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Pillow Sizes Guide: The Ultimate Resource [Chart]

    Last Updated
    January 29, 2024
    9
    min read

    Key takeaways:

    • Standard pillows typically measure 20 x 26 inches or 51 x 66 centimeters. 
    • Pillow sizes vary widely, from versatile queen pillows designed specifically for sleeping to specialty throw pillows for decoration.
    • Factors like mattress size, pillow use, sleeping position, pillow materials, and more all play into determining the best pillow size for you.

    Building the perfect sleep setup requires many rounds of trial and error — from trying out pillow sizes and bed sheet sizes to mattress firmness levels. Luckily, our ultimate guide cuts through the confusion and lays out all the information you need to understand the different pillow sizes and pick the best one for your bed. We outline standard pillow sizes, different pillow dimensions, how to measure a pillow, and tips for choosing the right pillow. Keep reading to learn more about different pillow sizes and how to optimize your bed setup for a restful night’s sleep.

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    Pillow Size Chart and Standard Dimensions

    Illustration of the five standard pillow sizes

    You might be surprised to learn that there is a wide range of bed pillow sizes — and that, with the exception of some specialty pillows, most pillows generally only vary by length. 

    Pillow height (or loft) is also a consideration to keep in mind, typically ranging from 4 to 7 inches tall. For the purposes of this guide, however, we’ll focus primarily on pillow length and width. Read on to learn more about various pillow sizes.

    Pillow Size

    Dimensions (inches)

    Dimensions (centimeters)

    Standard

    20 x 26

    51 x 66

    Super Standard

    20 x 28

    51 x 71

    Queen

    20 x 30

    51 x 76

    King

    20 x 36

    51 x 91

    Body

    20 x 54

    51 x 137

    Standard Pillow Size

    • Standard pillow dimensions: 20-by-26 inches
    • Super standard pillow dimensions: 20-by-28 inches

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

    At a modest 20-by-26 inches, the standard pillow size is fairly versatile for side, back, and stomach sleepers. However, a standard pillow may not be the best choice for restless sleepers because of its limited length; longer pillows allow for more room to roll or move around.

    Though not as common as some other pillow sizes, super standard pillows are 2 inches longer than a standard pillow, offering a bit more room without taking up as much space as a queen-size pillow. Two side-by-side super standard pillows will be too long for a twin or full mattress but will work well on a queen or king mattress

    Advantages

    Disadvantages

    Fit comfortably with various mattress sizes

    May not provide enough support for people who move around often

    Complements most sleeping positions

    May be too small on king beds

    Versatile for combination sleepers

     

    Queen Pillow Size

    • Queen pillow dimensions: 20-by-30 inches

    At 20-by-30 inches, a queen pillow size is the next size up from a standard or super standard pillow. This slightly larger pillow offers more sleeping real estate for restless individuals who toss and turn at night while making longer beds appear more filled out. 

    Queen-size pillows work well with smaller twin beds or king mattresses. They also fit in most standard-size pillowcases, so you won't need a new set of sheets just for your new pillow.

    Advantages

    Disadvantages

    Perfect for all mattress sizes

    May be too lofty or firm when used with standard pillowcase

    Fit standard pillowcases, eliminating the need for new sheets

     

    Extra length provides more room for rolling around

     

    King Pillow Size

    • King pillow dimensions: 20-by-36 inches

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

    Because of their size, king-size pillows are incredibly versatile at day and night. Many people use their king-size pillow to sit up in bed and read or watch TV. This size mimics the typical cushion of a couch, while offering the support of a proper pillow. 

    Advantages

    Disadvantages

    Capable of relieving pressure in knees, hips, or shoulders

    Take up more space on mattresses

    Wide enough to accommodate very active sleepers

    May be too large for smaller mattresses

    Great for sitting up in bed

     

    Body Pillow Size

    • Body pillow dimensions: 20-by-54 inches

    While generally considered a non-standard pillow size, body pillows have become increasingly popular as people aim to get more comfortable in bed. At a staggering 20-by-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.

    Advantages

    Disadvantages

    Perfect for hugging or cuddling

    May make narrow beds feel very tight

    Prevents unwanted rolling or adjusting

    Pillowcases may be difficult to find

    Makes sleep more comfortable for pregnant women

     

    Specialty Pillow Sizes

    Illustration of four specialty pillows on a purple couch with their dimensions

    Aside from the more common pillow sizes, there are also various specialty pillows for different purposes. Here are a few specialty pillow sizes and how you’ll use them.

    • Euro pillows: Euro pillows are used decoratively on a bed or sofa area. They are square-shaped and typically measure 26-by-26 inches.
    • Throw pillows: Because throw pillows are intended for interior design and not necessarily function, they can come in a variety of non-standard sizes and shapes. That said, most square throw pillows measure 18-by-18 inches.
    • Travel pillows: Usually measuring a modest 12-by-16 inches, the travel pillow is designed to fit into luggage for use on planes, trains, and long car rides. They come in different shapes, ranging from a C-shaped neck pillow to more traditional rectangular cushions. This type of pillow aims to reduce neck pain and strain when sleeping on the go.
    • Lumbar pillows: These pillows, also called back pillows, are long, firm pillows designed to support your back. Lumbar pillow sizes typically measure 12-by-20 inches.

    Purple Harmony™ Anywhere Pillow

    At just 13 x 16 inches, this pillow provides the same familiar comfort as other Purple pillows no matter where you are.

    Purple Pillows: Sizes and Dimensions

    Purple has a well-designed range of pillow sizes — from kid-size to king — for every type of sleeper. Check out the Purple pillow comparison below to see all size options available: 

    • Purple Pillow®: 
      • 16 x 24 inches
    • Kids’ Purple Pillow®: 
      • 13 x 18 inches
    • Purple Harmony™ Pillow:
      • Standard: 17 x 26 inches
      • King: 17 x 34 inches 
    • Purple Harmony™ Anywhere Pillow: 
      • 13 x 16 inches
    • Purple Freeform™ Pillow: 
      • Standard: 18.5 x 26 inches
      • King: 18.5 x 36 inches
    • Purple Cloud™ Pillow: 
      • Standard: 17 x 24 inches
      • King: 17 x 34 inches
    • TwinCloud™ Pillow: 
      • Standard: 17 x 24 inches
      • King: 17 x 34 inches

    Purple pillows feature various filling and size options for cloud-like comfort and exceptional support. From the temperature-balancing GelFlex® Grid in our best-selling Purple Harmony™ Pillow to the ultra-fine fibers in our Purple Cloud™ Pillow, we have something for everyone. 

    How To Measure a Pillow

    All you need to measure your pillow is a hard tool like a ruler or meter stick for accurate results. Using something soft like a measuring tape may seem more intuitive, but this will usually result in warped measurements that could make it difficult to choose the right bedding and pillowcase sizes. It may also be helpful to have someone hold the two corners of the edge and pull it tight while you measure. 

    Follow these simple steps to measure your pillow:

    1. Remove the pillow from its pillowcase, if applicable. 
    2. Lay the pillow on a flat surface.
    3. Measure the short end of the pillow first, making sure to measure along the edge from corner to corner, not across the top or center of the pillow. This is the pillow’s width.
    4. Next, measure the longer side of the pillow, again ensuring that you measure along the edge. This is the pillow’s length

    Pillow measurements are typically written as width by length. For example, if the measurement for the shorter side of the pillow is 16 inches, and the measurement for the longer side is 24 inches, your pillow dimensions are 16-by-24 inches.

    How To Choose the Right Pillow Size

    The right pillow for you depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your mattress, the type of sleeper, how many people sleep in your bed, how you intend to use the pillow, and the pillow material. Keep reading for more details about how to choose the best pillow size.

    Mattress Size

    The size of your mattress plays a significant role in your ideal pillow size. As we mentioned earlier, certain pillow sizes may be too long to fit comfortably on smaller mattresses, while others may look out of place on larger mattresses.

    • Twin and twin XL mattresses 
      • Standard mattress width: 38 inches 
      • Ideal pillow pairing: Standard, super standard, or queen
    • Full mattresses
      • Standard mattress width: 54 inches 
      • Ideal pillow pairing: Two standard pillows or a single king or queen 
    • Queen mattresses 
      • Standard mattress width: 60 inches 
      • Ideal pillow pairing: Two standard, super standard, or queen pillows or a single king
    • King or California king mattresses 
      • Standard king mattress width: 76 inches
      • Standard California king mattress width: 72 inches
      • Ideal pillow pairing: Two of nearly any size pillow or three standard pillows 

    Pillow Use

    Consider how you intend to use your pillow to determine the best pillow size. For example, if you think a new pillow size might help you get more deep sleep, you’ll likely want to opt for a non-specialty pillow, like a standard or queen. On the other hand, if you’re looking for sleep support during pregnancy, you might be better off with a body pillow. 

    Occupancy

    If you share a bed with your partner, make sure your mattress size can comfortably fit two pillows. If you sleep alone but still want to use two pillows or one standard pillow and one body pillow, for example, make sure your mattress can accommodate them.

    Sleeping Position

    Different pillows are better suited for different sleeping positions, with pillow height being the primary consideration. For instance, the best pillows for side sleepers often have a higher loft than those for back and stomach sleepers. Think about how you normally sleep to help determine the best pillow size for a supportive, comfortable night’s sleep.  

    Pillow Materials

    A pillow’s inner materials have a major impact on comfort while sleeping. Types of pillow stuffing include: 

    • GelFlex® Grid: Purple’s GelFlex® Grid is a proprietary hyper-elastic polymer designed to provide soft support and breathability. From the smallest Purple Harmony™ Anywhere Pillow to the biggest Purple Freeform™ Pillow, we have GelFlex® Grid options for every sleeper. 
    • Foam: Pillows made from foam materials like memory foam or poly foam contour to your head and neck for exceptional support. 
    • Latex: Latex pillows are known for their excellent breathability and bouncy resilience. The Purple Harmony Pillow uses high-quality Talalay latex for long-lasting comfort. 
    • Down and down alternative: Down pillows are made from quill-less feather clusters from real birds, whereas down alternative pillows consist of synthetic polyester microfibers. The Purple Cloud™ Pillow and TwinCloud™ Pillow both feature a fluffy down alternative filling in 17-by-24 and 17-by-34 size options.
    • Adjustable: Adjustable pillows, often containing shredded latex, foams, or down or down alternative materials, allow you to shape the pillow to your preferences. The Purple Freeform™ Pillow contains our MicroFlex™ Moon Foam wrapped with GelFlex® Grid in 18.5-by-26 and 18.5-by-36 options.

    Cost

    The average cost of a pillow depends on factors like materials used, quality of materials and construction, and pillow size. Materials like down and latex tend to be more expensive, while polyester and cotton cost less. Larger pillows, like king-sized pillows, will also generally cost more than smaller options. 

    The ultra-fine fibers in our Purple Cloud™ Pillow offer the luxuriously soft, plush feel of a down alternative while supporting the head and neck.

    Find Your Perfect Pillow With Purple

    As you can see, pillow sizes range widely from small travel-size pillows to larger body pillows. No matter what your needs are, there’s a Purple pillow for you. Take our pillow quiz to find the ideal pillow to match your Purple mattress for a better night’s sleep — every night.

     

    FAQ

    Still have questions about pillow sizes? We’ve answered some commonly asked questions below.

    A standard pillow typically measures 20-by-26 inches or 51-by-66 centimeters, though exact measurements can vary by brand. Super standard pillows typically measure 20-by-28 inches or 51-by-71 centimeters. 

    Yes, there are many different pillow sizes available. Pillows typically measure 20 inches wide, varying in length from 26 inches for a standard pillow to 54 inches for body pillows. Specialty pillows offer even more variation, like long lumbar pillows measuring 12-by-20 inches and small travel pillows measuring just 12-by-16 inches.

    Queen-size pillow dimensions differ slightly from the dimensions of a king pillow. Queen pillows typically measure 20-by-30 inches, while king pillows are a bit longer, at 20-by-36 inches.

    The appropriate pillow size for sleeping largely depends on personal preference. For example, those who roll or move around while they sleep may benefit from a longer pillow, like a king-size pillow. On the other hand, those who tend to stay put while sleeping may prefer a smaller option.

    There is no specific size pillow for a twin bed, though a standard 20-by-26 pillow fits nicely on a twin mattress. 

    Purple’s TwinCloud™ Pillow is like having two pillows in one, with its silky down alternative filling separated into our patented two-chamber cover. Choose between softer and firmer options with a quick zip-and-flip

    Pillow sizes matter because having the right size pillow can impact your sleep quality dramatically. It can also affect the overall aesthetic of your bedroom and determine how the stuffing sits inside its casing.

    Pillowcase size matters, as it can impact your comfort level and overall sleep experience. For example, if you use a pillowcase that’s too small for your pillow, you have to stuff the pillow inside, stretching the pillowcase and compromising the feel of both. Pillowcases that are too big for your pillow, however, can cause excess fabric to bunch and tangle while you sleep. Determine the appropriate pillowcase sizes once you determine the size of your pillows. 

    Figure out the size of your pillow by following these quick measurement steps:

    1. Remove the pillow from its pillowcase.
    2. Lay the pillow on a flat surface.
    3. Using a hard tool like a ruler, measure the shorter end of the pillow along the edge from corner to corner to determine the width.
    4. Measure the longer end of the pillow along the edge from corner to corner to determine the length. 

    You can then compare your measurements to the pillow sizes chart above to see what size pillow you have.

    About the authors

    April Seifert
    Writer

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.

    Judith Palmer

    Judith Palmer specializes in product management, leading efforts to understand customer needs and create Purple products across pillow, bedding and cushion categories. Judith has spent over 3 years understanding the pillow and bedding category to provide people with products for better sleep.