Understanding Bed Pillow Sizes and Dimensions

Are you waking up in the morning with a stiff neck? Do you suffer from terrible headaches? It’s about time for you to change your pillow.

Finding a pillow which provides optimal support to your head and neck is vital for your overall well-being. You’ll sleep better with a comfortable pillow and wake up fresh and happier.

Pillows come in different sizes and shapes; you might get confused which one is the right one for you. It is best to consider your sleeping position and personal preference to choose an ideal pillow for yourself. The comfort level depends on the type of sleeping position you prefer. Some people like a softer and plushier option while others prefer a firm one beneath their head.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the significance of choosing the right pillow according to your sleeping position. You’ll also have an idea about different sizes of the pillow. You’ll be able to make a better decision in choosing the one which best suits your needs.

Does Pillow Size Matter?

In creating a comfortable bed to have a peaceful sleep at night, considering the size of the pillow truly makes a difference. Matching the sizes of your pillows to the size of your bed is a good trick to get the right pillow for your bed.

However, you have to give your comfort the priority. The standard size is the most popular pillow size. It allows you to have a good sleeping posture and gives optimal support to your head and spine.

Are You Using The Right Pillow Size?

We all experience sleepless nights. However, if the occurrence of a sleepless night is frequent or on a regular basis, it is a serious cause of concern for you. Before jumping to a conclusion, it is better for you to consider the size of your pillow you are sleeping on. Your pillow might have worn out and needs to be replaced. It is not giving you the support you need to sleep well at night.

The comfort the right pillow provides depends on its thickness. A pillow which is thick and has a height which is too high might be a cause of severe neck pain, spinal discomfort, and a headache. If your pillow is too thin and flat, it won’t give the support your neck and spine needs to stay comfortable have an ideal position to sleep.

It is important to consider your body requirements while choosing the right pillow size. If you make a choice purely on the basis of your bed size, you might end up with back pain.

Pillow Length and Width Explained

Brands offer different quality and styles of pillows with different shapes and lofts. However, they have all agreed upon the standardized sizes. To make it easier for you to come up to the right decision of selecting the right one for yourself we have explained the length and width of different sizes below:

Pillow Size Size Range (inches)
Standard 20X26
Super Standard 20X28
Queen 20X30
King 20X36
Body 50X20, 48X20
Neckroll 6.5X13
Japanese 14X20
Travel/Child 11X16

This is the most common size which is preferred by almost all sleeping positions. The measurement of the pillow is 20 by 26 inches. It gives a good support to your neck and back and allows you to have a restful night of sleep.

One standard-sized pillow is enough for a twin bed. If you have a queen bed, you’d need two. For a king bed, having three standard pillows is a good option.

Make sure that you choose a pillowcase which is not too tight. To have a fluffier and softer feel, choose a pillowcase which fits the size well.

It is a long pillow which provides more volume with a measurement of 20 by 28 inches. It is great for people with broader shoulders. It comes with a good height which enhances your comfort level while you are trying to sleep. Super Standard pillow gives you the extra support you need to sleep better at night. It fits the queen and king-sized beds perfectly.

A queen size is 4 inches longer than a standard size pillow. It is suitable for people who prefer their pillow to be thicker and firmer. One downside of the pillow is that the fill might reach the end easily. For people who prefer a small and compact pillow, this size might not a good choice.

If you use your pillow to sit on your bed, this size is perfect for you. You can read a book or use your laptop at a comfortable position. This pillow size (20 by 36 inches) gives you an extra width which gives you more room to switch your sleeping positions. You don’t have to toss and turn uneasily at night while changing the position of your pillow.

A body pillow is perfect for you if you like hugging your pillow while sleeping. You can also use this pillow while sitting in an upright position on your bed to read a book or watch TV. It gives you optimal support and comfort you need. The measurements of body pillow are 50 by 20 and 48 by 20. They fit your queen and king size beds well.

The size of the neckroll pillow is 6.5 by 13 inches. It gives a good support to your neck while sleeping on your back and prevents it from aches and stiffness. You can also place it under your knees to have a good balance and comfort.

For people who don’t move much at night, this is the ideal pillow size. It gives them an ultimate sleeping experience with the optimal support it gives. It is smaller than a standard pillow with 14 by 20 inches in length and width.

With 11 by 16 inches measurement, it is perfect for choice for a traveler who prefers to take his own pillow. You can use it while relaxing in your car while traveling on longer roots. It is ideal for people with children to give them the support they need to sleep better.

Decorative Pillow Sizes

Decorative Pillow Sizes

Decorative pillows are the best addition to your bedroom if you want to add stylish and classiness look. They add color and enhance the overall look of the furniture in your bedroom. You can either place them on the sofa or on your bed with other pillow sizes. They often come with different beads, tassels, and buttons.

Pillow Size Size Range (inches)
European 25X25
Décor 16X16
Boudoir 12X16

European size is commonly used for decorative purpose. It adds a good touch to the décor of your room in a flash. The size of this pillow is 25X25. If you are a back sleeper you can also put this pillow beneath your knees for extra support and comfort.

Deco is the most popular decorative pillow with a measure 16 X 16 in length and width. It is a square-shaped cushion which can be placed on the sofa of your lounge. You can use a number of them, depending on the size of the sofa.

A perfect pillow (12X16-inches in size) to add elegance and sophistication to your bedroom. You can place two boudoir pillows with standard size pillows on your bed or you can place them on a chair.

Pillow Height Explained

The height of the pillow is a crucial factor to consider while shopping. The loft of the pillow depends on its fill and thickness. It is not necessary that the pillow with a good height has good fill and firmness. A high-loft might be soft and less plushy.

Choosing the right loft is important to improve the quality of your sleep. For people who sleep on their back, it is best to choose a pillow with a supportive but not to the high-loft pillow. A low-loft is the best selection for a stomach sleeper. A medium to high loft pillow provides a good support to the neck and back of a side sleeper.

Recommended Pillow Height based on User’s Height

Choosing the right position to sleep well is important. You need to make sure that the pillow you choose provides you the comfort and support you need to prevent neck and shoulder aches.

If you place your pillow to the height which best supports your head and neck, you’ll be able to have a good body alignment. You’ll be able to prevent pressure point soreness, neck pains, and headaches.

Based on the height of the user, the right selection of the pillow supports the cervical vertebra of the user effectively.

Pillow Sizes for Side Sleeping Positions

If you are a side sleeper, you need to choose a thicker pillow to have optimal support for your head, neck, and back. It is important for you to consider a size which fills the gap between your shoulder and the mattress.

Recommended Pillow Height based on User’s Height –Side Sleepers
User Height Pillow Height (inches)
Less than 4 ft. 4 inches Less than 2.5
4 ft. 4 inches-4ft 7inches Less than 3
4ft 7 inches-5ft 1 inch Between 3 & 4
5ft 1 inch-5 ft. 4 inch Between 3.5 & 4
5 ft. 4 inch- 5 ft. 7 inch Between 3.5 & 4
5ft 7 inch – 6 ft. Between 4 & 5
6ft-6ft 3 inches Between 4.5 & 5.5
Above 6 ft. 3 inches Above 5

If you choose a thinner pillow for yourself, you might end up having a neck sprain when you wake up. You’ll feel exhausted and remain edgy all day.

To sleep more comfortably at night without turning and tossing restlessly, it is best to choose a fluffier and full pillow. Standard and Super Standard size pillows are ideal for side sleepers. They give a good and comfortable support to your body to sleep well as a side sleeper.

You may like to read our tips on How to Wash a Pillow.

Pillow Sizes for Back Sleeping Positions

To have a good night’s sleep, it is important for you to position your body well. You need to have the right balance and stability to prevent bad back aches.

Recommended Pillow Height based on User’s Height –Back Sleepers
User Height Pillow Height (inches)
Less than 4 ft. 4 inches Less than 2.5
4 ft. 4 inches-4ft 7inches Less than 3
4ft 7 inches-5ft 1 inch Between 2.5 & 3.5
5ft 1 inch-5 ft. 4 inch Between 2.5 & 3.5
5 ft. 4 inch- 5 ft. 7 inch Between 2.5 & 4
5ft 7 inch-6 ft. Between 3 & 4.5
6ft-6ft 3 inches Between 3.5 & 5
Above 6 ft. 3 inches Above 3.5 inches

If you are a back sleeper, having a pillow which is too soft and flat might make you uneasy by putting pressure on your neck. A firm and excessively tall pillow might make your breathing difficult while you are asleep. To keep your head elevated, a standard size is a good option for back sleepers. Some people prefer to sleep on a neck roll to provide a neutral alignment to the head, neck, and back.

You may be interested in reading Top 10 Best Pillows review.


All in all, to have a peaceful sleep at night, choosing the most comfortable mattress is not enough. You have to pay attention to the type and size of the pillow you choose. Your choice of pillow affects your sleeping experience. You should test the pillow by lying down for a couple of minutes before making the purchase. Choose the one which adds to your comfort and support, give your body the right balance and alignment it needs. You cannot take the risk of choosing the wrong pillow size for you.

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