How to Pick Between Foam Pillows and Feather Pillows

The type of pillow you sleep on can have a huge impact on the quality sleep you get and on how you feel when you wake up in the morning and a lot of people will fall into one of two categories of the pillow debate: foam pillows vs feather pillows.

Pillows help keep our heads in a proper position when we’re sleeping. That way, we can breathe easily and blood can effectively circulate. There are many different types of pillows, but some might be better for you than others.

In this guide, we’ll compare foam pillows vs feather pillows and discuss the main differences, advantages, disadvantages and functions of these popular pillow types so you can find one that suits your personal sleep needs perfectly. 

Foam Pillows vs Feather Pillows Comparison

A quality pillow can be a costly but worthy investment – if you choose the right one. There are many pillow types available on the market, but foam and feather pillows are some of the most popular types. The only way to see which one is best for you is to consider their functionality and the advantages they offer.

What Is a Foam Pillow?

down pillow vs memory foam

Foam pillows are pillows that are made from synthetic materials. There are many different types available, including upholstery foam pillows, and they can be made into different shapes to accommodate orthopedic needs. 

Types of Foam Pillows

There are quite a few different types of foam pillows on the market. These usually range from cheap foam pillows that easily flatten to quality foam pillows that can last up to 15 years. They also come in a variety of shapes with different levels of support. Here is a quick look at the main types:

  1. Memory Foam Pillows: These are the most sought-after foam pillow types. They are made from polyurethane and are available in many different shapes and can have low, medium or high density. These pillows conform to your natural body shape.
  2. Shredded Memory Foam Pillows: These pillows are made from polyurethane and are also considered adjustable pillows since you can increase or decrease the stuffing to make the pillow thicker or thinner. You can also rearrange the distribution of foam pieces to create whatever shape you need to sleep on. These pillows also return back to their original state when you get back up and they offer a lot of support.
  3. Latex Pillows: These pillows are made from rubber tree fibers. They are more affordable than memory foam pillows, sold in different shapes that might suit your sleeping position and they can last a while. However, they aren’t as durable as memory foam and will eventually flatten.

Foam Pillow Advantages

  • These pillows distribute your weight evenly which prevents tension in certain areas.
  • They are designed to assist with spinal alignment for proper posture.
  • They cradle your neck to reduce neck pain and prevent a stiff neck
  • If taken care of properly, they can last up to 20 years. 
  • They can naturally bounce back to their original shape.
  • They can mold into several different orthopedic shapes to suit your sleeping position.

Foam Pillow Disadvantages

  • Foam pillows can emit strange smells or VOC gasses when they are new.
  • The foam retains heat and can feel warm and sweaty in areas with warm climates.
  • These pillows tend to be heavy. 
  • They can be challenging to keep clean
  • These pillows can attract dust mites.

What Is a Feather Pillow?

foam pillows vs feather pillows

Feather pillows are made from natural materials, like feathers harvested from birds and waterfowl species like ducks or geese. These pillows are more traditional, but they are still incredibly popular because they offer so many benefits.

Types of Feather Pillows

Feather pillows are all made from natural feathers harvested from waterfowl. But, there are a few different types that you can choose from.

  1. Down Pillows: This type of feather pillow is made from the softest group of feathers of birds. The feathers usually come from the undercoat of a goose, duck or swan and are extremely soft and light. Down pillow types are cool, breathable, lightweight, offer good insulation and stay clump-free.
  2. Down and Feather Pillows: Down feathers and normal quill feathers are often combined in pillows in order to create a pillow with a higher density and a bit more weight. These pillows usually come in low, medium, and high-density form and the higher the pillow density is, the heavier it is and the more feather it contains. These soft pillows can offer a lot more support than down pillows, but they do contain feathers with quills that can sometimes poke through the fabric.
  3. Feather Pillows: These are mostly made from the wing and back feathers of geese and ducks. Feather pillows are soft, fluffy and they offer good neck support for longer periods of time due to their high density. 

Feather Pillow Advantages

  • These pillows are easy to wash at home.
  • The feathers are fluffy, light and breathable.
  • Feather pillows naturally regulate your body temperature to keep you cool or warm.
  • They offer good neck and head support.
  • This durable feather can last up to 10 years.
  • These pillows are not as likely to attract dust mites as synthetic pillows.
  • They are available in different density levels.
  • The feathers in these pillows don’t tend to clump together like shredded foam sometimes does.



Feather Pillow Disadvantages

  • You will need to fluff these pillows daily.
  • These are not suitable for those with allergies or asthma.
  • They tend to flatten out throughout the night and might not offer full-time support.
  • The feather quills in the pillows tend to poke through the fabric.

Bottom Line

In this foam pillows vs feather pillows guide, it has become quite clear that both of these pillow types can be a very good sleep investment. They both offer some good qualities to help you stay more comfortable and enhance your sleep. In short, it all comes down to personal preference.

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