory foam pillows, for example, which can retain their shape. This is, however, largely dependent on the quality and product care. Given that we are talking about pillows, some degree of compression is inevitable; however, a well-cared-for high quality down pillow can minimise the compression, and it could last between 10 and 20 years. In addition, manufacturers usually offer around a 5-year warranty on these pillows.
Oily residue from facial products may seep into and damage your down pillow by either causing odours or the surface to turn yellow. Investing in a goose down pillow with a 100% cotton and high thread count cover can help minimise this. In addition, it may be a good idea to apply facial products as early as possible in the evening, or not at all, or even try back sleeping.
Goose down pillows should never get wet (other than when cleaned). As with compression, moisture on your pillow may be difficult to avoid as it may be humid, we may perspire during the night, or have wet hair when going to bed. However, we can do certain things to manage this, such as leaving the pillow somewhere well ventilated when not in use to “dry out”, or perhaps minimise the use of humidifiers in the bedroom. In addition, hot sleepers may want to invest in other cooling bedding, such as a cooling mattress or cooling mattress topper.
Interesting to note!
If you’re wondering how down feathers stay moisture-free on a bird in the water, it’s because they have tightly locked contour feathers✓ forming a highly effective “overcoat” covering the down feathers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a goose down pillow?
A goose down pillow is filled with round clusters of soft filaments of down feathers typically found under exterior feathers on the breast and underbelly of a goose.
How do you clean a goose down pillow?
You can wash a goose down pillow by putting it into the washing machine on a gentle cycle at a low or cold temperature. However, different pillows may have different washing recommendations, so be sure always to read the label first.
What is the best goose down pillow?
The best goose down pillow will be largely dependent on your individual needs and preferences. There are, however, certain factors to consider, such as the feel, support, cover materials, ethical sourcing, warranty, and price.