Pillowtalk: What Are Down Alternative Pillows?

Wondering What Are Down Alternative Pillows? First off, I’m proud of you for asking this question! As The Sewing Nerd, I sleep, dream, eat and live pillows. Okay maybe that’s a little dramatic, but seriously, name a type of pillow and I’ve probably made it, and I believe every space can be elevated by a couple of beautiful pillows! However, what I gather from your question is that you also understand there is more to a pillow than a cute fabric cover—there’s the whole inside! 

Not all filler (whether it’s stuffing or foam), like fabric, is created equal. Determining the job your pillow will perform and the space it will fill are important questions to ask yourself before investing in quality pillows. If you are unsure what type of filler is best for you, contact me and I’ll help ya out :).

So let’s get down to business—what are down alternative pillows?

Down vs. Down Alternative Pillows

Down Pillows

  • Sourced from the undercoat of waterfowl
  • Feels lightweight and fluffy
  • Known for breathability and durability 

Down pillows are like little fluffy clouds on your head. Filled with soft, insulating down feathers, these pillows provide luxurious comfort and support. The down clusters create a light and airy feel, making it perfect for those who enjoy a softer, sink-in sensation. Plus, they’re excellent at regulating temperature, keeping you cozy in winter and cool in summer. With a down pillow, you’ll wake up feeling like you’ve been cradled by a flock of marshmallow-loving angels.

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Down and Feather Pillows

  • A harmonious blend of down and feathers
  • Plump and fluffy look and feel

Now, let’s talk about down and feather pillows—nature’s perfect partnership! Combining the best of both worlds, these pillows offer a harmonious blend of down and feathers. The down provides fluffiness and dreamy softness, while the feathers add a touch of extra support. It’s like having a sleepover with the down and feathers, where the down brings the charm and the feathers bring the backup. Together, they create a pillow that’s delightfully plump and oh-so-cozy. It’s like snuggling up with a downy, feathery friend who always has your back, or in this case, your head.

Down Alternative Pillows

  • Usually made from synthetic polyester material
  • Simulates the soft, pillowy feeling of down
  • Hypoallergenic and easy to clean

Now, let’s explore the world of down alternative pillows. These pillows are like the cool cousins of the down family. Instead of feathers, they’re filled with synthetic materials, such as microfiber or polyester, designed to mimic the softness and loft of down. They offer a hypoallergenic alternative for those who may have allergies or prefer a cruelty-free option. While they may not have the exact same cloud-like feel as down, they still provide a plush and supportive sleeping experience. So, if you want a guilt-free snuggle without sacrificing comfort, down alternative pillows are here to save the day (and your sinuses!).

What Are Down Alternative Pillows, and Are They the Best Option?

When it comes to the best option, it really depends on what you are looking for in a pillow. Here are my recommendations, although contact me with any questions about filling for your customized pillows. I can make any kind of pillow, so let’s start designing together!

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Allergies—Down Alternative.

If your kiddos or you experience bad allergies, then a down alternative is the best option! Unlike down pillows, which can trigger allergies due to dust mites or feathers, down alternative pillows are hypoallergenic and will keep the sneezes at bay.


As long as down pillows and duvets are fluffed often and well-taken care of, they can last for years. Traditional down filling is more durable than its synthetic counterpart!


Down fill is known for being light and breathable! Faux materials add extra weight to attain similar insulation levels as down, so down is the lighter and cooler option.

Cleaning—Down Alternative.

While down pillows and duvets should be dry cleaned, down alternative pillows are machine washable, making them easy to clean. If you’re looking for low-maintenance, here’s your option, momma.

Cost—Down Alternative.

Keep in mind, down sourced from real wildfowl, making it more costly.

Vegan—Down Alternative.

For some, vegan bedding is very important. If this is you, then down alternative pillows are the right choice because they are sourced from synthetic polyester materials as opposed to animal feathers. 

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