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We Put 70 Pillows to the Test to Find the Most Comfortable Down Pillows You Can Buy

Good Housekeeping Logo By Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping Institute of Good Housekeeping | Slide 1 of 8: If you're looking to upgrade your sleep, buying new pillows is a great place to start. There are so many types of pillows to choose from, including memory foam pillows, polyester pillows, and even latex pillows, but there’s nothing plusher than traditional down pillows. If you’re shopping for a new down pillow, you’ll quickly learn that there are a lot of options on the market. The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab put over 70 pillows to the test to find the most comfortable down pillows to buy. Our textile pros evaluated each pillow in the Lab for washability and durability. Each pillow was washed three times and then evaluated for changes in appearance and shrinkage. We also folded the pillows in half and then placed weights on them to evaluate if the pillow would return to its original shape after use. Then, we had real-life testers sleep on them to find the most comfortable, soft, and supportive styles, culminating with over 3,000 data points to analyze. Here are our picks for the best down pillows to buy in 2020:Best Overall Down Pillow: Parachute Home Down PillowBest Down Pillow for Side Sleepers: Cuddledown 800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Sateen PillowBest Down Pillow for Back Sleepers: Casper Down PillowBest Down Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: SlumberCloud Cirrus Cooling Down PillowBest Luxury Down Pillow: Macy's Hotel Collection European White Goose Down Medium PillowBest Hybrid Down Pillow: Allswell The Supreme PillowHow to choose the best down pillow for youKnow your down options. Down refers to the clusters found beneath a bird's protective feathers, usually on the belly. They’re ultrasoft, fluffy, and airy fibers known to provide excellent insulation. Duck down is more affordable than goose down, as 100% goose down tends to be superior at retaining heat, which is ideal for chillier nights. Down pillows have a plush feel that many testers said was “like sleeping on a cloud" — something that cannot be perfectly mimicked in down-alternative styles. However, down pillows tend to lose their shape and go flat after continued use. But if you give them a good fluff or run them through a dryer cycle, they should return to their original height.Determine your sleeping position. When choosing the best pillow to buy, you should know whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper or stomach sleeper. It's normal to change positions throughout the night, but typically the position you wake up in is the position you were in most of the night. Here’s a simple guide to what type of pillow is best for each position: Side: Thick and firmBack: Medium height Stomach: Thin and softFor a lower price, look for a mix. If you love the feel of down, but not the high price, look for pillows that offer a mix of down and feathers. Down is softer and plusher, while standard feathers are a bit stiffer. Down alternative fibers (a.k.a. polyester) have a similar feel to down at a fraction of the cost. For the ultimate plush feel, 100% down pillows reign supreme, but be prepared for a high price tag. Peek at the care label. Most down pillows are machine washable, but some styles required a larger, front-loading washing machine and dryer balls when drying. If you notice an odor when your down pillows are wet, don’t worry as that’s perfectly normal – it’ll dissipate after it’s fully dry. In our evaluations, down pillows consistently took longer to dry compared to polyester styles. We recommend using dryer balls and multiple dry cycles to ensure your pillow is completely dry before returning it to your bed.

If you're looking to upgrade your sleep, buying new pillows is a great place to start. There are so many types of pillows to choose from, including memory foam pillows, polyester pillows, and even latex pillows, but there’s nothing plusher than traditional down pillows. If you’re shopping for a new down pillow, you’ll quickly learn that there are a lot of options on the market. The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab put over 70 pillows to the test to find the most comfortable down pillows to buy. Our textile pros evaluated each pillow in the Lab for washability and durability. Each pillow was washed three times and then evaluated for changes in appearance and shrinkage. We also folded the pillows in half and then placed weights on them to evaluate if the pillow would return to its original shape after use. Then, we had real-life testers sleep on them to find the most comfortable, soft, and supportive styles, culminating with over 3,000 data points to analyze. Here are our picks for the best down pillows to buy in 2020:

Best Overall Down Pillow: Parachute Home Down PillowBest Down Pillow for Side Sleepers: Cuddledown 800 Fill Power European White Goose Down Sateen PillowBest Down Pillow for Back Sleepers: Casper Down PillowBest Down Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: SlumberCloud Cirrus Cooling Down PillowBest Luxury Down Pillow: Macy's Hotel Collection European White Goose Down Medium PillowBest Hybrid Down Pillow: Allswell The Supreme Pillow

How to choose the best down pillow for you

Know your down options. Down refers to the clusters found beneath a bird's protective feathers, usually on the belly. They’re ultrasoft, fluffy, and airy fibers known to provide excellent insulation. Duck down is more affordable than goose down, as 100% goose down tends to be superior at retaining heat, which is ideal for chillier nights. Down pillows have a plush feel that many testers said was “like sleeping on a cloud" — something that cannot be perfectly mimicked in down-alternative styles. However, down pillows tend to lose their shape and go flat after continued use. But if you give them a good fluff or run them through a dryer cycle, they should return to their original height.

Determine your sleeping position. When choosing the best pillow to buy, you should know whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper or stomach sleeper. It's normal to change positions throughout the night, but typically the position you wake up in is the position you were in most of the night. Here’s a simple guide to what type of pillow is best for each position:

  • Side: Thick and firm
  • Back: Medium height
  • Stomach: Thin and soft

For a lower price, look for a mix. If you love the feel of down, but not the high price, look for pillows that offer a mix of down and feathers. Down is softer and plusher, while standard feathers are a bit stiffer. Down alternative fibers (a.k.a. polyester) have a similar feel to down at a fraction of the cost. For the ultimate plush feel, 100% down pillows reign supreme, but be prepared for a high price tag.

Peek at the care label. Most down pillows are machine washable, but some styles required a larger, front-loading washing machine and dryer balls when drying. If you notice an odor when your down pillows are wet, don’t worry as that’s perfectly normal – it’ll dissipate after it’s fully dry. In our evaluations, down pillows consistently took longer to dry compared to polyester styles. We recommend using dryer balls and multiple dry cycles to ensure your pillow is completely dry before returning it to your bed.

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