Pillow Reviews: Beyond Down Gel Fiber vs. Five Star Down Alternative

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As it turns out, the Beyond Down Gel Fiber pillow and the Five Star Down Alternative pillow are incredibly similar; from polyester fibers offering support to the crisp feel of the lightly textured cotton covers. It’ll come down to the individual details that’ll set these nearly interchangeable pillows apart – to find out more, read on for my full comparison.

Key Similarities

  • Filled with 100% polyester fibers (down-like filling)
  • 100% cotton covers (both 300-thread count)
  • Gussets for extra width
  • Traditional-shaped
  • Machine washable and dryer friendly
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Come in a variety of sizes

RELATED: Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

Key Differences

Beyond Down Gel Fiber Pillow:

  • Cover: 300 thread count, 100% cotton cover
  • Filling: gel fiber that mimics goose down (100% polyester fiber)
  • Intended to give the feel of 600 fill power pure down
  • 4.5” gusset, with double-needle corded edges
  • Designed for side sleepers but can be comfortable for all sleep positions
  • Comes in Standard, Queen, and King
  • Care: machine wash and dryer friendly

Beyond Down Gel Fiber Side Sleeper Pillow Review

Read the full Beyond Down Gel Fiber pillow review

Five Star Down:

  • 300 thread count, 100% cotton cover – Damask fabric with satin piping
  • Filling: 100% polyester microfibers (down-like filling)
  • 1.5″ gusset
  • Flat and formed – cannot be scrunched up like a down pillow
  • Sizes: Standard, Queen, King, and Euro Size
  • No trial period or warranty options (unless specified by retailer)
  • Care: machine wash and dryer friendly

Five Star Down Alternative Pillow Review

Check out our full Five Star Down Alternative review, here!

Who Might Choose Beyond Down…

  • Side sleepers. Based on my experience, both pillows will particularly appeal to most sleepers but the 4.5” gusset on the Beyond Down pillow adds enough loft and support to be the most ideal for side sleepers. Heavier sleepers may not find it to be firm enough but average-sized side sleepers will find it more comfortable than the Five Star Down pillow.

Who Might Choose Five Star Down… 

  • Stomach sleepers. The polyester fibers offer more firmness/support and an even distribution of the filling, as compared to a down pillow (based on my experience). However, I think the height and plushness of this particular pillow make it the best fit for stomach sleepers (or even back sleepers) more than side sleepers.

Check out the latest deals on the Five Star Down Alternative Pillow here!

Who Could Go with Either… 

  • Sleepers who prefer the feel of down. As we’ve mentioned, the Beyond Down and Five Star Down are both composed of polyester fibers that are intended to mimic down. Down pillow aficionados will not be fooled but will still be pleased by the superbly soft and down-like feel to them, but they’re hypoallergenic.
  • Those on a budget. Fortunately, both pillows are affordable, priced at less than $50 each – even for a King size – at a variety of retailers.
  • People who want a pillow that’s simple to care for. Both pillows are machine washable and dryer friendly – please make sure to balance the loads with other clothes, towels, etc.


I’ve had the opportunity to continue to use both these pillows well after my official review period. My honest take is that they’re nearly interchangeable and both terrific down alternative pillows that offer an affordable option. They’ll work well in both master bedrooms as well as guest rooms without the concern of allergies.

When it comes down to brass tacks, the higher gusset on the Beyond Down Gel Fiber pillow makes it an optimal choice for side sleepers; I would also suggest this pillow to back sleepers as well. The Five Star Down Alternative pillow is going to match the more petite body type; in particular, stomach sleepers and some back sleepers.

In terms of price point, they’re both very similar and affordable – who needs more reasons to consider these pillows!

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news. She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.