Best Down Alternative Pillows

Down Alternative pillows.

Down alternative, as the name suggests, is an alternative to the regular stuffing found in most pillows. Instead of the feather-like filling, a down alternative pillow is filled with other materials. But on your quest to find the best down alternative pillows, you have to understand the intricacies of what makes a great pillow. Learning these factors will help you to make the most informed decision possible, which is why we’d like to run through it all right here.

However, if you want to get straight to the point - the best down alternative pillows have been shortlisted for you in the table below:

What Is a Down Alternative Pillow?

Pillows in the room.

As touched upon above, a down alternative is a pillow that is usually filled with alternative materials to down — the part of the feather used in traditional pillows. These materials are manufactured rather than harvested like down. And the materials are usually synthetic-like fibers that are woven tightly to create a somewhat tough feel. The great thing about choosing these pillows is that they are then cheaper and can often be more durable due to the materials being man-made.

Types Of Down Alternative Pillows

Down alternative pillows on the sofa bed.

There are many down alternative pillows you could pick these days, but which one should you go for? Well, let’s describe some of the more common down alternative pillows below to see which one might be the best fit. There will likely be one that seems more suitable for your needs above all others, so let’s get into it.

  1. Hypoallergenic: That’s right — hypoallergenic pillows can also be down alternative pillows. Essentially, it’s the materials used within the pillow and the pillow casing that have this hypoallergenic effect. This helps to remove things like dust mites, pollen, and any other allergy causing things that can be sitting hidden in your pillow. So if you suffer from allergies, whether day or night, this might be a good down alternative pillow to consider.
  2. Memory foam pillows: Memory foam pillows have become all the rage in recent years. These pillows have more of a scientific approach to their manufacturing process and function. Rather than simply loading up the pillow with soft materials, memory foam pillows are typically firmer and mould to your body position. The idea behind this is that you can find your most comfortable position as quickly as possible, and since this is a foam material, it’s a great down alternative pillow.
  3. Gel pillows: Gel pillows are typically on the pricier end of the spectrum, but they can be worth it. You’ll usually see gel pillows advertised as cooling pillows, or at least something of that nature. And as the name suggests, the pillows are filled with a gel-like substance instead of down. These are softer than certain memory foam and hypoallergenic pillows, but as we said, they can come at a cost.

Benefits Of Using Down Alternative Pillows

A woman sleeping on a down alternative pillow.

At this point, you should have a clear idea of what a down alternative pillow is and what the different types are. But beyond this, it’s arguably more important to understand the benefits of choosing this pillow type in the first place.

  1. Better for your wallet: Since the materials used in down alternative pillows are synthetic, they are usually far cheaper than going for regular down pillows. So if you’ve been stuck in the down or down alternative pillow debate and price is a major factor, the down alternative cost could be the deciding factor. If you go for luxury down, you could be seeing prices north of $150, but these can often be less than $30 for a pillow.
  2. Easy to wash: The more complex the materials in the pillow, the more difficult it is to wash. And for those that hate delicate washing processes, this one’s for you! All of the best down alternative pillows can be washed in an actual washer, without any need to worry about shrinking, ruining the pillow, or whatever else that could go wrong.
  3. Elimination of allergies: When people speak of ‘allergies’ relating to pillows, they are usually referring to allergies to the pillow material. Sure, pollen and dust mites are also a consideration, but eliminating a material you might be allergic to is always a positive choice. With down alternative pillows, since the material is purely synthetic, there is an immensely small chance that you’ll be allergic to them.
  4. Better for those who like a “cool sleep”: According to research, down materials are more likely to heat up and then retain their temperature throughout the night. After all, this is advantageous for the birds whose feathers the down has come from! But sadly, this isn’t ideal for people, especially not those who prefer a cool sleep. With synthetic materials used in down alternative pillows, these don’t retain any of the heat. This keeps the pillow surface cool and avoids the risks of overheating during the night.

How Long Will A Down Alternative Pillow Last?

In a nutshell, down alternative pillows can often last somewhere in the region of 1-2 years. This is a little shorter than pillows that use standard down materials. The reason for this is that the manufactured materials won’t hold their strength as long as down. Sure, if you go for a pricier model the down alternative pillow may last longer, but it all depends on how much you are willing to invest in the pillow.


A big down alternative pillow on the bed.

Down alternative pillows are in rich supply around the globe. In fact, they are the most common pillows out there, mainly because they support a lower price point than others. But while they are widely available, you should try and stick with the best down alternative pillows to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. And when making your decision, make sure you keep in mind the points raised throughout this review. After all, everyone’s preferences will be different!


Are down alternative pillows good for your sleep?

Down alternative pillows are full of great benefits to guarantee a good night’s sleep. Ranging from keeping you cool to ensuring a soft feel, they appeal to a wide range of people. They are also cheaper than most, which is a huge plus if you are strapped for cash.

How do I wash my down alternative pillows?

Individual down alternative pillows will have their own washing instructions. But generally speaking, down alternative pillows can go in the wash at a low temperature. If you don’t want to do this, however, you can always scrub the pillow in the sink or even the bath.

How much do down alternative pillows cost?

Down alternative pillows are some of the cheapest in the market today. In fact, some of the best down alternative pillows can be picked up for around $30. This is significantly cheaper than pillows that use natural materials.

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