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THE GOOD: Often soft & moldable • few reports of sleeping hot • above-average longevity.
THE BAD: Can lack adequate support & loft • feather quills may poke • potential for noise and odor • may need to be fluffed and shaken to maintain loft / comfort.
THE PILLOWS: They are filled mostly or entirely with feathers from geese and duck. Usually about 5-10% of a feather pillow contains down (the plumage under feathers) to provide additional softness.
Ratings below show how the pillows as a group compare to the average pillow as evaluated by owners. For information on top-rated models, see the following section.
|Affordable||B+||They are priced $25-$90 with average being about $35.|
|Durability / longevity||b||They tend to have at least a 20% greater lifespan than the average pillow.|
|Less pain||c||Feather pillows perform about average overall in regard to providing relief from pain, including neck pain, compared to other pillow types. Feather quills may poke through the cover which can cause discomfort.|
|Supportive||c+||For a significant number of owners, feather pillows flatten excessively when compressed.|
|Moldable||b||A moldable pillow is one whose shape can be easily altered or scrunched to increase comfort and support.|
|Cuddly||b||A cuddly pillow is one that is soft and huggable, as opposed to hard, rigid, stiff and or heavy.|
|Short break in||B-||About three or four night's use on average are required to obtain normal comfort.|
|Firmness options||C-||Firmness is almost always considered to be between medium-soft and medium-firm.|
|Loft options||c-||Both thicker and thinner feather pillows are available. However, when the pillows are compressed they tend to have no more than medium loft, regardless of fill quantity.|
|Contents won't shift||C-||Feathers may shift to one side resulting in a hollow spot(s).|
|Back sleep friendly||b-||Back sleepers are generally satisfied overall. But loft / support may be inadequate for some, namely those with large / heavy heads.|
|Side sleep friendly||b-||They often provide the softness side sleepers seek. But loft / support may be inadequate especially for those with large / heavy heads.|
|Stomach sleep friendly||c+||Feather pillows tend to be soft on one's face, but one's face and or upper body may sink in too far to allow for easy breathing. And too high of loft may result in neck or back pain.|
|Reduces snoring||C-||Firmer models often perform best on this issue.|
|No initial odor||d+||At least 12% of owners report a lingering and unpleasant odor.|
|Not a heat trap||b||Less than 3% of owners report excessive heat retention.|
|No noise||d||About 15% of owners say that feather pillows make a crunching noise when compressed because feathers can have hard parts or because the pillow has a plastic layer to prevent feathers from poking through.|
|Fewer allergies||c||A feather pillow can be allergy causing unless the feathers have been cleaned by having all dander and microbes removed. In regard to dust mites, the pillows may be susceptible to large populations.|
|Easy to maintain||d||Fluffing or shaking is often necessary to return the pillow to its desired loft and or to combat lumpiness. As the pillow ages, increased fluffing or shaking may become necessary.|
|Ease of cleaning||c||Some are machine washable. For others, dry cleaning is best.|
|Easy to lift, turn, move||b-||Average weight is about 2.5 pounds.|
The table evaluates feather pillows that have at least 80% owner satisfaction based on 70 or more owner experiences. Important: Information below regarding firmness, loft and sleep position shows what tends to be true for owners. Your own personal evaluation may differ.
|ECB||Old Fashion Style Granny Ticking Feather Pillow||JCPenney Home Classic Feather Pillow||Circle of Down Soft-medium Support Pillows|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|87% (71)||83% (196)||81% (179)||80% (494)|
|2 for $50-$72||$29-$38||$40-$50||2 for $52-$60|
|std, qn, king||std, qn, king||std/qn, king||std, qn, king|
|Person Size Best Suited For|
|avg, small||avg, large||avg||avg, small|
|Sleeping Position(s) Best Suited For*|
|back, side||back, side||back, side||back, side, perhaps stomach|
|Scrunchable / Moldable|
|good to fair||good||good|
|Ounces of Fill|
|30 days||30 days||30+ days||30 days|
* See the pillow loft guide and loft calculators.
Our research is based on over 900 feather pillow owner reviews and experiences that were collected using an unbiased, accurate methodology.
– About 15% of owners say their feather pillow makes a crunching noise when compressed. This is caused by the fact that feathers can have hard parts or because the pillow has a plastic layer to prevent feathers from poking through.
– At least 12% of owners report a lingering and unpleasant odor (often described as a barnyard-like smell) which may come from the feathers or chemicals used to clean them.
– Fluffing or shaking is often required to maintain pillow loft / height which makes the pillow fairly high maintenance.
– The clear majority of feather pillow owners describe their pillow as medium or soft. Less than 12% describe it as firm.
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