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 below show how down alternative pillows overall compare to the average pillow as evaluated by consumers. For ratings on specific brands, see the following section.
|Affordable||A-||Prices range $15-$24 for a single pillow (but they are often sold in pairs) with the average down alternative pillow costing about $21. Given their low price and respectable owner satisfaction, value is good.|
|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+||Firmer 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 exist but 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.|
|Easily / thoroughly washable||b+||They are often machine washable.|
|Lightweight||B-||They weigh about 2.5 pounds on average which makes them easy to lift, turn, move.|
The table below evaluates down alternative pillows with 85% or higher satisfaction based on at least 700 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.
|Beckham Hotel||Sleep Restoration||Premier Down Like||Langria|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|89% (4,225)||85% (2972)||85% (3664)
|2 for $33-$50||2 for $35-$49||2 for $33
||2 for $30|
|medium||medium||choice of soft, medium, firm
|Person Size Best Suited For*|
|avg, small||avg, large||avg, small||avg, small
|Sleeping Position(s) Best Suited For*|
|back, side, perhaps stomach||back, side, perhaps stomach||back: medium,
side: medium to firm,
|back, side, stomach|
|Scrunchable / Moldable|
|good to fair||good to fair||good to fair||good|
|standard, queen, king||standard, queen, king||standard||queen|
|3 lbs||3.1 lbs||1.3-1.8 lbs||2 lbs|
* See the pillow loft guide and loft calculators.
Below are the most common ways owners use to describe lying on their down alternative / gel pillow.
Ratings are based on over 11,600 down alternative pillow owner / consumer reviews collected using an accurate methodology.