Wool Pillow vs Down: Is there any difference?

People spend a significant portion of their lives in bed. This explains why bedding is so expensive. If you have to spend dozens of hours of any given week in bed, you might as well be comfortable.

But what determines comfort? People think that mattresses and sheets are all that matter. They presume that the pillow is just a bonus but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Pillows are not just a luxury. The quality of your pillow will determine the support your neck, shoulders, and spine receive. This, in turn, will determine the quality of sleep you receive.

For this reason, you are encouraged to buy the best pillow possible.

Wool Pillow VS Down

Sleep & Beyond 20 by 36-Inch Washable Wool Pillow, King, Natural

Bedding technology has come so far. The bedding manufacturers of today can perform wonders with synthetic fabric and filling. And yet, when it comes to pillow, Down and Wool are still the most popular.

This makes sense. When you think of the perfect pillow for your bed, words like "soft" and "fluffy" come to mind. And what is softer and fluffier than wool and down?

But that raises a question: between wool pillows and down pillows, which one is superior? Anyone who says that the two are the same is wrong. On the outside, they might look similar, but wool pillows and down pillows are completely distinct in their makeup.

And if you want to choose between the two, you need to first understand what sets them apart.

 Down Pillows

Goose Feathers and Down White Pillow Inserts, Bed Sleeping Hotel Collection...

As their name suggests, down pillows, like best hungarian goose down pillows are made from down. The word "down" technically refers to the feathers of a bird such as a duck or a goose. On an adult bird, down is hidden under an exterior layer of much tougher feathers.

Down looks like ordinary feathers from a distance but it is so much softer. If you can’t be bothered to look under the exterior feathers of a duck to find down, go observe a baby bird.

Down feather

Down feather

Before baby birds grow real feathers, they first manifest down. And if you have ever caressed down, you know that it is amazingly soft and smooth.

Birds use down for insulation. The material has attributes that enable it to trap air. This, in turn, allows them to insulate the bird, keeping it from losing heat. Down will also prevent moisture from escaping.

Down is used in pillows because it is really soft. If you have ever wanted to feel like your head was floating on a cloud, then you should buy a down pillow. That being said, the same properties that allow these feathers to insulate birds encourage them to trap heat in the pillow.

And that is perfectly fine in the winter when you want your bedding to trap as much warmth as possible.

But in the summer, this becomes a problem. Down bedding can become overbearing, trapping moisture against your skin and making you far too warm and clammy.

Additionally, down doesn’t respond positively to moisture and body oils. Over time, the material clumps up, goes flat and attracts mildew. You have to keep fluffing and airing out down pillows to maintain their shape.

Wool Pillows

Most people know what wool looks like and where it comes from. They understand that it is sheared from sheep and that it can be processed using natural, environmentally friendly methods to produce bedding.

They also know that, like bird feathers, wool is quite soft. And in that regard, they wouldn’t be faulted for concluding that there is no real difference between wool and down pillows.

Sheep wool

Sheep wool

However, that isn’t true. Yes, they both come from animals and they are both soft. But wool has an advantage. It has amazing moisture-wicking properties. It can actually absorb up to thirty percent of its weight in moisture.

And the moisture it absorbs evaporates very quickly. So not only do wool pillows keep your face and hair dry but they never grow dump from all the sweat they absorb.

Keep in mind that wool is just as effective at insulating the human body as down. So, the ​organic wool pillows will keep you warm during the winter but also cool in the summer.

And unlike down that absorbs and retains odors, Wool resists odors. This is just a natural aspect of its organic makeup, not the result of chemical processing.

Like down feather, sheep's wool is one of the best fabrics for making wool comforter, wool blanket, and other wool product.


Wool definitely wins the wool pillow VS down debate. Wool pillows are hypoallergenic, resistant to bacteria and absorbent. They have every property you need to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

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