Are Feather Pillows Hypoallergenic? 💨

If you suffer from indoor allergies, you know that every decision you make regarding your environment is important. One of the most common sources of allergens is your pillow, which is why you may wonder if feather pillows are hypoallergenic.

This article will explore that question and provide some information on what you can do if you decide to switch to a feather pillow.

So, are feather pillows hypoallergenic?

The short answer is yes. Feather pillows are hypoallergenic. While unprocessed feathers can contain many allergens, the systems used to prepare feathers for use in pillows remove any traceable amounts of them.

However, that doesn’t mean they will always remain clean and allergens-free. The more you use your pillow, the more dead skin cells, dust, and oils can accumulate on the surface and inside the filling.

Together, these substances provide an ideal environment for pests such as dust mites to thrive, which can trigger allergic reactions. 

To prevent this build-up of allergens, you need to make sure to clean your pillow regularly. Most feather pillows come with a removable cover that can be machine washed. The pillow itself may need to be spot-cleaned or dry-cleaned to avoid damage.

Be sure to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure your pillow remains free of anything that can cause your allergies to flare up.

Can You Be Allergic to Feather Pillows?

If you’re one of those people who sneeze their way through the morning, only to find yourself stuffed up and sniffling by bedtime, you may be wondering if your feather pillow is to blame. After all, there’s nothing worse than trying to get a good night’s sleep while struggling to breathe through a pillow-induced allergy attack. 

The good news is that, while it is possible to be allergic to feathers themselves, it’s actually quite rare. The vast majority of people who think they’re allergic to feathers are actually reacting to dust mites or other allergens that have become trapped in the pillowcase.

So, if you’re looking for relief from your nighttime allergies, laundering your pillowcase in hot water is a better bet than ditching your feather pillow altogether.

What Makes a Pillow Hypoallergenic?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, most experts agree that a pillow can be considered hypoallergenic if it is resistant to dust mites and other common allergens. This means that the pillow should be made from materials that don’t easily trap these tiny pests or their waste products.

In addition, hypoallergenic pillows often have a tight weave that prevents dust mites from burrowing into the filling. 

Are Feathers Hypoallergenic? 

While feathers themselves can cause allergic reactions in some people, the feathers used in pillows are typically hypoallergenic. This is because the feathers used in pillows are often treated to remove any allergens and irritants.

In addition, most feather pillows have a tight weave that helps to keep dust mites and other allergens out. It is possible to be allergic to feathers; however, this is extremely rare.

How Can You Tell if Your Pillow Is Causing an Allergic Reaction?

Most people are unaware that their pillows can cause an allergic reaction. Dust mites, which are tiny creatures that thrive in warm, humid environments, are often the culprits.

These mites feed on dead skin cells, and their droppings can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. 

If you suspect that your pillow might be to blame for your allergies, there are a few things you can do to find out for sure. First, try washing your pillow in hot water and allow it to dry in direct sunlight. This will kill any dust mites that may be living in the pillow.

If you’re still experiencing allergy symptoms after washing your pillow, something else may be causing your allergic reaction. 

How to Clean a Feather Pillow

If you think your feather pillow is causing your allergic reactions, using more detergent than normal may be tempting during the cleaning process. However, using too much detergent can cause feathers to clump together and may also leave behind soap residue—which can also irritate the skin. 

For best results, use a smaller amount of gentle detergent. This will help to remove sweat stains and any unpleasant odor from the pillow. For the dust mites, all you need is hot water. So make sure to set your washing machine to hot and use a gentle wash setting. 

You can tell if you’ve used too much detergent because, at the end of the wash cycle, there will be visible soap suds on the surface and possibly even inside the filling. If that happens, don’t panic. Just put your pillow through another rinse and spin cycle to remove the excess detergent. 

Once your pillow is washed, you can either dry it in direct sunlight or in the dryer. If it’s not a particularly sunny day, then the dryer is your best option.

The safest way to dry a feather pillow in a drying machine is on low heat or no heat and on a gentle tumble setting. Using no heat may take longer, but it’s the safe option between the two. 

To avoid allergic reactions in the future, you should wash your feather pillow every few months and no less than twice per year. If you still find that you’re having allergy troubles with a feather pillow, there are always alternatives you can try. 

What Kind of Pillows Are Best for Allergies? 

If you’re looking for a pillow that won’t cause any allergic reactions, there are a few different options you can choose from. One is to purchase a pillow made with synthetic materials. These pillows are often filled with polyester fiber or memory foam. 

Polyester and memory foam are resistant to dust mites and other allergens, making them a good choice for people with allergies. Another option would be an organic pillow, such as wool or buckwheat hull.

Keep in mind, though, that no matter what type of pillow you use, it will need to be washed periodically to prevent the buildup of indoor allergens, including dust and dander. 


The bottom line is that feather pillows don’t cause allergic reactions, but dust, dead skin cells, and other allergens may build up inside them, eventually causing your indoor allergies to flare up.

So ensure you wash your pillows periodically, and you can say goodbye to the stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing throughout the night.


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Hi! We're a team of scientists, doctors, teachers, and coaches experienced in helping people with special needs. We hope you like our research and share it with others who might find it helpful too :)

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