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unbiased Down Alternative Pillow Reviews, Ratings and Comparisons

Based on 9,414 Consumer Experiences

April 21, 2018

What You Need To Know

THE GOOD: Often has effective mix of softness and support • cuddly with fair or better moldability • value priced • short break in.

THE BAD: May lack adequate support and firmness for some • durability / longevity no better than fair • regular fluffing may be needed to maintain loft • some lumpiness possible.

THE PILLOWS: Down alternative pillows are filled with polyester "puff" fibers which give them a feel somewhat similar to that of down pillows but without allergy risk.

THE COMPETITION: Mainly down pillows and feather pillows. See how they compare to these and other pillow types in the pillow reviews – summary.

Down Alternative Pillow Ratings: As a Group

The ratings show how down alternative pillows overall compare to the average pillow as evaluated by consumers.

Affordable A- Prices range $13-$45 with the average down alternative pillow costing about $22. Given their low price and respectable owner satisfaction, owners often say the pillows are a value.
Durability / longevity c- Expect a 2-3 year lifespan with regular use in most cases. As the pillow ages, it will flatten and possibly develop clumps and hollow areas.
Less (neck) pain c Pain relief provided is about average with 8% of owners reporting reduced (neck) pain. Three percent of owners say the pillow causes pain usually due usually to lack of support.
Support c- A lack of adequate support is the main owner complaint as 15% or more want better, longer-lasting support.
Moldable B- Softer varieties especially can often be scrunched at least somewhat to provide extra support.
Cuddly B A "cuddly" pillow is soft and huggable – not hard, rigid, stiff or too heavy. A down alternative pillow's softness helps it to perform well on this issue.
Contents won't shift / clump c- A main complaint for down alternative as at least 7% of owners report lumpiness / clumpiness.
Short break in B+ The break-in period tends to be fairly short compared to other pillow types and is usually pain free.
Reduces snoring C- Firmer, more supportive, better contouring pillows tend to perform better.
Back sleep friendly b Scrunching of the pillow may be required to achieve adequate loft.
Side sleep friendly b+ Firm down alternative pillows tend to provide the loft and support that side sleepers need. Alternatively, scrunching a soft down alternative pillow may achieve adequate loft.
Stomach sleep friendly b- Stomach sleepers can be pleased if the pillow has medium to soft firmness and low to medium loft.
No initial odor b+ Complaints about odor are not common.
Not a heat trap b Owners are usually pleased with air flow as less than 4% of owners report excessive heat retention.
No noise C+ Noise from the internal contents or cover / lining can occasionally be an issue as about 5% of owners report a problem.
Fewer allergies B- Down alternative pillows are hypoallergenic, but they are susceptible to dust mites given their fibrous content.
Small person friendly B Softer varieties tend to be best suited for people under 130 pounds.
Large person friendly C Firmer, loftier / thicker varieties often provide superior support for people 230+ pounds than do softer, thinner ones.
Easy to maintain d+ They will likely need at least occasional shaking / fluffing to maintain loft and comfort.
Easy to wash b They are often machine washable.
Lightweight B- They weigh about two pounds on average which makes them easy to lift, turn, move.

Top-Rated Down Alternative Pillows

The table below evaluates down alternative pillows with 82% or higher satisfaction based on 500+ owner experiences. Information regarding firmness, loft, person size, and sleep position shows what tends to be true for owners; your own personal evaluation may differ.

Sleep Restoration Premier Down Like Sealy Posturepedic pillow Hotel Luxury Right Choice
Owner Satisfaction (sample)        
88% (2878) 86% (3378)
85% (829) 83% (930) 82% (1399)
2 for $30-42 2 for $33
$28 2 for $26 1 for $23-$35
medium choice of soft, medium, firm
medium-firm medium-firm medium
medium-high medium-low
medium medium medium
Person Size Best Suited For*        
avg, large avg, small avg avg, small avg, small
Sleeping Position(s) Best Suited For*        
back, side, perhaps stomach back: medium,
side: medium to firm,
stomach: soft
back, side back, side, perhaps stomach back, perhaps side and stomach
Scrunchable / Moldable        
good to fair good to fair fair fair fair
Sizes Available        
standard, queen, king standard standard king euro, standard, queen, king
Pillow Weight        
3-4 lbs 1.2-1.7 lbs 1-2 lbs 2.5 lbs 3.5-4 lbs
Return Policy        
30 day 30 day 30 day 30 day 30 day
amazon overstock.com overstock.com amazon amazon

* See the pillow loft guide and loft calculators.

Description of Lying on a Down Alternative Pillow

Below are the most common words / phrases that owners use to describe lying on their down alternative / gel pillow.

down alternative pillow

About our unbiased down alternative pillow reviews and research

Ratings are based on over 9,400 actual down alternative pillow owner / consumer reviews collected using an accurate methodology.


– Prices for down alternative pillows often range from $13-$45. Given their relatively low price, decent durability and respectable owner satisfaction, owners tend to say the pillows are a good value.

– Less than 4% of owners report that their pillow sleeps hot or acts as a heat trap.

– Side sleepers may find that the pillows lack support. Scrunching or folding of the pillow (if possible) may provide the necessary support.

– The break-in period tends to be short compared to other pillow types and is usually pain free.

At Amazon:
A Top-Rated Down Alternative Pillow

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