When you think of the ultimate bed pillow, a fluffy down-filled pillow probably comes to mind. However, with all the people who suffer from allergies, a down pillow is a bad idea, right? Actually, many of today’s down pillows have been designed to be hypoallergenic.

Before you buy a down pillow, be sure you take a close look at the information label on the pillow. Some pillows are filled with a mixture of chopped foam and feathers to save on manufacturing costs. These pillows may be cheaper to buy, but they are not true down pillows. Other pillows are filled with artificial materials that simulate down instead of true down feathers. Of course, even if you find a pillow that contains true down, you still need to check the tag. Be sure it says that the feathers have been cleaned to remove allergens and dirt before they were used.

Once you find a quality down pillow, you will need to take care of it properly. After all, these pillows are not cheap, and you don’t want to have to replace them any time soon. To keep your pillow from becoming soiled, always use a pillowcase on it. Ideally, you should use a hypoallergenic zippered case on the pillow, and then you should cover that came with a case that matches your sheets. This keeps your pillow from becoming a haven for dust mites.

If your pillow becomes wet, remove all cases and put it in a sunny spot to dry. Allowing your pillow to remain damp is a bad idea because it could actually grow mold or bacteria if it doesn’t dry properly.

Although washing down pillows causes them to wear out more quickly, there are times when you just have to wash them. Read the pillow’s label to be sure that there are no special care instructions. Some of these pillows must be dry-cleaned if they are soiled. However, most down pillows should be washed in a washing machine in cold water using mild detergent. Once you wash the pillow, you should carefully wring out as much water as possible by hand. Then, put your pillow in the dryer and set the dryer to the most delicate setting. You may want to add a tennis ball to the dryer as well. Believe it or not, this ball will prevent your pillow from turning into a lumpy misshapen mess.