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Types of Bed Pillows

List of Different Types, Support, and Sizes


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Your pillow is very important piece of bedding that provides comfort for your body and is the key to a good night’s sleep. Along with your mattress, you’ll spend 1/3 of your time on your pillow so it’s good to know what type of pillow works best for you. In order to find the best pillow for your needs, you’ll need to know the different types, support, and sizes. Here is a list of these different types of bed pillows, along with a little information on support and sizes, which will help you find the pillow of your dreams.

Fill and Pillow Types

  1. Natural Fill Pillow is feather, down (fluffy insulation under feathers), or a combination of both. These types of pillows and filling offer comfort by conforming to your head and neck. The fill power, which is how much filling included within the pillow, will be listed on high-end down pillows. The higher the fill power, the more loft the pillow will have, and therefore, it will be more durable. (Note: Natural fill pillows labeled “allergy free”, means the fill has been sanitized of all impurities, can still affect allergy sufferers.)
  2. Synthetic Fill Pillow is a man-made fill, customarily polyester. Synthetic pillows are the inexpensive $5 pillows normally found in discount department stores. They have shorter life spans and do not conform to the head and neck like natural fill pillows. These pillows and filling are hypoallergenic and most affordable.
  3. Poly Cluster Fill Pillow is a synthetic fill of polyester clusters coated with silicone to feel and move like down, which conforms to your neck and head. These pillows are great for allergy sufferers because it gives the softness and allure of a true down pillow without the down and high cost.
  4. Foam Pillow is made of solid pieces or chunks of foam. These pillows are an inexpensive alternative to Memory Foam but more often found and used for decorative pillows.
  5. Memory Foam Pillow is a dense, sponge-like pillows that molds around the neck and head for extra support. This pillow contours are perfect for sleepers who prefer a firm pillow or have neck and spine issues.

Support Recommended for Specific Sleep Positions

The type of pillow to use is determined on your preferred sleep position. Here is a list of basic sleep positions and the recommended pillow type to help support your head and neck at night.

  1. Back sleepers should use a medium support pillow providing support under the head, neck and shoulders. This will provide the support needed for the natural curvature of the upper spine eliminating any neck or upper back issues. Memory Foam pillows offer the best support for back sleepers
  2. Side sleepers need a pillow that contours and cradles the neck, usually identified by a gusset, side sleeper pillow helps keep the body in a straight horizontal line. Some memory foam pillows, natural filled, and poly cluster pillows offer the best support for this type of sleep position.
  3. Stomach sleepers need a nice soft pillow, like a fluffy down or poly cluster pillow, so the head and neck aren’t turned in awkward or unnatural positions.

Different Pillow Sizes

Knowing the different sizes of pillows will help determine the comfort and type you’ll need as well. Some pillows have certain functions, while others have varies function, support, and levels of comfort.

  1. Standard Pillow is 20” x 26” and fits inside a standard size pillowcase. This pillow is your basic sleeping pillow and provides support for your head and neck; it’s ideal for all sleep positions depending on the pillow's filling. Typically one is used on a Twin bed, two across a Full or Queen beds, and three across a King or California King bed.
  2. Queen Pillow is 20” x 30” and fits tightly in a standard size pillowcase. These basic sleeping pillows offer support for your head and neck, and ideal for all sleep positions. Created for Queen Size bed, it fits perfectly across both a Full and Queen beds.
  3. King Pillow is 20” x 36” and fits into a King size pillowcase. These extra-long pillows are great for neck and head support, and all sleep positions. They fit perfectly paired across the top of both King and California King beds.
  4. European Pillow is 26” x 26” and fits in decorative or pillow shams. These pillows can be used for all sleep positions. They're normally used as decoration and positioned against the headboard.
  5. Body Pillow is 20” x 54” and fits into a body pillowcase. This body-length pillow contours to the shape of your body, which is perfect for side sleepers and expectant mothers.
  6. Travel Pillow is 12” x 16” and fits into a travel size pillowcase. This pillow is small and convenient to have and use when traveling on long trips in the car or on an airplane.

Now that you have an idea of what type of pillow to use, be sure to determine the type of bed sheet fabric, weaves, and other basic bedding essentials you’ll need to complete your bed for better sleep.

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