Top 5 Myths About Down Pillows Busted

Down and feathers are among the most comfortable fill material for pillows. Because of the level of comfort they offer, they are admired by high-end buyers. However, the market is rife with competing products, which always have to remain in down’s shadow. To reduce the popularity of down pillows, and to promote their own products, many retailers and pillow manufacturers have spread a lot of misinformation about the down pillows. Today, we are going to bust top 6 down pillow myths.


Myth 1: Feathers Cause Allergy

How do you sell a hypoallergenic product? You call every other product in the market an allergen.

Manufacturers of hypoallergenic pillows love to sell the idea that every other pillow in the universe has some or the other allergenic property and only their product causes absolutely no allergies in users. But, the truth is far from it. Experts at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center state that side-by-side comparison between down pillows and the so-called anti-allergy pillows show that the anti-allergy pillows actually cause more allergic reactions than the goose down pillows. Myth busted.

Feather is processed in a very safe manner, and is a natural protector of birds. It has absolutely no allergenic properties. However, pillows can cause allergic reactions. But, it is not the down that triggers the allergic reaction. The pores in the pillow cover are a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and even fungus. With use, these pillow covers are smeared with the oil released by our skin. The oil attracts even more microbes. Altogether, this becomes a big recipe for allergic reactions. This is true even for the supposedly anti-allergic pillows. If you don’t want to suffer allergic reactions, then wash the down pillows regularly. That’s all.


Myth 2: Birds Are Hurt for Their Down

To be honest, there was a time many decades ago, when birds were hurt cruelly for their down. Sometimes, they were hunted, and some other times, they had their down plucked in the most painful manner. But, that was before the animal protection regulations were passed. Today animal cruelty is banned in all forms, and this applies to the manufacturers of down pillows as well.

Today, down is obtained from the birds in primarily two ways – gathering, and as a by-product of the meat industry. Birds’ feathers undergo a phenomenon called molting, wherein the birds shed their feathers after they become ripe. When the feathers are molting, they are combed softly without hurting the birds in any way. Then the birds naturally grow a fresh crop of feathers.

The other method of obtaining the feathers is from the meat industry. There is a worldwide demand for bird meat. Once the meat is separated, the feathers are just a waste. However, the demand for feathers is nowhere as much as the demand for bird meat. Therefore, the best of the feathers are picked from the lot obtained from the meat industry. Here too, no birds are killed or hurt specifically for the down industry.


Myth 3: Down Pillows Trap Heat, Making them Uncomfortable at Nighttime

This is a half-truth. The myth is laced with some truth to make it sound genuine, but is inaccurate on the whole.

The truth part of this myth is that down does trap a lot of heat. That’s how they keep you warm through the winter, even when the temperatures are hitting -10, -20 degrees. They are excellent insulating material. That is why they are the preferred fill material for a variety of products. Everything from goose down duvets to down jackets are in great demand specifically because they trap your body heat and keep you warm.

However, goose down has another amazing property – aeration. Here’s how this works. The quality of down is measured in terms of fill power. The higher the fill power, the less it clumps and the more aeration properties it has. So, whenever people want the best quality down products, they go for super high quality down products like Hungarian goose down duvets or Canadian goose down jackets. Goose down such as the Hungarian goose down, Canadian goose down, Siberian goose down, etc. have remarkably high fill power, which means that they have the best aeration properties. If you want a goose down pillow that you can use even during summers, then you need to purchase one that has a fill material with high fill power.


Myth 4: Siberian Goose Down Pillows are the Best

This is the biggest misconception that people have about goose down in general. The rationale goes that the colder the region from where the goose down is sourced, the better is its quality. As Siberia is bone-chillingly cold, Siberian goose down must be the best, right? Well, guess what? There is nothing called Siberian goose or Siberian goose down.

What you think is Siberian goose down is just goose down obtained from regular geese and duck in China. That’s right. Siberian goose down comes from China. And if you are thinking – maybe the geese are from Siberia and the plucking happens in China, well, that’s not true either. Siberia is practically so cold that all birds, including the geese simply migrate out of it during the winter. Thus, they don’t have to grow a better quality down. Also, in colder regions, the birds simply grow more down, and not better quality down.

There are many factors at work that have a bearing on the quality of a bird’s down. The temperature of their habitat is not one of them. If you are looking for the best quality down, then it comes from Hungary and Canada.


Myth 5: Goose Down Pillows Are Super-expensive

Fact first. Goose down pillows are fairly expensive. There are two types of costs involved here. Firstly, it is not easy to procure good quality goose down. Anything which is difficult to procure is costly by design. Secondly, the product demands high branding and marketing costs. Add the two and you have got yourself a product that is beyond the budget of most people. That is, unless you know where to find superb quality goose down pillows at inexpensive prices. For instance, Diamond Bedding has some exceptional quality down pillows. But, the absence of branding and marketing costs means that these products are available at incredibly low prices by down pillow standards.