So, you read our guide to help you select the right pillow material based on your wants and needs. It meets your budget, has the perfect support, and will last for some time. You are now all set, right? Well, not quite yet.

Believe it or not, having the right pillow size, shape and loft can make a big difference in how well you sleep each night. Feeling overwhelmed again? Not to worry, we will help guide you through all the important information so you can make an informed decision!

Choosing the Right Pillow Size

When you are looking for the right pillow, you have likely seen the package details include the names of mattress sizes on them, along with the dimensions as well.

Depending on what type of bed you have, the type of pillow size you select determine how many pillows you can fit onto your mattress, as well as helping determine if they will provide the right amount of comfort and support depending on your sleeping habits and needs.

Standard Size

Standard size pillows fit on all kinds of mattresses. The standard pillow is 20 inches by 26 inches, making it a compact pillow compared to the other kinds of pillows available. For twin size beds, only one of these kinds of pillows will fit across the mattress. With full and queen size beds, you can fit up to two of these pillows, while needing three for king and California king beds.

While standard pillows are a good fit for stomach, side, and back sleepers, they may not work for those who are combination sleepers due to the pillow’s size, especially on queen and king size mattresses.

There are also pillows known as super standard. These pillows tend to be more specialized and are 20 inches by 28 inches. These pillows help fill the some of the shortcomings of a traditional standard pillow for combination sleepers.

Queen Size

Compared to the standard size pillow, a queen size pillow is 20 inches by 30 inches. You can fit one of these sized pillows on a twin-size mattress, and two of these pillows on all other sized mattresses (keep in mind the fitting will be tight on a double size bed).

Queen size pillows are a better fit for combination sleepers due to the pillow’s size. Purchasing a standard size pillowcase for a queen size pillow will make the pillow firmer for those who need more support when they sleep.

King Size

A king size pillow is 20 inches by 36 inches, making it the largest common pillow available. Because of there size, these pillows can help sleepers who suffer joint or muscle pains because of the additional body support. For some people, a king size bed is used more for supporting their back while they sleep or to help prop up your body while reading or watching TV while in bed.

King size pillows are often recommended for pregnant women due to the amount of support the pillow can provide. Using a queen size pillowcase will help add firmness to the pillow, while using king size pillowcases will help keep the pillow soft.

Body Pillow

Unlike the pillows listed above, a body pillow is not as common. The body pillow in terms of size is the largest available, measuring at 20 inches by 54 inches, making it twice as long as a standard pillow. These pillows are known to be stable and will not slip easily on the bed, which is perfect for those who need as much support as they can get.

Body pillows can also be curved to conform to your body for a better night’s sleep. The pillow is also well liked by women in early stages of pregnancy since the pillow can provide comfort in many shapes while maintaining stability overnight.

Pillow Lofts

While the size of the pillow you use will determine if you will roll off it or not overnight, a pillow’s loft will determine how high it is. Depending on your sleeping position, finding the right level of loft in a pillow is critical. Before you select the loft level for a pillow, there are some things you need to factor in. These include:

  • Mattress firmness: Someone sleeping on a softer mattress will sink lower than someone who sleeps on a firmer mattress.
  • Body weight: Heavier people add pressure to the mattress, causing them to sink further into the mattress.
  • Head size: Someone who has a heavier head will need more loft for support than someone with a smaller, lighter head.
  • Pillow placement: Depending on where someone places their head on the pillow, they will need more loft if they are only partially on the pillow, while someone who places their head fully under the pillow can use less loft.
  • Shoulder width: If someone is a side sleeper and have broad shoulders, they will need a pillow that has a high loft level.
  • Sleep position: Depending on how you sleep, you will need to find the right loft level to keep the proper alignment.

Pillows with a low loft are ideal for people who have firmer mattresses, are lighter weight, and who sleep on their stomach. Those who sleep on their backs and sides tend to prefer pillows with a medium loft or a medium to high loft for the best support.

Those who are combination sleepers should purchase two pillows that are different lofts to have the best support throughout the night.

Pillow Density

Pillow density, as you would expect, determines the pillow’s firmness. The denser the pillow, the firmer it is. Back sleepers should look at pillows that are medium to medium-soft in terms of firmness, since it provides support for both the head and the rest of the upper spin.

Side sleepers should consider pillows that are firm density since they cover from the head and neck to their shoulder’s edge to have the proper spinal alignment. Stomach sleepers should purchase soft density pillows as they allow for the body to maintain a flat position, rather than having the neck bend at an uncomfortable angle.

For those who are combination sleepers, you will want to look at pillows that are medium to medium-firm, since they provide enough support and comfort for almost all positions. Of course, you can also look at adjustable pillows. These pillow, like the Eli & Elm shredded memory foam pillow, can help take out the guesswork and anxiety of finding the right level as firmness.

Other Best Pillows Shapes to Consider

So far, we have covered details about the types of pillows you either place your head or body on to help you get to sleep and create proper alignment. But did you know there are also different sleeping pillow shapes available?

Each pillow shape has its unique benefits that can help get you to sleep and stay asleep, allowing you to wake up refreshed. Here are some of the other types of pillows available.


If you need additional support to help relieve pain or prevent issues* while you are sleeping, a wedge pillow may be a great addition. Wedge pillow can be helpful for the following people and conditions:

*Always consult with a doctor regarding any medical issues before purchasing a support pillow. Your doctor may be able to help select the right loft, size and specific shape based on your condition and needs.

  • Snorers: Having the slight elevation a wedge pillow can provide can help bring some relief to those who snore. Make sure you speak to your doctor about the right type of wedge pillow and height you should get, especially if you use a CPAP.
  • People with heartburn: Using a wedge pillow may help prevent stomach content from going back into your esophagus, preventing heartburn. Again, talk to your doctor if these symptoms are persistent.
  • Back, shoulder or neck pain sufferers: Wedge pillows can create proper spinal alignment and relieve pressure points to reduce pain and stiffness when waking up in the morning.
  • Blood circulation issues: Placing a wedge pillow at the lower legs, knees and feet can help improve blood circulation problems at night.


Roll/bolster pillows are often used for decorative purposes. These pillows, however, can be useful for gaining additional support, especially those who sleep on their backs. These pillows can help prevent aches and pains, along with sprains. Roll/bolster pillows also help people recovering from back injuries as it helps relieve the pressure on the hipbone.

On top of the physical benefits a roll/bolster pillow can provide, the pillow is also known to have some psychological benefits as well. Since people often hug these pillows while using them, it creates a sense of snuggling up to something. Studies have shown that this help the user go into a relaxed state, helping them have an easier time falling asleep. This hugging also helps promote good posture since you keep your back straight. Custom Side Sleeper Pillowcase