8 Pillow Sizes, Types, & How They Stack Up
There are three universal North American head pillow sizes: Standard (20 x 26 inches), queen (20 x 30 inches), and king (20 x 36 inches). There’s also a less common European size (26 x 26). There are also many other pillow types like body pillows, bolster pillows, and non-standard head pillows.
The three main head pillow sizes are standard (20 x 26 in), queen (20 x 30 in), and king (20 x 36 in).
Other pillows like body and bolster pillows come in various sizes, but are always long and thin.
Head pillow cases are designed to match the usual pillow sizes
Did you know?
Each country around the world has slightly different pillow sizes. For example, the standard pillow in the US is 10 cm longer than in Japan, though they’re the same width.
There are three standard head pillow types that find their way into beds across the world. But on top of the more usual sizes and shapes, there are non-typical styles, too. Get comfy, because here are 8 pillow sizes, types, and how they stack up.
1. Standard Pillow
There may be exceptions to some of the entries on this list, but for the most part, the sizes of the first three are firm across stores everywhere in North America. And the most common of all pillow sizes for beds is the standard head pillow.
This one comes in at 20 inches wide and 26 inches long (51 x 66 cm), and can be found in most hotels and households. If you’re looking for a safe choice to get you snoozing, the standard bed pillow size is a good bet. It slots into any bed, from singles to queens, and even kings.
2. Queen Pillow
A queen pillow’s size is just a little bigger than a standard pillow. The width stays the same at 20 inches, but the length is extended to 30 inches (51 x 76 cm).
As the name suggests, the queen pillow is a snug fit for queen beds, which are 60 inches wide. In other words, a pair of queen pillows matches the width of a queen bed down to the last inch.
3. King Pillow
The size of a king pillow versus a queen pillow differs by another 6 inches in length. So, in total, a king pillow comes out to 20 x 36 inches (51 x 92 cm).
Oddly, these pillows don’t fit king size beds quite as perfectly as queen pillows do for their matching bed, since the king size bed is 76 inches wide. Doing a little bit of math, two king size pillows equals 72 inches in length. In other words, you’ll end up with 2 extra inches of open bed on either side of the pillows.
However, the California king size is 72 inches wide, making it exactly the same as two king-sized pillows lined up next to each other.
4. Non-Standard Head Pillows
On top of the three staple head pillows, the non-standard sizes need a bit of love.
They come in all shapes and styles, and their sizes are often all over the place, too.
Japanese Buckwheat Pillows
There have been some interesting pillow styles throughout Japan’s history, including some that didn’t last, like their wooden block head rests. But one style that’s lasted through the years is the buckwheat pillow.
It gets its name from the little grains that make up the stuffing of the pillow. This allows it to be somewhat shapeable, but also firm. These pillows are also often much smaller than even standard head pillows at 14 x 20 inches (36 x 51 cm). However, they’ve gained popularity recently and now also come in other sizes like standard and queen.
Possibly less common than every other option on this list is the U-shaped, or indented pillow. These are specifically designed for those restless rovers who like to switch from back sleeping to side sleeping throughout the night and want to optimize neck comfort.
Its name comes from the fact that the sides are thicker for supporting the neck when side sleeping and the center is shallow for back sleeping. The dimensions are often similar to other head pillow sizes like the standard size.
5. Throw Pillows (Euro Pillow)
Transitioning into the non-head pillows, the first one on the list is the throw. Some may use these for sleeping, but that might give you a crick in your neck. Their design and often square dimensions make them shine more as decorations, comfort pillows, or back supports.
One of the most common throw pillow sizes is the Euro pillow at 26 x 26 inches (71 x 71 cm). This makes them the ideal pillow size for couches, but they also often find their way into the back end of carefully assembled bedspreads, possibly with decorative head pillows taking center stage up front.
6. Body Pillow
An even bigger pillow option is the body pillow. These are narrow and long pillows that have lots of potential uses, from spine alignment to boosting sleep.
Body pillow sizes vary depending on the type, but they’re often the same length as a typical human’s height and sometimes longer. For example, our Cuddler body pillow is 8 x 75 inches (20 x 190 cm), making it a full-body body pillow. It can also be knotted up to be 14 x 22 inches (36 x 56 cm) turning it into a smaller and bulkier pillow for different uses.
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Types of Body Pillows
One of the reasons why it’s tough to nail down an exact size for body pillows is because there are so many body pillow shapes. Here are the basic types of body pillows:
- I-shape: A simple, straight line
- J-shape: Similar to the I-shape, but with a small hook
- U-shape: Similar to the J-shape, but the hook comes all the way back up
- C-shape: Basically a more compact version of the U-shape
7. Bolster Pillow
Somewhere on the opposite end of the scale is the bolster pillow. It’s much smaller than a body pillow but has similar proportions.
These pillows make for great lumbar or spine support, sliding behind your back while seated if they’re the right material or under your neck while laying down. Our Cuddling bolster is 7.5 x 14 inches (19 x 36 cm), close to the standard for bolster pillows.
8. Sensory Pillows
Lastly there’s the sensory pillow, which comes in so many sizes that sometimes ‘pillow’ isn't even quite the right word for them. For example, our Hugget’s smallest size is 4 inches (10 cm), making it close to a stress ball.
It also comes in 8 (20 cm) and 11 inches (28 cm), and each one has a different weight – 1/2, 1, and 3 pounds respectively. That’s where the ‘sensory’ part comes in. The extra weight in our knot pillow can have a calming effect on the user, whether you’re squeezing it in the palm of your hand or giving it a cozy hug
Pillow Sizes Chart
Here’s a quick guide to the different pillow sizes:
*Non-standard head pillows come in many shapes and sizes, but they often fall under North American size standards.
The standard, queen, and king sizes are all usually the same size in North America and the Euro size is typical in European shops.
As for body pillows, many come in 20 x 54 in, or 51 x 137 cm. However there are several shapes and styles that can affect the dimensions. The same is true for bolster pillows and stress pillows.
Pillow case sizes
If you’re looking for a pillow case for a head pillow, most stores will offer cases that match up with the three main head pillow types. Standard pillow measurements will apply to standard pillowcases, queen pillows will match with queen pillowcases, and so on
Even throw cushions will come in some basic sizes, like the Euro pillow
On top of typical sleeping pillow cases, there are also pillow shams, fancier cases that you put over your head pillows when you feel like showing them off.
Got more questions about pillow sizes and types? Here are the answers to a few common ones.
What Are Standard Pillow Sizes?
The standard pillow sizes are standard (20 x 26 inches), queen (20 x 30 inches), and king (20 x 36 inches). Most pillows that you’ll see in hotels and in household bedrooms will be the standard size.
Aside from these, some manufacturers have also created sizes that fall in between the more typical pillow templates. The jumbo size is a common one, which usually adds a few inches to the length of the standard pillow.
What Is The Most Common Pillow Size?
The most common pillow size is the standard pillow at 20 x 26 inches (51 x 66 cm) for head pillows. After that, the queen and king sizes are the next most common at 20 x 30 inches (51 x 76 cm) and 20 x 36 inches (51 x 92 cm) respectively.
The queen and king sizes are becoming more common as more people have the matching mattress size. However, standard head pillows will likely always be the most common in bedrooms everywhere as it can easily slot into single and double beds, too.
How Do I Choose A Pillow Size?
To choose a pillow size, first figure out what size your bed is. The standard pillow is a safe pick as it can match up with any bed size. If your bed is queen size or bigger, you can try a queen pillow. If it’s a king mattress or California king, you can give a king-sized pillow a try or any of the others.
On top of the width and length, the height is also crucial for keeping your neck and spine happy. To feel the best come morning, match your sleeping style and pillow height.
What is the Best Type of Pillow For Neck Pain?
The best type of pillow for neck pain is something thick if you’re a side sleeper. The goal is to ensure that your head is on a level plane with the rest of your spine, rather than tilting downwards.
If you’re a back sleeper, your neck may benefit from a slightly thinner pillow that doesn’t push the head up too far. Orthopedic pillows and bolsters placed behind the neck can also be beneficial as long as they’re not too bulky. The goal is to provide some support for the neck while still giving the head a place to rest.
What is the Best Type of Pillow For Side Sleepers?
The best type of pillow for side sleepers is something on the thicker side for the head that allows it to remain in a straight line with the rest of the spine. Body pillows are also a great companion for side sleepers as they can take pressure off the shoulders and hips if kept between the arms and legs.
Studies have shown that body pillows can extend deep sleep in side sleepers and reduce nighttime awakenings.
The three main head pillow sizes are standard (20 x 26 in), queen (20 x 30 in) and king (20 x 36 in). Each one is designed to match up with their respective bed types, but the standard can fit into any bed.
On top of the head pillows, there are several other pillow types that come in different sizes. Our Cuddler body pillow is 8 x 75 in and our Cuddling bolster pillow is 7.5 x 14 in. They may be a great addition to your bedroom that puts the coziness factor over the top.