Pillow Size Guide

Pillows are known to be a person’s best friend when trying to sleep. The most important thing to have while sleeping is a pillow. There are various sizes available, and you should only choose the one that is best for you.

Many people experience several issues with their necks or back due to using the wrong pillow. Always make sure that you use the right pillow for yourself, or many problems can occur.

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for good health. Therefore, you need to be certain that you sleep properly. To benefit yourself with peaceful sleep, look for an appropriately-sized pillow that is the right type for you, as this is what matters most.

Everyone has their own needs and comforts, which can be applied to the various types of pillows and how well the pillows are constructed.

Different Pillow Sizes and Descriptions

pillow size

  • Standard pillow

The standard pillow size is the most common type of pillow and is an average pillow size. It is sized at 20” x 26”. They are known to be the smallest of the sleeping pillows. They are mostly associated with twin or double beds, as two of these pillows fit perfectly on each side of a double bed. Three pillows fit best on a king-size bed.

While you are choosing a pillow for yourself, keep in mind that you may find it a bit difficult to find pillowcases for standard pillows. Many of the pillowcases you see will come with a label mentioning they are for standard/queen size these can effectively be used for these pillows.

  • Queen pillow

Queen pillow size is longer than standard pillows. They typically measure at 20” x 30”. A lot of people infer that if they have a queen-size bed, then their pillows should also be queen-size. Most of the times this is not the case, and many manufacturers use standard pillows. Many manufacturers don’t even make pillowcases this size. Two pillows fit perfectly side by side on a queen bed.

While you are buying a pillowcase, you will notice that there are only standard/queen-size pillowcases to choose from. Your pillowcases will fit perfectly, and no ends will be seen hanging out.

  • King pillow

King pillow size is usually 20” x 36” in size. They fit perfectly on your king-size bed. Two pillows are needed for a one-bed set. King pillows are too big, and most people avoid using them, as they have extra length and are cumbersome. People prefer to sleep on smaller pillows that make them feel comfortable and much cozier.

King pillows are commonly used for decorative purposes, as well, as they look quite nice while lying on a bed. They also provide extra support on the sides of the bed.

  • Euro pillow

Euro pillow size is square in shape and are 26” x 26” in measurement. Euro pillows are placed at the head of the bed. You can use only one on a twin bed or two or three on a full queen-size bed. Three or four pillows are normally placed on the king-size bed.

  • Boudoir pillows

These are conventional pillows that are used for decorative purposes. They are mostly placed on a sofa for the sake of aesthetics, and occasionally they are placed to rest one’s back on. Their size is 12” x 16”. The size is perfect for a sofa set, as it is square in shape and sets well.

Does Pillow Size Matter?

Pillow size does matter; the right size is key to a good night’s sleep. A lot of people make their own decisions and choose their pillow sizes based on how they look.

People might prefer the ones which seem bigger, perhaps because they find them to be much cuddlier and to look nicer when placed on a bed. Or perhaps someone may prefer delicate pillows that are not very fluffy and take up less space in your bedroom. The amount of headspace on your pillow is essential.

If you have a habit of fidgeting around a lot at night, then a king size pillow is right for you. Having a pillow that is the wrong size is a pure pain in the neck and should be avoided.  When you use the wrong pillow, it will push your head forward, causing spinal problems.

If you sleep on your sides, the amount your head is pushed towards the sides of your pillow should be not too much or too little. Do not choose your pillow based on aesthetics or on the size of your bed. Focus more on what your body requires.

Are You Using The Right Pillow Size?

To find out if you are using a pillow of the right size is not an easy task; you may need to track your sleeping cycle determine whether the pillow size you use is suitable for you.

There are various ways to tell if now is the time to buy a pillow that is the accurate size:

  • Waking up in the middle of the night due to pain in the neck or back
  • Feeling restless when you wake up the next morning
  • Head or neck stays jammed for a while in the morning
  • Pain in head
  • Experiencing lousy sleep
  • A lot of snoring

If you experience any of these symptoms, then you may want to consult your doctor to be determining which type and size of the pillow will suit you best.

We are usually unaware of the types of pillows available on the market, and this results in our having aching backs or spinal cord problems.

How Are Pillows Constructed?

The way pillows are constructed, is unique. Pillows are filled with a foam material, such as feathers, latex, or plastic fibers. In the old days, pillow filling was straw, but these pillows were uncomfortable and are no longer used.

These days, feathers are used, which makes for a quite comfortable pillow. The advantage of these feathers is that they transform into the shape you want and are known to now be in wide use today. Buckwheat pillows are used in abundance in Asia.

How Often Should You Buy a New Pillow?

A fundamental question that arises is when one should change their pillow. It is usually suggested that pillows should be changed every 2-3 years. The pillowcase should obviously be changed weekly. Pillow protectors can be used with the pillow so that your pillow is not affected by sweat, moisture, and all sorts of bacteria.

Pillows do not cost a lot of money if you buy the normal feathered ones, but certainly, some orthopedic pillows do cost a lot. Therefore, ordinary pillows are changed every year, but if orthopedic pillows are used, you may be more apt to improve them.

More: 15 Best Pillows 2020

Different Pillow Types

There are various types of pillows that you can choose from; some pillows that are used in daily life are listed below:

  • Contour pillow

This is a type of pillow that is specially shaped up for back and side sleepers. The middle of this pillow curves down, which provides you with proper support for your head. Materials like buckwheat, memory foam, or water can be used to make contour pillows. It helps in cradling your neck and provides firm support all over.

A proper posture is obtained if you sleep with this pillow. The best feature of this pillow is its ability to alleviate snoring; you will no longer snore all night long.

  • Down pillow

Down pillow

If you prefer sleeping on a soft pillow, then this pillow is the best choice for you. Down pillows are filled with a lot of delicate fluff that is obtained from the bellies of waterfowl. Stomach sleepers gain the most from this pillow, as do those who prefer pillows that are cushiony.

These pillows are easily washable and are long-lasting, as well. They are even lighter than feather pillows. Down pillows are breathable and reduce perspiration during sleep. They are costly and require a lot of shaking and fluffing whenever out of shape.

More: Best Pillow for Combination Sleepers

  • Latex pillow

Latex Pillow

Latex pillows are costly, as they are made up of latex rubber harvested from rubber trees, which grows on plantations in tropical countries.  Such pillows are unique in own their way, as they are ideal for those people who have allergies or may have a lot of neck and back problems.

They are made up of 100% organic material. They also keep the bugs and dust mites as far away from you as possible. The best thing about this pillow is that it molds itself according to your head and neck, which keeps you very comfortable as you sleep.

  • Buckwheat pillow

These pillows are stuffed with hulls of buckwheat, which is the husks that protect the kernels. This wheat has dust, so it is roasted to get rid of all the dirt from the field, and then placed accordingly into the pillowcase.

It is renewable and long-lasting, so you don’t have to be worried about changing your pillow very often. The best thing about this pillow is that it provides natural air circulation between the hulls, which is ideal for sleeping in all temperatures. It is a bit heavier than other pillows.

  • Water pillow

Water pillows are partially filled with water. The top part of these pillows is made up of polyester, and the bottom portion is cushioned well with water. Usually, they are larger than other pillows. Water levels are adjusted according to need.

  • Microbead pillow

In micro bead pillows, the filling consists of round polystyrene beads, which are known as microbeads. What we find in bean bags is what is present in these pillows, but these beads are smaller in size. The outer fabric of the pillow is made of a soft, elastic material. It has good airflow and conforms to the shape of your neck and head.

  • Feather pillows

Feather pillows have been used for a very long time. They are the softest among all pillows and are loved for this cause. They are durable and lightweight. Also, they are very flexible and give you the superior softness of all times.

It is important to note that these pillows require special maintenance and may develop an odor with the passage of time. If you are allergic to feathers, then you should avoid such pillows. They also produce some minor sounds when you move at night which can be disruptive.

Some other pillows you might like:

How Does A Pillow Affect Your Sleep?

Comfortable sleep is due to the right sort of pillow. If you prefer a soft pillow, then you should always try adding a little bit of height to maximize back support, as the pillow squashes down when it is a bit light.

It is essential to choose your pillow size and shape based on the position in which you sleep. Make sure that the gap between your head and body remains filled to keep your neck in place. Your head and spine should be aligned, too.

If you are a person who sleeps on their sides, then your sleeping pillow should be firm. A back sleeper needs a pillow that gives support to the neck and back. Resting on the stomach wall requires a low pillow, and a soft pillow can be used.


It is highly beneficial to use an appropriately-sized pillow. Some pillows are used only for decorative purposes, and you should avoid using them for sleeping.

Always try out different pillows to see which one suits you best. Make sure you find the right size, or you will still be disrupted during sleep and experience many back- and neck aches. Choose a simple, average-sized pillow that makes you feel at home every night.


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