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Bed Pillow Sizes: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Sleep

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

  • Choosing the right bed pillow size is crucial for a comfortable and restful sleep experience and can significantly impact your sleep quality.

  • Common pillow sizes include standard, queen, king, and body pillows, each catering to different sleep needs and preferences.

  • Consider factors like your sleep position, personal preferences, and bed size when selecting the right pillow size.

  • There are various specialty pillows available, including travel pillows, Euro pillows, wedge pillows, orthopedic pillows, pregnancy pillows, and knee pillows, each designed to address specific sleep-related needs.

  • Pillow size matters not only for comfort but also for aesthetic purposes, as you can mix and match colorful pillows of different sizes to enhance the appearance of your bed.

  • Regularly replacing pillows every 1-2 years or when they lose their support can ensure a restful night’s sleep.

Choosing the right bed pillow is essential for a good night’s sleep. Pillows enhance the aesthetic appeal of your bed and provide the necessary comfort and support for your head and neck. However, with so many different pillow sizes on the market, it can be difficult to show which size is best for you. This comprehensive guide will explore the various bed pillow sizes and dimensions, helping you find the best fit for your sleep needs.

Pillow Sizes

Bed Pillow Sizes, euro pillow, pillow is 20 inches, standard pillow fits comfortably

When it comes to bed pillows, size matters. The size of your pillow can significantly impact your sleep quality and overall comfort. The most common bed pillow sizes available in the market include standard, queen, king, and body pillows. While these sizes provide a general guideline, it’s essential to consider other factors, such as your sleep position and personal preferences for specialty pillows, when choosing the right pillow size.

Pillow SizeDimensions
Standard20″ x 26″
Queen20″ x 30″
King20″ x 30″
Body20″ x 30″

Standard Size Pillow Dimensions

A standard pillow measures approximately 20 inches by 26 inches. This size is ideal for sleepers who do not frequently change their sleeping positions throughout the night. However, if you are a combination sleeper who tends to toss and turn, a standard-size pillow may not provide adequate support, leading to neck aches. A standard pillow suits side, back, and stomach sleepers despite this.

One standard pillow comfortably fits a twin bed, while two can be placed across a full or queen bed. However, if you wish to span the entire width of a king or California king bed, you will require three standard pillows.

Some bedding companies offer super standard queen-size pillows, which measure 20 inches by 28 inches, providing an additional 2 inches in length.

Queen Size Pillow Dimensions

A queen-size pillow measures approximately 20 inches by 30 inches, although dimensions may vary slightly among different brands. The additional length of a queen pillow compared to a standard pillow is beneficial for restless sleepers who move around during the night.

A queen pillow fits snugly in a standard pillowcase, a popular size for pillowcases. You can put two queen pillows close together on a full-size bed, but on a king or California king bed, they can be comfortably spaced apart even with wedge pillows.

King Size Pillow Dimensions

A king-size pillow measures approximately 20 inches by 36 inches, but the dimensions of travel pillows may vary depending on the brand. These longer pillows are a convenient option for active sleepers who tend to shift positions frequently. King pillows can also be used for back support when sitting up in bed to read or watch television. The extra length of a king pillow is beneficial for enhanced lumbar support.

One king pillow can comfortably fit a twin or full-size bed, while two can be placed across a king or California king-sized bed. You can also snugly position two king pillows on a queen-sized bed with no space left between them. King-size pillows are typically used with king-sized pillowcases, which measure approximately 20-21 inches by 36-41 inches.

Body Size Pillow Dimensions

A body pillow measures approximately 20 inches by 54 inches, making it an ideal choice for side sleepers. These pillows are designed to curve and conform to the shape of your body, providing proper support when sleeping on your side. Body pillows are also popular among pregnant women, who can use them to prevent rolling onto their stomach or back while sleeping on their sides.

Sleeping on your side is typically regarded as the most favorable sleeping position during pregnancy. Although body pillows may not be as commonly available as other sizes of pregnancy pillows, some sleepers use king-size pillows as a substitute. Specific body pillowcases are designed to fit these pillow types.

Why Pillow Size Matters

Many people like to stay on their pillow throughout the night, but you might toss and turn if your pillow is the wrong size. The right pillow supports your head and keeps your neck and shoulders comfortable while you sleep. This support is crucial for keeping your spine in good alignment and preventing neck or upper back discomfort.

Additionally, you can add some flair to your bed by mixing and matching colorful pillows of different sizes to make it look lively.

How to Measure a Pillow

If you’re unsure about the size of your pillow, you can easily measure it at home to determine its dimensions. Instead of using a soft and flexible tailor’s measuring tape, opt for a sturdy carpenter’s measuring tape for accuracy. When measuring your pillow, measure from the sides, not from the center or diagonally. If the measurements aren’t whole numbers, round up to the nearest whole number.

Different Types of Pillows

Various pillow materials, such as down, polyester, or memory foam, are used as stuffing, and the choice affects the pillow’s feel and firmness.

Down Pillow or Feather Pillow

These pillows are filled with feathers or down from ducks or geese. They feel soft and cozy but tend to be pricier. The firmness and loft of the pillow are determined by its fill power, with more fill providing better support and durability.

Polyester Pillow

Polyester-filled pillows are usually budget-friendly but may not last as long. They are, however, machine washable and often hypoallergenic.

Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam pillows have a dense, sponge-like texture and conform to your body’s shape, offering excellent pressure relief. They can be made from a solid block of memory foam or shredded memory foam pieces.

Both types of memory foam pillows are soft and adapt to your neck’s natural curvature. Shredded memory foam pillows offer adjustability, while solid memory foam pillows provide uniform support. Both are great options if you’re looking for a pillow to alleviate neck pain.

Other Specialty Pillows

There are various specialty pillows designed to cater to specific needs and preferences. Let’s explore these specialized pillows:

Travel Pillow

Travel pillows are compact and typically measure 12 inches by 16 inches. They are perfect for children and highly portable, making them ideal for plane or car travel.

Euro Pillow

Euro pillows are square in shape, measuring 26 inches by 26 inches. These are decorative pillows designed to go with pillow shams, making your bed or sofa look more attractive. They can also serve as accent pieces on couches and chairs.

Wedge Pillow

Wedge pillows have a triangular shape and are used in place of a standard head pillow. These pillows are made to lift the upper body, which can ease sleep apnea symptoms and lessen snoring. Additionally, they can be used as knee pillows while sleeping on your back or as reading pillows during the day. Usually, these pillows are about 20 to 25 inches wide and long, and their height can range from 6 to 12 inches.

Orthopedic Pillow

Orthopedic pillows are tailored for enhanced support and conform to orthopedic guidelines. For instance, pillows designed for neck pain often have a hollow for the head and supportive sides for the neck. Doctors recommend orthopedic pillows for individuals experiencing neck, back, shoulder, or joint pain, offering customized comfort.

Pregnancy Pillows

Pregnancy pillows are specially shaped to provide support as a woman’s body changes during pregnancy. Some pillows have a U shape where the head rests on the curved part of the U, and the arms of the U provide support for the back and stomach. Others are C-shaped, offering support to the entire body. These pillows can be quite large and are best suited for queen or king-sized mattresses.

Knee Pillows

Knee pillows are designed to fit between the legs of side sleepers, promoting proper spinal alignment and reducing discomfort. They are particularly beneficial for achieving pain-free sleep. Some individuals may also use a body pillow as a knee pillow, while back sleepers can use a wedge pillow to elevate their knees and alleviate back pressure.

These specialty pillows serve distinct purposes, ensuring comfort and addressing specific sleep-related needs.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Pillow Size

When selecting a pillow size, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure optimal comfort and support. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Sleep Position

Your preferred sleep position is crucial in determining your appropriate pillow size. For instance, people who sleep on their side usually need thicker pillows to support the space between their neck and the mattress. Back sleepers may benefit from flatter pillows that provide adequate support without straining the neck. Stomach sleepers generally require the thinnest pillows to prevent excessive neck extension.

Personal Preferences

Your preferences, such as the level of firmness and the pillow loft you prefer, should also be considered when choosing a pillow size. Some sleepers prefer larger pillows for a more luxurious feel, while others prefer smaller pillows for a minimalist look.

Bed Size

The size of your bed can also influence the pillow size you choose. Larger beds, such as King or California King, may require larger pillows to maintain aesthetic proportionality and provide adequate coverage across the bed.

How to Measure Your Pillow

If you already have a pillow and are unsure of its size, you can easily measure it to determine the dimensions. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to measuring your pillow:

  • Lay the pillow flat on a surface.
  • Use a tape measure to determine the distance from one side of the pillow to the opposite side.
  • Next, measure the pillow’s height by placing the tape measure vertically from the top to the bottom. This measurement represents the height or depth of the pillow.

By measuring your pillow, you can determine its size accurately and ensure it matches your specific sleep needs.

Choosing the Right Pillow for Your Sleep Position

In addition to considering the size of your pillow, choosing a pillow that suits your sleep position is crucial. Various sleeping positions need different levels of support and padding. Here’s a guide to selecting the right pillow for your sleep position:

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers generally benefit from pillows with a higher loft to support the head and neck and maintain proper spinal alignment. Look for pillows labeled as “side sleepers foam pillows” or “contour” pillows, as they are specifically designed to accommodate the unique needs of side sleepers.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers typically require king-size bed medium loft pillows that provide adequate support to the neck’s natural curve. Look for pillows labeled as “back sleeper” or “medium loft” pillows for optimal comfort and support.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers usually require thin and soft pillows to prevent excessive neck extension during sleep. Look for pillows labeled as “stomach sleepers sleeping pillow only” or “low loft” pillows, as they offer minimal support while providing some cushioning.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers who frequently switch sleep positions throughout the night may benefit from versatile pillows that offer a balance of support and comfort. Adjustable pillows or pillows with a medium loft are often suitable for combination sleepers.

Remember, the right pillow for your sleep position may vary based on personal preferences and other factors. It’s essential to try different pillows and assess their comfort and support before deciding.

Tips for Maintaining and Caring for Your Pillows

Ensuring the longevity and quality of your pillows requires paying careful attention to proper maintenance and care. Here are some tips to keep your pillows clean and in good condition:

  • Regularly fluff and reshape your pillows to restore their loft and maintain their shape.
  • Use pillow protectors or pillowcases to keep your pillows clean and protect them from stains, allergens, and dust mites.
  • Wash your pillowcases regularly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Pillow protectors should also be washed periodically.
  • Depending on your pillow type, you might be able to wash them. Just follow the instructions from the maker.
  • Don’t put your pillows in direct sunlight because it can make them lose color and get damaged.
  • Get new pillows every 1-2 years or when they start to get flat and don’t give good support.

By following these tips for taking care of your pillows, you can make them last longer and keep them as comfortable and supportive as possible.


What is the ideal bed pillow size for a side sleeper?

Side sleepers often prefer queen or king-sized pillows for better neck support and alignment.

Can I use a standard pillow on a queen-size bed?

Yes, you can, but a queen pillow might provide better coverage and comfort on a larger bed.

Are body pillows only for pregnant women?

No, body pillows are great for anyone seeking extra comfort and support during sleep.

How do I clean my pillows?

Most pillows are machine washable, but always check the care instructions on the label.

Can I use a travel pillow for daily sleep?

While travel pillows are designed for travel, they can be used at home if they suit your comfort preferences.

What’s the best pillow size for decorative purposes?

Euro pillows are best for adding a touch of elegance to your bedding.


Choosing the right pillow size is essential for a comfortable and restorative sleep experience. By considering factors such as sleep position, personal preferences, and bed size, you can select a pillow that perfectly balances support and comfort. Whether you opt for a standard, queen, king-size, or body pillow, prioritize your sleep needs and preferences to ensure a good night’s sleep. Don’t forget to regularly maintain and care for your pillows to maximize their lifespan and performance. With the right pillow size and proper care, you can enjoy nights of rejuvenating sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.


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