What is The Difference Between Feathers and Down? Skip to content
What is The Difference Between Feathers and Down?

What is The Difference Between Feathers and Down?

Feathers and down are two common fill materials used in pillows, comforters, and other bedding products. They are often used interchangeably, but they are vastly different in terms of their properties, performance, and overall quality. 

Let’s explore the differences between feathers and down.

You might want to read an interesting article we wrote about the Scandinavian Sleep Method.

What are Feathers?

Let's start with feathers. Feathers are the outer covering of birds, consisting of a central shaft with barbs on either side. These barbs are interconnected by small hooks, which give the feather its structure. Feathers are primarily used for flight, but they also have insulating properties that keep birds warm. 

In the bedding industry, feathers are often used as fill material in pillows and comforters. Feathers are not as soft or fluffy as down, and they do not offer the same level of insulation. Feathers are also more likely to poke through the fabric, causing discomfort and irritation.

What is Down?

Now, let's talk about down. Down is the soft, fluffy material found under the outer feathers of birds. Unlike feathers, down has no quill and is made up of clusters of small fibers. These fibers trap air, providing excellent insulation and warmth. The quality of the down is measured by its fill power, which refers to the amount of space one ounce of down takes up. The higher the fill power, the better the insulation and fluffiness.

Let's break down the nitty-gritty of both.

BTW, we sell the best quality:

Higher fill power

Down is a better insulator than feathers because it has a higher fill power. This means that it can trap more air in each cluster of fibers, providing a better layer of insulation and keeping you warmer on colder nights. 

And who doesn't want to be warm and cozy on a chilly evening?

Fluffier option

Down is much softer and fluffier than feathers, providing a more luxurious and comfortable feel. The absence of a quill in down clusters means that they do not poke through the fabric, making them much more comfortable to sleep on. You won't have to worry about any annoying feathers sticking to you in the middle of the night.


When it comes to durability, feathers tend to be more resilient than down. This is because feathers have a quill that provides structure and support, making them less likely to break or lose their shape over time. Down clusters, on the other hand, are more delicate. However, high-quality down products from reputable brands are much more durable and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.


If you have allergies, you may want to opt for down over feathers. Feathers can be a source of allergens for some people, while down is hypoallergenic. This is because feathers can contain dander, dust, and other particles that can trigger an allergic reaction. If you suffer from allergies, it's important to choose hypoallergenic bedding products to ensure a good night's sleep.

Environment friendly

It's worth noting that down is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than feathers. Down is a byproduct of the meat industry and would otherwise be discarded if not used in bedding products. 

In contrast, feathers are often harvested solely for their use in bedding, contributing to animal cruelty and environmental waste. Choosing high-quality down products from reputable brands ensures that the down is ethically sourced and treated.

Ending Note

While feathers and down are both commonly used fill materials in bedding, down is often considered the superior option for its superior insulation, comfort, hypoallergenic properties, and sustainable sourcing. Keep in mind that choosing bedding products is a personal decision and there are pros and cons to both feathers and down. However, if you want to invest in a quality product that will last for many years and provide the ultimate comfort, down is definitely worth considering.

So go ahead, and treat yourself to a cozy, fluffy, and comfortable night's sleep with a luxurious down comforter or pillow. Your body and mind will thank you for it! So snuggle up, relax, and enjoy the fluffy goodness of down bedding!

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