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Hotel bedding is synonymous with luxury. Since hotels need to accommodate a wide range of needs, preferences, and sleep positions, it should come as no surprise that most hotel pillows are as versatile as they are durable.
The quintessential hotel pillow has mid-range firmness and loft, is allergy-friendly, and resists wear and tear. However, variations on this gold standard are also available to fit different sleep styles. One thing that remains consistent across virtually all hotel pillows is their luxurious feel, which balances plushness and support.
Since hotel pillows are typically both comfortable and long-lasting, they can be an excellent choice for in-home use. Read on to learn more about how hotel pillows are constructed, where to buy them, and how to compare them.
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The Saatva Down Alternative Pillow uses high-quality materials that are designed to enhance breathability and comfort. Made from hypoallergenic down alternative fiber clusters, the pillow is suitable for people who appreciate a plush feel but are allergic to genuine down feathers. The Down Alternative Pillow also has the most accessible price-point of all Saatva pillows.
The pillow consists of microdenier down alternative fibers, which have a fineness similar to silk. The fibers are also porous, so the pillow is breathable in addition to being soft. Even though the fibers are lightweight, the cluster structure is more durable than standard types of fiber fill. The cover is made of cotton, a fabric that further enhances the pillow’s breathability. Satin piping on the cover adds a nice aesthetic touch.
With a medium firmness level, the Saatva Down Alternative Pillow can comfortably accommodate a range of sleep styles. Side and back sleepers under 230 pounds may especially enjoy the pillow’s mid-level loft. The pillow is very moldable, which might appeal to people who like to cuddle their pillows.
The Saatva Down Alternative Pillow is available in queen and king sizes. The pillow is not machine-washable and should only be spot-treated as needed.
Saatva offers free shipping and a 45-day return policy for the Down Alternative Pillow. The model includes a non-prorated 1-year warranty that covers defects in craftsmanship and materials.
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A common complaint about down and feather pillows is lack of support due to excessive softness. The FluffCo Down & Feather Pillow remedies this issue with a chambered design. The inner chamber is filled with white duck feathers, which are a bit firmer than down and provide better reinforcement for your head and neck. The outer chamber contains plush 600 fill power white duck down. The result is a pillow that feels quite soft but shouldn’t sink too much.
FluffCo offers two firmness options for the pillow. The firm, higher-loft option contains more fill and is best suited to back sleepers who need to keep their heads upright, including people who snore. The soft option has a shorter profile and lower loft, making it a good option for stomach sleepers.
The pillow has received certification from the Responsible Down Standard, ensuring the down and feathers are collected without harming or abusing any animals. The cover is made from a blend of cotton and Tencel, two highly breathable materials that help the pillow resist the buildup of body heat. The edges of the pillow are double-stitched to preserve its lifespan and prevent fill from escaping.
Given its premium materials and high-quality construction, the Down & Feather Pillow is very reasonably priced. FluffCo also offers free shipping anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. You can return the pillow up to 30 days after purchasing and receive a full refund.
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The Legends Hotel Supreme Down Pillow from The Company Store boasts premium materials and excellent craftsmanship. The fill consists of 600 fill power white goose down, creating a cloud-like feel for the head and neck, while the shell is made from cotton sateen with a silky-soft hand-feel. The borders are double-stitched to prevent tears and rips, so the pillow has a decent expected lifespan.
Thanks to a wide density selection, the pillow caters to different sleep positions. The softest and least dense option offers a thin profile best suited to stomach sleeping, the medium-density pillow is a bit fuller and comfortable for back sleepers, and the firm and extra firm pillows provide the most loft, making them ideal for side sleeping.
This pillow should also appeal to animal-conscious individuals because the fill has received certification from the Responsible Down Standard. This ensures no animals are harmed or mistreated to obtain the plumage, and that each step of the pillow’s supply chain promotes responsible and ethical sourcing.
The pillow’s price-point is reasonable given its high-quality design and materials, and density selection will not affect the cost. The Company Store also offers a sleep trial, which allows you to test out the pillow for up to 90 nights before deciding whether to keep it.
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Sleepers who like the feel of down but prefer a different material should find the Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow a comfortable choice. Filled with PrimaLoft, this pillow has a lightweight and plush feel that’s comparable to down. PrimLoft is a synthetic fiber that’s designed to wick moisture and regulate temperature. The fill also keeps its shape well, which may be beneficial for sleepers who like to mold their pillows.
Shoppers can choose between soft, medium, and firm options. Side sleepers will likely prefer the firmer, thicker pillow while stomach and back sleepers may find the soft and and medium levels are better suited to their needs.
A breathable 100% cotton cover wraps the pillow while piped edges and embroidery give it an elegant look. Boll & Branch focuses on sustainable manufacturing and high-quality materials. The company’s use of eco-friendly packaging and organic materials should appeal to ethically minded shoppers.
You can machine wash your pillow on the gentle cycle and tumble dry on low. Shoppers in the U.S. who purchase the Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow enjoy free ground shipping and a 30-night sleep trial.
SF readers get the best price at Brooklinen
Thanks to three firmness levels, most sleepers can find a Brooklinen Down Pillow that meets their needs and preferences.
The three firmness options are labeled as Plush, Mid-Plush, and Firm, which correspond to soft, medium, and firm respectively. Stomach sleepers can use the Plush option to add softness without a lot of loft. Side sleepers may prefer the extra support of the Firm pillow. Combination sleepers and those looking for a more versatile option might favor the Mid-Plush option.
Each firmness also has a distinct build. The Plush pillow is filled exclusively with down clusters for a fluffier feel. The Mid-Plush and the Firm use a dual-core design with supportive feathers in the center and soft down clusters in the outer layer. A higher ratio of feathers to down gives the Firm option its extra support. Each pillow is encased in a cotton sateen shell that feels soft-to-the-touch while preventing the feathers from escaping.
The pillows are treated with antimicrobial additives to reduce odors and keep them fresh. The Brooklinen Down Pillow can also be freshened up by using a dryer on the air fluff/no heat setting or leaving it outside on a dry day. Dry cleaning is also possible, but it may shorten the life of the pillow.
Standard and king sizes are available. Customers who aren’t satisfied with their Brooklinen Down Pillow can get a full refund of the purchase price through the company’s 365-day return policy.
Best for Side Sleepers
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Luxury hotel pillows can often have a steep price tag. The Firm Down Alternative Pillow from Standard Textile is a well-made hotel pillow that doesn’t break the bank. Side sleepers in particular should find its firm support level comfortable while value seekers will appreciate that it comes as a two-pack. It’s also versatile enough to be suitable for back and stomach sleepers who enjoy a firm pillow.
High-end hotels worldwide furnish their rooms with this model from Standard Textile. It has a three-chamber design that features two different types of fill. The inner chamber has garnetted polyester while the outer chambers are filled with gel fiber. Garnetted polyester is known for holding its shape even after heavy use. The core ensures that the pillow feels firm while the surrounding gel fiber has a slight give. The pillow is wrapped in a 100% cotton cover that breathes well and promotes airflow.
Down alternative pillows can be some of the easiest types to care for and this model is no exception. Users can machine wash and tumble dry their pillows and it’s designed to retain its shape even after multiple washes. Standard Textile offers this pillow in standard and king dimensions. Shoppers who live in the contiguous U.S. enjoy free shipping and a 90-night sleep trial.
Best for Back Sleepers
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Down pillows appeal to a wide range of sleeper types and have long been a classic bedding choice for hotels. Ethically manufactured in the U.S., the Quince Luxe Goose Down Pillow is a luxurious option for sleepers who want a responsibly sourced down pillow. The pillow is made from 700 fill power, 100% European white goose down that’s RDS certified for humane animal treatment.
Shoppers can purchase Quince’s pillow in two firmness levels: soft/medium and medium/firm. These two options should offer all types of sleepers a comfortable surface regardless of their personal preferences. The 100% cotton sateen shell is soft and features double-stitched edges. The pillow should have a long lifespan thanks to its high-quality materials and durable construction.
This Quince pillow is easy to care for and can be machine washed, which is fairly unique for a down pillow. For best results, the manufacturer recommends machine washing on a gentle cycle in cold water and tumble drying low. You can also opt to dry clean this pillow.
Quince uses sustainable practices like reducing packaging materials and streamlining shipping to minimize its carbon footprint. Shoppers can also view transparent pricing on the website to better understand the pillow’s cost. The Luxe Goose Down Pillow ships free and includes a generous 365-day return window.
Best for Neck Pain
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The Hotel Collection Jumbo Feather Pillow from Down & Feather is another pillow with multiple density options to serve different sleep positions. The lowest-density “thinner” pillow also has a thin profile that is conducive to stomach sleeping, the “thin” pillow offers mid-range thickness well-suited to back sleeping, and the “thick” and “thickest” pillows provide plenty of loft for side sleeping.
The fill consists of Hungarian goose feathers, which provide decent support for the head and neck compared to down. The feathers are washed using recycled water and eco-friendly soap, so the pillow should appeal to customers with environmental concerns. Pure Egyptian cotton is used to construct the shell, resulting in a luxuriously crisp and breathable feel. The pillow does not contain any chambers or inner baffles, so the perimeter is held together with double-stitching and cording.
The Jumbo Feather Pillow is quite affordable, especially compared to pillows that contain down. Shipping is also free for orders of $150 or more within the contiguous U.S. Down & Feather Co. backs the pillow with a 30-night comfort guarantee and a 10-year warranty.
“Universal comfort” or “for all sleep positions” are common buzzwords for hotel pillows. This typically means that the pillow has a mid-range firmness and loft, so it can accommodate most body types and position preferences. While these pillows may be comfortable for most individuals, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll feel ideal to you.
Paying attention to specific criteria is the most effective way to judge whether a pillow will meet your unique needs and preferences.
Size: Shoppers often select a pillow size that corresponds to their mattress size for a tidy look and convenient fit. However, some individuals may choose a smaller or larger option based on their personal preferences.
Loft: Pillow loft affects how far the pillow lifts the head. For ideal spinal alignment, stomach sleepers usually need a low-loft pillow or no pillow, back sleepers typically require a medium-loft option, and side sleepers generally need a medium- or high-loft pillow. However, these general guidelines can also be affected by firmness. For instance, a soft high-loft pillow may not support the head and neck any more than a firm low-loft option.
Since hotel pillows are typically designed to accommodate as many sleepers as possible, they often have a medium loft.
Shape: Pillows vary in shape based on their intended use. There are u-shaped pillows for travel, wedge-shaped pillows to elevate the head or legs, curved pillows for back support, and so many more options. Hotel pillows are designed for use in bed, so they tend to have the standard rectangular shape.
Weight: The sleeper’s weight often affects how firm of a pillow they need. Heavier individuals often rely on a firmer pillow for support, while lighter people may prefer a softer pillow for more cushioning. Weight also affects how firm a pillow feels, so a firm pillow may feel soft or medium to someone who weighs more, and a soft pillow could feel medium or firm to someone who weighs less.
Firmness Level: A pillow’s firmness influences its supportiveness and plushness. Softer pillows may be ideal for stomach sleepers who don’t need much support, while firmer options are typically better for side sleepers who need to keep their necks aligned. Most standard hotel pillows have a medium to firm feel, but some manufacturers also produce soft hotel-style pillows.
Fill: The fill of a pillow is responsible for its pressure relief, support, and overall comfort. Hotel pillow fill varies, with some using real feathers and/or down and others using polyester or microfiber down alternative. Any type of high-quality material can make a pillow feel luxurious and supportive. While down and feathers often have a stronger association with luxury, they may not be ideal for some allergy sufferers or people concerned with animal welfare. Down alternative pillows are often more affordable and easier to clean.
Cover Material: Most hotel pillows use cotton covers in either a percale or a sateen weave. Cotton is popular for its smooth feel and breathability. Some hotel pillows may use lyocell, polyester, rayon, and/or other materials in their covers, all of which can be comfortable depending on their quality and composition.
Pressure Relief: Hotel pillows are often built for pressure relief, balancing conforming and support to spread out the weight of the head and neck while promoting proper spinal alignment.
Price: Pillow prices vary dramatically, starting at less than $10 and reaching upwards of $1,000. Hotel pillows usually fall closer to the middle of the range, averaging between $60 and $150.
Temperature Regulation: Most hotel pillows use breathable materials so that they do not retain excessive heat during the night. Down alternative models typically allow the most cooling airflow thanks to their breathable fill. Selecting a pillow with strong temperature regulation may be especially important for those who tend to sleep hot.
Hotel pillows are popular for a reason. They’re typically suitable for sleepers of different body types and position preferences. However, there are a few potential drawbacks. For many shoppers, the most significant downside may be the price, which is usually higher than standard pillow models on the market.
Pillow size options vary between manufacturers, but standard, queen, and king sizes are typically most common.
Standard: Standard size pillows usually measure around 20 inches by 26 inches. This size is commonly used with twin and standard size mattresses, and it can fit into a standard or queen pillowcase.
Super Standard: Super standard pillows are less common than other sizes, measuring 20 by 28 inches. This slightly longer pillow may be a good option for those who do not want to leave much of a gap between the end of the pillow and the edge of the bed. They are especially popular for twin size beds, including bunk beds. Most standard and queen size pillowcases should accommodate them.
Queen: Queen size pillows typically measure approximately 20 inches by 30 inches. This extra length better fills the head end of a queen size bed and provides more room for the sleeper to move around and change position. Most queen size pillows should fit into either a standard or a queen pillowcase.
King: Most king size pillows measure 20 inches by 36 inches, making them the largest standard bed pillow size. This pillow size typically makes a king size bed look more polished, but it may also be beneficial for sleepers with broader shoulders.
Specialty: In addition to standard pillow options, there is a wide range of specialty shapes and sizes. While these are seldom labeled “hotel pillows,” they may provide the same luxurious feel customers want from a hotel pillow. Other common pillow types include body pillows, travel pillows, wedge pillows, and neckroll pillows.
What kind of pillows do hotels use?
Hotels use different types of pillows depending on their goals and budgets. While there is no universal hotel standard, most hotel pillows contain down and/or feathers or a down alternative. Most hotel pillows have a mid-range loft and firmness so that guests can enjoy some support and cushioning regardless of their body type and sleep position.
How much do hotel pillows cost?
Hotel pillows typically cost between $60 and $150, but you can also find lower- and higher-priced options.
How do I clean a hotel pillow?
Always clean your hotel pillow according to the manufacturer’s care instructions. If the manufacturer did not provide care instructions, contact them for more information. Following the best care standards for your pillow can help extend its lifespan. Some pillows are machine washable, and others can be dry cleaned.
Where can I buy a hotel pillow?
Hotel pillows are sold through manufacturer websites, department stores, housewares stores, and hotel chains.
How long do hotel pillows last?
Most pillows last for one to two years but hotel pillows tend to be more durable, typically lasting around two to three years.
Are hotel pillows adjustable?
Hotel pillows are not traditionally adjustable, but you may find some adjustable models labeled as “hotel pillows.”
Do hotel pillows have an odor?
A pillow’s odor will depend on its materials. Down and feather pillows are typically more likely to have an odor than down alternative options. However, the manufacturer may provide instructions on how to clean the pillow to reduce odors.
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