Down Allergies: Myths and Facts Concern about allergies to down is a bit of an old wives tale. True allergies to down and feather are quite rare. Most people who believe they are allergic to down or feather are actually allergic to dust mites. We know people who were told they were allergic to down and feather who have been using modern down products for many years with no problems.
High quality downs are put through rigorous cleaning processes which finish with special treatments to insure the down is hypoallergenic. People are usually allergic to dust mites rather than to either down or feather. Using a mite proof pillow protector on new or newly cleaned pillows will eliminate most of these problems.
Some people are under the impression that polyester is a better choice than down for those with allergies. Independent studies are now showing this is not the case. Polyester pillows support dust mites to a greater extent than do down pillows. A study quoted in the British Medical Journal showed that asthmatics did better with down bedding than with polyester.
Link to British Medical Journal Study
Link to New Zealand Study