People who love snuggling up to their pillow are big fans of down. Down pillows tend to be very soft, although down in combination with other fill, such as other feathers, can provide more firmness. This makes down pillows popular and comfortable for all sleeping positions, even for stomach sleepers, who tend to like pillows that are more moldable.
Among down pillows there are few that get the kind of high praise that we see with the Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow (Est. $160 to $180 for a set of two). Often described as like "sleeping on a cloud," this down pillow is well-stuffed with 100 percent down and features a soft, 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton cover. This down pillow has a very high owner satisfaction rating on SleepLiketheDead.com. Users posting at retail review sites say it's very comfortable, yet also supportive thanks to its generous fill, which makes it a great choice for back, side or stomach sleepers. In fact, the manufacturer describes it as "firm," although it's not as firm as, for example, a memory foam pillow. You do need to fluff the pillow occasionally to help it keep its loft, and it is dry clean only.
Even though it's rather pricey, the Royal Hotel Good Down Pillow is reported to be very durable. We saw some comments that, while the buyer initially balked at the price, they would have paid twice as much because it turned out to be so satisfying to use. While this goose down pillow does not include a formal warranty, customer service gets good reviews for responsive service. It comes in king and standard sizes.
As we noted previously, down pillows are popular with stomach sleepers, and one popular option that targets this preference is the Exceptional Sheets Stomach Sleeper. It gets panned by some for being too squishy, but that's what most stomach sleepers like about it. Quite a few other reviewers say they like it because they can use it comfortably in a chair while sitting up as it doesn't push the head too far forward. It comes in standard, queen, king and travel sizes.
The down in both the Royal Hotel and the Exceptional Sheets pillows is described as hypoallergenic, but if you're sensitive to feathers you may want to be careful about purchasing any down pillow. For those who are very sensitive to this type of stuffing, we recommend taking a look at the Five Star Down Alternative Pillow (Est. $25 to $40). Filled with a fiber-based, hypoallergenic fill, this pillow is quite a bit less expensive than down, but gets equally good reviews for comfort. The fill is encased in a 100 percent cotton cover and the pillow is machine-washable. It comes in standard, queen and king sizes.
Unlike many down-alternative pillows, the fill in the Five Star pillow gets good reviews for not clumping or flattening, even after several months of use. Reviewers say if the pillow starts to go flat, just give it a good shake or stick it in the dryer for a few minutes and that should take care of the problem. Although most are happy, there are users who say that the Five Star pillow is simply too soft and squishy for them.
Another well-reviewed choice in down alternative pillows is the Premier Down-like Personal Choice (Est. $30 for 2). It's a runner up (although named as best for back sleepers) at TheSweethome.com, and is beloved by thousands of user reviewers as well. Experts and owners both say it's a terrific value, especially for two pillows, and it comes in three firmness options, soft, medium and firm. Many owners say it's the most comfortable pillow they've ever owned, and quite a number note that the pillow has held up well, even over several years of use and numerous washings.