Why Are Hotel Pillows So Comfortable?

When visiting a hotel, the pillow you slept on is likely an afterthought, but if your neck was as stiff as bricks in the morning, you’d have probably told the manager all about it. After a long day, the only thing that matters is a good night’s sleep, and pillows are not exactly overlooked in that regard. 

Simply put, good pillows are a must-have, but what exactly makes them – in most cases – so much better than the ones we use at home? 

A multitude of factors, from the type of pillow to its presentation, can make or break a hotel guest’s shuteye. So, if you’d like to learn all about those aspects as well as read up on some suggestions for the best hotel pillows, stick with us. If none of the options on our list suit your needs, we’ve also included a buying guide that will surely help you with your choice.

What Makes a Pillow Good?  

A good pillow most definitely should be comfortable, but that’s just scratching the surface. Here are the most important factors.

Types of Pillows

Hotels, for instance, don’t use regular kinds of pillows; that much is clear. Instead, they are (more often than not) specialized. They can be hypoallergenic, down, synthetic, feather, or even memory foam, but above all, they’re quality pillows.

Hypoallergenic Pillow

Quality hypoallergenic pillows not only retain their shape after long periods of use; they’re also dust and mite-resistant. In turn, other than offering maximum comfort to the guest, they also indirectly take care of their health.

Down Pillow

Down pillows are some of the most premium pillows. They’re usually made from feathers of geese and ducks. Manufacturers use the soft feathers found underneath the outer feathers of the bird which are hard ones. Thus, they use the “down feather.”

Down pillows offer maximum comfort as they are lightweight, most commonly soft, and supportive. They’re mostly found in luxurious hotels. 

Synthetic Pillow

If you are on a budget and can’t afford an expensive down pillow, a synthetic pillow is a good alternative. These down alternatives are made from synthetic fibers. They offer more-or-less the same features, but at a lower price.

Only an enthusiast will notice the difference between a synthetic and an actual down pillow.

Feather Pillow

Feather pillows are made from outer feathers, which offer a firm structure to the pillow. However, as I’m sure you’d agree, the majority of people who’ve tried sleeping on down pillows deem feather pillows inferior. 

Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam pillows are made from viscoelastic polyfoam. They incorporate synthetic fiber material that becomes soft when under body weight and heat. After cooling down, the pillow regains its shape. 

Some memory foam pillows have a cooling gel inside that offers a pleasant cooling sensation. These pillows are a good option since they can adjust according to the guest. However, make sure that it contains cooling gel; otherwise, it gets hot. 

Presentation

We can’t give all the credit to manufacturers. The hotel staff is in no small part responsible for how comfortable a pillow can be. Proper care and maintenance are also crucial. Here are some practices that will go a long way in making hotel pillows even more comfortable. 

Minimal Use

Hotels ought to offer fresh pillows to every visitor. This practice ensures that the fluffiness of a pillow remains intact. Regular use decreases the freshness and comfort a pillow provides. 

Properly storing pillows in plastic bags in temperature-regulated storage rooms will extend a pillow’s lifetime and protect it from dust and wear & tear.

Outer Cloth

Another reason why hotel pillows are so comfortable is that hotels commonly use double-fabric outer cloth. The pillowcase also makes the pillow feel stuffed and fluffy. Furthermore, a fresh and clean pillowcase makes the pillow look new. 

The aspect of aesthetics is not to be neglected either, as pretty-looking pillows that match the room’s aesthetics might just “cheat” a guest into thinking positively.

The Best Hotel Pillows – Review 

We have picked the top pillows that you can buy right now. All of the pillows in our list are premium and used by five-star hotels such as the Hilton. But, of course, all of our pillows are available on Amazon as well.

Pacific Coast — Best Overall 

The Pacific Coast Double Down Pillow is a top-of-the-line choice on account of Pacific Coast’s “pillow in pillow” technology. This technology makes the pillow soft with a hint of firmness. At the time of writing, this pillow remains one of the best-reviewed pillows on Amazon by all kinds of users. More than 2 million hotel rooms use this pillow, so the broad user community is a testament to its greatness. 

The experts of Pacific Coast developed the Resilia feather technology, which allows the same (if not more) comfort as an original down pillow all the while being allergen-friendly.

The Double Down is of standard size (26″ long x 20″ wide) and is best-suited for the stomach sleeping position. It has a moderate rating for back sleepers. However, side sleepers may skip this one as it can be a little extra soft for them.

Features 

  • Available in three sizes 
  • Available in three firmness levels
  • Machine washable
  • 4-year life span

Pros

  • Different sizes and firmness levels to choose from
  • Lightweight design
  • 30-night free trial
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Loses shape overtime

Verdict

If you want to pick a pillow for your luxury hotel, you won’t find a better option. Regular care of the pillow will make it last longer and provide maximum comfort. However, we wouldn’t recommend buying this for home-usage.

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow — Best Economy

The Beckham Gel pillow is a queen-size all-rounder that offers maximum comfort for all kinds of sleeping positions – back, stomach, or side. 

In addition, these pillows have a gel-fiber lining that provides maximum support during sleep. They also retain their shape even after prolonged use. 

The pillow is encased in a 100% pure-cotton washable cotton case and will feel as if it were a new pillow even after constant use.

What’s more, it is also equipped with dust-resistant technology, so maintenance is pretty straightforward. 

The Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow suits all sleeping positions and body types. 

Features

  • Cooling gel technology
  • Retains shape
  • Stays in shape
  • 240 thread count

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • 30-day refund/return policy
  • Easy core
  • Firm enough

Cons

  • Not very fluffy
  • Less luxurious feeling

Verdict

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow is best for people who want a budget pillow. However, high-end hotels can also use these pillows. The main selling point of these pillows is the price to comfort ratio as well as their breathability. 

Parachute Down Alternative Pillow — Best Down Alternative

If you are in the market for an alternative down pillow, you should consider the Parachute Down. Simply put, this pillow is designed for hotel use and you can expect maximum luxury and comfort. It’s made of 100% microfiber and comes in three versions: soft, medium, and firm. 

The Parachute Down Alternative Pillow offers fluffiness while packing a decent amount of support. Parachute’s products also have Oeko-Tex certification, which means that the pillow has passed extensive testing and is entirely free of harmful substances while also being eco-friendly. 

The cover of the pillow is made from 100% cambric cotton, offering a smooth texture. 

Due to the three different versions, the pillow can accommodate any sleeping position. The soft one is best for stomach sleeping, the medium one is suggested for back sleepers, and the firm one is recommended for side sleepers.

Features

  • Microfiber filling
  • Available in different firmness levels

Pros

  • Decent amount of firmness
  • Premium quality feel
  • Short-break in period
  • Good head and neck support

Cons

  • Too soft for side and stomach sleepers
  • Non-standard sizing

Verdict 

The Parachute Down has to be the best down pillow on our list. It’s really a toss-up between this one and the Pacific Coast Down pillow. The fluffiness and support that Parachute offers along with linen cases might just take it over the top. 

Marriott — Good All-Rounder

The Marriott hotel chain needs little introduction, so their pillows easily found their way on our list. However, we definitely didn’t include the Marriott pillow only on account of its name.

The brand offers pillows and cushions for sale, and you can buy them for your hotel or rental property as well. Marriott has considered all sorts of sleepers and created an excellent overall option.

The Marriott pillows offer a very high-quality feeling while being easy to maintain. They’re machine-washable and allergen-free.

The pillow is filled with 70% goose down and 30% lyocell fiber filling. In addition, the inner layer of the pillow is filled with duck feathers. Hence, this is the best goose-down pillow you can get.

Marriott pillows shine in terms of catering to different sleeping positions. They are very well suited for all kinds of sleepers. Side sleepers can get a decent amount of side support from this pillow, whereas back sleepers have sufficient back support. The pillow is not too squishy for stomach sleepers either. 

Features

  • Premium quality
  • Fluffy feel
  • Decent support
  • Available in different sizes

Pros

  • Suits all sleeping positions
  • Machine-washable
  • Super soft, yet offers decent back support

Cons 

  • No return policy

Verdict 

The Marriott pillow might just be the best option for hotels, and obviously, it’s not only due to the brand’s renown. This pillow offers luxurious comfort for all kinds of sleepers, while the dual-chamber technology ensures restorative sleep. 

Conclusion 

Ultimately, hotel pillows are much more comfortable due to the meticulous engineering that’s gone into producing them. Simply put, most of them are premium products that offer more than just comfort – they can make or break a 5-star hotel’s reputation.