Pillow Sizes: A Guide for Every Type of Bed

February 22, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team
pillows with measuring tape pillows with measuring tape Pillow sizes with measuring tape

Getting that well-deserved beauty sleep is hard enough, but now you’re left figuring out what size pillows you need to complete your new sleep setup. Our guide to pillow sizes will help you find the perfect pillow so you can skip all the research and spend your time deciding on the perfect bed sheets to finish getting your bedroom sleep-ready.

Pillow Dimensions

Standard, super standard, queen, king, and body pillow sizes

From standard to king — you probably didn’t realize how many pillow sizes were out there until you started shopping. Each has unique dimensions and is best fit for specific mattress sizes and types of sleepers. So while you may be okay with going the simple route and sticking with a standard pillow size, there’s a chance it’s not the pillow that would be best for you. 

Standard Pillow Size

20 x 26 in | 51 x 66 cm

Best for small beds and those who don’t move around much while sleeping.

A standard pillow fits well on a twin or full-size mattress. With full mattresses being 53 inches (134.5 cm) wide, opting for two standard pillows would fill the width of the mattress. However, twin mattresses are much smaller and will only fit one standard pillow. 

Being one of the smallest sleeping pillows you’ll find, it takes three standard pillows to cover the span of a king-size mattress. Because of this, it’s not the best option for larger beds. 

Super Standard Pillow Size

20 x 28 in | 51 x 71 cm

Best for twin, full, or queen mattresses.

Being two inches longer than its little brother, the standard, and two inches shorter than the queen, super standard pillows are the perfect in-between. 

Two super standard pillows are too long to fit across a full or full XL mattress but fit well on a queen. If you prefer only having or using one pillow, a super standard would work well on a twin or full-size mattress as well.

Queen Pillow Size

20 x 30 in | 51 x 76 cm

Best for queen beds and restless sleepers. 

As the name suggests, queen pillows work well on queen mattresses. With a mattress width of 60 inches, two pillows fit perfectly. If you prefer a more full look on a twin, one queen pillow will do the trick. 

Queen pillows fit snug in a standard-size pillowcase, so no need to buy a different size for them unless you prefer a looser look. 

King Pillow Size

20 x 36 in | 51 x 92 cm

Best for king or California king beds and active sleepers.

You’ll normally find king-size pillows on a king or California king mattress. While you could put a king-size pillow on a twin bed, there will only be about one inch of the mattress on each side of the pillow. If this is what you’re aiming for, or a king-size pillow is best for your sleep patterns, this would be a good pillow for you. 

Keep in mind that the size of this pillow doesn’t fit in a standard pillowcase. Be sure to purchase pillowcases that specifically say they fit king-size pillows. 

Body Pillow Size

20 x 54 in | 51 x 137 cm

Best for large beds, side sleepers, and pregnant women. 

Body pillows may not come to mind when thinking of other pillow sizes out there, but don’t count out using one regularly. With the longest length out of all the aforementioned sizes, they only fit across queen or king-size beds. 

different sized pillows stacked to see the size difference

What Size Pillow is Best to Sleep On? 

There’s no one right pillow for everyone. With differences in sleeping styles and positions come different pillow needs. When determining what size will be best for you, consider the sleeping positions you find most comfortable and what type of sleeper you are. 

Non-Movers

If you’re still as a statue while you sleep, a standard pillow is for you. Because you don’t toss and turn, you don’t need the increased surface area larger pillows provide. 

The Restless

You’re not alone in feeling like you never fully reach that deep sleep everyone’s after. Because you toss and turn so often, opt for a larger pillow. Queen-size pillows have more surface area than standard pillows and will give you a larger area to move around in the night. 

Active sleepers

A king-size pillow is a good fit for most sleep activities. Whether you’re prone to sleep-dancing (while still in bed) or covering every inch of the mattress during the night, its size gives you more room to wiggle around without your head ever leaving the pillow. 

Side Sleepers 

Most traditional pillows are created with back sleepers in mind, but a body pillow gives side-sleepers needed neck support. If you opt out of keeping a full body pillow on your bed, consider storing it elsewhere and pulling it out at night to use while you sleep. 

Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is hard on your body, making a good night’s sleep difficult at times. Tucking a body pillow between your legs helps relieve back pressure so you can sleep better.

Pillows stacked on top of one another.

Other Types of Pillows

While standard, super standard, queen, king, and body pillows are among the most popular for sleeping, there are a few others that can be used for different occasions as well. 

  • Travel pillows: Perfect for long car drives or plane rides. With a typical size around 12 x 16 inches, travel or nap pillows are small enough to transport, but also give your head the support it needs. 
  • Throw pillows: These are typically only for show (rather than sleep), and make a room more comfortable or inviting. Throw pillows come in all different shapes and sizes. 
  • Euro pillows: A type of throw pillow that measures 26 x 26 inches. Like other throw pillows, they add to the visual appeal of a room. 
  • Pregnancy pillows: These come in a variety of lengths and shapes. From a simple wedge to a 10 x 10 foot C shape, these pillows are made with many needs in mind. 

How to Measure a Pillow

Measuring a pillow doesn’t seem to be a hard task, but when done incorrectly, you’ll get inaccurate measurements. Rather than using a soft, tailor’s measuring tape, use a firm, carpenter’s tape measure. Hold two corners of the pillow to the ground and measure from one end to the other. 

When measuring, make sure not to do so diagonally or from the center to any side of the pillow. You’ll also notice the pillow dimensions listed above are all whole numbers. It may take some rounding, but your measurements should be whole numbers as well.

We’re all different and therefore need different pillows. Now that you’ve read through our guide to pillow sizes, you know how to find the one that will be best for you and your needs. After picking out your perfect pillow, look through our sheet size guide to find the right size linens for your bed.