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Standard Pillow Sizes in Australia

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A pillow is as essential for good sleep as a mattress. Choosing it, however, might be difficult because there are various shapes and sizes, each bearing a different purpose.

So, what are the standard pillow sizes in Australia and how to choose between them according to your needs?

This article has got all the answers, so read below!

Key Takeaways:

  • The most common pillow size is Standard, followed by Queen and King sizes.
  • To choose the right pillow size, look at its material, loft, and firmness.

Three Standard Pillow Sizes In Australia Explained

The best pillows in Australia are available in three common sizes: Standard, Queen, and King. Below, you’ll find a detailed description of each size, so you can choose the pillow based on your needs.

Standard (51 x 66 cm or 20” x 26”)

The smallest and the most common among the standard pillow sizes in Australia. You will find Standard pillows in the line-up of every major brand in bedding stores.

The main advantage of the Standard pillows is that their dimensions can accommodate every type of sleeper really well, and they don’t move around if you frequently switch between positions.

A Standard pillow will fit a Twin-sized bed perfectly, making it a perfect choice for kids and teenagers. Likewise, a pair of Standard pillows are perfect for a Full or Queen-sized bed. A standard pillow also has a good medium loft. The best pillows for back sleepers ensure your head isn’t at a too-high angle.

However, if you have a King or Cal King mattress, you should size up; otherwise, it will be a lot of unused space between pillows, and your bed will generally feel disproportional. Some of the best pillows for stomach sleepers are well-suited to larger beds. As long as it's soft, the medium loft allows the head to be raised just a few inches, allowing you to spread out comfortably across a king-sized mattress.

Queen (51 x 76 cm or 20” x 30”) 

Measuring 10 cm longer than the Standard, a Queen-sized pillow, as the name implies, is designed to fit Queen-sized beds. However, you can still use it on a Twin-sized bed for a snug feel or place it on a King-sized mattress for more breathing space.

The extra length makes the pillow perfect for active sleepers, who switch a lot between different positions. A larger pillow doesn’t move too much along with the sleeper and ensure that they still feel comfortable.

Along with that, higher Queen pillows will make a worthy purchase for those who need to sleep in a slightly elevated position, for example, people with reflux or sleep apnoea. The higher loft is also a feature of some of the best pillows for side sleepers, as it raises the neck slightly higher to keep in line with the shoulder, hips, and spine.

King (51 x 92 cm or 20” x 36”)

King

The largest of the standard pillow sizes in Australia, King, requires plenty of space to place it, so the minimal bed size for it is Queen.

Like a Queen-sized pillow, the King pillow is perfect for active sleepers because it offers you plenty of space and stays stationary no matter how actively you move throughout the night.

Overweight sleepers and those taller than 180 cm will also benefit from sleeping on a King pillow, as it allows you to comfortably position your shoulders and upper body in any position.

Finally, if you like to read or watch TV in the bed, then a King pillow is also perfect for you thanks to its increased height. Simply position it vertically and use as a cushion for your back.

Less Common Pillow Sizes

Along with the three common sizes, Australians use a couple more pillows. These sizes are less common, but you can still find them in major stores, such as Walmart or Amazon.

Body Pillow (51 x 137 cm or 20” x 54”)

Also known as a bolster, a body pillow can come in various sizes, but the most common dimensions are 51 cm by 137 cm. Here’s who can benefit from using a body pillow for additional comfort:

  • Side sleepers. Especially those who have extra weight. A body pillow can keep your hips properly positioned, so they won’t put a twist on your spine. It also supports the abdomen.
  • Pregnant women. During the last trimester, sleeping on the back or the side can be difficult. A bolster can provide additional support for a woman’s body without putting a lot of pressure on the womb.
  • People with chronic pain. Sleeping with a body pillow increases the chances of finding a comfortable position and relieving pain.

European Square (66 x 66 cm or 26” x 26”)

This is the only European pillow size, which is mainly used as a decorative pillow when styling a look of the bed. They are perfect for stacking and adding depth to decorum. 

One European square pillow fits tightly on a Twin-sized bed, and a pair of them ensure the same tight fit for a Queen bed.

How to Choose a Good Pillow?

Finally, knowing the difference between pillow sizes is just a part of the deal. A good pillow that suits your sleeping style, consists of many factors, with the main ones being materials, height and firmness.

And here’s how to choose them.

Materials

Materials of a good pillow

Generally, you will choose between natural materials, such as latex, goose down, or buckwheat hulls, and synthetic materials, such as shredded or solid memory foam and artificial latex blends. 

Natural materials sleep cool and will serve you for longer. They are normally on the more expensive side, but their impact on the environment is typically less. They are also a better choice for families trying to minimize the amount of chemicals in their homes.

Synthetic materials are cheaper and offer you an enormous variety of designs suited for every sleeping style. They are better suited for sleepers on a tight budget or who want multiple options for their pillow, like gusseted sides.

Height (Loft)

The goal of the pillow is to support your head and remove the load from the neck and shoulder, so your spine can relax and rest. The main factor responsible for this is pillow height or loft. And the proper loft is tied to your preferred sleeping position:

  • On the back: back sleepers will benefit from a medium loft (8-11 cm);
  • On the side: comfortable pillows for side sleepers usually have a higher loft (12-15 cm);
  • On the stomach: stomach sleepers usually don’t need a pillow, but sometimes can benefit from a small loft (6-7 cm);
  • Combo: mixed sleepers should choose a pillow based on the most repetitive sleeping positions, or pick a model with an adjustable height.

And remember that you should change your pillow every two years (1) regardless of materials and design.

Firmness

Firmness significantly impacts how a pillow feels, especially based on your sleeping position. Pillows on the softer side are better suited to stomach sleepers, while firmer pillows suit back and side sleepers more.

Softer pillows typically contain materials like organic down, which compress significantly underweight. They are usually filled less with minimal loft to keep the neck straight and spine neutral for stomach sleepers.

Pillows with a medium softness are usually made of polyester or low-density memory foam and suit back sleepers the most. This material compresses moderately and usually comes with a mid-range height to keep the head even with the spine.

Firmer pillows are typically made of high-density memory foam or polyester with high loft. This ensures the head and neck are well-contoured and aligned with the spine. High-density foam will retain its shape and resist more weight, which is what a side sleeper needs to feel the most comfortable at night.

FAQs

Why do Australians use European pillow sizes?

Australians use a European square pillow as a decorative pillow for styling their beds, however, these pillows can be used as additional for sleep.

What is the best pillow size for a stomach sleeper?

Most doctors agree that stomach sleepers shouldn’t use a pillow, or it will put a strain on the neck. However, if someone feels uncomfortable without a pillow, they might use a thin one or even put a thick folded towel under their head.

Conclusion

There are a lot of pillows to choose from! To pick a perfect one for you, consider your bed size, preferred sleeping position, and the number of pillows you need to comfortably position yourself. Also, don’t forget to check the materials of the pillow and its height, so it will feel comfortable.

What’s your preferred pillow size? Tell us below!

References:

  1. Rebekah Scanlan (2021, March 3). Doctor reveals the ‘gross’ reason you need to change your pillow every two years. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/doctor-reveals-gross-reason-you-need-to-change-your-pillow-every-two-years/news-story/d375193db5b72d929b1331b9632bccaa

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