Buying Guide – Shopping for the Best Down Alternative Pillow
Unlike genuine down pillows, which are filled with the underside feathers of ducks, geese, and other waterfowl, down alternative pillows are made with synthetic fibers that mimic the softness of real down. This makes them suitable for people who are allergic to down, as well as those who object to using pillows made using animal products.
Down alternative pillows have other advantages over pillows made from authentic down. They tend to be considerably cheaper, for one, and they also tend to sleep cooler and produce less odor. However, there are also drawbacks to down alternative pillows, including shorter-than-average lifespans, less pain and pressure relief, noise potential, and regular shaking and fluffing needed to maintain a full shape.
Read on to learn more about down alternative pillows, and how they compare to authentic down and other pillow types.
What is the Makeup of a Down Alternative Pillow?
Most down alternative pillows contain fibers or microfibers made from cotton and/or polyester. These soft, puffy fibers tend to be as soft as authentic down. Most down alternative pillows are medium-loft, and may range in firmness soft to medium-firm. Some brands feature gel fibers or siliconized fibers, which can be even softer than conventional down alternative material. Down alternative pillows do not contain any animal products, unlike genuine down and feather pillows.
Which Sizes Are Available for Down Alternative Pillows?
Down alternative pillows are commonly available in the following sizes:
- Standard: Standard is the most commonly sold pillow size, as well as the most compact and typically the cheapest.
- Super Standard: Also known as ‘Jumbo,’ Super Standard pillows are two inches longer than Standard pillows, and may be suitable for those who find the latter too compact.
- Queen: Queen-size pillows are slightly longer than Super Standard pillows, and are often a good option for people who toss and turn or move their head while they sleep.
- King: King-size pillows are typically the longest pillows available. They are ideal for people who toss and turn, and are long enough to serve as proper headrests and backrests for people who sit up in bed to read or watch television.
- Euro: Unlike other pillow sizes, Euro-size pillows are square-shaped and come in a wide range of dimensional measurements. Larger Euro-size pillows make suitable headrests and backrests, as well.
- Body: Body pillows are exceptionally wide, and are designed for sleepers who prefer to snuggle with a pillow throughout the night.
The table below features rough measurements for each of the pillow sizes discussed above.