Pillow Sizes And Dimensions Guide

Written by
 Purple Staff
Last Updated
March 16, 2023
min read

Building the perfect sleeping setup requires a lot of trial and error, from trying out duvet sizes and bed sheet sizes to mattress firmness levels. This also includes finding the right pillow size for your bed. Luckily, plenty of online resources (like this one) cut through the confusion and lay out the information you need. 

In this guide, we outline different pillow sizes’ dimensions, advantages, and drawbacks – all so you can understand how to choose a pillow.

Pillow Sizing Chart


Dimensions (inches)

Dimensions (centimeters)


20 in x 26 in

51 cm x 56 cm


20 in x 30 in

51 cm x 76 cm


20 in x 36 in

51 cm x 92 cm


20 in x 54 in

51 cm x 132 cm


Standard-Size Pillow Dimensions

The standard-size pillow is the most common and versatile out of all the options on the market. Because of its relatively small dimensions, it pairs perfectly with all mattress sizes, from twin to California king. 

At a modest 20 x 26 inches, the standard pillow can easily be fluffed up into a high loft for side sleepers or flattened out for back and stomach sleepers. However, the standard-size pillow may not be the best choice for restless sleepers because of its limited width. 


  • Can comfortably be used across a wide range of bed sizes
  • Complements most sleeping positions
  • Great versatility for combination sleepers


  • May not provide enough support for people who move around often
  • Can look tiny on king beds

Queen-Size Pillow Dimensions

At 20 x 30 inches, the queen-size pillow is a considerable step up from its standard counterpart. This slightly larger pillow offers more sleeping real estate for restless individuals who toss and turn at night while also making longer beds look more filled out. 

However, that's not all there is to these middle-of-the-pack cushions. Queen-size pillows can also be used with smaller twin beds while looking right at home on king mattresses. They can also fit in most standard-size pillowcases, so you won't need a new set of sheets just for your new pillow!


  • Perfect for all mattress sizes
  • Can be used with a standard pillowcase, eliminating the need for new sheets
  • The extra length provides more leeway for rolling around


  • May be too lofty or firm when used with standard pillowcases

King-Size Pillow Dimensions

Like their mattress counterparts with the same name, the king-size pillow is one of the largest options available on the market. At 20 x 36 inches, these cushions are significantly longer than smaller options, making them the number-one pick for active sleepers. 

Moreover, these big cushions can be used during the day, too! If you're the kind of person who likes to sit up and read or watch TV in bed, the king-size pillow is perfect. Its size imitates a couch's breadth while offering a pillow's support.


  • Can be used to relieve pressure at key points like knees, hips, or shoulders
  • Wide enough to accommodate very active sleepers
  • Great for sitting up in bed


  • Takes up more space on mattresses
  • Can look out of place on smaller mattresses

Body-Size Pillow Dimensions

While generally considered a non-standard pillow size, body pillows have become increasingly popular as people build more comfortable sleeping environments. At a colossal 20 x 54 inches, these pillows are perfect for hugging, holding between your legs, or acting as a barrier between you and the edge of your bed. 

Body pillows are more malleable than standard cushions, curving and twisting to suit your specific needs. They’re often used as a wedge by pregnant women who want to keep themselves from rolling over at night.


  • Perfect for hugging
  • Prevents unwanted rolling or adjusting


  • Can make narrow beds feel very tight
  • Pillowcases may be harder to find

Other Specialty Sizes

Everyone wants to be comfortable everywhere they go, so many pillow manufacturers have started producing cushions in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few specialty pillow sizes and how they're used.

  • Super standard pillows: Measuring 20 x 28 inches, these super standard pillows are longer than standard pillows but shorter than queen-size pillows, making them a great intermediate choice.
  • Travel pillows: Usually measuring a modest 12 x 16 inches, the travel pillow is designed to fit into luggage for use on planes, trains, and long car rides. These can come in different shapes, ranging from the neck pillow to more traditional rectangle cushions. This type of pillow aims to reduce neck pain and strain when sleeping on the go.
  • Orthopedic pillows: These pillows usually come in the standard 20 x 26 inches size and are usually made of memory foam. Designed to keep your spine alignment centered while sleeping, these pillows may be prescribed to people with a spinal issue diagnosis.
  • Throw pillows: Because throw pillows are meant more for fashion and not function, they can come in all sorts of non-standard sizes and shapes. That said, most square throw pillows measure 18 x 18 inches.
  • Euro sham pillows: Like their throw counterparts, Euro sham pillows are meant to visually enhance a bed or sofa area with a touch of elegance. They typically measure 26 x 26 inches.
  • Pregnancy pillows: Pregnant women need specific kinds of pillows to support their bodies as they sleep, from 10 x 10-inch C-shaped cushions to giant body-size bolsters.

Along with different sizes, specialty pillows also come in different types. If you want to learn more about which pillow types are right for you, read our article on the 11 different pillow types and what kind of sleep styles they’re good for.

Why Pillow Sizes Matter

Pillow sizes matter because having the right size pillow can impact your sleep quality dramatically. For example, let’s say that you tend to roll around often at night. In this case, you’d be better off with a larger pillow that can accommodate your constant adjustments. 

The opposite is true for folks who sleep like a log. If this is true for you, a smaller pillow may be a perfect choice.

Beyond this, pillow size matters because it can affect the overall aesthetic of your bedroom and determine how the stuffing sits inside its casing. However, this usually differs from brand to brand, so it’s best to check out their products first.

Just like pillows, pillowcases have a variety of sizes and dimensions. It’s important to get a pillowcase that perfectly fits each of your pillows and your bed sheets.

Check out our guide to pillowcase sizes to see which one is the best fit for your pillows.

How Many Pillows Do You Need?

Ultimately, the number of pillows needed is determined by the sleeper’s preferences. But while there are no hard and fast rules about choosing the ideal amount of pillows for your sleeping area, having a simple guide can steer buyers on the right path.

Here are a few suggestions about how many pillows you should have based on your mattress type.


Type of mattress

Bed width

Number/size pillows needed

Twin and twin XL

38 inches

1 standard pillow


54 inches

2 standard or queen pillows


60 inches

2 queen or king pillows


76 inches

2-3 king pillows

California king

72 inches

2-3 king pillows


All that said, the best combination of pillows is the one that makes you feel supported and comfortable throughout the night

Purchase Your Perfect Pillow At Purple

Deciding on the perfect pillow size is only half the battle when it comes to building the perfect sleeping area. You must also figure out the loft, firmness, volume, and filling you want. If you don’t know which pillow to pick, you can read our guide to choosing the best pillow

Luckily, Purple has a well-designed range of pillows that start from kid-size and go up to a standard king:

  • Purple Harmony: The Purple Harmony is our best seller coming in standard and king size. This also includes the option for a low, medium, or tall height.
  • The Purple Harmony pillow features a layer of honeycomb grid which provides a cool, comforting sleep all night long.
  • Purple Pillow: Our first pillow design is one-of-a-kind. Uses 3 inches of GelFlex Grid to cushion and cradle your head and neck. The Purple pillow comes with a booster that allows you to adjust it to your preferred pillow height.
  • Purple Cloud Pillow: The Purple Cloud pillow comes in standard or king-size. Features ultra-fine fibers, with hypoallergenic materials that won't trap heat or flatten over time. The result is a comfortable pillow that provides all-night head and neck support. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pillow Size

How do I measure a pillow?

Measure your pillow from end to end with a hard tool like a ruler or meter stick for accurate results. It may seem more intuitive to use something soft like a measuring tape, but this will usually result in warped measurements that could make it difficult to choose the right pillowcases and other bedding.

How much larger should a pillowcase be compared to the pillow?

Generally speaking, buyers should get pillowcases that are ½ to 1 inch longer and 2 to 4 inches wider than your cushion. This gives your pillow more space to expand and contract as you use and fluff it. The result is an even loft that won’t strain your neck.

What’s the best size pillow?

No one size suits everyone’s needs perfectly. Instead, note your mattress size and purchase a pillow accordingly. We also recommend factoring in how much you toss and turn at night.