Down Pillows – Hypoallergenic Pillow

Down Pillows Q&A – Should Down Ever Smell?
Hypodown down pillows

Hi there,
I am in Toronto, Canada and am hoping you will offer your opinion. I have bought a custom made “double down pillow” from a small but reputable company (in business 15 years). This pillow consists of a feather core surrounded by a pillow of down and, as I requested extra firm, it has double the amount of both feather and down than a regular pillow. I went to the shop to pick it up today and when I got home I realized it had a strong odor of, well, “bird”. I called the company right away and she explained that the down just arrived this morning and is quite fresh and that this is normal but should subside in a few days to a week. She also suggested putting it in the dryer with a bounce sheet or out on the balcony in the fresh air so as to air it out. I’ve done this and I have to admit it has lightened up a little. The problem is now it has me wondering if it is quality down and will this have some affect on me such as with an allergy of sorts?

I noticed that you advertise a Hyperclean down, washing, standards, tests, ph balance, etc. and I thought you would be a good person to get an objective opinion from especially for health concerns. You sound like your product is the exception to cleanliness and I suppose in a sense to an excellent extreme and from this I imagine that other middle of the road products are still of quality and have some standards to meet. Could you tell me whether this odor is an indicator of “dirty” or poor quality down or is this quite common but not usually presented to the consumer “quite so fresh.” This was not an inexpensive pillow – $166.00 for king size double down – I don’t mind paying for quality but I now am quite concerned as I haven’t experienced this odor before although I’ve usually bought from large chain bedding stores. I would greatly appreciate any advice you could offer,
Irene S.

Quite honestly none of our down pillows ever smell of “bird.” Even on arrival. Good heavens! If you read some of the material on our web site you will discover that the cleanliness of down or not, as the case may be is usually associated with FEATHERS in particular or down, that has not been sufficiently washed (6-12 times) is quite usual. It is the DIRT and allergens still clinging to the feathers that cause an allergenic reaction and smell. Presumably, you bought such a pillow because you wanted a certain level of firmness and the down pillow to last. This you can achieve with a firm down pillow.

Far be it from me to advise you what to do, but if I brought home such a pillow to my husband who quite regularly tests our pillow products, he would go on strike.

Good Luck!
Mercia Tapping,

Dear Mercia,

I just wanted to say thank you very much for your very prompt reply. It was very kind of you and it helped put my suspicions to rest. I had begun to think I was overreacting. As I said before this company is very well known and praised so I questioned myself. You have been a big help.
Thanks again,

Irene S.

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