Down Pillows

Down Pillows

DOWN is considered the most superior of all bedding fillings. It provides a great deal of warmth yet is extremely soft, light and compressible, so down pillows don't have the weight or bulk of their feather pillow or hollowfibre pillow counterparts. Plus, if looked after properly, down pillows will last a lot longer, generally three times longer, than their synthetic equivalents.

<U>European Goose Down Pillow</U> Platinum European Goose Down Pillow

Large, fluffy clusters of soft goose down filling provides:

  • Softness and lightness
  • Low bulk when compressed
  • Naturally breathable: warm in winter, cool in summer

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Hungarian Goose Down Pillows Hungarian Goose Down Pillows

Extra large, fluffy clusters of soft Hungarian goose down filling provides:

  • Superior softness and lightness
  • Very low bulk when compressed
  • Naturally breathable: warm in winter, cool in summer

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POSITIVE Qualities of Down: Very soft and light • Very effective insulator • Naturally breathable • Low bulk when compressed • Long lifetime

NEGATIVE Qualities of Down: High capital cost • Not easy-care, as washing down bedding in a domestic machine is not recommended

Down Pillow FAQs

Goose Feather and Goose Down Image

DOWN is the soft, fine, under plumage of birds found beneath the tougher exterior feathers. Very young birds are covered only in down.

Down is very resilient and a wonderful natural form of insulation as it has good lofting characteristics, trapping small pockets of air efficiently to provide a thermal barrier. This helps the birds to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Feathers, on the other hand, repel water and keep the bird dry.

FEATHERS also have a quill, whereas down is merely fluff and does not contain a quill.

Why are goose down pillows so much more expensive than duck down pillows? What is the difference between the two?
Goose down pillows are more expensive than duck down pillows simply because the down clusters from a goose are larger and lighter than those from a duck. They therefore trap more air within the down filling, so goose down pillows are softer and lighter than duck down pillows. Goose down pillows are therefore considered the highest quality of pillow available, with duck down pillows as a more cost effective option.

There are also different qualities of goose down, defined by:

  • The region from where the down is grown. Hungarian goose down, for example, is considered to be amongst the finest down available.
  • The mix of pure down clusters and small feathers. All down pillows contain some fine feathers in the fill. Indeed, the only way to produce 100% down is to extract the small feathers by hand, which is virtually impossible, and cannot be achieved under the normal commercial manufacturing process.

The fillings of the two types of Goose Down pillows we offer comprise of the following down to feather percentages:

  • The Platinum European Goose Down Pillow: 80% white goose down with 20% fine white feathers.
  • The ultra soft down fill of a Hungarian Goose Down Pillow: 90% white Hungarian goose down with 10% fine white goose feathers – is considered better quality and therefore more expensive than a standard Goose Down Pillow.

Allergy Concerns

Are allergies to dust mites more prevalent in down pillows?
Contrary to popular belief down bedding is not a preferred habitat for house dust mites. Nor does down or feather provide any nutrients for mites. So with normal care, hardly any dust mites are found in down pillows due to the following reasons:

  • The tightly woven cotton casing, required to keep natural down or feather fillings from leaking out, represents an almost impenetrable barrier for dust mites.
  • The humid climatic conditions required by dust mites for survival and growth are not provided by down bedding, i.e. the rapid accumulation of warmth, whilst the person is sleeping, with the rapid decrease in humidity when the room is aired.

Why are those allergic to dust mites generally advised against using down bedding?
Synthetic bedding, rather than down bedding, is generally considered to be more suitable for allergy sufferers because of its easy-care qualities. Down pillows should be professionally laundered, which is costly and so may not be done as frequently as required to keep them free of dust mites and their allergens. Furthermore, it is not advisable to put them through a hot wash of 60°C or more, the temperature that kills dust mites.

Without washing, dust mites, dander and feather dust (produced as the down and feather gradually break down with use) can build up and make up the white, dust-like powder that appears when you shake an old down pillow. It is this dust that is the cause of most allergies and irritations.

How to Care for Down

Down pillows should be carefully maintained to keep their performance. If down bedding is kept clean, you'll get unparalleled performance for many years.

What’s the best way to protect my down pillow?
Keep your down pillow covered with a pillowcase to protect it from the oils in your skin; these break down fabric, making it brittle and staining it yellow. Using a quilted pillow protector will give your pillow an extra layer of protection and help prolong the life of your pillow. Pillow protectors and pillowcases are easy to pull off and wash, giving you fresh, clean bedding every night.

How often should I have my down pillow cleaned?
Once or twice a year should be adequate.

What's the best way to clean a down pillow?
Although many manufacturers claim that you can wash down pillows in a standard domestic machine, we DO NOT recommend you do so as it is very difficult to achieve a good result. Down filled pillows aren’t easy to dry properly, so they tend to lose their wonderfully light, fluffy shape. So, unless you have an extra-capacity washing machine, like those available at laundrettes, we strongly recommend you have your down bedding commercially laundered.

Should you choose to wash your pillow, do not use regular laundry detergent as this can harm the downs’ natural construction and loft. Liquid detergent is the best product to use as it removes oil and dirt without harming the natural fill. Down bedding should definitely not be washed on a hot cycle, but in warm water on a gentle cycle.

Whatever method you choose, be certain that all items are thoroughly dry before returning them to the bed or storing. If you do wash your down pillow and remove it from the dryer before it is fully dried the down won’t smell very pleasant and can mildew.

Would it be better to dry clean my down bedding?
We DO NOT recommend dry-cleaning ANY down product. The chemicals used within dry-cleaning fluids can damage down and shorten its life.

Storing Down

One of the great things about down is that it is highly compressible when packed. However, tight packing of down bedding for routine storage should be avoided. Down pillows should be stored well aired in a ‘breathable’ cotton bag, never in plastic.