The 8 Best Down Pillows Of 2024, Chosen By Sleep Experts

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The best down pillows are light and fluffy, with a signature cozy airiness that just feels luxurious. They also come in different densities, which means you can find one that feels softer or firmer depending on what you prefer. That makes it easy for anyone to get a great down pillow regardless of sleeping position. Our top choice overall is the Parachute Down Pillow because it offers a great down-to-feather ratio for the price and comes in three options: soft, medium and firm.

Down is a type of feather that’s composed of geese and ducks’ warm, lofty undercoat. Many down pillows are made with a mix of down and feathers, and the fact that these materials come from ducks and geese underscores the need for responsible, humane sourcing. That’s what we kept top of mind as we compiled our recommendations for the best down pillows. That being said, if you’re more interested in down alternative pillows, we compiled a list of our top recommendations for those, too.

Our sleep experts have throughly reviewed and tested countless pillows spanning different materials; besides down and down alternative, we’ve covered memory foam and latex pillows, too. More importantly though, we know what features make a pillow ideal for different sleep positions and needs. Our mattress and sleep editors Bridget Chapman and Mckenzie Dillon are both certified sleep science coaches who have years of experience evaluating mattresses and bedding. Co-author Jessica Timmons has extensive knowledge covering all things health and lifestyle, specifically sleep and wellness. (Check out her stories on the best twin xl mattresses and the best mattresses for back sleepers, among others.)

Together, they keep tabs on the latest developments within the pillow industry to provide the most accurate and up-to-date recommendations to our readers. They collaborate with senior strategy editor Katie Simpson and sleep updates writer Alexandra Garrett to regularly refresh our advice. This story was lasted updated in December 2023 to crown the Parachute Down Pillow our best pick overall.

There is no shortage of down pillows out there, but certain considerations make it easy to zero in on those that are made well. Here’s what we kept in mind as we rounded up our top contenders:

Down pillows come in all shapes and sizes, and they have different sensations, too. From fill power to density, certifications to size, this is what you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop.

Down is a natural material, and it naturally compresses over time. That means down pillows can eventually flatten and lose their shape. Most manufacturers advise fluffing their products on a daily basis. A good shake or two end to end and side to side helps keep your pillow lofty as long as possible.

You may have seen fill power referenced on down jackets in relation to warmth, but it’s important for pillows for another reason. Fill power is a reference to the size of the down clusters. The higher the fill power, the larger the cluster. Bigger down clusters give a pillow an airier, softer feel and indicate the down is higher quality. Typically, down pillow fill power ranges from 350 to 700 and higher, with 600 and above considered good quality.

This is another term for firmness, or how soft a pillow feels. While down pillows in general are soft and airy, they come in different densities to provide soft, medium or firm support and sensation. Your preferred sleep position can clue you in to the appropriate pillow density.

While we’ve included several “all-down” pillows on our list, but if you look at it technically, there’s actually no such thing as a 100% down pillow. Separating feathers from down clusters is incredibly time-consuming, difficult and expensive. Inevitably, down, feather and fiber ends up in products that are sold as down. However, the Federal Trade Commission regulates down labeling, and all down pillows are required to have labels indicating the percentage of down used. Pillows sold as “down” must have at least 75% down, though if you sliced one open you’d likely still find a few errant feathers. The higher the percentage of down, the higher the price tag.

When we talk about down pillows, we’re talking about materials that come from geese and ducks that are raised primarily for food purposes. Ensuring that these products are sourced in a humane manner is non-negotiable, so avoid down products that aren’t certified by RDS, IDS or Downmark. However, some people who follow a vegan lifestyle choose to avoid down altogether.

Always check the label first, but in general, most manufacturers of down pillows recommend washing or dry cleaning their pillows annually or semi-annually to clean away dust mites, bacteria, dirt, stains, sweat and oil that accumulates. Most down pillows can be machine washed and tumbled dry, while others need to be professionally dry cleaned. Consult the brand website for your pillow to make sure you follow proper care and maintenance instructions. For your convenience, we included care instructions for each of the pillows on our list, but it’s not a bad idea to confirm by double-checking the label or brand website.

The best down pillow for you is unique to your specific sleep style and preferences. Side sleepers usually benefit from a pillow with a higher loft, while back and stomach sleeper feel most comfortable with a flatter pillow. We crowned the Parachute Down Pillow the best down pillow overall because it offers everything you want from a down pillow — a soft, fluffy and luxuriously airy feel — but without lacking support. It’s also affordable and available in soft, medium and firm options.

Because down is naturally sourced from ducks and geese, it’s typically more expensive than pillows made from memory foam or down alternative materials. On average, expect to pay between $100 and $300 for a quality down pillow. Typically, a higher price tag correlates with a higher ratio of down, and ultimately, a softer, more fluffy pillow. That being said, you can still find quality options that feel just as soft for $150 or less, like the Brooklinen Down Pillow and the Coyuchi Down Feather Pillow.