Decorating Quick Tips

Down Pillows vs Polyester Pillows: When and Where to Use Them


Finding throw pillows to fit a specific vision is hard. Understanding what’s inside them is even harder – most people don’t even consider the filling options of their accent pillows, which can lead to less-than-perfect designs and lots of replacements.

Pillows have two main filler options: down and polyester. Down is the fuzzy undercoating of birds, below their exterior flight feathers. Polyester filler is a synthetic fabric that mimics the fluff and loft of a down pillow, but is much denser. While purchasing all down throw pillows may be the ideal, not everyone can afford to invest that much in their décor. A savvy decorator will know where to use an accent pillow of each fill based on daily use. So the question is down pillows vs polyester pillows? When and where to use them?

When to Use Down Pillows

Down Pillows vs Polyester Pillows

These down pillows from Surya fit snugly into the corners of the sofa, using the space most efficiently for maximum comfort.

Couches : A “pillow chop” requires a down pillow. A polyester pillow on a couch will not conform to the angles of the arms easily. For something more moldable, choose down for soft surfaces like sofas and recliners.

Beds: Escaping to the bedroom after a long day is a simple joy. Beds should be plush and inviting, with deep pile rugs and low lights. Down pillows play into this imagery of floating softness. High-quality sleeping pillows are also made of down, so all bedroom décor may have the same consistency.

Home offices or workspaces: Our workplaces are often overlooked as places for throw pillows. Having a throw pillow in an office makes visitors (or potential clients!) feel at ease. Down pillows in the office also have a practical use – toss it on your own chair for a little back relief.


More moldable


More expensive
May cause irritation to those who are allergic

When to Use Polyester Pillows

Down Pillows vs Polyester Pillows

Surya’s polyester pillows are great for resilient jobs like hard furniture or outdoor spaces.

Outdoor: Down pillows absolutely cannot get wet. Polyester pillows can be hung to dry and will be a more hostile environment for mold. Patio sets and outdoor parties are the perfect places for polyester pillows. They need a poly pillow’s firmness to counteract the iron, cement, or plastic of outdoor furniture.

Dining sets: Like crisply folded napkins, small pillows on the chairs of a formal dining room are a sharp addition to a dinner party. Since the focus in the dining room is on the food, the pillows are mostly for show and can be of a lower-quality material.

Wooden furniture: Rocking chairs and barstools make beautiful accents, but sometimes can be a bit tough to sit in for long periods. A polyester pillow won’t twist or flatten out as easily as a down pillow would in these situations.


Easier to clean


Won’t last as long
Can’t be reshaped

Hopefully this will help you when you decide where to put down pillows vs polyester pillows in your life.

Choose a pillow design you love. Then find it in either down or polyester on PillowCenteral.


pillowcentrallogo-squareSpecial thanks to our Guest Writer: Logan Falletti is the lead content creator for With over 20 years of combined  home decor experience in the office, she’s still learning every day about home furnishings and design. Contact her via Twitter: @pillowcentral.