Bed Pillow Buying Guide - Best Mattress
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Bed Pillow Buying Guide

5 pillow sizes

A good night’s rest is essential for overall health and vitality. Poor quality sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, irritability, and attention problems. In the long run, inadequate sleep can actually affect how the body functions. Good sleeping conditions are essential for adequate sleep and having the right bed pillow can have a considerable impact on the quality of your sleep.

A bed pillow’s primary function is to provide adequate support to your neck and upper back so muscles can fully relax whilst sleeping. The correct support helps to maintain proper alignment of the spine and prevents stiffness in your neck and back. Selecting the right pillow also includes individual factors such as sleeping style, bed size, sleeping type, and preferences in the material.

Your sleeping style and type should be the most important consideration when choosing a pillow. Let’s consider the different sized bed pillows and materials, and their benefits in helping you make the right choice in getting the sleep you need.

Standard Size Pillow

standard pillow - 20 x 26Standard pillows measure 20 inches by 26 inches and are the most popular size as they are suitable for side, back, and stomach sleepers. Depending on the bed size, you only need one standard or jumbo size pillow for a twin or twin XL mattress, two pillows for a full/double or queen bed, and three for a king bed.

Jumbo Size Pillow

jumbo pillow - 20 x28A jumbo pillow, also known as a super standard pillow, is slightly larger than a standard size pillow and measures 20 inches by 28 inches. We recommend one jumbo pillow for a twin or twin XL-sized mattress. Two jumbo pillows will be just oversized for a full mattress so you might want to stick with two standard size pillows for a full mattress. A jumbo pillow will fit a King and Queen-sized mattress nicely.

Queen Size Pillow

queen pillow - 20 x 30A queen-size bed pillow measures 20 inches by 30 inches and is 4 inches longer than a standard pillow. However, a queen pillow will fit snuggly inside a standard-size pillowcase. For a more loose look, purchase a queen pillowcase for your queen pillows. Queen-size pillows are specifically designed for queen-size mattresses and are the ideal bed pillows for combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night.

King Size Pillow

king pillow - 20 x 36A king-size pillow is 6 inches longer than a queen-size pillow and measures 20 inches by 36 inches. Two king-size pillows fit perfectly on a king or California king-size bed. A king-size bed pillow fits within a queen pillowcase, but a king pillowcase is ideal.

Body Pillow

body pillow 20 x 54Body pillows are the same width as standard, queen, and king bed pillows, but are 54 inches long. Sleeping with a body pillow is ideal for side sleepers as they not only rest beneath the head but also rest between your knees. Placing a body pillow between your knees helps to alleviate pressure on the hips by keeping the top knee lifted. This allows your spine to rest in a neutral position, preventing waking up with stiff and sore muscles. Body pillows also give excellent support if you are pregnant, as they can help support the weight of your belly growing and reduce the pressure on your hips, spine, and back.

Pillow Material

Pillows come with a variety of materials to meet different needs and preferences. Here are just a few pillow types.

Memory Foam

The most common fill material for bed pillows is cotton because it is cheap. However, due to technological advancements in this area, bamboo, memory foam, and cooling technology pillows are becoming more popular due to their additional features and benefits. Memory foam is made of responsive material which makes it an excellent choice if you suffer from back and neck pain. Memory foam bed pillows “mold” to your body and provide pressure-free support.


Bamboo materials are more sustainable, naturally durable, naturally cooling, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic. For those that would like a pillow made of more natural materials, bamboo may be the option for you.

Cooling Technology

Cooling pillows have a cooling fabric cover that feels cool to touch. Specific technology works in different ways to prevent heat from building up in the pillow and making you hot. Studies show that a cool environment allows you to fall asleep quicker. A cooling pillow facilitates that response quicker.

Sleep Styles and Types

Side Sleeper

Sleeping on your side generally results in a gap between the head and the surface of the mattress. If you are a side sleeper, you need a medium to high pillow to fill this gap and adequately support your head. The correct pillow height will keep your head in line with your spine, so your neck is not forced up or down when sleeping.

Correct bed pillow height for side sleepers

Back Sleeper

Without adequate pillow support, your back sleeping can lead to tension and pressure buildup in your back and neck. Another side-effect of back sleeping is snoring. A medium-soft pillow will keep your head and neck aligned with your spine and help keep your airways open during the night for less interrupted sleep throughout the night.

Correct bed pillow height for back sleepers

Stomach Sleeper

Stomach sleeping puts pressure on your neck and spine as it exaggerates the natural curve of your spine. A low, soft pillow can help to lessen the curve and reduce tension in your neck and spine.

Combination Sleeper

If you are a combination sleeper who sleeps in different positions, a medium soft pillow will help keep your head and neck supported. Longer pillows such as queen or king bed pillows are also ideal to ensure that you don’t roll off the pillow when changing position and sleep unsupported. Side sleepers and combination sleepers should take advantage of a body pillow for proper alignment.

Side sleeper with body pillow

Hot Sleeper

No matter what your sleep style or bed size, if you are a hot sleeper, you need a cooling pillow to help you sleep soundly and comfortably throughout the night. Cooling pillows are ideal for hot weather and also help you fall asleep more quickly.

Pillow Protectors

The best bed pillow is only as good as its pillow protector. Quality pillow protectors prevent dust mites, sweat, makeup, and saliva to damage and staining your pillows. If you have allergies, a pillow protector will ensure that the material of your pillow is always fresh and soft and will make your pillows last much longer.

Finding the right bed and mattress pillows for your needs can be challenging. Best Mattress in Las Vegas and St. George, Utah, is the top provider of sleep accessories and will guide and assist you in ensuring you get the sleep you need. Let them help you get the best!