Feather or down? The decision is simple, really.

What is the difference between feather and down? Here's what you need to know.

Choosing pillows and duvet inners can be so confusing. There are so many products available in stores and online, and then there is the age-old question: feather or down?

So what exactly is the difference?

Down and feathers come from the same place – a duck or a goose. The difference between the two is the part of the body that they come from. Feathers are from the wings or back of the bird while down is the fluffy coating found underneath the feathers, generally on the underbelly or the breast of the bird.

Feathers are denser and therefore a feather pillow is heavier than a down pillow. Down is malleable and soft and traps air making it a wonderful insulator. Down pillows are also much softer than feather pillows. But ultimately, both feather and down pillows offer good neck support unlike other synthetic pillows.

Keep the following in mind when buying feather or down pillows or duvet inners:

Know your size
It is important to know your preferred pillow and duvet inner sizes and also the thickness or weight of your pillows and duvet inner.  Do you prefer a heavy or light duvet?

Smell the product
Yes, this might sound weird, but down and feathers need to be sterilized therefore should not smell at all.

Feel the product
Do you feel feathers, as opposed to down, through the casing?  If you feel feather quills, the down might be mixed with chicken or other feathers to ‘bulk’ out the product.  A good quality down product should state what the feather/down percentage is

Examine the outer casing
Good quality casings will not ‘leak’ feathers or down as they are tightly woven and smooth.

It’s better for your skin
Down is a natural fibre so it is better for your skin and breathes better making it better for sleep as apposed to synthetic materials

No lumps
Down and Feather don’t bunch up and don’t become lumpy unlike other fillings

Keep it dry
You can wash down pillows and duvets but it is essential to ensure that they are completely dry before use. (Do not sleep with wet hair on a down pillow)

Buy ethically sourced down and feather products
Look for the certification on the products.  These can be found on the labels, as certificates on the shop walls, or on the website.  Only products which carry certification are guaranteed ‘cruelty free’.

Need more info? Simply get in touch with the experts at Linen Drawer. Swing by your closest store or send an email to

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