Can You Add Down Fill to an Old Down Pillow?

Posted by Stefan Hunter on 7th Jul 2020

Can You Add Down Fill to an Old Down Pillow?

Do you love your current down pillow but want it to be fluffy again?

Good news! We have a few solutions to help you get the fluff back. To start, let's recap some basic maintenance tips you should consider before any advanced techniques (like re-stuffing) are done.

  1. Vigorously shake and karate chop your pillow every day. Down will naturally settle and this vigorous fluffing keeps the pillow feeling fuller longer.
  2. Once a month put the pillow in the dryer for a 15 minute heat cycle. The movement in the dryer helps fluff, but is much more pronounced when paired with heat.
  3. Moisture is the enemy to down and can cause it to become flat and wimpy. If your pillow has silk fabric be careful of laundering.

Assuming you do daily and monthly fluffing, what else can you do? Over several years even the best quality down pillow will show wear and tear and become flat. If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can open the old down pillow and hand stuff more fill inside. Down is extremely light and will make your home a mess - make sure you plan ahead. The idea of opening up a down pillow, filling it, and re-closing may seem daunting, but for some it makes sense and will save you money. Follow the instructions below:

To get more fill for your pillow, buy a down pillow on sale, cut it open, and harvest the fill. You may have other items already with down material, but we suggest skipping old down jackets or feather beds. Down jackets actually have very little down, and what down they have is sewn in very small squares. Feather beds primarily have feathers as the main component and will not give you the result you want.

Step 1 - Get your materials ready. Items needed for this project:

We suggest working on this project in a spot you don't mind getting messy. A garage or unfinished basement are great options. Make sure you avoid windy areas!

Step 2 - To open the old down pillow use your seam ripper. The ideal place to open your pillow is where the product labels (i.e. law label or brand label) are located. The fabric in those areas meets and forms a "lip" where the seam ripper can do its magic. Before you open the pillow be sure to have a binder clip handy to keep the pillow opening closed (you can also use 2-3 smaller clips). You only need a 6 inch wide seam across the short side of the pillow where the labels are currently attached.

Step 3 - Once the old pillow has been opened and clamped shut, open the corner of the new down pillow. First grab the corner of the pillow and jerk up so that the down fill settles to the bottom. Then using a razor blade or scissors, cut the pillow corner – approximately making a 6 inch opening. You can clamp this newly cut down pillow until you are ready to hand stuff the older down pillow.

What kind of down pillow should you buy? We suggest replacing with a like filling. If your old down pillow has its law label attached check it to verify. The label will reference a minimum amount of down, along with what type of down. Anything other than white goose down is just labeled 'down' (it might be white or grey duck down). You can never go wrong using white goose down due to its cleaner smell and higher fill power.

Step 4 - Place your hand into the harvest pillow and grab a tight handful and stuff it into the old down pillow. To check the new density clamp the old pillow shut and feel how dense the pillow is. Keep going until you feel satisfied you have achieved the desired fill amount.

Step 5 - Sew the open old down pillow back up. First, clamp it shut and shake the down away from the sewing area. Now carefully sew the opening back up using 8-12 stitches per inch and adding 4 back stitches once done. It's always better to over sew than risk your pillow bursting open. The main concern is for future laundering of this newly closed pillow. You don't want it bursting opening in the washing machine. We strongly advise against sewing by hand.

Now it is time to enjoy your firmer, rejuvenated down pillow!

p.s. if all of the above looks too hard, were happy to make and sell you one assembled in the USA.