|Standard||20 x 26|
|Jumbo||20 x 28|
|Queen||20 x 30|
|King||20 x 36|
|Euro Square||26 x 26|
On average, pillows should be replaced every 2-3 years, depending on the quality. However, try these simple tests to know for sure.
For feather or down pillows, fold the pillow in half and squeeze out the air. If the pillow stays folded when you release it, it's time to buy a new one. If your feather or down pillow springs back into its original shape, it's good for a few more years.
For synthetic pillows, place your pillow on a flat surface. Fold it in half and squeeze out the air. Place a shoe or hardcover book on top of the pillow. If the pillow "tosses" the shoe and bounces back to its original shape, it's good for more good nights' rests.
Other signs that you need a new pillow are stains or dirt, a worn cover, if it looks lumpy or out of shape, if it feels uncomfortable, or if your back, neck, knees or ankles are sore when you wake up.
Choosing the best pillow for you. Keeping your neck and spine in alignment is essential to a good night's sleep. Pillows are made to provide this type of comfort with varying levels of support. The kind of pillow you need depends on how you sleep.
|Sleep Position||Recommended Firmness||Comments|
|Stomach||Soft to medium firmness||This sleep position is not recommended. However, choosing a flat pillow with less fill can minimize discomfort.|
|Back||Medium to firm||This slightly firm pillow type offers better neck support. It should still be soft enough to comfort your head.|
|Side||Firm to extra firm||This pillow type provides proper spinal alignment for your neck.|
|Not Sure?||Soft, natural fill||This type of fill can be adjusted and fluffed to provide comfort in various positions.|
Pillow fill — What's in it for me?
Along with firmness, the type of fill and fabric are also important factors in choosing a comfortable pillow.
|Synthetic||Blank||Pillows filled with man-made fibers like polyester or foam. The amount of fill inside the pillow determines the quality and firmness of pillow.|
|Blank||Like-down||Fluffy and imitate the softness of down.|
|Blank||Foam||Designed for more support to the neck, back and spine. Can either mold to your shape or have more of a spring effect. Foam pillows can be both latex and synthetic rubber (polyurethane foam). Antibacterial and hypoallergenic.|
|Blank||Memory Foam||A temperature-sensitive foam that evenly distributes weight on the body's pressure points, providing ultimate support and comfort.|
|Blank||Polyester||Light, strong and durable. Most often combined with cotton.|
|Natural||Blank||Pillows filled with cotton, wool, down, feathers or a combination of down and feathers.|
|Blank||Cotton||One of the most popular. Breathes well. Feels firmer, yet appears flatter.|
|Blank||Down||Exceptionally soft and fluffy, while conforming to your head and neck. The higher the fill power and the weight, the better the quality. Down-like synthetics and pillow protectors with a high thread count are great choices for allergy sufferers. Long lasting and durable. No quills.|
|Blank||Feathers||More durable than down and provides firmer support, which is great for back or side sleepers. However, the feathers are flatter and not as soft. Quills may be an annoyance unless you have a high-quality pillow protector. Feather-filled pillows have quills, are firmer than down. Four types of feathers are: white goose, white duck, crushed white goose and crushed white duck.|
|Blank||Wool||Naturally a wonderful insulator. Also wicks away moisture.|
The type of fabric or ticking that covers your pillow is also important. This should be absorbent and breathable fabric. Also with a higher thread count for higher quality and comfort. This is especially true for down and feather pillows because the fabric will keep the quills from poking through. For allergy sufferers, a higher thread count will keep dust and mites away from your face.
Zippered pillow covers are also recommended in addition to a pillowcase.
Compartment pillow - A natural pillow with layers inside of different fills. Example: An outer down pillow has down wrapped around a center core of feathers.
Contour pillow - A foam pillow that conforms to your body providing you with a more ergonomic sleep position and customized support. It also can reduce snoring. Accommodates most sleeping positions.
Seams: cored or piped seams last longer.
Gusseted: with an exterior side wall for increased loft and support.
Quilted: with any type of fill and a quilted covering.
Edges: corded, knife, surged and gusseted.
Thread count. As with sheets, thread count indicates the quality, durability and feel of the pillow. A higher thread count means a tighter weave that's smooth and luxurious to touch, while keeping the dirt and dust out. Down pillows require at least a 230-thread count to prevent down from leaking out.
Fill power. The measurement of the quality of the down is called the fill power. It is the volume in cubic inches that one ounce of down fills. The higher the fill power, the better the product will trap air, loft and insulate.
Number of pillows. Typically, two standard pillows per person are recommended. Other pillows can be added for a decorative touch.
Care & Maintenance
Pillows should be washed to keep from gathering dust mites, mildew and perspiration. Most pillows can be machine washed and dried. However, you should check the label for specific instructions. Always be sure your pillow is completely dry before covering it with a covering or sham. A damp pillow can become misshapen or grow mildew or mold.
Use a pillow protector to extend the life of your pillow and to keep it free of dust mites and other allergens. Frequent fluffing by hand is important for natural fill pillows, particularly down. And air fluffing in the dryer with no heat will help keep fluff in the fill.
Although many people believe they are allergic to feather and down pillows, they are actually allergic to the dust and dirt within any type of pillow. No matter what the fill type, a good pillow cover, with a high thread count, will keep allergens away from your face.