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Standard Pillow Sizes

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 7 minLast updated on June 24, 2021

If you’re not familiar with standard pillow sizes, all pillows might look the same to you. And even though pillows only differ in length, the difference in size has an impact on the comfortability they provide and the guarantee of neck and head support through a night’s rest. 

Which pillow size is best for proper sleep hygiene? This and more, you’ll learn in this piece.

Pillow Dimensions

The different dimensions for the standard pillow sizes available in the market differentiate pillows and their ability to support the head and neck (1). You can use four main pillow dimensions on a mattress. Then, there are other pillow dimensions used for specific purposes.

We’ll consider each of these pillow dimensions and what they are designed to do. Before that, here is a comparison table of the standard pillow dimensions;

Pillow Size

Measurements (Inches)

Measurements (cm)

Standard20 inches by 26 inches51 cm by 56 cm
Queen20 inches by 30 inches51 cm by 76 cm
King20 inches by 36 inches51 cm by 92 cm
Body20 inches by 54 inches51 cm by 137 cm

1. Standard Pillow Dimensions

The standard pillow dimension is the most common of all pillow sizes, with a dimension of 20” x 26”. This compact size is enough to fit a twin bed for one sleeper. For a queen-size bed, you’d need two standard-size pillows, while a king-size would take three of these.

Standard pillows are ideal for sleepers who stay in one position through the night, like a back, stomach, or side sleeper. However, combination sleepers tend to twist and turn in bed and likely roll off a standard pillow, leading to discomfort.

2. Queen Size Pillow Dimensions

A queen-size pillow measures 20” x 30” in dimensions. With the increased length, two queen size pillows would stretch ideally across a queen size mattress. On a king-size mattress, there would be some space in between, while you’ll only need one of these on a twin bed.

The queen size pillow dimensions serve restless sleepers well. If you are a combination sleeper or twist and turn around a lot while sleeping at night, this pillow size would be a good fit.

3. King Size Pillow Dimensions

If the queen size pillow doesn’t suffice to keep your head in place through a nightcap, then the king size pillow dimensions surely would suffice. A king-size pillow measures 20” x 36” with two fitted side-by-side on a king-size mattress.

Pillows this big are great for all types of sleepers. You can use one of these on a twin or full bed or squeeze two on a queen-size mattress. Notably, it’s the best pillow for combination sleepers who experience active REM sleep.

4. Body Size Pillow Dimensions

The body size pillow is not as common as the other standard pillow sizes, with an extra-long dimension measuring 20” x 54”. The length of this pillow makes it great for supporting the body and not just the head and neck.

A body-size pillow is especially great for side sleepers as it contours to support the body shape. This is why pregnant women mainly use it as a cushion to prevent them from sleeping on their stomachs.

Other Pillow Dimensions

Apart from the regular pillow sizes, there are other pillow sizes designed for varying purposes.

Here are other pillow dimensions;

A. Euro Size Pillow Dimensions

Euro size pillows, also called euro square pillows, are pillows with the same width as the length. We also have 20” x 20” pillows, 24” x 24’, and other smaller versions. Euro squares are often used as support pillows or for decorative purposes.

B. Super Standard Pillow Size Dimensions

A super standard pillow is an option for sleepers who find the king size too long and the queen size too short. It has a dimension of 20”  x 28”. It is an excellent pillow choice for back sleepers who move around a bit during their night’s rest.

C. Travel Pillow Dimensions

Travel pillows are common accessories among travelers. They are mini pillows usually measuring about 12” x 16” small enough to fit in a travel suitcase. These pillows come in unique shapes and textures, like circular pillows designed to fit around the neck.

D. Throw Pillow Dimensions

Throw pillows are also small pillows majorly used for aesthetics or as a support on a chair. Some are also used for joint relief by placing them under the knee while sitting or sleeping. These come in varying sizes and shapes. The main attraction is a design that fits the room.

E. Orthopedic Pillow Dimensions

Some pillows are made to professional prescriptions for correcting conditions like sleep apnea, acid reflux, and some physiotherapeutic disorders; these are referred to as orthopedic pillows. These recuperative sleeping aids come in different sizes and shapes. For example, some of the best pillows for shoulder pain are standard size orthopedic pillows.

How to Choose a Pillow Size

There are several factors to consider while choosing the best pillow to enjoy your slumber.

We have compiled a list of things to consider in making your choice;

Mattress choice

Your mattress size is the first feature of the bed you should consider. Pillows are meant to compliment mattresses. So even though this is not a rule, a queen size mattress should go with a queen size pillow and so on. Also, you should consider the firmness of your bed and match that with the pillow firmness to help the body align well.

Sleeping position

Choosing an appropriate pillow dimension is all about what’s best for one’s preferred sleeping position. For example, people that sleep in one place, like side or back sleepers, can go for smaller pillows, while combination sleepers best go for more extended options.

Pillow Type

Regardless of the size, the material used in making a pillow determines its most appropriate function. Here are the common pillow types;

  • Memory foam

The best body-size pillows are memory foam. Pillows that contain memory foam are very cushiony and provide good support for the head and neck. They come in handy in treating body pains.

  • Down pillow

Down pillows are made mainly from the posterior area of geese feathers. If you want a fluffy pillow, go for one with at least 75% down inside. King size down pillows add that luxury feels to high-quality king-size mattresses.

  • Latex

If you want a bouncy pillow that offers firm support, then go for a latex pillow. They are very durable and do well in small sizes.

  • Down alternative

Pillow makers mimic the quality of down pillows using polyester and other fluffy materials. This offers the comfy feel of a down pillow at a lower cost but with reduced durability. However, these pillows have been rated the most hypoallergenic.

Bedroom design

To create a surrounding that is conducive for sleep, you need to make it aesthetically pleasing. That means you can be creative by pairing different pillow dimensions. For example, a central pair of king size pillow dimensions or queen size pillow dimensions supported by euro squares, then completed with one or two throw pillows.

Bedding

Most times, pillowcases come with bedsheets in preset sizes. Pillowcases come in standard pillow and king pillow sizes. Depending on the texture you want your pillow to take, you can use any two sizes. For a firm pillow, use a pillowcase a little smaller in size, while for a soft texture, use a pillowcase with some extra space.

Cost

Two main factors determine the price of a pillow; the pillow type and its size. To find a pillow within your budget range, you should settle on which type you want and then go for the most petite size that fits your needs.

FAQ

Which pillow size is most comfortable?

The pillow size that is most comfortable for each person depends on their sleeping position and mattress size. That said, king-size pillows are comfy for a wide range of sleepers. You should also make sure the pillow type and firmness are the quality you want.

Is a standard or queen size pillow bigger?

A queen-size pillow is bigger than a standard-size pillow, with a length difference of 30” to 26” but the same width.

Conclusion

Now that you know all the pillow types and sizes available, you can choose exactly which ones would fit your sleeping habits. And yes, it doesn’t have to be just one type; you can get multiple sizes of pillows to give you a wider range of comfort when sleeping.

Has this article been helpful? What other reservations do you have about pillow sizes? Do share all in the comment; we would be attending to them all.

References:

  1. Liselott, P. (July 2009). Neck pain and pillows – A blinded study of the effect of pillows on non-specific neck pain, headache, and sleep. Advances in Physiotherapy. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232045658_Neck_pain_and_pillows_-_A_blinded_study_of_the_effect_of_pillows_on_non-specific_neck_pain_headache_and_sleep

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