Pillows that are made with real down feathers are much nicer than pillows with a synthetic filling but they can be difficult to use.
When feathers come out of the pillows, they can be sharp and annoying. It’s also worrying if they continue to come out because it lowers the density of the pillow over time.
Before you give up on your pillow, make sure that you have tried these methods to save it. It’s also good to know these tips when you have a new pillow or before a pillow starts to leak feathers, so that you can keep it in good condition for longer.
1 – Use a Pillow Protector
Pillow protectors work great to keep feathers inside the pillow where you want them. It might seem to be a waste of time to just put another cloth covering over a pillow, but pillow protectors are specifically designed to keep feathers in and are not just another layer.
Regular pillow covers don’t have a very thick weave of fabric, which is what makes it easy for the feathers to poke through. Even when you have a pillowcase over the pillow, the weave of the pillowcase probably isn’t tight enough to keep feathers from poking through.
Using a pillow protector will save you a lot of trouble. They are made with a very thick, tightly woven fabric that gives the feathers less room to poke out of the pillow.
The feathers still might poke out of their original pillow cover but they will most likely stay in place under the pillow protector.
You can put a regular pillowcase on over a down pillow with a pillow protector just like you would for a regular pillow. The pillow protector will also work to keep your pillow cleaner for longer, which means that you have to wash it less.
2 – Do Not Wash Too Frequently
Washing pillows is a great thing to do every once in a while. Pillows can gather dirt and bacteria, just the same as sheets do. By washing your pillows regularly, you will keep your bedding clean and smelling fresh.
However, washing does cause some minimal damage to the pillow. Wear on the fabric is normal and unavoidable over time, and it will happen even if you don’t wash your pillow.
This does mean that it might make it more likely that feathers will stick out of the pillow if you wash it often. You should only wash your feather-filled pillow as often you absolutely need to and try not to wash it too frequently.
3 – Be Careful with the Pillow
Sometimes when you get a new pillow, you are not as watchful with keeping it in good shape as you are with an older pillow that is showing some obvious signs of wear. Treat new pillows with care and take precautions that will make them last longer in the end.
Do things that you would do to a pillow that you can tell is starting to leak. Buying a pillow protector will do you a lot of good in keeping the pillow looking new for a longer amount of time.
4 – Fluff the Pillow
This might seem a little bit counterintuitive if you are trying to keep down inside of a pillow but fluffing the pillow will help sort out the feathers. If a feather is about to come out of the pillow, fluffing it will push the feather back into place.
Try to fluff your pillow about once a day and not only when it looks flat. A feather can be positioned to come out of the pillow at any time so it’s best to take a few seconds and fluff the pillow to reduce the risk of a feather coming out the next time that you lay down.
Make sure that you are not too rough with the pillow as you fluff it. Too much movement could actually push the feathers out with the pressure of the air moving through the pillow.
5 – Patch a Leak
If you can tell that there is a particular place in the pillow that feathers are coming out of, then you should try to patch it up. This could be anything from a spot that has worn thinner than the rest of the pillow, to a small tear, to a ripped seam.
Regardless of how large the thin part or hole in the pillow is, it should be easy enough to patch.
All you need is a sewing needle, some thread, and a small piece of fabric that is just large enough to completely cover the area that needs to be patched. If there is only a ripped seam, it will be okay for you to skip placing a fabric patch over it and just sew the separated ends together.
You do not need to have any fancy sewing supplies or even any experience sewing. Because this is most likely going to be hiding under a pillowcase, what matters is that it is fixed and not necessarily that it looks good.
There are many different hand-sewing stitches that will be easy for even a beginner to use when patching up a pillow. Try to look into different hand-sewing stitches before you patch the pillow to make sure that you pick a pattern that will work best for the condition of the fabric.
How to Keep Feathers From Coming Out of Couch Cushions
If your down pillows are not on your bed but on your couch, they might seem as if they would be more difficult to fix but are essentially the same thing.
Couch cushions typically have two layers, just the same as a pillow and a pillowcase that you would use on your bed. Most of the time, you can get past the outside layer of the cushion through a zipper on the side of the cushion.
Sometimes these zippers can be hard to find. If the zipper is hard to find, look along the seam at the side of the cushion. Most of the time, the zippers are hidden so that they don’t come undone accidentally and are not obvious when you look at the couch.
If there is no zipper on the cushion at all, you can use a seam ripper to open the cushion along a seam. It will be a little difficult to sew back when you are finished so keep that in mind before you rip out the seam.
Once you have the cushion open, you can take out the inner pillow filling. This is similar to a pillow for your bed that you would buy at a store.
To keep the feathers in this secure, you can purchase a pillow protector. It might be hard to find a pillow protector in the right size for your couch cushion, though. You can also sew your own with a thick, tightly woven fabric.
The pillow protector you sew does not have to look very presentable because you will just be putting it back into the couch and it will not be visible.
If you do not have enough sewing skills to do this yourself, you might be able to call a tailor and ask if they can sew you a custom pillow protector.
Can You Re-Stuff Pillows?
You might be wondering what to do with the feathers that fall out of your pillows. Chances are, they are not falling out in large enough quantities to make it worthwhile to save them.
Technically, you would be able to re-stuff the feathers that have come out back into the pillow. But for this to actually make a difference, you would have had to collect a lot of feathers that have fallen out over time.
It would likely not be worth your time to save up all the feathers that have fallen out of the pillow.
If your pillow has gotten too flat from losing feathers but you don’t want to throw it away, you can try to stuff it with a different filling instead. Try to buy a synthetic pillow filling from a craft store. These are usually very inexpensive, depending on the quality that you get.
Ultimately, it might be less expensive to re-stuff a down or feather pillow with synthetic stuffing than to get an entirely new pillow.
All you have to do to re-stuff your pillow is open it up with a seam ripper (or a zipper, if the pillow has one on the side). Once the pillow is open, you can fill it up with synthetic stuffing.
Try to make the placement of the stuffing even so that you can have a good mixture of synthetic filler and the original feathers.
The pillow will have a different texture and density than it did before but you can control the amount of new filling you add to it, making the pillow exactly how you want it. Doing this will both save some money and be more environmentally friendly than just throwing away a pillow that has gone a little flat.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.