This is a common question that many people ask. What really is the difference between a pillow filled with down, a pillow filled with feathers and a pillow filled with synthetic polyester fiber. The short answer is that down and feather have a “memory” similar to memory foam, in that when you lean against it, it retians that shape and slowly reverts to its normal shape.
Some people complain that when they sleep on a feather pillow there face gets “stuck” in the pillow and they have trouble breathing when they sleep. You can rest assured (no pun intended) that if you are sleeping with a pillow filled with hollow polyster, this will not occur. Polyester has spring action – that is when you push it down it springs back up with alacrity. It has a completely different feel than a feather or down filled pillow.
The other major difference is the effect on people with allergies. Down/feather can cause severe reactions in many people who are susceptible to allergic reactions. Some down/feather products are also not sanitized properly and can contain odour. Make sure if you do purchase a product that comes from a living animal to make sure that the label clearly states the product has been washed, cleaned and sterilized. These issues do not come up with polyester filled cushions, which are naturally hypoallergenic (a fancy word for non-allergenic or allergy free). Polyester filled pillows also do not suffer from any odour whatsoever, which is a huge plus.
For people looking for a more comfortable feel, down is definitely the way to go. The natural softness and way it hugs your face makes you feel like you are sleeping on a cloud. There are synthetic cluster fiber options which attempt to mimic the effect of down but it is never quite the same. When it comes to duvets, down is definitely the way to go and is a far supeiror solution to polyester.