Okay, so how much of a feather down pillow is feather and how much is down? That is an excellent question that makes a significant difference in the feel and durability of the pillow selected. One-hundred percent feather pillows are heavier than down ones and will not last as long. They will need to be fluffed up at night but can also be folded to provide support between the knees, under the neck and shoulders, or behind the back.
Down is made of clusters that have had all the large feathers removed. This material is lighter, softer, and will retain shape. One-hundred percent down pillows are made in three levels of quality noted by a fill power number. Most goose feather down pillows are made of seventy-five percent feathers and twenty-five percent down. The small percentage of down keeps the feathers from going completely flat and staying that way.
Feather pillows are offered in soft, medium, firm, and extra-firm just like regular pillows but will last much longer than regular and cheap pillows. The initial price is higher, but the pillow will remain at the desired firmness for years. Quality manufacturers of feather and down pillows offer a ten-year guarantee with each purchase which makes these pillows more cost-effective than the cheap ones that require frequent replacement.
Why Goose and Not Duck?
There is a distinct difference between goose and duck down. The first is size of clusters. Goose down is from older and larger geese which naturally makes clusters larger. They also tend to be softer because there are more outer feathers to protect the clusters.
Ducks do not grow to be the size of geese so there are more clusters needed to make a pillow. This means that there is more separation between those clusters. The result is deeper indentations and less support.
Duck down creates more odor issues than goose down so those pillows need to be refreshed more often. Refreshing a down pillow requires being put into a dryer on low heat or hanging on an outdoor clothesline. It is not complicated maintenance, but the frequency has a substantial impact on the longevity of the pillow.