What makes hotel pillows so comfortable?

Hotel Room With Pillows | scooms

If you’ve ever wondered “why are hotel pillows so comfortable?” or “what are hotel pillows made from?” you’re definitely not alone. Just typing hotel pillows into Google brings back millions of hits, while asking “what kind of pillows do hotels use?” generates over 22 million results.

That’s a lot of web pages dedicated to hotel pillows.


  1. What difference do hotel quality pillows make?
  2. Why are the best hotel pillows so comfortable?
  3. Why do hotel pillows feel so good?
  4. What kinds of pillows do most hotels use?
  5. Why do most hotels choose down and feather pillows?
  6. What are the best hotel quality pillows to buy at home?


What difference do hotel quality pillows make?

Well, when it comes to where we lay our heads on holiday, hotel pillows have a big influence on whether we sleep well while we’re away.

Get a hotel pillow that’s the perfect fabric and firmness and your holiday nights will be as blissful as the days you spend exploring. Get a pillow that’s badly made and poorly maintained however, and you’ll be endlessly tossing and turning, lamenting yourself for not taking those negative customer reviews more seriously.

Location, price and facilities may all be front of mind when it comes to choosing our holiday accommodation but by the time we return home it seems hotel pillows are all we can think about.


Why are the best hotel pillows so comfortable?

Now you may notice that we’ve inserted the word ‘best’ above. That’s because hotel pillows (while often great) can still differ in their quality. And that’s the key to what makes the best hotel pillows the best: quality.

One of the main reasons hotel pillows can feel more comfortable than the pillows we sleep with at home is because of what they’re made of.

Pillows, just like duvets, come in a range of fabric casings and material fillings that can vary greatly in their quality and vastly affect our ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. We cover these in more detail in our How to choose a pillow guide (which we highly recommend you read) so for now we’ll just focus specifically on what makes hotel style pillows so great.


Why do hotel pillows feel so good?

Hotels that are serious about sleep won’t spare any costs when it comes to pillows and that’s why most premium hotels have pillows that feel so luxurious - they’re willing to invest.

Like so many thing things in life, if you want a quality product you have to be prepared to spend a little more to get it. That’s as true with fine dining as it is with a pillow. When you start to increase the quality of something - whether it’s better ingredients or better materials - the price tends to also go up, relative to the quality you’re receiving. But, the end result is also so much better.

The best hotels in the world aren’t phased by this. They want their guests to enjoy an incredible night’s sleep as it reflects well on them, so they’re prepared to pay whatever it takes to make that happen - including laundering and replacing their pillows regularly to keep that quality at its peak.


Close Up of Hotel Pillows On a Bed | scooms


What kinds of pillows do luxury hotels use

The finest hotel quality pillows have a distinctive weight and feel and one of the main reasons is the filling.

Hotels with the best pillows typically use a blend of luxury down and feather and they do so for good reason. Firstly, it’s a combination that feels extremely comfortable, yet also supportive - already ticking two big boxes when it comes to getting the perfect night’s sleep.

That’s because the core of the pillow typically consists of mainly feather, which is firmer, surrounded by mainly down, which is softer. These layers are known as chambers and it’s the precise ratio of feather to down that will determine how comfortable and supportive a pillow feels.

A pillow with an inner feather ratio of around 85% and an outer down ratio of around 90% is very typical of luxury hotel pillows. This is one of the most important things to get right if you want to recapture that hotel pillow feeling you experienced on holiday in your own bedroom at home.


Why do luxury hotels choose down and feather pillows?

Down and feather filled pillows are a natural choice for hotel collection pillows because they can be easily re-plumped with just a few shakes.

It’s also a combination that allows the pillow to gently contour to your head, while still feeling soft and springy - providing all the support your head, neck, and shoulders need to sleep comfortably throughout the night, but without leaving a permanent impression. This means that when the next guest checks-in the hotel pillow is like new again - perfectly fluffy feeling and full in appearance.

Another reason down and feather is such a popular hotel pillow filling is that it’s naturally breathable. This allows up to 3-4 times more air circulation than with synthetic filled pillows, so moisture can escape more easily. Not only is this more hygienic, it’s also perfect for keeping dust mites, which are attracted to moisture, at bay - something that will help to prolong the life of hotel style pillows, while ensuring you can breathe easily at night. 


What are the best hotel quality pillows to buy at home?

You’ll find many online stores offering hotel collection pillows for sale just by googling ‘5 star hotel pillows UK’. Just be sure to carefully check the product specifications to determine the down to feather ratio and also what each pillow is made from, as a high price tag doesn’t always denote a quality product.

Selected hotel chains also sell their own hotel brand pillows directly to consumers online. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton are just two hotel chains offering this option, while Premier Inn pillows can also be ordered online via the brand’s website.

For a hotel style pillow that’s extremely comfortable and also environmentally friendly, we recommend our scooms Hungarian goose down pillow  which can be found in boutique hotels and luxury B&Bs as well has some of the finest homes and country estates across Europe.

Filled with an ethical blend of Hungarian goose feather and down, our pillow is as luxurious as those you’ll find in the world’s best hotels. It comes in a premium 300 thread sateen cotton casing and is available in two sizes: standard pillow (50cm x 75cm) or king size pillow (50cm x 90cm) with free next day delivery - perfect if you’re craving that luxury hotel pillow feeling in a hurry.

See our blog post on Get that luxury hotel bed feel at home.



Author: Cristina AzorinPublished: 8 March 2023Last modified: 12 April 2024

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Bedding size guide


These are standard UK bedding measurements so if you know your mattress size, you can easily work out which duvet size you need. (Width x length.)

UK sizes Duvet size Mattress size
Single 135 x 200cm (53 x 79") 90 x 190cm (36 x 75")
Double 200 x 200cm (79 x 79") 135 x 190cm (53 x 75")
King 225 x 220cm (89 x 87") 150 x 200cm (60 x 78")
Super king 260 x 220cm (102 x 87") 180 x 200cm (72 x 78")

US/CANADA BEDDING SIZES: Approximate matches to UK sizes are US King/UK Super king, US Queen/UK King,  US Full/UK Double and US Twin/UK Single.

EUROPEAN BEDDING SIZES: Each size - Single, Double, King and Grand king - is a little larger than the UK equivalent.

Measure your mattress to see which size bedding you need: our UK v European v US mattress comparison guide.



Young children can overheat so if they are old enough to use a full size bed, we recommend using a single size 4.5 tog duvet.

 Tog rating Season / heat Feel
2.5 tog High summer / hot sleepers Light thermal insulation
4.5 tog Summer Lower thermal insulation
9 tog Spring & Autumn Cosy medium heat
All season 13.5 tog 4.5 tog + 9 tog Very warm
All season 11.5 tog 2.5 tog + 9 tog Warm
All season 7 tog 2.5 tog + 4.5 tog Lower warmth



Our goose down duvets have high 700 fill power. Fill weight is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). For example view our 9 tog king size goose down duvet for more duvet details.

Fill weight (not total duvet weight)
Single All seasons - 788gsm
9 tog - 486gsm 
4.5 tog - 302gsm 
2.5 tog - 220gsm
Double All seasons - 1168gsm
9 tog - 720gsm
4.5 tog - 448gsm
2.5 tog - 320gsm
King All seasons - 1478gsm
9 tog - 911gsm
4.5 tog - 567gsm
2.5 tog - 400gsm
Super king All seasons - 1671gsm
9 tog - 1030gsm
4.5 tog - 641gsm
2.5 tog - 480gsm



Our pillows come in two sizes and two firmness options. (Width x length.)

Standard  50 x 75cm
King 50 x 90cm



Our fitted sheets are deep fit, up to 40cm / 15.7" mattress depth. And our duvet covers fasten with large, easy to use buttons. (Width x length.)

Duvet cover Fitted sheet Flat sheet Pillowcase (pair)
Single 140 x 200cm 90 x 190cm 180 x 275cm
Double 200 x 200cm 135 x 190cm 230 x 275cm 50 x 75cm (Standard)
King 230 x 220cm 150 x 200cm 275 x 275cm 50 x 90cm (King)
Super king 260 x 220cm 180 x 200cm 305 x 275cm



Our mattress protectors are deep fit, up to 40cm mattress depth. Choose the same size protector as your mattress size. (Width x length.)

Mattress protector size Mattress size
Single 90 x 190cm 90 x 190cm
Double 135 x 190cm 135 x 190cm
King 150 x 200cm 150 x 200cm
Super king 180 x 200cm 180 x 200cm 


£10 off your first order over £200!

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