Prized by many for the comfort and restful sleep they offer, goose down pillows are cushiony soft, cool to the touch, long-lasting and easy to care for.
Made from the ultra-soft undercoat feathers of geese and ducks, down is the softest pillow "fill" you will find (it's where the expression "downy soft" originated).
It is important to note that the fill of most down pillows on the market today includes a mix of feathers and down clusters. The percentage of features to down that comprise the pillow fill is what makes the difference in how the pillow feels and the price.
If you examine some pure down up close with a magnifying lens, you'll see tiny clusters. Those undercoat feather clusters are where the soft, comfort happens. The clusters intertwine, move about, and expand to create air pockets.
What's so great about air pockets? They make a wonderful insulator. They also allow your pillow to "breathe", drawing moisture away from your head as you snooze. Finally, the air pockets form a natural cushion of air around your slumbering head.
What's "fill power"?
These clusters are also the key to the all-night support you get from a down pillow. Each cluster wants to remain in its natural, fluffy state so even when you put your head down, they'll spring back into shape once you shift in your sleep.
The bigger the clusters, the more effective this spring-back action will be. That's why people pay attention to a pillow's "fill power". The larger the down clusters, the higher the fill power.
Why some people prefer goose down pillows
Lofty, light, soft and fluffy, goose down is the number one choice for many homes around the world. Like a down comforter that insulates while being amazingly light, a down pillow is light, fluffy and supportive all night long.
You won't wake up with a flattened "mat" if there's goose down in your pillow. Just don't forget to fluff it before you go to bed.
Selecting a goose down pillow
Sleeping habits have a lot to do with pillow selection.
In addition to sleeping habits and pillow firmness, pricing is an important consideration. The most economical choice is a down pillow with fill that is comprised of 50% down clusters and 50% feather blend. Also, remember that a lower fill number, like 600 as opposed to 800, will have a lower price.
In the end, your pillow choice needs to be one that feels the best to you and offers comfort while you sleep.