You Ought to Know: The Different Types of Pillows

Apart from the comfortable and restful mattress, pillows are, without a doubt, a quintessential part of an excellent night’s sleep. Well, does that mean that when you have a pillow that you like, you are bound to stick with it? But not so fast. For the most part, pillows have become more innovative and more diverse than ever before.

Thus, it might be the time to get rid of that old down pillow of yours and get a new one that’s made with a special filling such as kapok fibers, buckwheat hulls, or gel. Moreover, keep in mind that getting a good, deep sleep relies on many factors. However, you are not going to doze off to dreamland quickly if your head is not lying on the best pillow.

Well, the good news is that there are lots of different pillow types to select from. Remember that the pillow type you opt to rest your head every night is as critical as the mattress you lay upon. For a little help, we have compiled the different types of pillows and everything you must know about each of them before you decide what to buy. So, take a read!

Sleeping Positions and Comfort Needs

For the most part, you select your mattress based on your sleeping position to give you the correct support and spinal alignment during the night. With that said, you also need to choose your pillow for the same reason because harming your cervical support can cause havoc on your health in the long run.

A common mistake most people make is picking out a pillow based on the initial preferences or looks. Even though your preferences and personal choices must contribute to your decision making, but a pillow must be chosen with your sleep position in mind.

Side Sleep Position Needs

Because the side sleep position is the most typical or usual sleep position, most pillow manufacturers create pillows intended for people who sleep on their side. Sleeping on your side can strain your spinal column, but fortunately, the human body is capable of adjusting to support the correct alignment.

Also, many folding mattresses offer to contour and let your body to rest naturally and keep your spinal column straight.

With regards to picking out a bed rest pillow, you must look or search for a thicker option that will help cradle your head and fills in the spaces made between your shoulders and head to let your neck to rest.

Stomach Sleep Position Needs

Lying on your stomach is perhaps the not-so-good sleeping position you can select. However, because people sleep naturally into the sleep position they feel most relaxed and comfy in, there’s nothing much to do but assist it the most excellent way possible.

Because your spine and neck will constantly be, for the most part, compromised when in this sleeping position, you must aim your attention on keeping it level with your spine as much as possible. By that we mean, it must lay near flush or flush with the sleeping surface relying on the type of your body.

For stomach sleepers, thinner pillows are your best choice, with qualities in a firm and soft surfaces depending on your preferences. The essential thing to keep in mind is to select a pillow that doesn’t push your head too far forward or above your shoulders to avoid stressing your back.

Back Sleep Position Needs

This sleep position is regarded as the healthiest way to sleep, except if you are suffering from sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back supports your spine and affiliated soft tissues compared to the other sleeping positions. Also, it can keep your skin look more young-looking because of how gravity works on your body during the night.

For people who sleep on their backs, you’ll need a thinner pillow because it can support your head in level and alignment between your shoulders. If your head is raised too high, it’ll strain your lower back and vertebrae. On the other hand, if your head lies too far away, it’ll put pressure on your upper back and neck.

Pillow Sizes and Shapes

Any mattress and pillow company can make any pillow size; they think best represents the comfort and support their pillow offers. However, there are a few industry guidelines, and standards to think of that will aid you in matching your new pillow with your casings and pillow encasements.

Keep in mind that not all pillows are suitable into a single size, and understanding the differences beforehand can aid you to get the correct fit to both your body shape and bed size.


This pillow size is the most popular and most commonly found because it can fit all bed sizes. Also, standard pillow sizes offer the appropriate support for the average-sized person. This pillow size measures 20 x 26 inches, allowing it to fit excellently in both queens sized and standard sized pillowcases.

Super Standard

This pillow size is quite longer compared to the standard pillow sizes, measuring 20 x 28 inches. Super standard pillow sizes are the best options for people who toss and turn during the night and need more material between the mattress and their heads. Also, this pillow size fit excellently across single sized and twin sized beds for kinds and both queen-sized and standard sized pillowcases.


This pillow size is perhaps the second most popular size and, more often than not, it is closely associated with standard pillow sizes. Queen-size pillows measure 20 x 30 inches and fit excellently into standard sized pillowcases. However, longer pillows might be, to some degree, compressed to fabricate a firmer pillow feel. Moreover, a queen size pillowcase allows them to increase in size under the weight much better.


This pillow size measure 20 x 36 inches. King pillow sizes are usually used for filling the gaps of a king-sized bed or for larger body types. Also, this pillow size can give a body pillow feel and might be particularly helpful for those people suffering from joint pain and muscle pain.


European pillow sizes measure 26 x 26 inches and usually more ornamental in nature rather than being useful. It is best for supporting the back and cushioning joints. This pillow size is ideal to use for extra body comfort compared to head support.


This pillow size mostly measures 20 x 54 inches long and are usually used to give a variety of body comfort and support for relieving joint pain, forming a better sleeping position. Body pillow sizes are ideal for putting along with the headboards and can double as both joint pressure relief and head pressure relief all in one pillow.


This pillow size arrives in different sizes and shapes and is used to alleviate stomach and back pressure or pain during the night. Pregnancy pillow sizes can be, for the most part, specific to personal needs and wants. Also, this pillow size is made to support the differences in body shape and comfort throughout the pregnancy period.


This pillow size typically measures 12 x 16 inches and are designed for quick packing for travel and toddlers. Travel pillow sizes are only available in this size, making it very helpful for travel in a car or plane. The name travel pillow is closely associated with wrap-around pillow styles that fit between your neck and head in different ways to keep your head from going too far to the side or falling forward when lying in an upright position.


This pillow size arrives in many sizes, yet all of them are used for various body support. So, whether you need wedge pillows for lumbar support, a pregnant belly, or for an upright sleeping position, it can be a cost-effective pain-alleviating option. Wedge pillows are typically made from memory foam or polyfoam.

Bolster or Roll

This pillow is usually used to decorate or ornament your bed. However, its history began with leg and neck support, and it’s still really useful when utilized in this manner. Keep in mind that your neck requires appropriate support between your back and head, particularly when sleeping on your back. Moreover, it can help with spinal alignment when positioned under your knees as you sleep on your back.

The Bed Rest Pillows

If you want to play video games, read novels from the comfort of your bed, then the bed rest pillow is suitable for you. A bed rest pillow is not like a normal pillow. Its shape and sizes are different from other types of pillows you can get in the market. This bed rest pillow works like a backrest pillow. Most people think that the bed rest pillow and the backrest pillow for back pain are the same. And it is true. The bed rest pillow supports the entire body from the backside. It is tall, thick, wide and has two arms on its two sides to give support your hands while reading books or novels.

The bed rest and backrest pillow is a multi-functional pillow. You can use it as a chair pillow, an armchair pillow or a wall pillow.

Finally, the bed rest pillow can support your body from misaligned postures and give you comfortable body support in the time of your reading books or watching TV.

Different Types of Pillows

We have put together the different types of pillows and what you must know about each of them.

Memory Foam Pillows

A lot of foams are filled to a memory foam pillow, and each foam provides different advantages. This pillow type is loved by many since they improve and boost the quality of sleep of the user.

Also, memory foam pillows offer better mold and support to the shape of the sleeper. Thus, giving more ease and comfort compared to a traditional pillow. This pillow type has progressed in the following types:

Multi-foam memory foam. This memory foam pillow type uses different foam types, as the name suggests, to strengthen and boost the rewarding aspects of the design of the pillow. These beneficial aspects mainly focus on cooling and conformity. Simultaneously, the adverse aspects like warming and sinking are minimized.

Shredded memory foam. This memory foam pillow type presents shredded clusters of memory foam for the filling, making it more adaptable and moldable to the comfort needs of the sleeper. Furthermore, shredded memory foam pillows can be, for the most part, quickly conformed to your preferred sleeping position. Also, the breathability is much better than a solid memory foam pillow filling.

Natural foam for memory foam. This memory foam pillow type is utilized for hypoallergenic products. Thus, natural foam presents a huge percentage of natural materials. Because of this, the pillow provides an eco-friendly solution that’s firmer and sturdy. Therefore, this pillow is usually or typically cooler compared to traditionally-designed memory foam pillows.

Cooling gel memory foam. This memory foam pillow type lessens the retention of heat. Thus, the pillows are usually utilized with cool pillowcases or moisture-wicking pillow covers.

If you decide to opt for memory foam pillows, you must base your selection on the firmness, comfort, and the cooling features of the product. Also, you need to determine how the pillow fit your sleeping position. This type of pillow is usually sold in prices ranging from ten dollars to one hundred fifty dollars, depending on the configuration, type, brand, and the foam of the pillow.

Latex Pillows

Latex pillows are, for the most part, made or designed from synthetic latex or natural latex. The latter comes from the rubber tree and is made from a white and tenacious fluid. On the other hand, synthetic latex copies or mimics natural latex and is composed of different chemicals. A lot of latex manufacturers integrate a blend of natural latex and synthetic latex into the filling of the pillow.

When it comes to softness, this pillow type is really soft. In fact, it is softer compared to its memory foam counterparts. Also, latex pillows feature more breathability and promote pressure point support compared to conventional memory foam pillows.

Some users of this pillow type say that the added pressure point support makes up to the firmness of the design of the pillow while other users say that latex pillows are much heavier compared to memory foam pillows.

Down Pillows

This pillow type is composed of an undercoating that’s fluffy and placed under a goose’s feather. Thus, this pillow filling is exceptionally soft and light. As a result, the user is benefited with a pillow that’s, for the most part, comfortable and breathable. But aside from these rewarding features, down pillows need a considerable amount of fluffing to keep its shape.

Furthermore, down pillows are challenging to clean and maintain. The down in the pillow is bound to condense and cluster when exposed to moisture. Additionally, those people who suffer from allergies might be allergic or sensitive to the down filler of the pillow. Down pillows are available in an extensive range of prices from ten dollars up to two hundred dollars, depending on the quality and brand.

Feather Pillows

This pillow type is closely associated with down pillows. Feather pillows get their filler from geese. Also, they’re super breathable and comfortable similar to down pillows. Additionally, feather pillows are priced from ten dollars up to two hundred dollars. But in some instances, the filler is known to discharge or release an unpleasant smell.

Furthermore, the feathers’ quills might irritate or poke the users. Since this pillow type is bound to flatten, they need regular fluffing or molding. Like the down pillows, this pillow type can be challenging to clean and maintain and can clump due to moisture.

Down-alternative Pillows

This pillow type mimics the look or appearance of a down pillow. However, these pillows are made of polyester materials. Sleepers who are suffering from allergies will undoubtedly like this pillow type and those sleepers who like to have the option to choose the firmness of the pillow. Some sleepers say that down-alternative pillows don’t have the same amount of support and comfort of an authentic down pillow.

Polyfill Pillows

Polyfill pillows are pillows that have polyester for the filler of the pillow. Sleepers who suffer from allergies usually like this pillow type since they are hypoallergenic. This pillow type goes by the term down-alternative or microfiber fill at times.

Polyfill pillows are easy to maintain and clean. Also, it is priced affordably. Although a pillow loaded with polyester can, for the most part, compete equally with cotton with regards of softness, it still can’t quite meet the comfort, breathability, and support that makes up the design of a memory foam pillow.

Innerspring Pillows

Innerspring pillows, as the name suggests, presents a core steel spring that’s plastered with a memory foam layer. In some instances, the core steel spring of the pillow might be covered by polyester. Whatever material is used for the covering, innerspring pillows are regarded as ergonomically comfortable.

Innerspring pillows usually highlight ergonomically-endorsed comfort for the head and neck. Therefore, this pillow type is an excellent option for anyone who suffers from neck pain. The pillow’s core steel spring allows airflow, cooling the user during the night.

The design of innerspring pillows directly responds to any kind of sleeping position as well. But these kinds of aspects come fastened to a towering price because this pillow type ranges from one hundred twenty dollars up to one hundred sixty dollars in price.


Having many kinds of pillows can become handy to your lifestyle and in health in general. It can make a difference and create wonders for your sleep as well. However, do not be too overwhelmed with a sea of options available today that claim the best night’s sleep. Also, do not rush your decisions or limit yourself only to choose a few because it can lead you to the wrong choice. Take your time knowing and understanding your options and ensure that it is based on your needs and your preferences. Read my pillow reviews online to know more.

Author’s Bio:

Analisse Weathers is a blogger and writer. She mainly writes about home improvement, home renovation, home repairs, and whatnot. Analisse loves to write these topics as she aspires to become an interior designer someday. In her spare time, she spends time with her family and friends.

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