Down vs. down alternative pillows and bedding

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Guests want a comfortable, fluffy bed to fall into at the end of a long day of work or vacation. What’s the best way to accomplish that? Down or down alternative bedding can create that cloud-like surface your guests need for a good night’s sleep.

Below, we’ll take a look at the differences between these two types of filling as well as how to pick between the two.

What is Down?

Down is a filling made from the undercoat of waterfowl like geese, ducks and swans. Lightweight and fluffy, down regulates temperature as you sleep. It’s a great choice for guests to sleep hot because it’s a breathable filling, too.

What is Down Alternative

Down alternative is exactly what it sounds like—a hypoallergenic bedding and pillow filling alternative that emulates the softness of down. Allergy-prone guests can comfortably use down-alternative pillows, duvets and down-alternative bedspreads since they’re made from hypoallergenic synthetic fibers. Down-alternative products are less breathable than down products and heavier, too.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Down and Down Alternative 

As you decide what types of bedding and pillows to purchase for your hotel, consider the following factors:

  1. Price

Down tends to cost more than down alternatives. After all, it’s a limited resource. The upfront cost will be much higher than down alternative bedding and pillows. On the plus side, down products tend to last longer, which can make the price per use much lower.

  1. Longevity

When cared for properly, down bedding and pillows can last for many years. Down alternative products have a shorter lifespan. A representative from Hilton suggests that synthetic pillows (which includes down-alternative pillows) last 18 to 24 months, but down pillows last 24 to 36 months.

  1. Allergies

Down traps allergens—dust mites, pollen and skin cells—more than other fill types. Plus, some people are allergic to down itself. Allergy-prone guests who use down bedding may experience rashes, postnasal drip, itchy eyes and an itchy throat.

Even products advertised as “down-proof” aren’t 100% able to minimize allergens, so if you’re concerned about allergies, go with down-alternative products. Down-alternative products are hypoallergenic. They’re unlikely to trap allergens, especially when paired with a pillow protector.

Final Thoughts on Down vs. Down Alternative

Down is the cozier luxurious choice, which is why many high-end hotels offer down products. However, not every guest will enjoy a good night’s sleep if your hotel fully relies on down-filled pillows and bedding. Even if you prefer down, consider stocking down-alternative pillows, bedspreads and duvets to cater to your allergy-prone guests or those who refrain from using animal products. At Venus Group, we have a wide selection of down-alternative bedding and pillows to meet your hotel’s needs.

Questions? Reach out to a textile expert today by calling 800.421.6599, or you can request a quote online.