Pillow Reviews: Five Star Down Alternative vs. Bear

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The Five Star Down Alternative pillow and the Bear pillow feel about as different as their looks suggest. Side sleepers will enjoy the cozier feel of the Five Star Down alternative, while hot sleepers should look to the Bear for excellent support. Watch my video or keep reading on for my full in-depth comparison.

Key Similarities

  • Traditional-shaped
  • Washable and dryer friendly parts
  • Hypoallergenic

Pillow Reviews: Five Star Down Alternative vs. Bear

Key Differences

Five Star Down:

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

Five Star Down Alternative Pillow Review

Read the full Five Star Down Alternative Pillow review here.

Bear:

  • Made with Double Ice Fabric: a special fabric that feels cool to the touch (feels like athletic-wear material)
  • Core filling is made with LOFT-X FOAM: a hybrid foam that combines memory foam and latex foam to contour to one’s spine and neck (100% polyurethane)
  • Dual mesh side panels for continuous airflow throughout one’s sleep
  • Only available in Queen size
  • Made in the USA
  • 2-year warranty

Bear Pillow Review

Check out the full Bear Pillow review here.

Who Might Choose

Five Star Down 

  • Those with allergies. This pillow is made with polyester fibers and is therefore hypoallergenic but it will certainly provide a similar loft and overall feel compared to real down.
  • Those who are on a budget. In contrast to the Bear pillow, the Five Star Down Alternative pillow is significantly less expensive and could fit most budgets.
  • Stomach sleepers. Based on my experience, this pillow is the best match for stomach sleepers – or even potentially some back sleepers – who want enhanced firmness and a more even distribution of filling than a down pillow can offer.

Bear 

  • Hot sleepers. Between the ventilated LOFT-X hybrid foam and the Double Ice Fabric with breathable mesh panels, the Bear pillow is designed to be cool and breathable.
  • Those who want firmness and support. Compared to the Five Star Down Alternative, the foam filling in the Bear pillow provides way more support and makes it a good fit for back and/or side sleepers who typically prefer additional firmness.
  • Sleepers who detest when the pillow goes flat. As a solid piece of foam, the Bear pillow won’t go flat or change its shape and requires no fluffing to keep its current loft.

FiveStarDownAlternativevsBearPillowFilling

Overall

Honestly, my experience reviewing both these pillows was nothing short of positive. As a natural side sleeper, I enjoyed the firmness, resilience, and support from the Bear pillow. However, I found the soft downy feeling of the Five Star Down Alternative cozy, comfortable and appreciated the extra loft from the gusset.

Pillow Reviews: Five Star Down Alternative vs. Bear

If pricing is the main consideration, the Five Star Down Alternative pillow may be the preferred choice, but it doesn’t come with a trial period like the Bear pillow.

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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.