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Pillow Reviews > Down Alternative / Gel Pillow Reviews
Based on 6,541 Consumer Experiences
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 ratings show how down alternative pillows overall compare to the average pillow as evaluated by consumers.
|Affordable||A-||Prices range $12-$45. 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 by the pillows 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 support.|
|Moldable||B-||Softer varieties especially can often be scrunched at least somewhat to provide extra support.|
|Cuddly||B||A "cuddly" pillow is one that 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 the product as at least 7% of owners report lumpiness and 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 pillows tend to perform better.|
|Back sleep friendly||b||Back sleepers are often pleased unless there is too much or too little loft. Scrunching of the pillow may be needed to achieve adequate loft.|
|Side sleep friendly||b+||Firm down alternative pillows often 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 uncommon.|
|Not a heat trap||b||Owners are usually pleased with air flow as fewer 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 are susceptible to dust mites given their fibrous content.|
|Easy to maintain||d+||They will likely need at least occasional shaking or fluffing to maintain loft and overall comfort.|
|Ease of care||b||They are often machine washable.|
|Lightweight||B-||They weigh about two pounds on average which makes them mostly easy to lift, turn, move.|
The table below evaluates down alternative pillows with 83% or higher satisfaction based on 200+ 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.
|Premier Down Like||Smart Home bedding||Sealy Posturepedic pillow||Hotel Luxury||Right Choice|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
||85% (1052)||85% (489)||84% (798)||83% (1242)|
|2 for $29
||2 for $28||$19||2 for $28||1 for $25-$40|
|choice of soft, medium, firm
|Person Size Best Suited For*|
|avg, small||avg, small||avg||avg||avg, large
|Sleeping Position(s) Best Suited For*|
side: medium to firm,
|back, side||back, side||back, stomach||back, side|
|Scrunchable / Moldable|
|good to fair||fair||fair||fair||fair|
|standard||standard / queen||standard, queen||king||standard, queen, king, euro|
|1.2 - 1.7 lbs||1.6 lbs||1 - 2 lbs||2.4 lbs||2.8 lbs|
|30 day||30 day||30 day||30 day||30 day|
* See the pillow loft guide and loft calculators.
Below are the most common words / phrases that owners use to describe lying on their down alternative / gel pillow.
Ratings are based on over 6,500 actual down alternative pillow owner / consumer reviews collected using an accurate methodology.
– Prices for down alternative pillows often range from $12-$45. Given their relatively low price, decent durability and respectable owner satisfaction, owners tend to say the pillows are a good value.
– Less than four percent of owners report that their pillow sleeps hot or acts as a heat trap.
– Side sleepers may find that the pillows lack support. Scrunching the pillow or even folding it (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.
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