When it comes to basic bedding, there are several terms that refer to size. Mattress sizes, such as twin, full, queen, and king are relative to the actual size of the bed. Sheets also have sizes and are purchased based on the size of the bed they cover. So it’s really no surprise that pillows come in different sizes too. A standard pillow refers to a specific size of pillow more so than a type of pillow.
A standard pillow is the right size for both twin and full-sized beds. The average size of a standard pillow is about 20 inches (50.8 cm) by 26 inches (66 cm). Queen- and king-sized pillows increase in length and are therefore better suited to complete their corresponding bed sizes. This is useful information when shopping for pillow cases and pillow shams. When you purchase a sheet set or bedding set, standard pillow cases or shams will typically accompany both twin and full sizes. However, if you purchase them individually, a standard pillow case will be too short for anything but a standard pillow.
As with any bed pillow, standard pillows may have synthetic fill, natural fill, or may be made of high-density foam. Bed pillows also come in different densities to provide varying levels of support. For instance, firm or extra firm will provide maximum support, while terms like plush or soft indicate the pillow has more give. Selecting the right type of pillow can be more difficult than selecting the right size, as the size is already determined by your bed.
Incidentally, many people often wonder how often they should replace their bed pillows. Unless you have allergies that are aggravated by dust mites, the answer is to replace your pillow when you are no longer comfortable sleeping on it or it has worn out. A pillow is considered worn out if you can fold it in half and it stays folded or the fill has obvious lumps and bumps. Depending on how often you wash your pillows, the average pillow may last a year or two, while some can last five to ten.