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Choose the Right Pillow Size for your Comfort : Standard vs Queen vs King Pillow

By Sleepsia

When it comes to pillows, size matters. However, in this case, bigger isn’t always better. Multiple criteria’s such as sleeping position and bed size figure into the final decision. Using the wrong pillow size can eventually lead to cervical and lumbar spine pain and even herniation.

In this article, we’ll help you choose the right pillow size: standard pillow size, queen pillow size, or king pillow size.

Problems Caused by Sleeping on the Wrong Pillow

A pillow has to support body structures such as spine, shoulders, and hips, structures that can get sore over time and even herniated. Using the wrong sized pillow can lead to problems including, but not limited to:

  • Neck, Shoulder, Hip and Back Pain
  • Disk Herniation
  • Not feeling rested after waking up
  • Inability to turn head
  • Snoring
Problems caused by Sleeping on the Wrong Pillow

It’s about your Performance; It’s about your Happiness; It’s about your Life.

Primarily, selecting the right pillow size depends on the following factors:

Sleep position and comfort should be the primary factor for selecting the right pillow size; however, for some people, what matters more are looks and aesthetics.

Pillow Size According to Sleep Position

Selecting comfort over style is a cardinal principle for many. When you take your sleep position as a factor, you must find a pillow with the correct loft and firmness to ensure proper spine alignment and curvature.

Right Pillow for Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back is considered the best habit, as this position ensures proper spine alignment. And selecting a pillow with a loft of 4 to 6 inches is considered appropriate. The firmness of the pillow should range from medium to medium-firm.

Right Pillow for Back Sleepers

While the pillow loft must be kept lower than that for side sleepers, a contour pillow such as one with latex or memory foam is highly recommended.

Further, using a pillow below the knees flattens the lumbar spine, alleviating back strain and easing pressure on the spine. People who’re suffering from back pain or recovering from a spine injury should use a pillow below their knees to reduce pressure on the lumbar spine.

Here’s the pillow recommendation for back sleepers:

  • Loft: 4-6 inches
  • Firmness: medium to medium-firm
  • Pillow Size: Standard or Adjustable
  • Recommendations:
    • Place a Pillow below Knees to ease pressure on lumbar spine
    • Use a Contour Pillow to fill in the gap below head and neck

Right Pillow for Side Sleepers

Most of us are side sleepers and require better horizontal alignment of head and spine when sleeping. However, a pillow that is too thick or thin messes up this alignment, leading to cervical stiffness.

Right Pillow for Side Sleepers

Side sleepers should aim for a thick and medium firm pillow, especially one that ensures proper alignment of head and spine.

According to Mayo Clinic, the upper legs of side sleepers are left unsupported, eventually sliding down and resting on the mattress, and this leads to an unnatural rotation of the lumbar spine, causing lower back and hip pain.

So, keep a pillow under your knees to maintain the natural curvature (lordosis) of your lower back and its alignment with the hips.

Here’s the pillow recommendation for side sleepers:

  • Loft: 5-7 inches
  • Firmness: medium to firm
  • Pillow Size: Queen, King, or Adjustable Pillow
  • Recommendation:
    • Place a Pillow between knees for better Lumbar Spine and Hip Alignment
    • Feather Pillows aren’t recommended as they can lead to neck stiffness

Right Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

Doctors recommend against sleeping on the stomach, as it puts a lot of stress on both the cervical and lumbar spine. However, it is very difficult for one to change his or her sleeping habits.

Right Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

In order to maintain spine and head alignment, stomach sleepers must either use a very thin pillow or not use a pillow at all. Further, Placing a pillow below your abdomen helps retain the natural alignment of the lower back.

For stomach sleepers, pillow casing matters because their head is often resting on the pillow. In this case, a breathable cover, along with a pillow made of hypoallergenic material such as memory foam, is important.

Here’s the pillow recommendation for stomach sleepers:

  • Loft: 3 inches or less
  • Firmness: soft
  • Pillow Size: Standard or Adjustable Pillow
  • Recommendation:
    • Place a Pillow below your abdomen for natural alignment of the lower back
    • Only Rest neck on the pillow to minimize strain on the cervical spine

Right Pillow for Combination Sleepers

Some of us are combination sleepers: those who toss and turn and try different positions during sleep.

Combination sleepers should try multiple pillow sizes or go with an adjustable pillow, which usually contains shredded memory foam. Foam can be taken out or inserted into the pillow to increase or decrease the height.

Here’s the pillow recommendation for combination sleeper:

  • Loft: 4 inches
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Pillow Type: Adjustable
  • Recommendation:
    • Either try out different pillows or purchase an adjustable pillow
    • Use a Contour Pillow

Tip for Adjusting the Firmness of Your Pillow

To adjust the firmness of your pillow, you can try different case sizes. A smaller case will firm up the pillow by increasing the density. On the other hand, a larger case will enable you to full up the pillow.

Best Memory Foam Pillows

  1. Best Bamboo Pillow: – Bamboo Pillow Premium
  2. Best Pillow for Neck Pain: – Memory Foam Pillow
  3. Best Pillow for Sleeping: – Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
  4. Best Pillow for Side Sleepers: – Bamboo Pillow 2 Pack
  5. Best Pillow for Neck Pain: – Orthopedic Pillow for Sleeping

Pillow Size According to Bed Size

This section deals with the aesthetics of your bedroom. People often want to purchase pillows according to the dimension of their bed.

Pillow Size According to Bed Size

However, it is important to note that the pillow casing matters too. By using a smaller case for a pillow, you can firm it up and increase its height, and by using a larger case, you can fluff up the pillow or decrease its density.

Table: Pillow Size and Dimensions (breadth x length)

Pillow Size Name Dimension (inches) Dimension (centimeters)
Standard Pillow Size
20 x 26 50.8 x 66.04
Queen Pillow Size
20 x 30 50.8 x 76.20
King Pillow Size
20 x 36 50.8 x 91.44
Table: Bed Size and Dimensions (breadth x length)
Pillow Size Name Dimension (inches) Dimension (centimeters)
Twin Size Bed Dimensions 38 x 75 96.52 x 190.50
Full Size Bed Dimensions 54 x 75 137.16 x 190.50
Queen Size Bed Dimensions 60 x 80 152.40 x 203.20
King Size Bed Dimensions 76 x 80 193.04 x 203.20

Table: Number of Pillows and Pillow Case Recommendation

Pillow/Bed Size Twin Full Queen King Case
Standard 1 2 2 3 Standard, Queen
Queen 1 1 2 2 Queen, Standard
King 1 1 2 2 King, Queen

Aesthetics vs Ergonomics – Shredded Memory Foam is the Solution

Our shredded memory foam pillows with bamboo covers have a modern clear-cut design that is suitable for most bedrooms. Further, by contouring to the shape of your neck and cervical spine, the pillow provides comfort and better spine alignment.

Normal pillow vs Memory Foam Pillow

A third of your life is spent sleeping on a pillow, so spending time on finding the right one will be worth it. However, purchasing a shredded memory foam pillow will enable you to try different levels of height and firmness. You can simply remove or add foam to the pillow to increase/decrease its height or adjust its firmness.

Invest in a good pillow and take charge of your life!


Q. Queen vs King Size, which one should I use?

A. If you are a combination sleeper, then a bigger pillow size is recommended. However, if you sleep on your stomach, you must go with a thinner pillow. So, the final decision should only come after going through the information provided in this article.

Q. I toss and turn a lot while sleeping. Which pillow size should I select?

A. For you, it may be better to choose a queen or king size pillow. Further, an adjustable shredded memory foam pillow will enable you to find the right height for good spine alignment.

Q. Which material is best for pillow casing?

A. Usually, you want a cover that is breathable and cool. So, a cotton or bamboo pillow case is best suited for your needs.

Q. If I need to fluff my pillow to make it softer, then which size should I go with?

A. You can go with either a queen or standard pillow size. Use a case that is one size larger than the pillow to have more room for the fluffing.

Q. How do I purchase a pillow to reduce neck stiffness?

A. A memory foam pillow, especially one with shredded foam, is best suited for people suffering from back and neck stiffness. Shredded foam enables you to adjust pillow height, and the memory foam contours to the shape of your head and neck, providing better support.