Feather Shuttlecock vs Nylon Shuttlecock

As you may already know, In badminton, we generally have two types of shuttlecocks: feather shuttlecocks and nylon shuttlecocks. Even though both look somewhat similar, they have a lot of differences when it comes to the different aspects of the game.

In this article, I’ll help you to learn the differences between both of these shuttlecocks. Hopefully, you’ll be able to select the right shuttlecock, which is appropriate for you according to your needs.

With no more fluffy introduction, let’s dive right into the main content.

Differences Between Feather & Nylon Shuttlecocks

There are several differences between both of these types of shuttlecocks (we also call them birdies). Both of these types have advantages as well as disadvantages when we compare them head to head.

Let’s look at the differences between these based on different aspects such as material, speed, weight, accuracy, price, durability, etc.

Feather Shuttlecock vs Nylon Shuttlecock


Nylon shuttlecocks are made of nylon/plastic material, whereas feather shuttlecocks are made of feathers from birds, namely, duck or geese.

The feather shuttlecocks have a total of 16 feathers attached to a solid cock base. All the feathers have the same weight. Two layers of stitching are used to tie these feathers together. The feathers are glued to the cock base.

There are also some differences between goose feather shuttlecocks and duck feather shuttlecocks. Goose feathers have thicker bristles compared to duck feathers. And hence, the former has better durability and slightly more accuracy.

The upper part of the nylon shuttlecock is not a combination of different pieces. It is just a single piece. However, the nylon shuttlecocks have 16 markings or arcs similar to the feather shuttlecocks. The design of the nylon birdies is made in such a way that it looks very similar to feather birdies.

The cock base in both feather and nylon shuttles are almost the same, except that the cock base of the nylon shuttlecock has a little more weight compared to the other one. However, when it comes to the upper part of the shuttlecock, the feather part has a little more weight than the plastic part.


For a feather shuttlecock, the distribution of weight is almost 40-60 between the upper part and the base, whereas it is almost 20-80 for a nylon shuttlecock.

The heavy cock base of the nylon shuttlecock isn’t good when it comes to the quality of the shots. However, this can be helpful when we play the game outdoors. This weight distribution helps to play the game even if we have a slight breeze. But for indoor games and professional games, feather birdies are better.


Due to the difference in weight distribution, the feather shuttlecocks have better accuracy compared to nylon shuttlecocks. This can be really helpful for a player who can play accurate trick shots and net pay.

This accuracy difference doesn’t matter that much when you play the game for fun with your friends or when you play practice matches. But this does make a huge difference when it comes to professional badminton. That’s why the feather shuttlecocks are preferred for professional matches.

Also, the nylon shuttlecocks tend to wobble more compared to the feather shuttlecocks, especially for net shots. But feather shuttlecocks are ideal for playing net shots.

The two different types of feather shuttlecocks also have accuracy differences. Feather shuttlecocks made up of goose feathers are more accurate than those made up of duck feathers.


Since the feather shuttles are more accurate having a better weight distribution, the speed of these is less than that of the nylon birdies. Due to the rigid structure of the feather shuttlecocks, they have a higher declaration compared to the nylon shuttlecocks.

Nylon shuttles tend to deform more than feather shuttles when we hit them. The initial speed of the feather shuttles will be high. However, it decelerates faster because of the higher drag it experiences during its flight. Due to this, it will travel less distance and fall to the ground at a steeper angle.

The feather birdie goes more upwards when we hit, whereas the nylon birdies travel at a much more flat angle and go more distance.

Due to the flat trajectory of the nylon shuttles, it is comparatively difficult to hit the jump smash with a nylon shuttle. Controlling the shuttle is difficult for nylon shuttles, and it requires more power to hit the shuttle.

You can adjust the speed of a feather shuttlecock by tipping the shuttle, which you can’t do with the nylon shuttlecocks. The feathers can be adjusted to make the shuttle faster or slower. However, it is not legal to do that when you’re playing a game.


If you ask me which type of shuttlecock is more durable, I can easily answer you that it is the nylon shuttlecocks. Nylon shuttlecocks are way more durable than feather shuttlecocks due to the nylon material. 

Feather shuttlecocks get damaged easily with 2-3 games, whereas nylon shuttlecocks can last up to 6-7 games on average. Obviously, it depends on how powerful the shots we play are. But, generally, nylon shuttlecocks can last many more shots than feather shuttles.

This is why nylon shuttlecocks are preferred over feather shuttlecocks when we play badminton for fun. So, for practice games and enjoyment, go for nylon shuttlecocks. If you’re considering playing badminton seriously, maybe on a professional level, then play using feather shuttlecocks.


When it comes to pricing, feather shuttlecocks are generally more expensive than nylon shuttlecocks. So, if you’re a beginner-level player, or want to play the game for fun, choose nylon shuttlecocks as it is less expensive and more durable.

Feather shuttlecocks are expensive and less durable. You have to take proper care of the shuttles while playing if you want it to survive for as many games as possible. Replacing the feather shuttlecocks often becomes inconvenient.

So, the bottom line is that use nylon shuttlecocks for playing casual games with friends or practice games. Go for feather shuttlecocks if you’re playing professional badminton.

Best Nylon Shuttlecocks

If you’re playing badminton casually, you can choose the Yonex Mavis series, which is the best nylon shuttlecocks available on the market now. For more durability and less price, you can choose the Yonex Mavis 2000 nylon shuttlecocks.

Click the image to check out this product on Amazon and see the current price:

Best Feather Shuttlecocks

The best feather shuttlecocks available for professional games are the Yonex Aerosensa Series. The Aerosensa 40 feather shuttlecocks are pretty accurate and powerful. These are made up of goose feathers with 100% solid cork.

These shuttlecocks are preferred for several international competitions due to their high accuracy and stability.

Click on the following image to check the current price on Amazon:

Final Thoughts

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of differences between nylon and feather shuttlecocks. I hope this article has helped you in learning the differences between both of them. Ultimately, you have to choose the right one for you according to your needs.

If you’re looking for other badminton equipment, then you must check out the article I’ve written about the best badminton equipment. It will help you choose the right products for your game.

I would appreciate it if you’d be willing to share this article if it was helpful to you.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game!

Anushree Burad

Qualified as an MBA in Sports Management. A Sports fanatic and a passionate badminton player. My passion for sports drove me to foray into sports writing. This is my attempt at translating my thoughts into words. Looking forward to contributing to Sports through my writing.

Recent Posts