Feather pillows have been with us for thousands of years and have been a popular addition to bedrooms around the world. The luxurious, downy feathers that snuggle baby birds through the first few days and weeks of their lives have long been sought to provide comfort in sleep for humans as well. Feathers are firm, but soft, making them comfortable, but durable, and their use in pillows goes back at least to the ancient Egyptians. Feathers move around inside the pillow to allow for the weight and shape of your head, which is what makes them such a comfortable option.
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Can Feather Pillows be Washed?
Well, do ducks swim? The answer is, ‘Yes!’ That said, care is needed to protect the integrity of your pillow, so the following advice should be heeded.
MACHINE WASHING – Go easy on the detergent and wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Rinse the pillow twice to ensure all the soap has been removed.
HAND WASHING – Wash your pillows in a bath filled with cold water and a little detergent. Paddle the water gently to mix the detergent evenly and create some suds and then press the pillows into the water, squeezing gently. Never wring the pillows out as this will damage the feathers.
DRYING – Ensuring a feather pillow is completely dry before reusing it is very important for avoiding mould. If you are using a dryer, put it on a no-heat or air-only cycle and add a few clean tennis balls to help fluff the pillow as it dries.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOWN AND FEATHER PILLOWS?
Down describes the very soft feathers on the breast of a bird, designed to protect their young. These feathers are extremely soft and provide excellent insulation. Feathers taken from other parts of the bird have quills, which can sometimes poke through the pillow case. A feather pillow may be a little more expensive, but it will also provide both a softer feel and a firmer support for your head.
WHAT ABOUT ALLERGIES?
Feather pillows are subject to a comprehensive cleaning process before they reach the shelves and this removes most allergens. That said, if you have an allergy of any severity, you should consult a healthcare professional before purchasing a feather pillow.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY FEATHER PILLOWS?
Usually, a feather pillow will last for a number of years. But when you notice it is becoming difficult to fluff up or is acquiring flat spots, then it is probably time for a new one.
Feather pillows have the added virtue of being sustainable as they use natural and renewable resources, so you can sleep easy knowing you have bought an eco-friendly product. Furthermore, they have a durability factor which means that they will often last longer than pillows with synthetic fillings, making them a sound investment too. The feathers allow a flow of air, regulating the temperature around your head and making your pillows ideal for use all year round.
Sets of Feather Pillows
Numerous feather pillows are available in sets of two, but this isn’t a rule. Always confirm whether you are purchasing a single pillow or a pair, especially if you need two. Despite sounding obvious, our research showed that it’s not a universal practice for feather pillows to be sold in pairs. If you come across a surprisingly low price, it might be for a single pillow, so always be sure of your purchase.
Pillow Shells and Cases: Prioritize Breathability
The external fabric that contains the filling, known as the pillow shell, should also be hypoallergenic. Apart from that, it should be soft, breathable, and comfortable. Materials like cotton or sateen usually fit these criteria, and certain polyester blends might work as well. Some feather pillows include pillowcases, and the same guidelines apply to them.
The Ratio of Down to Feathers
Unsurprisingly, your feather pillow should consist of feathers. However, there’s another aspect to consider. A higher percentage of down in the pillow implies more softness and better protection against sharp feather quills. The industry typically follows a ratio of 5% down to 95% feathers. For a plusher experience, opt for a pillow with a higher down percentage. You can find options that include up to 10% or 15% down, as well as quality pillows that stick to the standard 5%.
Even in the face of many modern advancements, feather pillows are still regarded as the pinnacle of sleep comfort. The best part is that contemporary feather pillows retain all the desirable features such as softness, firmness, and opulence while getting rid of the less pleasant aspects like poking feathers or allergic reactions.
Finally, be sure to buy a feather pillow that includes a returns policy.