If you are shopping for a new pillow, you might be wondering what size pillow you should get. In this pillow size guide, we’ll go everything you need to know about pillow sizes — including four of the most popular pillow sizes and how to choose the right pillow size for you. We’ll also cover some more unique pillow sizes and frequently asked questions.
Pillow Sizes and Dimensions
There are four main sizes of pillow: standard, queen, king, and body pillows.
- A standard pillow is usually 20 inches by 26 inches
- A queen pillow is usually 20 inches by 30 inches
- A king pillow is usually 20 inches by 36 inches
- A body pillow is usually 20 inches by 54 inches.
However, it is important to note that there can be variation between brands as to these exact measurements.
Pillow Size Chart
|20″ x 26″
|20″ x 30″
|20″ x 36″
|20″ x 54″
Standard Size Pillow
Average Standard Size Pillow Dimensions
The average standard size pillow is 20 inches by 26 inches. Standard size pillows are the most popular pillow size, as well as being one of the most commonly available sizes. Standard size pillows are easy to find pillowcases for and are usually the least expensive pillow size. They will easily fit on any size of bed — but if you have a king size bed, it may take three standard pillows to cover the width of your mattress.
Average Standard Size Pillow Price
Pillow prices can vary a lot based on the materials used, the quality of construction, and special features. To get an idea of the average price for a standard pillow, we averaged the prices of 10 popular standard pillows we have reviewed here at Sleepopolis, resulting in an average price of $111.
Keep in mind there are many options above and below that price, particularly if you shop at discount stores like Target or Walmart, as well as on Amazon. However, a very low price can be an indicator of low quality.
Queen Size Pillow
Average Queen Size Pillow Dimensions
The average queen size pillow is 20 inches by 30 inches. Being just a few inches longer than a standard pillow, queen size pillows are meant to fit two pillows perfectly across the width of a queen size bed. However, they can work on any bed size. These pillows make a great choice for anyone looking for a pillow larger than standard without going as big as a king size.
Additionally, while the standard size is most common, some brands do only offer a queen size and king size, instead of offering a standard size. Depending on the pillow you want to purchase, a queen might be the smallest option available in some cases.
Average Queen Size Pillow Price
Like with standard pillows, queen pillows vary in price. Averaging the prices of 10 queen size pillows reviewed on Sleepopolis, we found the average price to be $112 — only a dollar more than the average standard. Because they are so close in size (and sometimes only a standard or queen is offered, not both), it makes sense these pillows are priced similarly.
Like standard pillows, there is considerable price variation depending on where you shop and the quality of the pillow.
King Size Pillow
Average King Size Pillow Dimensions
The average king size pillow is 20 inches by 36 inches. These pillows are designed to be used on a king size mattress, as two king size pillows will neatly cover the width of the bed. You certainly can use king size pillows on other mattresses, but if you have more than one, keep in mind that they may overlap one another or hang off the mattress.
King size pillows are a great option for anyone who wants a little more headroom on their pillow, as they are the largest of the three main pillow styles (aside from the body pillow, which isn’t meant for resting your head on).
Average King Size Pillow Price
King size pillows tend to be more expensive than standard or queen size pillows, because they are significantly larger. To get an idea of the price of the average king size pillow, we averaged the prices of 10 pillows from our best king size pillows page, resulting in an average price of $156. However, there are many options above and below this price point, depending on where you shop.
Average Body Pillow Dimensions
The average body pillow is 20 inches by 54 inches. Body pillows are considerably larger than any other pillow style, as they are used to support the entire body, instead of just the head and neck. Sleeping with a body pillow can be beneficial for side sleepers and pregnant people, as well as sleepers with back pain, hip pain, arthritis, sleep apnea, or those recovering from surgery to achieve good sleep posture.
There are several different styles of body pillows aside from the traditional, or I-shaped, which is essentially just an extra-long pillow. Other styles include the C-shaped, U-shaped, and J-shaped, which may have different dimensions due to their shapes.
Average Body Pillow Price
For the average body pillow price, we averaged together the prices of five pillows from our best body pillows page. The average price for a body pillow came out to $72. Of course, prices will vary depending on the brand and quality of the pillow.
Other Pillow Sizes and Styles
Now that we have covered the four main types of pillows, let’s dive deeper into the world of pillows with some more unusual sizes.
The average Euro pillow is 26 inches by 26 inches. These square pillows are commonly used as decorative pillows. Euro pillows can also be used as support pillows behind the back or neck while sitting up to watch TV or read. Because of their unique shape, Euro pillows need a specialized pillowcase, called a Euro sham. Euro shams tend to be more decorative than regular pillowcases and feature envelope-style closures on the back of the sham.
See our best Euro pillows page to learn more.
The average boudoir pillow is 12 inches by 16 inches. These small, rectangular pillows are purely decorative. They can make a great accent to your bedding or even your couch.
There are many different types of travel pillows, all with different shapes, sizes, and dimensions. The most well-known travel pillows are the U-shaped neck support pillows commonly seen in airport convenience stores. However, there are many other types of travel pillows. The primary purpose of all travel pillow styles is to allow you to comfortably sleep with proper neck support while in a car or on a train or plane — essentially, anywhere but your bed. See our best travel pillows page to see some great options.
Pregnancy pillows are specially designed to provide support for pregnant people as their bodies change throughout pregnancy. Some pregnancy pillows are body pillows, which we discussed above as being beneficial for sleeping while pregnant. However, there are other styles of pregnancy pillows, as well. See our best pregnancy pillows page to learn more.
As the name suggests, lumbar pillows are designed to support the lumbar region of the spine — essentially, the “small” of your back. There are many different designs for lumbar pillows. Some are designed for use while sitting in a chair, while others are meant for use while sleeping.
Throw pillow is a generic term for any decorative pillow — both the Euro pillow and boudoir pillow mentioned above can fall into this category. However, there are endless varieties of throw pillows available. These can be a great option for giving your bed a more dressed-up look, adding in additional colors and textures. However, since they aren’t very functional, many choose to forego throw pillows for their bedding.
See our best throw pillow set page to learn more.
An orthopedic pillow is designed to correct posture of body position while sleeping. Many orthopedic pillows have unusual shapes and designs to achieve this proper positioning while still maintaining comfort. These can include contour pillows, neck pillows, and the aforementioned lumbar and body pillows. Learn more over on our best orthopedic pillows page.
Knee pillows are a type of orthopedic pillow which are placed between the knees while side sleeping or behind the knees while back sleeping. This can help relieve pressure, provide support, and maintain proper alignment while sleeping. These pillows vary widely in shape and size.
Why Pillow Size Matters
Pillow size is largely determined by personal preference and what you will be using the pillow for. If you are choosing a primary pillow to sleep on, you may prefer a larger pillow (such as a king) to allow more room to roll around, as well as if you have a larger body type. You might opt for a smaller pillow size (like a standard or queen) to fit onto a smaller size mattress.
If you are shopping for decorative pillows, then you might be driven by aesthetics when deciding on a size. Many people like to use a variety of decorative pillow sizes for a dynamic and textured look.
How To Measure A Pillow
Measuring a pillow is pretty simple. Most pillow measurements are presented as width by length. To determine the measurements of your pillow, simply use a measuring tape to measure the width — from long end to long end. Then measure the length by measuring from short end to short end. If you find yourself mixing up which is length and which is width, remember that for rectangular pillows, the width will be a smaller number than the length.
How To Choose The Right Pillow Size
With everything we have covered in mind, let’s go over how to choose the right size of pillow for you.
What size mattress you have can play a role in determining the size of pillow you decide to choose.
- If you have a twin or twin XL mattress, you will likely want to choose either a standard or queen size pillow. Because twin and twin XL mattresses are 38 inches wide, a king size pillow will be too long to fit properly.
- If you have a full size mattress, you can comfortably fit two standard size pillows across the bed. However, two queen or king pillows won’t fit. Still, you could opt for a queen or king if you put just one pillow on the bed. A full size mattress is generally 54 inches wide.
- If you have a queen size mattress, two queen size pillows will fit comfortably on the bed. You could also opt for two standard size pillows. However, you can only comfortably fit one king size pillow on a queen size mattress, as the width of the average queen bed is 60 inches and the average king size pillow is 36 inches long.
- If you have a king or California king size mattress, you can comfortably fit two king size pillows on the bed. Of course, you can also put two standard or queen pillows, or even three standard pillows.
Sharing With A Partner
If you are sharing your bed with a partner, you will want to ensure two pillows fit comfortably on your mattress so each partner can have a pillow. In this case, you will likely not want to use king size pillows on any bed smaller than a king or California king.
Are you purchasing a primary pillow to rest your head on at night? Are you looking for decorative pillows to spice up your bedding? Are you looking for a support pillow, such as a body pillow, pregnancy pillow, or lumbar pillow? This is an important question when deciding which size is best for you.
As with most purchases, cost is an important factor to consider. As discussed above, king size pillows are generally more expensive than queen or standard.
Other Considerations When Shopping For A Pillow
Size isn’t the only factor to consider when shopping for a pillow. Once you have decided on a pillow size, here are some other things to keep in mind.
Your primary sleeping position is one of the most important things to consider when shopping for a pillow.
- Back sleepers do best with a pillow with a medium firmness and medium loft. Essentially, they need a pillow that provides a perfect balance of comfort and support and is tall enough to support their neck, without being so tall that it causes their necks to crane. See our best pillows for back sleepers.
- Side sleepers are best suited to a firm pillow with a high loft. They need the most neck support because their heads and necks are raised a greater distance from the surface of the mattress — the entire length of the shoulder. See our best pillows for side sleepers.
- Stomach sleepers need a soft pillow with a low loft to prevent their necks from craning upwards. While lying on the stomach, your head and neck are extremely close to the mattress, so you want the pillow low to prevent craning. This is especially important since many stomach sleepers twist their neck to rest the side of their face on the pillow. See our best pillows for stomach sleepers.
- Combination sleepers have the challenge of picking a pillow that works for multiple sleeping positions. In general, it’s best to pick one that is a happy medium between the different positions or one that is moldable, so you can sink in more in certain positions and fluff up the fill for more support in others. See our best pillows for combination sleepers.
There are a variety of materials used to make pillows, each providing a different feel. Some of the most common materials include memory foam, latex foam, down, down alternatives.
Foam pillows can be made either with a solid block of foam or shredded foam. Memory foam provides deep contouring while latex foam tends to be more buoyant. Memory foam also naturally traps heat, whereas latex maintains a naturally cool temperature. Learn more on our best memory foam pillows page and our best latex pillows page.
Down is the soft, spineless feathers from the underbelly of a bird. This traditional pillow fill provides a fluffy, cloud-like feel and is insulating. Down alternatives can be made from a variety of materials, however they are usually synthetics. These are meant to mimic the feel of down and are usually cheaper than real down. Learn more on our best down pillows page and best down-alternative pillows page.
If you are a hot sleeper, you will also want to take special note of materials used in a pillow. Many pillows incorporate cooling and breathable materials to help those who run hot sleep more comfortably.
As mentioned above, latex maintains a naturally cool temperature, making it a great choice for hot sleepers. However, even with memory foam, there are some cooling infusions — such as gel, graphite, or copper — that can cut down on heat-trapping. Additionally, shredded foams allow for more airflow than solid foam blocks, which can keep things cooler.
Many pillows also incorporate cooling materials in the covers of the pillow, such as Phase Change Material, polypropylene, bamboo, Tencel, and more. Natural materials, like cotton, can be good for cooling as well, since they are breathable and allow for air circulation.
Learn more on our best cooling pillows page.
Of course, your personal preferences play a big role in which pillow you should choose. Some sleepers love a soft, fluffy pillow, whereas others prefer the contouring and support of a foam pillow. Don’t forget to bring your own taste to pillow shopping!
Pillow Size FAQs
How do you know what size your pillow is?
The best way to know what size your pillow is would be to measure it. Using a measuring tape, determine the width and length and then compare the measurements to the standard measurements for each pillow size. Whichever size the measurements best correspond to is likely what size the pillow is. There can be some variation between brands, so don’t be surprised if your pillow doesn’t exactly match a standardized pillow size.
What is the most popular pillow size?
The most popular pillow size is the standard size.
How much bigger should a pillowcase be than the pillow?
Your pillowcase should be a few inches larger than your pillow, to allow room for the pillow to comfortably fit — similar to how your clothes’ measurements should be a bit larger than your physical measurements.
Does pillowcase size matter?
Yes, it’s best to choose a pillowcase that is properly sized for your pillow, otherwise it might not fit or it may be far too loose.
What’s the difference between a standard and queen pillow?
A standard size pillow is smaller than a queen size pillow — generally, about four inches shorter.
Will a queen pillow fit in a standard pillowcase?
In most cases, no. A queen size pillow is larger than a standard pillow, so it likely either won’t fit or will fit in tightly.
What pillow size do hotels use?
Many hotels use standard size pillows on their beds.