Pillow Sizes & Dimensions Guide (UK)

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One pillow size does not fit all

Waking up in the morning with a stiff neck or shoulder pain is a nightmare for a sleepaholic. These recurring nightmares could be because of the wrong size and dimension of the pillow that you are using. Yes, you heard it right! It is extremely important to have the pillows in right sizes and dimensions so that there are no hindrances to your good night’s sleep.

According to the Great British Sleep Survey 2020 commissioned by The French Bedroom Company, only 11% of Brits regularly sleep soundly through the night. The study observed that the kind of mattress, duvet, pillows and bed linen you use affect your sleep to a large extent. Hence, it is important to have not just the right quality of mattresses and pillows but also their right sizes. 

pillow sizes UK
Source: GravityBlanket

Pillow Size Chart UK

Pillow size UKin centimeter (cm)in inches
Standard51cm x 66cm20” x 26”
Queen51cm x 76cm20” x 30”
King51cm x 92cm20” x 36”
Body Pillow51cm x 137cm20” x 54”
European (Euro) Square Pillow66cm x 66cm26” x 26”
Pillow Sizes Dimensions Chart UK

Size Matters!

Sleeping pillows come in different sizes to cater to different needs. Here’s a guide to different categories and sub-categories of pillows and how you can choose the right one depending on your mattress, your height and sleep pattern.

  • Standard Pillow Size UK

If you do not change sleeping positions through the night and prefer to stay a side sleeper, back sleeper, or front sleeper, a standard pillow can be perfect. It measures 20 inches by 26 inches and one standard pillow fits across a twin bed. You can place two of them across on a small double bed. But the king or super king size bed would require three standard pillows. 

It would be ideal to have ‘Housewife’ or standard pillowcases, measuring 50x75cm, with a solid sewn edge, as it fits your standard pillows perfectly. 

  • Queen Pillow Size UK

The queen pillow that measures 20 inches by 30 inches may have slight differences in their dimensions depending on the brands but they are a better match for restless sleepers due to its extra length. It fits perfect in a standard pillowcase. 

Just like the standard pillows, one queen pillow can be placed across a twin bed, and two of them across a small double-sized bed and a king or super king size bed with extra space in between.

  • King Pillow Size UK

The standard UK size for King size pillows meant for active sleepers is 20 inches by 36 inches but there might be slight variations depending on the brands. If you find yourself sleeping sideways and waking up with your head towards one end of the bed and leg, and may be towards the head of the bed, this pillow can be the right one for you. These pillows can also provide a great support due to their extra length while you read or binge-watch your favourite series or movies on your bed. 

A king size pillow can fit perfectly across a twin bed. You can place two of them on a king or super king size beds and tightly place them on smaller double size beds with no space between them.

  • Body Pillow Size UK

If you are a side sleeper, a body pillow will work best for you. The UK standard measure of a body pillow is 20 inches by 54 inches. If you like to lay on or hold onto a pillow between your knees, this is your best bet for comfort and proper spinal alignment. These provide more support while you sleep on your side. These pillows are good for pregnant women as they sleep on their sides to keep from rolling to their stomach or back. They help to prevent back pain as they can be placed below the body.

  • Euro Pillow Size UK

If you are a bookworm and like to read before going to bed, you can try square-shaped Euro size pillows. These measure 26 by 26 inches and are often used as sleep pillows by Brits unlike the Americans who use them for decor. But if you are looking for pillows to create a cosy bed, throw pillows can be a better bet. There are lumbar pillows, small rectangular pillows, square pillows and bolster pillows that can be used as decorative pieces on your beds either individually or in combination according to the sizes of the pillows. 

You can further read and understand which pillows can serve you better with our guide on The UK’s Best Pillows of 2020.

Recommended Pillow Loft/Height

Search high and low for the right pillow

When you buy a pillow, it is not just about the size or dimensions. Height of the pillow also plays a major role in supporting your body for better sleep. 

Side sleeping can distort the positioning of the neck and spine and hence you should not use a pillow with low height as your neck and spine are unaligned then and your shoulder will have to take on the weight of your head. 

Sleep experts recommend the thinnest possible pillow for back sleepers regardless of your height as it puts pressure on the face and neck. If you add a pillow under your head while you sleep, you will have to stretch your head upwards at a weird angle unlike when you sleep on your back. Your head, neck and spine are naturally aligned when you sleep on your back using a pillow of appropriate height. If you use a higher loft pillow, your chin may touch your chest and you might not be able to sleep comfortably. Your head and neck will not receive good support. 

While the height of the pillow matters, there is no hard rule on the firmness of the pillow that you should use. But it is recommended that stomach sleepers use soft pillows; back sleepers can use soft-medium; medium-firm for side sleepers; and firm ones for those who require extra support. 

One choice does not fit all.

But there is no standard pillow for everybody. As needs and comforts are personal experiences, they differ from one person to another and hence, the choice of pillows also differ. 

So, get creative and play with the textures of the pillows, and sizes while you decorate them on the bed.

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