Best Hotel Pillow Reviews in 2020

Bring the comfort of a luxurious 5-star hotel pillow to your bedroom with our top hotel pillow picks.

By Nicole Gleichmann

Luxury hotels boast incredibly comfortable setups with some of the best pillows and bedding. When you slip between the buttery covers and sink into the plush yet supportive pillows, it can feel as though all of your worries fade away. 

So, why wouldn’t you want these same pillows on your bed? Say goodbye to pillows that don’t make you feel like a queen with our picks for the 5 best hotel quality pillows that you can buy for your home.

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Best Hotel Quality Pillows

Royal Hotel Down Pillows

Best Down Pillow

When it comes to superb comfort and an enveloping feel, nothing beats down pillows. Royal Hotel’s Down Pillow (set of 2) won our spot as the best down pillow thanks to its high-quality construction and unique feel. 

While most down pillows are too plush to offer ample support, Royal Hotel uses various combinations of down and small feathers to create a cloud-like feel and a firmness level ranging from soft to extra-firm. There are even adjustable options, a rarity for luxury down pillows. Thanks to this versatility, Royal Hotel’s down pillows are a great fit for all sleeping positions. And with a 100% cotton, 500-thread count cover, the pillow’s surface is silky smooth.

Beckham Hotel gel Pillow

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Best for Side Sleepers

When you sleep on your side, the best pillow is one that provides a supportive yet contouring cradle to maintain healthy spine and neck alignment. The Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow (2-pack) achieves the ideal balance of marshmallow-y give and reliable loft that lasts throughout the night.

With a 100% cotton cover and poly gel fiber fill, this pillow is refreshingly cool and comfortably squishy. What further sets this pillow above other hotel style pillows is that it’s machine washable and resistant to mold, mildew, and dust mites, making it an excellent hypoallergenic option for those with respiratory issues or allergies.

Marriott hotel pillow

Marriott Down Alternative Pillow

Best for Neck Pain

No one knows how to create the best hotel pillow like a leader in the industry. Marriott created their Down Alternative Eco Pillow by listening to what their loyal customers liked and disliked. After much innovation and research, they released their eco-friendly down alternative pillow

Their hypoallergenic cluster fiber fill is created from recycled plastic for an unbeatable plush feel. Thanks to its incredible softness, you can position the Marriott hotel pillow to properly hug and support your neck, alleviating neck pain.

Read More: Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Italian Luxury pillow

Italian Luxury Hotel Pillow

Best King Size Pillow

King size pillows offer the right amount of surface area for those who find themselves moving around at night. But when you toss and turn, some pillows lose their shape, disrupting your sleep as you wake up to fluff the pillow. The Italian Luxury Hotel Pillow (set of 2) is created to quickly form to your movements without the filling shifting around. 

Their resilience to shifting keeps these king size pillows uniformly comfortable all night long. And with its double-layered quilted pattern and gold edges, the Italian Luxury Hotel Pillow is so attractive that you’ll be tempted to leave it out of a pillowcase.

Pacific Coast down pillow

Pacific Coast Double Down Around

Best Firm Pillow

The Pacific Coast Double Down Around Pillow (set of 2) achieves impressive support for a 100% feather pillow. Constructed using 95% duck feathers and 5% down, your head will feel wonderfully supported throughout the night. 

With a moderate fluff before you head to bed, you’ll be greeted by a cool and refreshing give as you very lightly sink it. Thanks to its firm feel and reliable loft, the Pacific Coast pillow set is best for back and side sleepers who enjoy a medium-firm to firm pillow.


Best Hotel Pillow Buying Guide

There is no one perfect pillow for every sleeper. Choosing the right pillow requires understanding your needs and preferences and matching them with the various options available. 

In this guide, we’ll go over

Types of Hotel Bed Pillows

Down Pillows

Down pillows are a type of pillow made using the warm, fluffy feathers found underneath a bird’s outer plumage. A down feather has a unique three dimensional structure whose fluffiness creates an unmatched enveloping sensation. 

A 100% down pillow is an incredibly soft pillow with minimal loft, but very few pillows are made using only down. Most down pillows use a combination of down feathers and regular feathers. The regular feathers add loft and a firm support

When you compare down pillows there are a few factors to consider. 

  1. What is the percentage of down feathers vs regular feathers? As the ratio of feathers to down increases, a pillow becomes firmer. A combination of the two creates a balance of luxurious softness and proper neck and head support. 
  2. What is the fill level? Higher fill levels mean that there are more feathers within. The result of more feathers is greater support and a fluffier, more robust pillow. 
  3. What type of feathers are used? A goose down pillow is considered the ultimate in plush luxury, with an amazingly light and fluffy feel. As such, a goose feather pillow is one of the most expensive options. Duck down is another popular choice that is less expensive, but slightly less cloudlike. 

Pros

  • Cloudlike, luxurious feel
  • Good longevity
  • Holds its shape well

Cons

  • 100% down is not very supportive
  • Expensive
  • Not machine washable
  • Sourced from animals

Down Alternative Pillows

Down alternative pillows are pillows made using synthetic fibers that mimic the comfort and feel of down pillows. Similar to down pillows, down alternative pillows tend to be light, fluffy, and soft. Their cloudlike feel is much like that of down, but without bird feathers, they are better for those with allergies and asthma. 

Most people can feel the difference between down and down alternative pillows. While their soft feel and low-to-moderate loft suits similar sleepers (stomach and back sleepers), the sinking sensation is more airy than down. When compressed, down tends to become firmer than the synthetic fill in down alternative pillows

Many people love down alternative pillows. They are a budget-friendly option that is cuddly and easy-to-shape to fit your unique curves. Plus, they’re made without using animal products. 

Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Made without animal products
  • Light and compressible
  • Soft and fluffy
  • Typically machine washable

Cons

  • Not firm enough for side sleepers
  • Slightly different feel than down 
  • Variation between pillows makes it hard to know what you’re getting

Feather Pillows

Feather pillows are made using the outer layer of feathers from geese or ducks. When compared to the inner down layer of feathers, the outer layer is less soft and more supportive. 

Feathers are less expensive than down, and are commonly used as a core for down pillows. You can find all-feather pillows, although most will contain a small percentage of down feathers for a softer feel. 

A 100% feather pillow is a good pillow choice for those who like firm pillows. With structure and loft that stays stable throughout the night, they provide the head and neck support that both side and back sleepers require. Feather pillows are not ideal for stomach sleepers who need a low loft, or anyone who wants a squishy pillow.  

Pros

  • Less expensive than down
  • Firm support and high loft is good for back and side sleepers
  • Works well in combination with down 

Cons

  • Not soft or plush
  • Not machine washable
  • High loft is poor for stomach sleepers 

Memory Foam Pillows

Luxury hotel pillows are rarely made using memory foam, but that doesn’t mean that a memory foam pillow can’t feel incredible. Memory foam is at once supportive and marshmallow-y. Many people find memory foam pillows to be one of the most comfortable types of pillows available. 

Memory foam responds to the body’s temperature, cradling the head and neck. Thanks to its ability to form to the body’s shape, it keeps the head and neck in line with the spine. These memory foam properties are beneficial for sleepers with neck pain as well as side and back sleepers

There are multiple types of memory foam pillows. Some of our favorites include:

  • Shredded memory foam pillows: Shredded memory foam pillows feel much softer than those made from a singular piece of foam. Because the memory foam is shredded, you can shape it to comfortably cradle your head and neck. Many of these pillows offer adjustable loft, allowing you to find the right height for you. Thanks to these properties, the shredded memory foam pillow can suit the needs of side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers. 
  • Orthopedic memory foam pillows: Orthopedic foam pillows are designed to keep the head and neck properly aligned. You can find these pillows created for either back or side sleepers. They provide relief for neck pain, and some can help improve breathing and reduce snoring.
  • Traditional memory foam pillows: Traditional memory foam pillows are made using a singular piece of memory foam. They work well for those who like firm pillows, with their combination of give and firm support well suited for back sleepers

Pros

  • Contours to the head and neck
  • Relieves neck pain
  • Provides support for side and back sleepers
  • Affordable options available 

Cons

  • Do not feel like hotel pillows
  • Heavy
  • Can retain heat
  • Not machine washable 

Gel Pillows

Gel pillows are any type of pillow that includes gel to encourage a cool night’s sleep. Gel does this thanks to its ability to absorb excess body heat without feeding it back to you during the night. Its heat-absorbing properties make gel pillows best for hot sleepers or those who like a refreshing, cool pillow. 

There are two primary types of gel pillows.

  1. Gel-infused memory foam: Memory foam has the tendency to sleep hot. Because memory foam responds to heat, the heat can build up within and create a hot, sweaty night. Gel infusion counteracts this heat retention, supporting a cool night’s sleep. 
  2. Poly-gel fiber fill: Pillows made with a synthetic poly-gel fiber have a similar feel to a down alternative pillow. The gel throughout contributes to a cool night’s sleep and keeps the fill in place, reducing uncomfortable filling separation.

Pros

  • Affordable options
  • Sleeps cool
  • Multiple varieties

Cons

  • Only available in synthetic pillows 

Latex Pillows

You are unlikely to come across a hotel that uses latex pillows, but they are a great fit for many sleepers and therefore deserve a brief overview. 

Latex pillows are a firm, breathable pillow. With very little give, latex pillows are best suited for back sleepers who like a solid pillow, not for combination, side, or stomach sleepers. Because latex is naturally breathable and helps to wick away moisture from the skin, latex pillows are a particularly good fit for those who wake up hot and sweaty.

You can find synthetic or natural latex pillows. Natural latex pillows are made from the sap of rubber trees, and they are one of the best pillow materials for the environment. Synthetic latex pillows are petroleum-based. Both types of latex pillows are incredibly durable and can last for ten or more years. 

Pros

  • All-natural, organic, and eco-friendly options
  • Sleeps cool and dry
  • Great for those who like firm pillows
  • Doesn’t shift over the night

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Very minimal give
  • Expensive

What to Consider When Shopping

Sleeping Position

How you sleep at night is the primary factor that determines the best type of pillow for you. A pillow’s job is to support the head and neck so that they stay in line with the spine. When this is done correctly, you can avoid problems like neck kinks and morning stiffness. 

Here’s a breakdown of what you should be looking for based on the position you sleep in. 

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers need a lofty pillow that cradles their neck and keeps their head in line with their spine. Every side sleeper’s needs vary based on their body size. A pillow that is too thick or too thin will eventually cause neck discomfort. 

Additionally, you want something that will allow your head to gently sink in. An excessively firm or soft pillow can move your head out of alignment. Some pillows that are well-suited for side sleepers include

  • Pillows with an adjustable loft
  • Shredded memory foam pillows
  • Pillows with an inner layer of feathers and an outer layer of down
  • Medium-firm down alternative or poly gel fill pillows

Stomach Sleepers

When you sleep on your stomach, your neck has to turn to one side or the other. Because of this, there is no way to achieve proper neck alignment when sleeping on your front. But if you are someone who finds that this is the only way you can sleep, the best thing to do is to sleep with no pillow or one that is incredibly thin. Avoid firm or lofty pillows as they will exacerbate neck misalignment and pain. 

The best pillows for stomach sleepers include

  • 100% down pillows
  • Adjustable loft pillows
  • Thin alternative down pillows

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers need a pillow with a moderate loft and medium-firm to firm feel. The correct loft and firmness comfortably cradles the head while keeping the neck’s natural curve supported. 

Some of the best pillows for back sleepers include

  • Memory foam pillows
  • Pillows made using a combination of down and feathers
  • Medium to firm down alternative or gel pillows
  • Latex pillows

Combination Sleepers

Are you someone who never knows what position you’ll wake up in? Combination sleepers switch from one position to another, tossing and turning regularly at night. Thanks to their sleep position variability and their frequent movement, combination sleepers have unique pillow needs. 

Combination sleepers do best with a pillow that’s easily moldable. When a pillow can be flattened out for stomach sleeping and hugged together for side sleeping, it supports a good night’s sleep. Additionally, a lightweight pillow allows easy movement, and one with adjustable fill lets you find the best loft for the positions that you find yourself in. 

Combination sleepers do well with

  • Shredded memory foam pillows
  • Down alternative pillows
  • Adjustable loft pillows

Thread Count

When you use pillowcases, you might assume that the thread count of a pillow’s outer cover wouldn’t matter. However, thread count does matter with certain types of pillows. 

Thread count is especially important when you’re shopping for feather pillows. Feathers have the sharp middle point that can eventually stick through the pillow’s surface. A higher thread count means that there is less space between the threads, making it harder for pointy feathers to stick through. 

The best hotel quality feather pillows have thread counts of 300 or higher. 

Allergies

People with allergies or respiratory illnesses must be careful when choosing a pillow because some pillows exacerbate allergy symptoms. 

Down and feather pillows are the two types of pillows that allergy sufferers usually avoid. While the feathers within are treated to reduce the likelihood of irritation, the feathers may still cause allergies for those who are particularly sensitive. 

Another factor that is important to consider is how easy it is to wash the pillow. Some pillows, primarily down alternative and some other synthetic pillows, are machine washable. Thanks to their being easy to launder, those with allergies can regularly deep-clean their pillows to keep them free of mold, dust mites, and other allergens. 

Cost

You can find hotel quality pillows starting as low as $20, but most are going to cost you more. The following table outlines the average cost of the different types of pillows. 

Pillow Type Average Cost
Down Pillows > $70
Feather Pillows $25-$75
Down Alternative Pillows > $20
Gel Pillows > $25
Memory Foam Pillows > $20
Latex Foam Pillows >$50

 

FAQs

Why are hotel pillows so comfortable?

Hotels like Hilton, Marriott, and Westin are in business to keep people comfortable. As such, they have done their research to ensure that their pillows appeal to a wide variety of customers. 

What kinds of pillows do luxury hotels use?

Luxury hotels typically use down or down alternative pillows. You may find some with gel-infusion or with a combination of down and feathers. 

What size of pillows do hotels use?

Most hotels use a standard size pillow, which measures 20” x 26”.


Summary

Slipping underneath the covers of a high-end hotel bed is a wonderful feeling. When you buy a hotel pillow for your bedroom, you can enjoy a slice of luxury every night when you head to bed. 

Most hotel pillows are made using down, feathers, or down alternatives. These materials deliver exceptional softness and cushion with just enough support for the average sleeper.

Have you found a pillow that makes your bed feel like a luxury getaway? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!


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