Few things in life offer greater joy than a soft, fluffy pillow — especially one that's filled with silky goose down. But before you shop for the
best goose down pillows, it's important to understand the difference between down and feathers.
Down is the fluffy stuff on the underside of a bird that keeps them warm, while feathers are the longer, pointy covering that gives them flight. Some pillows are made from 100-percent down while others are a hybrid of down and feathers, and there are pros and cons to each. Pure down is much softer, however, it's more expensive (a lot more) and offers less support. Hybrids, on the other hand, are cheaper and better at holding their shape. The downside is that feathers tend to poke through, which can be uncomfortable.
First, you'll want to consider which type of pillow makes the most sense for you. After that, there are a couple of additional factors to think about while shopping around, like how much support the pillow offers and what the exterior material is made of (cotton is usually the best choice, as it's both soft and breathable).
With all of that in mind, I've put together a list of the
best goose down pillows below. I included a variety of options in both pure down and down-feather hybrids, so you can find the one that's best for you. Filling: Down hybrid What's great about it: With more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon, this popular down pillow set is a great choice for most people, offering quality construction at a mid-range price. While the two-pillow set features a hybrid of 5 percent down and 95 percent feathers, reviewers say it's super soft and comfortable. These pillows provide medium-level support — not too firm but not too soft — and the quilting has a double diamond lattice pattern for durability and comfort. Best of all, the odor-free feathers are responsibly sourced. What fans say: "I absolutely love these pillows! Once you fluff them they hug your head and support your neck however you need it to. [Feathers] don't come out of the seams like some down products and it's great material ... I'd give these pillows 10 stars if I could!" Available sizes: Standard, Queen, King Filling: Pure down What's great about it: For those who are looking for pure down and able to spend the extra money, this luxurious down pillow set is the way to go. Constructed with ultra-soft, 700 fill power Hungarian goose down and a 300-thread count Egyptian cotton case, it's especially great if you're a restless sleeper in need of an extra-comfy bed. Both pillows are supportive without being too stiff, and they're fully hypoallergenic, too. What fans say: "I had only slept on memory foam pillows before, but decided to make the switch to a down feather pillow for more softness. I was worried that it wouldn't be firm enough for me. Well, this pillow is great - everything I wanted. I researched carefully before purchasing since good pillows can be very pricey. It was also VERY important to me that the pillow was made in the USA and was RDS certified. So happy with this purchase." Available sizes: Standard, Queen, King Filling: Down hybrid What's great about it: If you're on a budget but you still want a little taste of luxury, these down-feather hybrid pillows are the perfect compromise. The exterior is made with high-quality Egyptian cotton, while the interior features a dual-layer fill that's 15 percent down on the inside with a thin layer of 100-percent down on the outside, for medium-level support. On top of that, these pillows are ethically sourced and available individually or as a set of two. What fans say: "The best pillows I ever bought. In the past I’ve thrown my money away buying products that are terrible quality & end up irritating my allergies. These pillows are soft, And keep their shape all night." Filling: Pure down What's great about it: For folks who travel a lot, this compact goose down pillow is a great option for luxury on the go. It's made with 100 percent down, but it's much smaller than a standard pillow, so it fits in your suitcase and can be compressed down for extra space. The outer material is hypoallergenic Egyptian cotton, and the interior is 800 fill power goose down. This comfy pillow is offered in two sizes — both of which are designed to be highly compact and portable. What fans say: "I really love this pillow, and I'll be buying a second one for my wife. The pillow takes up very little room in a suitcase or duffel, and is just big enough to allow me a good night's sleep when the hotel pillows are too hard, or too spongy. I took this pillow on a 3 week trip to Sicily and Greece, and used it every night. I wish it were cheaper -- it's a lot of money for a tiny pillow, but I have no regrets. Getting good sleep makes it worth every penny." Available sizes: 12 by 16 inches, 13 by 18 inches Filling: Down hybrid What's great about it: For those who like a bit more support, this full-sized body pillow is soft, comfortable, and reasonably priced. It's made with a blend of 550-fill power goose down and feathers and features a thick, cotton cover that helps to keep the feathers from poking out, according to reviewers. Also, it's available in 5-foot-long and 6-foot-long options, so you can get just the right fit for your bed. What fans say: "Best body pillow I've ever purchased! So much loft but just the right amount of support no matter what position I lay in. Right out of the box, it has that smell of feathers, but 30 min in the dryer on No-Heat/Fluff made it go away. It's far longer and wider than any body pillow I cases I could find, so I purchased a very soft, microfiber sheet in twin size and used my Mom's sewing machine to turn it into a perfect pillow case, all I had to do was sew in straight lines." Available sizes: 20 by 60 inches, 20 by 72 inches Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.