Have you ever wondered how people got their bed to be soft and comfortable back in the day?
Before the discovery of industrial foams, people relied on natural materials to create mattress toppers. Feathers from birds, usually ducks and geese, were commonly used back then.
Also known as featherbeds, these were afforded only by the rich during the 14th century. However, by the 19th century, even middle class people had featherbeds to keep themselves warm and cozy at night. If you take a look at the bedding section of your local store, you’ll find that feather mattress toppers are still very common in the market.
Today’s feather mattress toppers are not much different from the ones that you would find during earlier times. At times, down feathers are used, rather than just regular ones. Down refers to the fine feathers found beneath the larger and tougher feathers of birds. These have a softer and finer texture, making them excellent as insulators for heat and padding.
Some featherbeds are made with pure feathers, pure down or a mix of both. These toppers are usually made with sections so that the feathers remain in place.
These sections are known as baffles and can be sewn in boxes or channels to contain the feathers. The amount of fill that a featherbed has determines the softness that it brings.
What are the Benefits of Feather Toppers?
Aside from being one of the oldest types of mattress toppers around, these have a wide price range making some of these quite affordable. You can get a good featherbed for a few hundred dollars or less.
On average, people spend a little more than a hundred dollars for something like this. With its cost efficient pricing, many people tend to gravitate towards this type of mattress topper. It can give you the extra comfort you need on your bed without making a significant difference in your bank account.
Being several inches thick, mattress toppers made from feathers are an effective way to soften up a hard or sagging mattress. The added layer of padding on top of your usual bed can make a big difference in terms of how you and your baby sleep at night.
This type of mattress topper can provide you with a softer and more luxurious surface to lay your back on.
For the majority of people with no joint or back problems, a feather topper will provide a most luxurious, comforting, sumptuous sleeping experience.
You may have read earlier that feathers are good thermal insulators. This means that using a featherbed over you mattress can also add warmth to your bed.
This is an added bonus especially during the colder seasons since you will not need to turn up heating as much as you used too.
Despite being warm, featherbeds do not necessarily retain heat as much as other types of mattress toppers. This means that you will still be able to use it when warmer weather comes along.
Mattress toppers are not as large or thick as your mattress, but these can bear some amount of weight. Feather and down are very light materials, making topper made out of these light as well.
This makes it more manageable when you change sheets or clean. It also makes moving your mattress topper a lot less troublesome.
Ease of Cleaning
Generally, featherbeds do not need regular washing. More often than not, these only need to be hung out or aired. However, getting dirt on your mattress topper is not completely avoidable.
If and when a feather mattress topper needs to be cleaned, it may easily be laundered in the washer. There is no need for cleaning services unless it specifically says on your mattress toppers tag
Some Disadvantages of Feather Toppers
Despite the fact that you will only need to wash your feather mattress topper once every few years, it does require a constant type of maintenance.
Fluffing or shaking is needed on a regular basis. This keeps the feathers nice and fluffy. This will ensure that the topper stays soft for the most part.
Since the feathers used to fill mattress toppers of this type are individual pieces, these tend to move around and even group together through time. As a result, the feathers may not be evenly distributed and lumping can occur within the mattress topper itself.
The lumps can be uncomfortable and bothersome. You’ll sometimes find you need to fluff your topper to get rid of this. At the same time, it is not uncommon for feathers to stick out of the mattress topper. This can also create some type of discomfort, especially if the feathers poke you. Also, while you may be able to choose the thickness of your featherbed, some people find that this type of filling is not enough.
Feather fillers are undoubtedly soft and luxurious to the touch, but they do not provide a lot of actual support for the body. So, feather toppers may actually present a problem for those who need a soft yet firm surface to sleep on.
Feather toppers tend only to sink in rather than maintaining some sort of firmness when weight is put on it. If you have a back problem or joint issues, then this type of topper will not provide you with the required support.
Coming from geese and ducks, these feathers used for filling can still contain allergens and dander which may serve as irritants to people who have sensitivities. This may not be suitable if you have asthma or some other type of illness that can be triggered by feathers, dander and the like.
Also, these feathers may not be completely odorless even if it is cleaned before being used. If you have a sensitive nose, or are particular with how things naturally smell, you may want to consider a different filling.