16 Types of Pillow: The Ultimate Guide 2021

In This Guide

A good night’s sleep is dependent on a variety of circumstances, but you won’t be able to sleep well if your head isn’t resting on a good pillow available. There are many different kinds of pillows to pick from. When it comes to shopping for your next pillow, this list might help you get started and comprehend some of the many options available.

16 Different Types of Pillow

1. Down Pillow

They’re created from goose, swan, or duck-down clusters obtained from the chest area. They resemble the white dandelions that children (and adults) blow to create wishes. The stuffing can also be compared to a cotton ball. It should feel like you’re resting on a bed of cotton candy as you lie on the surface of these down-filled cushions. The clusters compress, though there may be some springiness to the surface depending on how large or dense they are.

2. Down Alternative Pillow

It’s squishy and elastic, with the puffs of fill “sliding” within the shell-like silk, yet it’s more substantial in density. Instead of a down or feather pillow, the fill will not compress or shift as much. Depending on the manufacturer, the luxuriousness of an alternative down cushion might vary considerably. Some alternative down pillows have a more “down-like” feel, while others are more like the less expensive polyfill choices.

3. Feather Pillow

The material used to make feather pillows comes from the animal’s back and wings. Thin cushions could allow the quills to poke through over time because each feather has one. You can protect yourself from the poking by wearing a protector or a thick pillowcase. To make them softer, feather-filled versions are sometimes blended with down.

4. Cotton Pillow

Cotton pillows are hypoallergenic and entirely natural. Cotton fibers breathe better than synthetic fibers. Thus it stays cool against the skin, unlike polyester. Throwing a cotton pillow in the washer and following the care directions on the tag, which may vary by brand, is all it takes to clean it. If you’re allergic to chemicals found in synthetic pillows, organic cotton is a good alternative.

5. Latex Pillow

A latex pillow has a block of latex or shredded pieces of the substance as filler and is cushioned with latex foam. Latex pillows, like latex mattresses, are naturally hypoallergenic. Latex pillows and mattresses are frequently purchased by people who are allergic to germs that breed on beds. Latex pillows adhere to the head and provide dense, highly elastic foam pieces tailored neck support.

6. Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam pillows mold to the shape of your head and neck, providing a comfortable night’s sleep that changes with your sleeping position. Some people like memory foam because of its pleasant cushioning, while others say it is more ergonomic. 

The most memorable memory foam pillow can help you sleep better without causing back or neck problems. There is no compelling scientific proof that memory foam improves or poses specific health hazards to people. Memory foam is soft but conforms to the body, making it a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface. It may be preferred by people who desire neck and head support without feeling like they’re sleeping on a hard surface.

7. Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Today’s market offers more bedding options than ever before. It might be tough to appreciate the distinctions in product composition and potential benefit to the sleeper when there are many options. There was a time when a pillow was just a pillow, and then there was a period when you had to choose between fiberfill and memory foam.

8. Gel Infused Pillow

Another type of gel foam commonly seen in pillows and mattresses is gel-coated memory foam. The gel is only found on the surface of the memory foam substance in a gel-coated memory foam cushion. 

Gel-infused memory foam helps to dissipate heat and keep you more relaxed for longer periods because the gel is part-liquid, and liquid is a known cooling agent. The second way gel memory foam keeps you cool is by allowing more air to circulate through it. The act of infusing gel into memory foam during the manufacturing process helps produce more open-air passageways, boost breathability, and allow heat to disperse and escape more quickly.

9. Innerspring Pillow

An innerspring mattress comprises springs at the unit’s core to absorb the weight of a resting body and employs steel coils for body support. Proper spring support distributes weight evenly and pushes on the body to keep the spine in a healthy posture. 

Classic Bonnell coils, free-moving independent coils, and continuous coil designs are all innerspring cores. Spring support systems are encased in soft upholstery layers, which provide insulation and cushioning. For extra support, most innerspring mattresses require box springs. Innerspring mattresses are the most popular and oldest mattress construction. According to estimates, innerspring mattresses are used in around 80% of homes. Innerspring mattresses are typically less expensive than memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses.

10. Bamboo Pillow

A bamboo pillow is a more extended shredded foam pillow with a bamboo cover on the outside. Your preferred bedding material can be used to make the inside cushion stuffing. Bamboo pillows are frequently filled with environmentally friendly yet comfy materials because bamboo is considered a renewable resource. You’ll find that most bamboo pillows are adjustable because they can be filled with whatever you desire.

11. Polyester Pillow

Polyester pillows are affordable to replace and easy to find, costing half as much as other types of pillows. They provide velvety head support and are available in various firmness levels, allowing you to choose the level of head support you want. Unlike many other pillows, these pillows may be machine washed and dried, and they dry rapidly. 

Polyester pillows can be lumpy and don’t provide the same amount of comfort as down or foam pillows. Because this synthetic material does not breathe well, it may feel hot or uncomfortable on a hot day. If you’re allergic to chemicals, a different cushion might be a better option.

12. Buckwheat Pillow

A Sobakawa, or buckwheat pillow, is a traditional Japanese pillow made from hulls that encase buckwheat seeds. They’re bouncy when compressed, but they give solid, contoured support that helps you maintain optimal head and neck alignment. They’ve become popular sleep support tools for anyone looking for a good night’s sleep because they claim to relieve tension and strain through spinal alignment. The benefits and beneficial side effects of a buckwheat pillow may vary from person to person. Still, they are backed up by thousands of customers who have experienced pain alleviation and comfort after using the pillow regularly.

13. Microbead Pillow

Moldable and bendable, a microbead cushion is a great option. It’ll fit snugly between your head and your mattress. The support offered is equal and comfortable, effectively eliminating all pressure areas. It has a good amount of ventilation. It’s challenging to ignore polystyrene’s possibly dangerous off-gassing. 

The flexibility and volume of the filling are rapidly lost. With repeated use, the pillow flattens out, providing insufficient support. Because of the smooth rounded edges, the individual microbeads do not hold each other. The cushion will lose its shape due to this and will need to be readjusted regularly. Most microbead pillows have an odd design that prevents them from using standard pillowcases.

14. Wool Pillow

This natural fiber is temperature-regulating and naturally hypoallergenic, making it great for keeping you cool and comfortable at night while also reducing allergy problems. As a result, wool fillings are most commonly found in premium or luxury pillows.

15. Kapok Pillow

Silk Cotton, also known as Egyptian Cotton, is a silky-soft material that can be used in sleeping pillows instead of chemical-laden poly-fill, memory foam, and nylon. Kapok filling is made entirely of natural materials. Our kapok is supplied directly from farms in South India, ensuring that farmers receive fair compensation. Dimensions: 18 x 28 inch. Pillowcase made of 100 percent organic cotton

16. Water Pillow

Mediflow created the Water Cushion as a therapeutic form of a pillow to assist individuals in getting the most out of their sleep and waking up pain-free and rejuvenated. The Water Pillow’s favorite comfort layers are Gel Memory Foam, Original Fiberfill, and Elite Fiberfill. 

The Water Pillow is ideal for anyone who wants a comfortable night’s sleep, especially if spine alignment is an issue. On the other hand, Water Pillow benefits go beyond specific pain relief; for others, they are a gateway to increased energy and overall wellness. Because it has helped many people improve their sleeping habits, the Water Pillow is backed by clinical testing and hundreds of 5-star reviews.

Pillow Sizes

Pillow Size Measurement
Standard20*26 inch (51*66 cm)
Super Standard20*28 inch (51*71 cm)
Queen20*30 inch (51*76 cm)
King20*36 inch (51*92 cm)
European26*26 inch (66*66 cm)
Travel12*16 inch (30*40 cm)
  1. Standard Size Pillow: The dimensions of a regular pillow are 20 x 26 inches. It’s a small size ideal for people who sleep in the same posture all night.
  2. Super Standard Size Pillow: Super standard pillows are two inches longer than the standard and two inches shorter than the queen, making them the ideal compromise. Two super standard pillows are too long for a complete XL mattress, but they fit perfectly on a queen.
  3. Queen Size Pillow: The queen-size pillow is 4 inches longer than a standard pillow, measuring 20 inches by 30 inches. These pillows are made to fit a longer bed, such as a queen size.
  4. King Size Pillow: A king-size pillow is 6 inches longer than a queen-size pillow, measuring 20 inches by 36 inches. These pillows are ideal for active sleepers due to their longer length.
  5. European Size Pillow: Behind the standard, queen, and king-sized cushions is a decorative square pillow called a European size pillow. The traditional dimensions of a European pillow are 26″ x 26″.
  6. Travel Size Pillow: A Travel Size cushion is tiny enough to fit in your bag but large enough to provide comfortable support for your head each night.

Pillow Shapes

  • Body: The most common body pillows are rectangular and measure 20 by 54 inches, but there are also U, L, J, and C-shaped body pillows for different forms of support and comfort. Circular body pillows, such as the U or C shape, provide back and front support while keeping you in place, which is essential if you move about a lot in bed.

  • Horseshoe: Neck pillows in the horseshoe shape are commonly used when traveling by automobile, plane, or train.

Pillows for Different Sleeping Problems

  • Wedge: Wedge pillows are a type of orthopedic pillow designed for people who sleep on their backs. They come in various sizes, but all have the same angled triangle shape. Sleeping on an inclination supports your back, promotes blood flow, and relieves lumbar spine discomfort.
  • Cervical: Cervical pillows, often known as rounded pillows, are designed to relieve neck and shoulder pain. Cervical pillows have a depression around the neck area that maintains your neck and head in place and prevents it from flipping over while you sleep.
  • Contour: Contour pillows are wavy in shape, with one arch beneath the neck and another over the head. According to chiropractors, contour pillows give good neck support, create a neutral spine, and minimize neck and shoulder discomfort.
  • Bolster: Bolster or rolled pillows are sometimes used for ornamentation, but they can also provide good neck and leg support, more extended more depending on their placement. It can be worn between or under your knees or neck, but it helps maintain healthy spinal alignment and relieve discomfort and pressure in the neck and lumbar spine in both cases.
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea pillows contain cut-outs to accommodate the CPAP machine’s tubes and wires. If obstructive sleep apnea, use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

Pillows and Sleeping Positions

Back sleepers need a medium loft pillow (4 to 5 inches) with a medium to medium-firm hardness to keep their head and neck in line with their spine. Side sleepers need a high loft (5 to 7 inches) cushion to accommodate the gap between their head and mattress because their heads are far from their mattresses. 

Side sleeper pillows should be medium-firm to suitably support their heads while remaining in line with their spines. Stomach sleepers benefit from the firm and thin loft pillows because they don’t require much height. It’s tough to find a suitable loft and hardness for combination sleepers because they sleep in two or more positions.

How to Choose a Pillow?

Regardless of your chosen sleeping position, the right pillow will assist keep your spine in alignment while you sleep (also known as sleeping posture). Your neck, shoulders, back, and hips will all benefit from a pillow that promotes optimal posture, allowing you to wake up pain-free. While the pillow you choose is mostly a matter of personal preference, the sleeping position you prefer also plays a role. Which sleep position do you prefer: back, side, or stomach? The amount of support you require from your pillow will be determined by this factor.

Your pillow should support your neck and head if you sleep on your back, but not to the point where your neck is raised at an unnatural angle. If you sleep on your side, your pillow should keep your head aligned with your spine and support it in a neutral position. Because sleeping on your stomach is the most strenuous position for your back and neck, many specialists advise you to try sleeping in a different position.


Investing in a good pillow with the proper form, size, and fill might help you sleep better and avoid morning stiffness. While mattresses are vital for spine health and sleeping comfort, the sort of pillow you use has an equal impact and should be carefully picked. Your pillow should prevent headaches and migraines, as well as achy neck and shoulder muscles, and promote good sleep.


What pillows are most comfortable for you depends on your sleeping position. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should examine more than just the position you curl up in to go to sleep because people tend to wander around and change positions while sleeping. You should also evaluate what position you generally find yourself in when you wake up.

Feather and down, microfibre, and memory foam are the three primary varieties of pillows. The cost of a filling varies considerably based on the type and quantity of the filling.

Bolster or rolled pillows are often used for decoration, but they can also provide excellent neck and leg support, depending on their positioning. It can be worn between or under your knees or neck, but it helps to maintain proper spinal alignment and relieve pain and pressure in the neck and lumbar spine in both circumstances.

The term “hotel bedding” connotes opulence. It should come as no surprise that most hotel pillows are as adaptable as they are durable, given that hotels must cater to a wide range of demands, preferences, and sleep positions.

Horseshoe-shaped body pillows can assist prevent neck pain while sleeping in a sitting posture, such as on a plane or in a car, more extended, or a reclining chair. These little cushions help to keep the head from leaning too far to one side.

Even though many individuals sleep with two, three, or even four pillows, only one is recommended. Sleeping on multiple pillows can put pressure on several regions of your body, causing pain in your neck and shoulders as well as spinal alignment and posture issues.

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