Also referred to as feather beds, a feather mattress topper is a good choice for someone who is looking for added cushioning rather than supplemental support. These mattress toppers are available in a variety of combinations, primarily feathers and/or down from geese or ducks. While they don't keep their shape as well as memory or latex foam, they are usually cheaper than the foam options and could be a good fit for someone who likes to feel cozy and enveloped while they sleep.
A feather mattress topper offers a lot in the way of comfort, as the various feather blends conform to and hug the body, but this softness doesn't come with much support. Those who have a soft mattress or suffer from joint or muscle pain may find that an extremely soft feather topper isn't the best choice. For those who already have a firm mattress, a feather topper will add some much-needed cushioning, while not detracting from the support already offered by the mattress.
Feather mattress toppers breathe easily, and the natural materials help keep the body cool and dry in the summer, while providing some additional warmth in the winter. The enveloping of a feather topper also helps to minimize tossing and turning, making nights less disturbing for sleeping partners. There are several hypoallergenic options available, and the feather and down filling are usually securely encased within a cotton cover that prevents spillage, but those with severe feather allergies should still be cautious. Feather mattress toppers do not naturally resist dust mites, but if this is a concern, there are allergy-proof covers available and certain brands, like Pacific Coast, offer feather mattress toppers that are backed by the Allergy Free Warranty due to their thorough cleaning of the feather and down filler.
Feather mattress toppers are highly durable and should last for many years. They tend to flatten easily when laid on, which also causes clumps to appear where no one is laying, so they need to be shaken out and fluffed every once in awhile. Feather and down pillow tops are available with either baffled channels or boxes (stitched sections to prevent the filling from shifting), which alleviates some of the bunching and provides a more even sleep surface. Cleaning a feather topper is easy, with most being dry-clean only, though there are some available that are machine washable.
There are feather mattress toppers available for all mattress sizes, and standard queen-sized ones range in price from $40 to $400. They are available in a variety of thicknesses and with several options, such as baffling or a high thread count on the cotton cover, which will affect the cost. Pacific Coast manufactures a feather mattress topper ideal for allergy sufferers for around $150. Pinzon has feather toppers for $50 to $75 with options like being filled with a down alternative that is anti-microbial and baffling to prevent the filling from bunching.