At Down And Feather Company we realize not everyone is going to purchase their pillows from us. However, we do realize how personal pillows are and truly wish everyone would sleep better. So we figure if everyone understood the difference between a feather pillow and a down pillow a "feather" and a "down cluster" and how feather pillows and down pillows and even feather and down pillows are different everyone would sleep well.
Down clusters are round and spherical as seen on the left. They look like the head of a dandelion, and depending on the quality of the down, are almost the same size. This 850 fill power Hungarian down cluster is the size of a US quarter.
This natural spherical shape is what gives a down pillow, down comforter, or down feather bed its loft. The loft comes from the down cluster constantly wanting to return to its naturally round shape. The more Hungarian down clusters you use to fill a pillow, known as fill weight and usually represented in ounces, the firmer the pillow will be.
Everyone knows what a feather looks like but this goose down feather is smaller than a US quarter . Goose down feathers are soft even though they have a spine down the center, called a quill, with hair like strands radiating from the quill like a sail or filament. Feathers, depending on the bird, help the bird fly, keep warm, and stay dry (so don't wash a feather pillow).
But when feathers are 'stuffed' into a pillow shell, over time, the quills start to align with each other and tend to lay flat. The effect on your pillow is that it too becomes flat. To combat this flattening of the pillow due to the aligning of the feathers, some companies add down clusters to keep the feathers from compacting and the feather pillow becoming hard.
The rule of thumb is "the higher the fill power the higher the quality," so 850 fill power is the finest and most consistent down fill available in the world. HOWEVER,
All of these elements and many more impact the quality of given a fill power from a given bird from a given region.
The higher the fill power the larger the down cluster, the larger the down cluster the higher the quality, the higher the quality the longer it will last and the higher it will loft and the more air it will trap therefore sleeping warmer.
Remember, the higher the fill power the higher the quality, but that does not mean that 650 or 750 fill power down fills are of inferior quality. 650, 750 and 850 fill power down clusters are considered premium quality down fills and anything less than 650 is typically considered commercial quality. Commercial quality down is typically used to fill furniture and stuffed toys for children.
In addition to the larger down cluster being of higher quality it also came from a older bird. The smaller down clusters (650 fill power down cluster) come from smaller, less mature birds. It's all about supply and demand. 850 fill power down clusters are more expensive because there are fewer of them and most everyone wants only the finest quality. But keeping the bird alive long enough, many years, to produce such high quality is expensive, time consuming, and labor intensive.
Look for companies that specifically mention their treatment of the birds if you are concerned about how they acquire their down. We hand-harvest all the down from the animals during the molting season and all birds molt regardless of age. Birds, like all animals, eventually die but there are always more young birds than older birds molting and producing down so 650 fill power down clusters are less expensive and always in good supply.
Considered by many the finest most luxurious fill in the world. 850 fill power Hungarian white goose down clusters are larger than a US quarter in size. Their enormous size and three-dimensional spherical shape make them the most resilient and longest-lasting down cluster. This largest of the down clusters is ideal for its ability to insulate when used in a down comforter or be resilient when used for our heirloom quality luxury down pillows and luxurious down mattress toppers. The best 850 fill power down pillows.
This excellent quality Hungarian white goose down cluster can never be considered a compromise. It is much larger than a 650 fill power down cluster and therefore higher quality. It is also cleaned using a multistep process to ensure the down can reach its maximum loft, meaning it will be more resilient and longer-lasting than a 650 fill power down cluster. The best 750 fill power down pillows.
All natural and cleaned with soap and water to ensure it reaches it maximum loft, don’t let its smaller cluster size fool you. Allergen free and guaranteed hypo-allergenic. A resilient and versatile fill great for pillows, comforters, and down mattress toppers. The best 650 fill power down pillows.
Down pillows, as you might expect, can be very soft but just how soft is largely determined by the design and fill weight of the pillow. Fill weight is the number of ounces used to fill the pillow for a given density; soft, medium, firm or extra firm. The issue isn't the down cluster which as you might expect is very soft and very light but the shell they are stuffed into will greatly impact your pillows softness. Gusseted pillows typically sleep much softer and require more down for a given density level.
Why does my pillow go flat and turn yellow? There are three things that destroy the feathers and down contained within your pillow.
Your pillows may not last forever but lasting decades is not out of the question.