Down vs Down Alternative Bed Pillows—How to Know Which One’s for You

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Down vs Down Alternative Bed Pillows—How to Know Which One’s for You

Did you know that if you ordered a pillow in 7,000 BC, you would have received a piece of stone? Luckily, humanity has changed its view. Now, bedding can turn your bed into a soft, welcoming space that you can sink into, relax, and enjoy quality sleep. That’s the case with popular bedding options like down and down alternative bed pillows and duvets.

Which one should you order though?

Either one will be more comfortable to sleep on than a rock, but it’s very important to pick pillows according to what your body requires. Also, consider that each person in your household has unique requirements for quality sleep, so use the explanations below to pick the best pillow for each individual.


Down vs Down Alternative—A Summary

This quick reference guide on down and down alternative pillows from Comfy will help you pick the best option when you shop.


Down Pillows Alternative Down Pillows
Filling type Natural Synthetic
Standout feature/s Lightweight


Good for hot sleepers



Low price

Available sizes at Comfy Standard




Maintenance Machine washable Easy maintenance

Machine washable


Down Pillows—Your Complete Guide

What is a Down Pillow?

A down pillow is a fabric casing that contains a mixture of feather clusters, coming from birds such as swans, ducks and geese. Unlike the common feather pillows though, there are no quills or pieces of quills in down pillow inners. This results in a fluffy pillow that won’t scratch you because a feather’s quill pushes through the outer layer.

A major drawcard of down bed pillows is the fluffiness. This is thanks to down naturally expanding after being pressed together. You’ll love how soft and comfortable your pillow remains even after a long time of using it.


Where Does Down Come from?

For down pillows’ filling—as well as down duvets and other down bedding—manufacturers take feathers from the undercoats of birds. You’ll find these soft feathers underneath the waterproof, top layers serving as protective barriers. This down is what keeps the bird warm, especially important for birds like geese and ducks that are often in the water. And with a down pillow, you can enjoy the same cosy warmth, without overheating.


Benefits of Down Pillows

  • Durable and long-lastingf
  • Fluffiness makes for luxurious sleep
  • Lightweight pillow is practical for travelling
  • Breathable filling helps with temperature management—great for hot sleepers


What are the Drawbacks of Down Pillows?

Even quality products like down bed pillows aren’t perfect and unfortunately some people find that they’re allergic to down bedding. This could be an allergy related to the down feathers, or because over time pollen and dust enter and get trapped in the air pockets between feathers.


Also, down bedding, including pillows, carry a heftier price tag compared to down alternative products. In part, this is because of the long, labour-intensive process of collecting and processing the down. But do remember that you’re making a long-term investment since it’s of such high quality and durability that will ensure a longer lifespan than many other pillows.


Helpful tip: if you place down pillows inside a pillow protector or covers with a tight weave pattern, there is less chance of the allergens affecting you at night. Try our quality Luxury Pima cotton pillow cases with 320 thread count for this purpose.


Who is This Pillow For?

Down is a better option for hot sleepers, all thanks to the gaps between feathers that allow airflow. This is great for temperature regulation. You’ll feel cosy, but your head won’t feel as hot as it does when sleeping on other pillows like ones made of memory foam that tends to trap heat.


In terms of texture, if you enjoy a fluffy pillow, you’ll love sleeping on down bed pillows.


How to Care for Your Down Pillow

Your high-quality down pillow luckily offers easy maintenance. Most of them—including the down pillows from Comfy—you can machine wash, as long as you keep the temperature low.


Experts suggest using a gentle, short cycle to prevent unnecessary friction and damage. Afterwards, you can put it in the dryer or air dry it, but don’t leave it exposed to direct sun. This makes washing & drying these pillows perfect for loadshedding times.


Down Pillow Costs

Because of the labour-intensive aspect of manufacturing down pillows, they are more expensive than down alternative pillows. But for the cloud-like experience you’ll enjoy, that price tag is justified.

Alternative Down Pillows—Your Complete Guide

What is in a Down Alternative Pillow?

A down alternative pillow has a similar softness to down bedding. Inside you’ll find synthetic filling, made from polyester materials. Looking at the pillow inner you’ll see it consists of silky fibres that are densely packed together.


Benefits of Alternative Down Bed Pillows

  • Hypoallergenic pillow won’t spark allergies
  • Easy care and maintenance
  • Affordable price range
  • Feels lush and soft
  • Good balance between softness and providing sufficient support


What are the Drawbacks of Alternative Down Pillows?

Alternative down’s synthetic filling is heavier than down, which makes it more cumbersome to handle or travel with.


Who is This Pillow For?

This is the ideal solution for anyone battling with allergies or asthma since the chance of it sparking allergic reactions is low. Still, remember to keep your pillow clean to prevent allergens from settling in the pillow and ruining your sleep.


A down alternative pillow is also a handy option for anyone shopping on a budget.


How to Care for Your Alternative Down Pillow

Thanks to the easy maintenance feature you can pop this pillow in the washing machine for a clean or take it to the dry cleaners. Some tips:

  • Only use mild detergent
  • Don’t use powder detergent, to prevent residue from forming
  • Air dry or use a cool cycle in the dryer
  • Do not place in the sun


Alternative Down Pillow Price Range

Alternative down pillows are innovative bedroom items that come at a welcome low price. And if you buy from Comfy you’re guaranteed a high-quality product that’s still durable, thanks to our manufacturers only using superior materials.


Do You Need a Hypoallergenic Pillow?

Common Allergic Reactions

Are you battling to enjoy quality sleep and you’re not sure why? It could be that you’re having an allergic reaction to something in your bed. This is often the case if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • You sneeze a lot
  • Skin irritations with no other explanation
  • Waking up with a sore throat or eyes that itch
  • Nasal passages often feel congested, even when you’re not sick


What Causes Allergies?

There are various reasons why you could be having an allergic reaction to bedding. Common allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Pet dander

Any of the above can live in or get caught in bedding.



Tips on Reducing Allergic Reactions to Bedding

Investing in hypoallergenic bedding such as Comfy’s alternative down pillow or duvet is already helping to prevent allergies from disrupting your sleep. But there’s more you can do:

  • If you’ve had your pillow a while, perhaps it’s time for a new one? Experts suggest you replace bed pillows at least every 2 years.
  • Good ventilation helps to keep bedding aired, with fewer allergens caught between the threads and fibres.
  • Follow care guides when cleaning your bedding so you maintain a hygienic environment in the bedroom.
  • Maintain general cleanliness in the room by regularly washing everything from the curtains to the bedroom or bath mat.
  • Professionally steam cleaning your bed’s mattress can remove a big percentage of dust mites and other allergens.
  • To prevent pet dander from getting caught in bedding, don’t allow house pets to lie on the bed.
  • If you live in a humid environment, use a dehumidifier to create dryer air that’s less likely to support mildew growth and dust mite colonies.



Are Down Bed Pillows Sustainable?

The sustainability of your down pillow depends on where you purchase it. Reputable brands like Comfy ensure sustainability throughout the supply chain, along with only sourcing from suppliers that can guarantee that the waterfowl are treated humanely.


Down vs Alternative Down: Which is Better?

As with most bedding purchases, you need to find which option—down or alternative down—works best for you. Some people need hypoallergenic products in the bedroom, while others prefer down alternative for its affordability that’s still paired with quality. In contrast, other customers pick down bed pillows when fluffiness or heat management is a main priority.


Do Hotels Use Down or Down Alternative Products?

In most cases, luxury hotels use down duvets and bedding products. With comfort being a high priority, down bedding keeps guests smiling thanks to the luxurious softness and fluffiness.


Any Other Questions?

If you aren’t sure which pillow will be best for you, browse our detailed product descriptions or talk to our staff. At Comfy we prioritise friendly, quality customer service and we’re ready to assist.


Don’t forget to pair your new bed pillows with other quality bedding that can also help improve your sleep quality. At our affordable prices, you can slip under the covers of our top-of-the-range, Luxury Pima cotton duvet sets and experience the benefits of 100% cotton.


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