How Long Do Down Pillows Last?

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A Down pillow is known for its softness, warmth, and reliability. Made from the soft underbelly of swans, ducks, and geese, and should not be confused with feather pillows which are made from wing feathers. Down pillows can be costly, and it’s important to maintain them. In this blog post, we will primarily discuss how long a Down Pillow will last.

A Down Pillow will last from five to ten years on average since it has a durable and washable fill. Washing a Down pillow once every six months with a mild detergent is recommended for increasing its life. It’s also important to fluff it regularly after washing, as this will help maintain its loft and shape.

We will also discuss how to care for Down pillows when you are in the process of owning one.

When Should You Replace Down Pillows?


When a Down pillow starts to sag, it is time to replace the old one. A sagging pillow will offer little support and can hurt more than helping you when sleeping on your back or stomach.

To find out if you should replace your Down Pillow, place your fluffed pillow on a hard and flat surface. Fold the pillow in half and press out all of the air. Release the pillow, and wait to see if it unfolds and returns to its normal fluffy form.

If your down pillow remains folded and does not quickly regain its original form, it is time to replace it and invest in a new one.

Keep your down and feather pillows clean by using a pillow cover and washing them on a regular basis to get the most use out of them. They can give exceptional comfort and support for up to 10 years if properly cared for.

Factors Affecting How Long Down Pillows Last

There are a number of factors that can affect the lifespan and quality of your down or feather pillow:

Excess Moisture

Excess moisture, humidity, and heat in your bedroom will cause your pillows to break down much faster than normal. Ensure you keep both your bedroom and sleep environment dry using an air conditioner, dehumidifier, or radiator.

Excess Heat and Humidity

Down pillows will break down faster if exposed to excess heat and humidity in the air. If you live somewhere hot with high levels of moisture particles, it’s best to invest in a pillow protector for both your down and feather pillows as they are more sensitive to these factors.

Sweat and Hair

If you sweat a lot, it’s best to invest in pillow protectors and wash your down pillows more often as they can hold on to the moisture. You should also clean your hair before going to sleep so that it doesn’t fall into the pillowcase, which will attract dirt particles over time.

Laundry Detergent

Ensure that the laundry detergent you use to wash your pillows is mild and free of any bleach.

Over-fluffing Your Pillow

It’s important not to over fluff or breaks down feathers when you’re changing your pillowcase. Try to only fluff up the feathers a little bit when you change out your case and avoid breaking down or damaging them in any way.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Down Pillow

Here are a few factors that can affect the lifespan of a down pillow:

Age and Quality of Fill

Refilling your pillows after they have become flat can affect their lifespan as well. If you find yourself refilling them often, it’s likely time to invest in new ones or at least purchase pillow covers for protection.

Pillow Size, Style, and Type

The size of your pillow will affect its lifespan or if it becomes flat. And this goes for all pillows, including down feather ones. Make sure that you invest in the exact size needed to fit your bed well so that they don’t sag over time due to their lack of support.

Down and feather pillows come in a variety of shapes, styles, and types. It’s important to choose the right pillow for your individual needs as this will affect its lifespan drastically.

Regularly Fluffing Your Pillow

It is also recommended that you regularly fluff up your down or feather pillows to prevent them from getting too flat. Just like with other pillows, it’s important to keep them fluffy and supportive instead of flat as this will cause the fill inside to break down faster than usual.

Folding Down Pillow or Storing Them Flat

If you want your pillow to last longer, avoid folding it up when not in use because doing so can damage its fill and make it flat. Store them in a pillowcase or other storage unit instead of folding them up for protection from damage.

It’s best to store your down pillows somewhere dry when not using them so that they can retain their quality, shape, and fluffiness over time. Make sure you carefully choose the right location to avoid excess moisture, humidity, and heat which could speed up the breakdown process.

Down Pillows and Mold and Mildew

Down pillows are very sensitive to mold and mildew, so it’s important to ensure that they are properly taken care of in order for them to last longer. This means not leaving your pillow out when you’re not using it or exposing it to damp conditions.

To get rid of any mold or mildew that may have formed on your down pillow, it’s best to gently clean them with a little bit of water and mild shampoo before leaving them out in the sun for at least an hour.

Down pillows should be completely dry when you put them back into storage. Avoid getting them wet as this will cause mold or mildew to form again.

If you use pillow protectors on down pillows and beneath pillowcases, you won’t need to wash the pillows as frequently, allowing you to just wash the coverings.

Down Pillows and Odour

Down or feather blend pillows have a distinct natural odor. Manufacturers use techniques to remove this odor, but it might return again after a while.

It is important to first understand that the odd unpleasant smell is due to the residual oils of the down fill or the tiny feathers being exposed to prolonged dampness and/or heat. Duck fill will be more susceptible to odors as it is naturally more greasy.

To get rid of any unpleasant odors on your down pillows, simply wash them with about a teaspoon of degreaser soap and dry them through 2-3 drying cycles. Additionally, sun-drying these pillows will help remove any remaining odors. You may also add a dryer sheet into your pillowcase to help get rid of any loose odors.

Any smell that persists after washing your pillows is likely due to bacteria or mildew. For this, you can dry the pillow in a low heat setting through several drying cycles with no soap until you are sure that they are completely clean and sanitized.

Getting Rid of Old Down Pillows

At some point, down pillows need to be replaced. Once they begin losing their fill or are flat, the support that you get from your pillow will become subpar.

To get rid of old down pillows, you can recycle or compost them(feathers are bio-degradable). You can also find a local charity that accepts secondhand goods. Most charities do not accept used bedding because of the potential for pests and bacteria lurking within them if you want to be extra safe and clean before donating old down or feather-filled pillows.

If your pillow is no longer usable as a sleeping aid but still has good shape and support, consider reusing it as a couch cushion or decoration for around the house.

Final Thoughts

Down pillows last a long time. With proper care and maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy your down pillow for many years without any issues. It’s important to keep in mind how often you should wash them as well as what type of detergent you use on the material.

The most common issue faced with these types of pillows is mold growth due to improper storage or lack of airflow within an enclosed space. Make sure when storing away your pillows in a dry area.

Finally, be sure you’re using a pillow protector to prevent dust and dirt from getting into your down pillows.

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