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Best Feather Mattress Toppers – 2020 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Written by Keith Cushner

Quick Overview

Toppers are individual layers of bedding material that can be added to a mattress to increase or decrease the firmness, and also provide extra cushioning. Toppers are a good solution for sleepers who are dissatisfied with how their mattress feels, as well as those who don’t think their bed is thick enough.

Toppers today are made from a wide range of materials and offered in sizes that correspond to common mattress dimensions. Duck or goose feathers are a popular topper material due in part to their exceptional softness. Feather toppers, commonly called featherbeds, also sleep fairly cool and most are responsive enough for sex.

It’s important to note that many feather toppers contain two components: the exterior feathers, which are coarser and more supportive; and the down, or underside plumage, which is very soft and lightweight. Most featherbeds are structured with down in the middle and feathers reinforcing the edges. The percentage of down and feathers is usually listed in the product specs; generally, higher down concentrations imply softer toppers.

This guide will discuss the pros and cons of featherbeds, and share some shopping tips for first-time buyers. Below you’ll find our picks for the best feather toppers sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

The Best Feather Mattress Toppers – Reviewed

Best OverallParachute Down Feather Bed

Best Overall - Parachute Down Feather Bed

Highlights

  • 'Soft'
  • Mixed down/feather composition
  • Cotton sateen cover
  • Chambered design offers targeted support
  • 60-night trial and 3-year warranty

Best OverallParachute Down Feather Bed

Parachutehome.com

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Our Editor’s Pick is the Down Feather Bed from Parachute. This topper is constructed with a chambered design that provides varying levels of support to different areas of the body. The exceptionally soft top chamber is 85% white down and 15% feathers, while the firmer bottom chamber is 95% feather and 5% white down. A baffled cotton shell keeps the fill evenly distributed, and the topper will not need to be fluffed very often. The cover sleeps very cool, as well. This topper is 3″ thick, making it suitable for side and back sleepers, as well as those in all weight groups.

The Down Feather Bed has a relatively high price-point, making it a good option for shoppers with bigger budgets. Millsave offers free shipping to all 50 states, including military bases. The topper is also backed by 60-night sleep trial a three-year warranty. In addition to this topper, Millsave offers a comparable down alternative topper that may be more suitable for customers who do not like sleeping on authentic down and feathers.

Good For:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • Back pain sufferers

Best SupportPacific Coast Deluxe Lumbar Featherbed Mattress Topper

Best Support – Pacific Coast Deluxe Lumbar Featherbed Mattress Topper

Highlights

  • 'Soft'
  • 100% feather fill
  • 100% cotton cover
  • Chambered design provides lower back support
  • 30-night trial and "allergy warranty"

Best SupportPacific Coast Deluxe Lumbar Featherbed Mattress Topper

pacificcoast.com

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A common complaint about featherbeds is that they are too soft and do not provide enough support for heavier individuals. The Deluxe Lumbar Featherbed from Pacific Coast remedies this problem thanks to a zoned design. Larger chambers with more feather fill are located below the sleeper’s lower back and hips, resulting in enhanced lumbar support and pressure relief, while the other chambers offer a plusher feel and more cradling for lighter areas of the body.

The topper is constructed with Resilia feather fill and a cover made of smooth 230 thread count cotton. Some featherbeds sleep on the warmer side because the fill absorbs body heat, but this topper’s cover is quite breathable and should help most people sleep cool. A 2-inch gusset also ensures more comfort for sleepers.

Compared to other feather toppers, the Deluxe Lumbar’s price-point is very approachable and Pacific Coast offers free shipping on all orders of $99 or more. Returns and exchanges are also permitted within 30 days of purchase. The company also offers a 30-day “allergy warranty” in case buyers notice allergy symptoms after sleeping on the topper.

Good For:

  • People who normally find featherbeds too soft
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who lower back and hip pain
  • Value seekers

Best Soft TopperThe Company Store Legends Down Alternative Featherbed

Best Soft Topper – The Company Store Legends Down Alternative Featherbed

Highlights

  • 'Soft'
  • Down alternative fill
  • 100% cotton cover
  • Deep baffling ensures a very plush feel
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Soft TopperThe Company Store Legends Down Alternative Featherbed

thecompanystore.com

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Most featherbeds are relatively soft, but the Legends Down Alternative Featherbed is a standout thanks to its design. Baffles measuring 4 inches deep create an exceptionally plush surface and a cloud-like feel. Sleepers will slowly sink into the topper, and tight construction ensures the fill won’t shift too much during the night.

The fill consists of down alternative fibers that mimic the natural softness of feathers and down without sleeping too warm or triggering allergies. This may also appeal to customers who would rather not purchase animal products. The cover is made of breathable 200 thread count cotton for added temperature control. Four sizes are available, ranging from twin to king.

Although the topper is constructed from synthetic materials, it cannot be machine washed or dried and should be spot cleaned only. The Company Store offers free shipping on all orders of $50 or more, which covers each available size. The topper also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Good For:

  • People who enjoy sinking into their sleep surface
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those with down/feather allergies
  • Animal-conscious shoppers

Best LuxuryDown & Feather Co. 75/25 Classic Featherbed

Best Luxury – Down & Feather Co. 75/25 Classic Featherbed

Highlights

  • 'Soft'
  • 75% feather, 25% down
  • Egyptian cotton cover
  • Eco-friendly construction
  • Guaranteed to be hypoallergenic

Best LuxuryDown & Feather Co. 75/25 Classic Featherbed

downandfeathercompany.com

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The 75/25 Classic Featherbed from Down & Feather Company is designed for a luxuriously plush feel. The fill consists of Hungarian goose feathers and down, which is known for both exceptional softness and above-average durability. The down is washed with recycled water and environmentally friendly soap, making the topper a good option for eco-conscious shoppers.

The topper is encased in a cover made of long-staple Egyptian cotton. Much like the fill, this fabric is top-of-the-line in terms of performance and longevity. Egyptian cotton is also highly breathable, allowing the topper to sleep cool despite the heat-absorbing properties of genuine down and feathers. Down & Feather Co. also guarantees the topper will be hypoallergenic, even for people who are normally allergic to this type of fill.

The price-point for this topper is a bit steep, making it best suited to shoppers with rather large budgets. However, all orders qualify for free ground shipping within the contiguous U.S. Down & Feather Co. offers a 30-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty for this topper.

Good For:

  • Sleepers who prefer very soft surfaces
  • Eco-conscious individuals
  • People with down/feather allergies
  • Shoppers with bigger budgets

Buying Guide – Shopping for the Best Feather Mattress Toppers

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.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Feather Toppers?

Benefits of using a feather topper include the following:

  • Enhanced Comfort: Featherbeds are exceptionally soft, and will improve the feel and comfort of most sleep surfaces.
  • Easy Movement: Feather toppers provide little to no resistance, making them easier to move on that other toppers that sink deeply beneath a sleeper’s body.
  • Good for Sex: Featherbeds are responsive, somewhat bouncy, and low-resistance — and all three of these factors make them fairly suitable for sex.
  • Lightweight: As the name ‘featherbed’ suggests, these toppers are exceptionally lightweight. Most models weigh 20 pounds or less.
  • Sleeping Cool: Featherbeds retain minimal body heat, allowing them to sleep fairly cool compared to other toppers (particularly memory foam models) that tend to sleep hot.
  • Low Price-point: Featherbeds are fairly inexpensive ($100 to $150 on average)  and have lower price-points that many competing topper types. And because they usually perform for two to three years, they offer more ‘bang for your buck’ than memory foam toppers, which have similar lifespans and higher price-points.

Some drawbacks associated with featherbeds include the following:

  • Minimal Motion Isolation: Featherbeds do not absorb and isolate motion to the same extent as foam or latex models. This can be problematic for people who share their bed with another person and awaken easily due to motion.
  • Poor Shape Retention: Many featherbed owners claim that their topper becomes lumpy and misshapen after limited use. For most, the only solution is constant fluffing and shaking.
  • Odor Potential: Feather toppers often emit unpleasant smells when they are removed from their packaging, and these odors may persist over time.
  • Below-average Conforming: Featherbeds do not conform as closely as memory foam or latex toppers, and may not be suitable for sleepers who experience pain or pressure in sensitive areas of their body.
  • Expensive to Clean: Most feather toppers should only be dry cleaned, and never machine washed. These expenses can accumulate over time.
  • Allergy Risk: Feathers carry higher allergy potential that other topper materials.
  • Protruding Feathers: This issue is unique to featherbeds: some owners complain of feathers poking or protruding through the cover, which can cause discomfort and — in extreme cases — pose an injury risk.

Who Should Use a Feather Topper?

Feather toppers are considered most suitable for the following groups:

  • People whoown hard or overly firm mattresses. Featherbeds are usually thick and soft enough to improve the comfort and feel of most sleep surfaces.
  • People whotend to sleep hot. Feather toppers absorb minimal body heat, allowing them to sleep relatively cool throughout the night.
  • People whohave a hard time lifting heavy objects. Feather toppers are fairly lightweight, making them easy to adjust and maneuver for most sleepers.
  • People who prefer less restrictive mattresses. Featherbeds do not restrict movement to a significant extent, making them fairly easy to move on.

However, featherbeds may not be suitable for the following groups:

  • People whoawaken easily due to motion or noise. Featherbeds do not absorb or minimize motion to a significant extent, and most models make crunching or squeaking sounds when bearing weight.
  • People who aresensitive to smell. Featherbeds may produce unpleasant odors that linger long after the topper has been unpackaged.
  • People whoprefer a closely conforming sleep surface. Featherbeds do not conform closely, and those seeking a contoured fit may want to explore other topper options.
  • People who areprone to allergies, as feathers and down tend to accumulate dust and microbes, triggering allergies in the process.

How Much Does a Feather Topper Cost?

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.

Mattress Topper Material Average Price
Feather $100-$150
Fiber $60-$100
Wool $150-$300
Latex $100-$400
Memory Foam $100-$250
Polyfoam $10-$30

Feather Topper Customer Ratings

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.
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