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Goose Down Vs Duck Feather Pillows – Which Is Better?

Pillows can make or break your sleep quality. Find the best type of pillow for your sleep style and health needs and discover if your existing feather, down or microfibre pillow is a more of a sleep stealer than a sleep superstar that helps you wake feeling your best.

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Feather or Down Pillows - What’s The Difference?

Feather v Down - The Pros and Cons

How To Find The Best Quality Feather & Down Pillows

Expert tips: What to look for in your pillow


Goose and duck feather pillows are a firm favourite of top hotels, and for good reason. They offer a level of comfort microfibre (synthetic) pillows often lack. While there is no best pillow filling for everyone, the better the quality, the more luxurious it will be to sleep on, and the longer it will last. Your sleeping position and health needs will also determine the best pillow for your needs. For more on finding the perfect pillow for your front, side or back sleeping style, see our guide to the best pillows for your sleeping position.


Feather or Down Pillows - What’s The Difference?


A duck or goose pillow differs in the size of its down clusters and % of feather and down. Goose has a larger cluster size than duck down, offering excellent puffiness and warmth. Feathers add weight. Most natural filled pillows are rarely feather or down, but a mixture of the two.  A pillow with a high feather content such as our Marquis Duck Feather and Down pillow offers more structure and support than a pillow with plenty of down.


Feather v Down

Goose feather is softer than duck feather. Most duck and goose feather filled pillows are combined with soft down for comfort and warmth.

Cheaper than down
More structure than down
Mouldable and malleable

Goose down clusters are generally larger than duck down clusters. European goose down is considered the best due to its pure white larger than most down clusters.

Light and cuddly

How To Find The Best Quality Feather & Down Pillows


Many pillows are a mix of feather and down. Even if it’s labelled a duck or goose down pillow, it will often have 40% or less feather for support. However, there are many hidden nasties that could be within a pillow, says Tielle fine linen expert, Joe Molloy. The only way you can be sure you’re getting the best quality pillow is to buy it from a bedding specialist with strong ethical values.

What to look for in your pillow:


Check the fill: A pillow only needs 60% down to advertise as a down pillow - technically the rest could be made with cheaper and less comfortable feathers. Tielle down pillows contain a minimum of 70% down and a higher-than-average fill power to keep you warm and snug. Our best duck down pillow is made from the finest 100% down pearls.

Check the reviews: Poor cleaning processes and shoddy manufacturing can mean feather fibres, broken feather quills and dust can find their way into your pillow.

Buy to last: A pillow that’s responsibly made from high quality ingredients will last around three years – that's 1,000 sleeps – before losing its ability to fluff up and offer effective support.

Once you’ve found the best goose down pillow or goose or duck feather pillow for you, buy one and try it out before buying others.

Find out if your pillow is all it’s cracked up to be.