The Best Down Alternative Pillows for Every Sleeping Position

Our favorite is Slumber Cloud's Core Down Alternative Pillow

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Commerce Photo Composite

The Spruce / Amelia Manley

If you’re on the hunt for a new pillow, down alternative pillows are a popular choice thanks to their hypoallergenic design and affordable price point. However, there are still hundreds of different products to choose from.

“There is no one size fits all when choosing the right pillow for you; the key is to determine which is best suited for you,” explains Dr. Peter Polos, MD, PhD, a sleep medicine expert. “Down alternatives typically are hypoallergenic. These pillows can come in varying firmness, which is purely a personal decision. The firmer, the more fill, and the thicker the pillow.” After countless hours of research, our top pick is Slumber Cloud's Core Down Alternative Pillow, which is a high-quality option that’s designed to mimic the warmth and loftiness of down.

Here are the best down alternative pillows to bring home.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall : Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

4.8
Slumbercloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

Slumbercloud

What We Like
  • Different densities available

  • 60-night trial period

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Not firm enough for some people

For a high-quality pillow that will last you years, the Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow is worth your consideration. It comes in both standard and king sizes, and it’s filled with a hypoallergenic fiber fill that’s designed to mimic the warmth and fluffiness of down. The pillow is covered with a 300 thread count, 100 percent cotton shell for optimal comfort through the night.

This down-alternative pillow comes in two densities to suit your sleep style and preferences. Our tester noticed that they slept on their back and side more when using this pillow, minimizing stress on their neck. The brand also boasts NASA-approved cooling technology designed to fight off heat night after night. This definitely impressed our tester since their temperature remained steady and regulated all night long.

What's more, Slumber Cloud provides a 60-night trial period so you can decide if this pillow is right for you. Each pillow is filled in the United States and all materials are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, so you can feel good about where you lay your head at night.

Sizes: Standard and King | Fill Material: Hypoallergenic microfiber fill | Cover Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: OKEO-TEX

What Testers Say

"The pillow definitely felt cool before sleep and remained the same when I woke up the next day. I did not have to flip the pillow once, which is impressive. It seemed to allow for plenty of air circulation throughout the night."—Jess Feldman, Product Tester

Slumber Cloud Core Cooling Down Alternative Pillow

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Best Budget : Amazon Basics Down-Alternative Pillow

Amazon Basics Down-Alternative Pillow

Amazon Basics

What We Like
  • Soft and plush

  • Different densities available

  • Comes in a set of two

What We Don't Like
  • Not very durable

These comfy and budget-friendly pillows come in a set of two for an affordable option for stomach and side sleepers. The Amazon Basics down-alternative pillows come in standard and king sizes, and they’re filled with a down alternative that’s soft and plush. They also come in two densities, according to your personal preference.

Additionally, the pillow is STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certified and can be machine washed. Though inexpensive, the down alternative stayed put and formed to our testers' head and shoulders while they slept. They noted that the fill resets each day rather than quickly flattening after one use. What's more, it remained cool through the night, even though down pillows can often become hot when in use.

Sizes: Standard and King | Fill Material: Down Alternative | Cover Material: Polyester microfiber | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX

"The down filling really shaped to my head and neck each night, while still offering support AND resetting each day, so when I laid down at night it felt fresh and full again. I also found it to be pretty cool, even though down is most known for keeping warm."—Amy Cooper, Product Tester

Amazon Basics Down Alternative Pillow

The Spruce / Rachel Marek

Best for Side Sleepers: Sleep Number PlushComfort Curved Pillow

Sleep Number PlushComfort Curved Pillow

Courtesy of Sleep Number

What We Like
  • Curved to fit around shoulder

  • 100-night sleep trial

What We Don't Like
  • Only one firmness option

The unique curved shape of the Sleep Number PlushComfort Curved Pillow makes it a top choice for anyone who sleeps on their side—the contoured shape fits comfortably around your shoulder while still providing support for your neck and head. These pillows are available in standard and king sizes, and they’re filled with a hypoallergenic microfiber fill that’s silky soft. 

Sleep Number lets you try out this pillow for up to 100 days and return or exchange it as needed, which is helpful since there’s only one density option. The pillow can be machine-washed, but the brand recommends using a commercial-sized front-loading washer, such as ones you’d find at a laundromat.

Sizes: Standard and King | Fill Material: Hypoallergenic microfiber fill | Cover Material: Brushed cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Downlite Low Profile EnviroLoft Pillow

Downlite Low Profile EnviroLoft Pillow

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Low profile for stomach sleepers

  • Soft and plush

What We Don't Like
  • Too soft for other sleep positions

If you sleep on your stomach, you’ll need an extremely soft pillow such as the Downlite Low-Profile Bed Pillow. This down alternative pillow is specifically designed for stomach sleepers—in fact, it’s not recommended for anyone else—and it has an extremely low profile that helps keep your spine in proper alignment while laying in a prone position. The brand even goes so far as to compare it to “laying your head on a comforter” to give you a sense of its height.

This pillow comes in standard, queen, and king sizes, and it’s filled with hypoallergenic polyester material. The cover is a 250-thread-count damask cotton fabric, and it can be machine washed and dried for easy maintenance.

Sizes: Standard, Queen, and King | Fill Material: Hypoallergenic polyester | Cover Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: None

Best for Back Sleepers: Casper Original Pillow

4
Original Casper Pillow

Courtesy of Casper

What We Like
  • Soft and plush

  • Uniform shape

  • Sleeps cool

  • 100-night sleep trial

What We Don't Like
  • Only one firmness option

The Casper Original Pillow has a unique pillow-in-a-pillow design that offers the perfect level of softness and support for back sleepers. You can choose from a mid- or low-loft design, as well as standard and king sizes, and the pillow is stuffed with a clump-resistant microfiber fill that mimics the softness of down. 

The inner layer of this pillow is more firm and supportive, while the outer layer is soft and cushioning. The cover is made of a breathable percale weave, and our testers found that it stayed cool and comfortable throughout the night.

Sizes: Standard and King | Fill Material: Polyester microfiber | Cover Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: None

What Testers Say

"The inner core of the pillow prevented our heads from sinking straight through to the mattress, while the outer fluff amped up the comfort factor."—Tierney McAfee, Product Tester

Original Casper Pillow

The Spruce / Tierney McAfee

Best Firm : The Company Store Company Essentials LoftAIRE Down Alternative Pillow

The Company Store Company Essentials LoftAIRE Down Alternative Pillow

Courtesy of The Company Store

What We Like
  • Extra-firm option provides lots of support

  • Lifetime guarantee

What We Don't Like
  • High profile may be uncomfortable for some

One of the firmest down alternative pillows you’ll find is the Company Essentials LoftAIRE Pillow, which comes in both firm and extra firm options—both of which are ideal for side sleepers. The pillows are filled with the brand’s proprietary LoftAIRE synthetic fiber, which mimics the loftiness and insulating properties of down, and they’re covered in a 300-thread-count cotton sateen cover. 

These pillows come in standard, queen, and king sizes, and they can be machine washed, though the company recommends a front-loading commercial machine, if possible. Plus, the product is backed by The Company Store’s lifetime guarantee, which means it can be returned at any time for an exchange or merchandise credit.

Sizes: Standard, Queen, and King | Fill Material: LoftAIRE synthetic fiber | Cover Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: None

Best Organic: Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow

Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow

Courtesy of Boll & Branch

What We Like
  • Made in the USA

  • Different densities available

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Boll & Branch is known for its high-end organic bedding products, and its Down Alternative pillows are no exception. These pillows are wrapped in a 100 percent organic cotton shell, and they’re stuffed with the brand’s signature Primaloft filling, an allergy-friendly synthetic fiber designed to mimic the lightweight loft of real down. 

These pillows are crafted in Mason, Ohio, and you can choose from standard or king sizes, as well as three firmness levels. The brand offers a 30-night sleep trial, as well as free returns, and the pillow can be machine washed as needed.

Sizes: Standard and King | Fill Material: Primaloft synthetic fiber | Cover Material: 100% organic cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX 

Best Eco-Friendly: Buffy Cloud Pillow

Buffy Cloud Pillow
What We Like
  • Different densities available

  • Sleeps cool

What We Don't Like
  • Dry clean only

Most down alternative pillows are filled with some type of polyester, but to make the Buffy Cloud Pillow more eco-friendly, the brand uses 100 percent BPA-free, recycled PET as a down alternative. In fact, every pillow recycles approximately 24 to 30 plastic bottles! 

The Buffy Pillow is covered in a 300-thread-count sateen lyocell shell, an earth-friendly fiber that’s derived from sustainable wood sources like eucalyptus, and it helps to absorb moisture to keep you cool all night long. The pillow comes in standard and king sizes, and there are three firmness levels to suit all sleep preferences. The only downside is that this pillow is dry clean only, making it harder to wash.

Sizes: Standard and King | Fill Material: 100% recycled PET | Cover Material: Lyocell | Care: Dry clean only | Certifications: None

Best Adjustable: Fern and Willow Down Alternative Pillow Set

Fern and Willow Down Alternative Pillow Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good value for pack of two

  • Zippered cover to adjust filling level

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t include extra fill

If you frequently find pillows to be too thick, you’ll like the Fern and Willow Down Alternative Pillows, which have a zippered cover that lets you take filling out to achieve the perfect height. The pillows come in a set of two, and you can choose from standard, queen, and king sizes. 

The cover on these pillows is made from 100 percent cotton, and it has piping along the edges for a neat and tailored appearance. The pillows can be machine washed and air-dried for easy maintenance, but the only downside is that they don’t come with extra fill, so you can’t make the pillow denser.

Sizes: Standard, Queen, and King | Fill Material: Microfiber | Cover Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine washable | Certifications: None

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-quality down alternative pillow, the Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow is a top choice. It has a hypoallergenic fill that’s as soft and cushioning as real down, and there are two firmness options to suit any sleeping position. For an inexpensive option, consider the Amazon Basics Down Alternative Pillow, which is soft and plush without flattening over time.

Amazon Basics Down Alternative Pillow

The Spruce / Rachel Marek

How We Tested

To compile this list, we researched highly rated down alternative pillows from various brands to put to the test at The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa We evaluated each pick on their quality, durability, feel, and overall value. Then, we sent our top picks home with long-term testers to sleep on the pillows for weeks to test the comfort of each as well as the ease of cleaning. We combined their insights with our writer's research to find our favorites.

What to Look for in a Down Alternative Pillow

Fill Material

Most down alternative pillows use a synthetic fiber filling to mimic the feel of down feathers. Polyester microfiber is the most commonly used material, but some brands have proprietary synthetic fillings that offer additional benefits. If you suffer from allergies, you may also want to look for a pillow that has a hypoallergenic fill, like our top pick from Slumber Cloud.

Density

Your personal preferences and sleep position often dictate whether you like a softer or more firm pillow, and most down alternative pillows come in several density options. Our testers loved picking the firmness that fits their sleeping style. Luckily, brand website often offer helpful information for finding your perfect fit. Firm pillows will have more stuffing and keep your head supported throughout the night, while plush pillows are lightly stuffed to allow your head to sink in more. 

Amazon Basics Down Alternative Pillow

The Spruce / Rachel Marek

Sleep Position

Your go-to sleeping position plays a big role in the type of pillow you should buy. To keep the spine in proper alignment, most stomach sleepers need a thin and soft pillow, while side sleepers require a taller pillow that offers more support. Back sleepers have the most options when it comes to pillows but typically prefer medium-firm support. For example, our Amazon Basics down alternative pillow tester loved how the pillow supported her neck and shoulders in every position, plus how it didn't flatten over time, remaining supportive and comfortable.

Certifications

As you shop for down alternative pillows, you’ll likely see products that are labeled as STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certified. This designation means that every component of the product has been tested for harmful substances and is safe for human health.

FAQ
  • What does down alternative mean?

    Down alternative simply means that the pillow’s filling is made from something other than goose/duck down. Down alternative fillings are typically made from some type of synthetic material, such as polyester microfiber, which mimics the look and the feel of true down.

  • What’s the difference between down and down alternative pillows?

    Down pillows are filled with duck or goose down and/or feathers, and they tend to be warmer, more durable, and more expensive. Down alternative pillows, on the other hand, are typically hypoallergenic and cooler to sleep on, and they often cost less to buy.

  • Can you wash down alternative pillows?

    One of the benefits of owning down alternative pillows is that they’re often machine-washable. You’ll want to check the care tags to confirm, but the majority of these pillows can be cleaned in your at-home washing machine and either machine- or air-dried. 

  • Are down alternative pillows eco-friendly?

    While often considered a more humane option than down pillows, which are stuffed with bird feathers, down alternative pillows aren’t necessarily eco-friendly. Most of these pillows are filled with synthetic fibers such as polyester—a material that can't be recycled and won’t break down quickly in the landfill. However, some brands do use recycled fibers to stuff their pillows, which can make them a little more green.

Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

The Spruce / Rachel Marek

Why Trust The Spruce?

Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She considers herself a pillow connoisseur, and she’s had firsthand experience sleeping on many different pillows, including the Made By Design Medium Density Bed Pillow (view at Target) included on this list. While researching down pillows for this article, she spoke with Dr. Peter Polos, MD, PhD, a sleep medicine specialist, for insight on the importance of selecting the right pillow. As she selected products to include, she looked at factors such as the fill material, size options, density options, and product certifications.

What Is Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.