Achieve Luxury Hotel Comfort at Home With a Top-Rated Featherbed Mattress Topper

Want the cozy bedtime experience of sleeping on a cloud? Feel like you're staying at a fancy hotel and upgrade the comfort level of your mattress with a plush, downy featherbed mattress cover.

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January 21, 2021

Want to instantly up the comfort factor of a not-great mattress or just give yourself the cozy, plush feeling of staying in a great hotel?

Your answer: a featherbed mattress topper.

Filled with goose feathers and down, featherbeds have been around for hundreds of years and provide an extra layer of comfort when placed on top of traditional mattresses. Unlike a pillowtop mattress, featherbed mattress toppers have an advantage in that they can be professionally cleaned.

Dublin: The Merrion Hotel

Dublin: The Merrion Hotel

The beds at Dublin's Merrion Hotel are my top pick for some of the most comfortable I've experienced. Hack the feeling of a plush luxury hotel bed at home with a featherbed mattress topper.

Photo by: The Merrion Hotel

The Merrion Hotel

The beds at Dublin's Merrion Hotel are my top pick for some of the most comfortable I've experienced. Hack the feeling of a plush luxury hotel bed at home with a featherbed mattress topper.

Experienced featherbed users say the key to getting the most out of your featherbed is a nightly — or at least regular — fluff of the topper as the feathers become compacted each night you sleep on them. I’m not sure how many of us have the kind of dedication required to unmake and then fluff our mattress topper each night but that regular fluffing undoubtedly accounts for why hotel featherbed toppers are so very comfy: they get a nightly shake out and re-fluff.


The priciest but also the best of the featherbed mattress toppers we tried was the three-inch-thick mattress topper from Pottery Barn, which stayed plush and fluffy even without regular fluffing. With its 230-thread-count cotton exterior, this was the coziest and most indulgent of the lot.

$169 – $229

Designed with baffle-box stitching to limit shifting, this Pottery Barn featherbed was the most comfortable and plush featherbed mattress topper of the three we tried. With some luxury featherbeds pushing up into the $350+ range, this Pottery Barn topper is plenty cozy and luxurious for a reasonable price.

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Less lofty and cloud-like but the most budget-friendly choice was the Wamsutta featherbed from Bed, Bath and Beyond which would be my choice to give a little softness (but not too much) to a too-firm mattress without a great deal of fluff. This would be a good option for someone with back issues who wants a less cushy experience and a more stable featherbed.

$99.99 - $149.99

This Wamsutta Double-Support Technology Featherbed features a snap-off protective pad you can wash, to keep this featherbed fresh. While this featherbed lacks significant fluffy volume it would be a good choice to give a little more padding to a substandard mattress for a sleeper with back issues who likes a more stable, less downy sleep experience.

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While down and feathers are well-known luxury materials in bedding toppers and comforters, lesser-known is wool, a sustainable, naturally hypoallergenic material that has been said to enhance deeper stage-four sleep (when tissue repair and growth and cell regeneration occur and the immune system strengthens) and stage-five sleep (REM sleep which is essential for learning and forming memories). Wool has a lot of other positive features too. It's fire-resistant and eco-friendly too; a natural, biodegradable fiber that also regulates temperature and wicks away moisture, making it ideal for hot sleepers. It's also naturally odor-resistant, purifies the air and is sustainable. So in every way, wool is the "other white meat," so to speak, and a nice alternative to down if you want to explore this undeniably comfortable bedding.


Wool as a pillow, comforter and mattress topper fill was new to me. But the appeal of United Kingdom-sourced wool from adorably fluffy British sheep grazing in emerald green fields was undeniable: sheep to sleep as the Woolroom folks say. And wool itself is not unlike down — offering a plush, fluffy material you can manipulate to give you the ideal sleep surface. Reaching into a wool pillow to manipulate and fluff your wool has to be one of the most viscerally satisfying things I've experienced lately. For those with allergy issues, wool has a number of advantages: it's antimicrobial and antibacterial so it doesn't tend to harbor dust mites and mold. So you can sleep easier knowing you won't wake up with a runny nose or watery eyes. Woolroom is an English company that sources all of its wool from local sheep (cruelty-free) who require regular shearing to maintain their health, so you are sort of doing sheep a solid when you take the wool off their hands. All purchases over $100 are shipped free from the U.K. And the wool mattress topper I tried was undeniably cozy — warm but not oppressively so — and I liked the fact that it was washable too and fits easily on my mattress. After days of using my wool mattress topper, I woke up noticeably refreshed and ready to go which makes me suspect counting sheep is a thing of the past.

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Tip: A featherbed hack I discovered is instead of pulling the entire fitted sheet over the featherbed and mattress, which significantly compacts the featherbed, just put the fitted sheet on the featherbed, or lay a flat sheet on top of the featherbed. This will allow the featherbed to maintain some loft and also makes it easier to fluff up your featherbed on a daily basis. Even if you can't manage it daily, feather beds should be regularly taken off the bed, shaken, fluffed and rotated to keep them extra downy.

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