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The term ‘topper’ refers to an individual cushioning layer that can be added to a mattress for extra comfort, softness, and — in some cases — improved support. Depending on their design, toppers may be tucked beneath top sheets or rest freely on the comfort layer of the mattress. Toppers are available in corresponding sizes for all standard mattress dimensions; toppers are slightly smaller, which allows them to fit more easily beneath sheets without clumping.
Feather toppers, or ‘featherbeds,’ are typically made from the plumage of ducks or geese. Most featherbeds are filled with coarser, exterior feathers. However, some models may contain a combination of outer feathers and softer, underside plumage known as ‘down.’ Down can be measured using ‘fill power,’ which refers to how soft it feels and how effectively it insulates.
The feathers/down in these toppers are typically encased in a cover made of cotton and/or polyester. Featherbed covers are often quilted, or baffled, in order to keep the feathers contained and prevent clumping. Featherbed covers are measured using thread count, which refers to the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. Higher thread counts mean that the cover is less susceptible to wear and more likely to contain the feathers.
According to customer reviews and feedback, featherbeds have a customer satisfaction rating of 83%.
Benefits of using a feather topper include the following:
Some drawbacks associated with featherbeds include the following:
Feather toppers are considered most suitable for the following groups:
However, featherbeds may not be suitable for the following groups:
The average featherbed costs between $100 and $150. Toppers that supplement the feather fill with down for added softness tend to be more expensive, as do models with luxury covers made of materials like organic cotton. Compared to other toppers, featherbeds tend to cost less than memory foam, latex, and wool models. The graph below compares average price-points for the six most common topper types.
|Criteria||Feather Topper Rating||Explanation|
|Thickness Selection||Good to Very Good||Featherbeds are on the thicker side, and generally range in thickness between two and five inches.|
|Durability||Fair to Good||Featherbeds typically perform for at least two to three years, which is on par with the average topper lifespan.|
|Support||Fair to Good||While featherbeds can usually improve the comfort of a sleep surface, these toppers are not as effective at making a mattress feel more supportive.|
|Conforming||Poor to Fair||Featherbeds provide little to no conforming or contouring.|
|Pain/Pressure Relief||Fair to Good||Despite minimal conforming, some featherbed owners say these toppers can reduce pain and pressure in the neck, shoulders, lumbar region, and hips.|
|Motion Isolation||Poor to Fair||Featherbeds do not isolate very much motion, which can lead to nighttime disruptions for couples who share a bed.|
|Noise||Fair to Good||Crunching and squeaking sounds are frequently reported from featherbed owners, and these noises may not lessen over time. Fewer complaints are associated with down-and-feather toppers.|
|Temperature Neutrality||Very Good to Excellent||Absorbing minimal body heat and sleeping cool are considered key strengths of feather toppers.|
|Odor||Poor to Fair||Featherbeds carry high odor potential, and the smells may linger.|
|Sex||Good to Very Good||Featherbeds are response and offer little resistance to movement, making them suitable for sex.|
|Ease of Moving||Good to Very Good||Most feather toppers weigh less than 20 pounds, making them fairly easy to move and maneuver for most sleepers.|
|Ease of Cleaning||Poor to Fair||Featherbeds typically need to be dry cleaned, and should not be washed in a machine unless explicitly stated on the tag.|
|Maintenance||Poor to Fair||Regular fluffing and shaking is required to maintain the shape and loft of feather toppers.|
|Availability||Fair to Good||Featherbeds are not as widely available as other topper types, but shoppers should encounter a fairly broad selection in terms of thickness and price-point.|
|Average Price||$100 to $150||Featherbeds have a below-average price-point, although models with down components tend to be much more expensive.|
|Customer Satisfaction Rating||83% (4,365 Customer Reviews)||Featherbeds have a customer satisfaction rating that is roughly on par with the average rating for all toppers (83.5%).|
The table below features prices, dimensions and other information for five leading feather topper brands.
|Brand||Canadian Down & Feather Company||Millsave||Pacific Coast Bedding||Parachute||Sweet Jojo Designs|
|Models||Down Perfect Feather Bed||Goose Down Mattress Topper Featherbed||Down on Top Feather Bed||Down Top Feather Bed||White Goose Topper|
|Fill||92% White Goose Feather|
8% 550+ Fill Power Down
|95% Goose Feather|
5% 550 Fill Power Down
|Hyperclean Resilia Feather|
525 Fill Power Down
|Top: 85% Down, 15% Feather|
Bottom: 95% Feather, 5% Down
|95% White Goose Feather|
|100% Cambric Cotton||100%|
|Thread Count||255||300||230||Not Disclosed||240|
|Price (Queen)||$171.55||$74.99 (2″)|
|Average Topper Weight||8.6 to 18.2 lbs||11 to 22 lbs (2″)|
14 to 29 lbs (4″)
16 to 34 lbs (5″)
|15 to 25 lbs||Queried||10 to 15 lbs|
|Owner Satisfaction Rating||86% (89 Customer Reviews)||84% (245 Customer Reviews)||80% (96 Customer Reviews)||92% (77 Customer Reviews)||82% (309 Customer Reviews)|
For more information about different topper types, please visit our Best Mattress Toppers page. You may also find more information on our pages for convoluted polyfoam, fiber, memory foam, latex, and wool mattress toppers.
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