Finding the Right Down Pillow

A fine down pillow consists of high quality down and natural feathers, mixed together at various ratios depending on the intended firmness of the pillow. Feathers are heavier and bulkier, while down is softer and lighter. Therefore, a pillow predominantly filled with down will be light and airy while one filled with feathers will be firmer.

Since it optimally relaxes the neck muscles and spine, the right pillow supports the nocturnal regeneration of these parts. If inadequate, tensions in the area and headaches are extremely likely. With the right pillow, you will sleep more soundly and feel way better in the morning.

Explore our full range of duck and goose down pillows here!

Choose Your Pillow Size

Just as with duvets, luxurious down pillows come in different sizes. The three main sizes are Standard, King (or Super King) and Square.

German Down Pillows

Standard (50 x 75cm)

The standard pillow fits double and single beds. As the name suggests, our standard-size pillows are the shape and size you are probably most familiar with. However the standard changes in every country: in the UK it is 50 x 75 cm or 20 x 30" but in Sweden it is 50 cm x 60 cm or 48 cm x 73 cm in Australia.

Explore our range of Standard Pillows.

King or Super King (50 x 90 cm)

This pillow is made for beds larger than the double, be it a King, Super King or Emperor size bed. They are a little wider to ensure there are no large gaps at the head of your bed. Our king size down pillow range has been designed exactly for this purpose and can be customised with your choice of down and feather filling.

Explore our range of King Size Pillows.

Square (65 x 65 cm)

Gorgeous, distinctive, and elegant, our square pillows will bring a decorative touch to your bedroom. Designed for use while sitting or relaxing, these bold pieces are the perfect finishing touch for your bed. Though not specifically designed for sleeping, a luxurious bed is incomplete without square pillows.

Explore our range of Square Pillows.

Down Pillow Size Table
Metric (cm) Imperial (inches)
Standard 50 x 75 20 x 30
King 50 x 90 20 x 36
Square 65 x 65 26 x 26

What kind of sleeper are you?

Girl with down and feathers in her hair holding a down pillow to her chest

It is essential to choose a pillow which complements your sleeping position. The significance of this may not be obvious at first, but rest assured it will pay off in a better night's sleep and in healthier joints. For each posture there is an ideal type of pillow. With a suitable pillow you achieve good head-neck alignment, which means that the neck and vertebrae form a straight line. Thus, the neck is relieved from straining and pressure amounting to better and above all, healthier sleep. You will find below the different sleeping profiles and what is best advised in regards to each.

The Stomach Sleeper

The stomach sleeper needs a thin and malleable pillow. Those who sleep on their stomach generally hold a pillow in their arms, sleeping partially on their arms and partially on the pillow itself. To get the most comfort from a pillow, we advise stomach sleepers to choose pillows with as much down as possible. We consider 70% down would be a minimum. However, we recommend pillows with 80% or 90% down.

The Side Sleeper

The side sleeper needs the thickest and usually most firm pillow to sleep comfortably. This is because the side sleeper rests with the largest distance between their head and the mattress –the entire width of their shoulder. Thus, side sleepers need a pillow with less down and more feathers that offers a lot of support. We recommend pillows made up of at least 60% feather and 40% down or less.

The Back Sleeper

For those who sleep on their backs, the ideal pillow holds a balance between thick and firm. We recommend a pillow which is equal parts down and feathers. If you prefer a softer pillow, try one which is 60% down and 40% feather. If firmness is your thing, reverse that ratio and get a pillow which is 60% feather and 40% down.

Pay attention to individual differences

Use this advice for guidance but trust your instinct as well: the aim is to adapt both to your sleeping position and personal taste. Every person needs different support from his pillow. Causes for this are physical differences in shoulder width, spine position or head circumference. Therefore, two people that sleep in the same position might be assigned different pillows.

Anti-Allergy Pillows

We understand that many individuals suffer from a dust-mites allergy. This is why we offer a large selection of anti-allergy pillows that carry the NOMITE quality mark, in goose or duck down for each kind of sleeper. For other kinds of allergies or if you are unsure, please consult a specialist and reach out to our customer service team that will provide you with a tailor-made recommendation.

What is better, down or feathers?

A premium down pillow consists of high quality down and natural feathers, mixed together at various ratios depending on the intended firmness of the pillow. Therefore in any case, the question revolves around the ratio of goose or duck down to feathers.

The answer is better understood in the context of “what goal do you wish to achieve?” For a soft and malleable pillow, a bigger amount of down is required. For a firm pillow, feathers provide the necessary support and thickness. Thus, with down pillows, your preference primarily determines the answer to that question.

Bulk density and fill power

In addition to the ratio of feathers and down present in the pillow, there are two other metrics to take into account when choosing a down pillow.

One is the amount of filling that has been used to make the pillow. Indeed, imagine if a pillow was filled with a handful of feathers, versus filled to the point it was hard to sew shut. One would be quite soft and flat, the other very firm and plump. This is the bulk density of the pillow. Softer pillows therefore have a lower bulk density because they usually have a higher down percentage and down is lighter than feathers. As the percentage of down in the pillow increases, the fill weight of the pillow decreases.

Second we have fill power: It determines how much air the filling retains, how much it expands and presses against the fabric shell. This plays a role in how much the corresponding pillow supports your head, especially in the case of down. Indeed pillows with a high down percentage will be very plump but once you rest your head on them they will provide a “sinking” sensation and offer soft support. Firmer pillows have a higher bulk density because they carry a higher proportion of feathers, thus they have a lower fill power and tend to keep their shape.

Custom Down Pillows - Choose your Size and Filling

If you are looking for a special pillow size, then you will be pleased that Dickenbergh and Falkenreck also offer custom sizes according to your personal wishes. You can change both the amount of filling and the size and shape of the down pillow. Regarding the dimensions, all technically feasible sizes are available to you but we recommend getting in contact with our customer service for more information.

Costs for special sizes

There are no standard additional costs associated with special sizes requests. However please note that the price of the down pillow is calculated according to the additional material required (filling and cover) and will be calculated and communicated to you in advance.

Delivery times for special sizes

A custom down pillow is an individually manufactured product, therefore the delivery time may differ from the standard delivery time. We will inform you about the delivery time personally after we have received your order.

Ordering a special size

Since a special size is made to order, we would like to personally advise you. We are at your disposition via email and phone at info@downduvet.co.uk or 020 3129 5731.

The lifespan of a down pillow

The lifespan of a down pillow depends on several factors, namely the filling ratio between feathers and down, wear and tear and your standard sleeping position. Here is some advice about how to best care and maintain your down pillow.

Stress on the pillow

Down pillows are designed for the night time support of the head. Heavier loads apply more pressure on the down and thus reduce the fill power the down and feathers much faster over time. This leads to the flattening of the pillow. This is arguably less of an issue than with a down duvet: since the cushion does not have a warming function, the loss of filling power merely means less support from your down pillow.

Relationship between feathers and down

The ratio between feathers and down affects the loss of fill power over time when exposed to pressure. Although down has a higher filling power than feathers, due to the more firm structure of feathers, feather filled pillows maintain their original support longer.

Wash & Care

To maintain a fresh pillow, please see the care tips for goose and duck down pillows.

Support level

The goal of a down pillow is to provide your neck with support to enjoy regenerating sleep. For this reason, adapting the pillow to your sleeping position is very helpful. The natural loss of filling power causes the support the pillow provides to decrease over time. If you witness a significant decrease of sleep quality, then we recommend swapping it for a new model. This may be more noticeable for some sleepers than others, for example in the case of abdominal sleepers. Since the recommended pillow is initially quite flat, it may not need to be replaced for a long time, unlike side-sleepers who require a high level of support.


For more information on any of the products featured on our website, get in touch with our customer care team at info@downduvet.co.uk or 020 3129 5731.

Pillow Collection

We hold a collection of Dickenbergh, Falkenreck, Kauffmann, Otto Keller and Bielefelder pillows. Or explore our full range of duck and goose down pillows here!