The primary difference between ordinary feather pillows and down feather pillows is that the classic ones are composed of 75% feathers and just 25% down, while goose down pillows contain only clusters of the lighter, softer, and longer-lasting down. Manufacturing these down pillows requires that all the larger feathers be separated out. This helps to prevent feathers from poking out at inopportune times, which is not uncommon when using classic feather pillows.
The quality of goose down pillows is determined by how many down clusters are used to make them. Quality is measured in fill power. They are available in 600, 700 and 850 fill power and can be purchased in a variety of levels of firmness ranging from soft to extra firm.
Choosing a Firmness
The firmness of a down pillow will depend on its fill power. Choosing the right one is primarily a matter of knowing how readers sleep and understanding how the pillows are traditionally used.
Firm and extra firm pillows are very dense, which makes them perfect for side sleepers with broad shoulders. The goal when choosing a pillow is for readers to keep their spines at a straight angle while they’re sleeping, so they should take into account both the firmness of their beds and the broadness of their shoulders as well. The perfect pillow will fill the gap between the crowns of their shoulders and their ears.
Stomach sleepers usually prefer softer pillows. These provide head and neck support without dramatically altering sleepers’ spine angles. Those who have exceptionally soft beds featuring pillow top or quilted mattresses should go for soft to medium pillows for maximum spine support.
Back sleepers should consider where they rest their heads on their pillows so that they can purchase one that will offer the right amount of support. Those who sleep with their pillows directly under their necks and spines should go for a medium firmness, while those who place their heads near the edge of their pillows should choose a softer one. As with side and stomach sleepers, back sleepers often find that the firmness of their mattresses has a direct impact on how firm their pillows should be.