Feather versus non-feather bedding for asthma

An allergen is the substance that causes an allergic reaction in someone who is hypersensitive to it. A major allergen for asthma is the house dust mite. It is thought that artificial (man-made) fibre fillings for pillows and bedding are less likely to gather allergens than feather-filled pillows and quilts. However, there is some evidence that in fact, feather bedding may in fact be less likely to cause asthma. The review found no trials comparing feathers with man-made fibres, and research is needed to be certain which is better for people with asthma.

Authors' conclusions: 

Whilst recent epidemiological studies suggest that feather bedding is associated with less frequent wheeze than man-made fibre fillings, the evidence currently available is insufficient to assess the clinical benefits of feather bedding in the management of asthma.

Read the full abstract...

Two recent epidemiological studies have reported that children using non-feather pillows suffered from more frequent episodes of wheeze than those using feather pillows


To evaluate the efficacy of using feather bedding in the control of asthma symptoms.

Search strategy: 

The Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register was searched with pre-specified terms. Seaches are current to February 2009.

Selection criteria: 

Only randomised or controlled clinical trials were to be included.

Data collection and analysis: 

No trials met the inclusion criteria for the review.

Main results: 

From electronic literature searches a total of 15 studies have been retrieved for scrutiny as full-text papers. However, on review none of them have met the review entry criteria.