Bedding Guide - Buying the Perfect Pillow

Bedding Guide - Buying the Perfect Pillow

What Fill is Best for You?   |   Buying The Perfect Pillow   |   Finding the Right Comforter

At Downlite we make pillows in hundreds of different styles. It can be confusing to know which one is best for your needs. 

The key criteria in choosing a pillow are density, size, filling, fabric/feel, and budget.

Deciding on a new pillow is therefore quite personal, which is why it is so delicate to offer a pillow as a gift. It's always best to choose your own pillow according to your needs and preferences.

So, let's start with your sleeping style, which can help to determine the density of the pillow you need. When you wake up in the morning are you on your back, side, or stomach?

Side Sleep Pillow

Side sleepers - are best suited for a medium or firm density pillow. A firmer density keeps your head and neck from going too low near your shoulder blade.

Back Sleep Pillow

Back sleepers - a medium density pillow is preferred so that you get just enough support but not too much that your head/neck are pushed uncomfortably forward.

Stomach Sleep Pillow

Stomach sleepers – choose a soft pillow or extra soft pillow so your breathing area is not obstructed and your neck isn't pushed toward your back.

The above are just recommendations; everyone has their personal preference as to pillow density. Be sure to consult the firmness guide that we show for each of our pillows to help you select the correct density. The most popular density is medium and there are several medium densities, some are closer to soft, and others are closer to firm. We try in our description to be as precise as possible so you can select the product you are looking for.


Size. Pillow size is generally dictated by the size of the bed - standard (20” x 26”), queen (20” x 30”), jumbo (20” x 28”), or king (20” x 36”). The most popular pillow size for sleeping is the standard pillow, which you will find in most hotels, as it fits the preferences of most people and keeps the head elevated four to six inches.

Filling. Down, synthetic, hypoallergenic, or cooling? At DOWNLITE, we use 3 different types of hypoallergenic fills in our bedding: down, feather, and down alternative. For detailed direction, please read our bedding guide - What fill is best?

Fabric/feel. This refers to both the outer cover of the pillow itself as well as the pillow protector and the pillowcase, which touches your head through the night. At Downlite, we offer pillows covered in the best quality fabrics (230 Thread Count Cambric Cotton, Crisp 230 Thread Count Cambric Cotton Fabric, 300 TC Cotton Sateen Fabric, etc). Pillowcases come in a variety of materials, such as cotton, linen, satin, nylon, cooling/wicking fabrics, etc. As with density, this is a very personal choice. If a particular pillowcase fabric helps your sleep, by all means, choose that one. Consider buying an extra and taking it with you as you travel to add a comforting touch of the familiar to a new bed. 

Budget. Remember that your head will be comforted by your new pillow 6-8 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the next 2-12 years. Of all the things on your bed, the mattress, mattress pad, comforter, sheets, etc., your pillow is the most important. With the relatively small price differences between a good pillow and a great pillow, we suggest choosing a higher quality standard size pillow versus buying a king-size of a less expensive model. Our standard size pillows are priced from $35 to $135.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having considered the criteria, we find that people still have questions for us. Here are some of the most common questions we field.

Why choose a hotel pillow?

Many customers want to replicate the sleeping experience they had in a resort, hotel, or cruise ship. Hotel bedding is our specialty and is generally considered an upgrade to the bedding sold by consumer products retailers. To get started, just take a snapshot of the tag or go to the hotel bedding finder to find out what bedding you have enjoyed. Chances are, you will be directed back to Downlite.

Why choose a hypoallergenic pillow?

People who are particularly sensitive to common allergens can benefit from a hypoallergenic pillow, which helps prevent the trapping of allergens. To meet this need, Downlite developed a line of bedding certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Downlite hypoallergenic pillows are made with materials that do not usually cause allergic reactions and which help prevent the growth or accumulation of common allergens like dust mites, dander, and mold.

Some of our hypoallergenic pillows are filled with down or down alternative, providing additional firmness and durability options to the allergy sufferer.

Why choose an adjustable pillow?

It can be challenging to find the perfect density pillow, especially if the pillow you are purchasing is for guests or if you sleep in multiple positions. The 3-in-1 pillow can adjust to become a soft, medium, or firm pillow and was developed to please every style of sleeper, back, stomach or side.

Why choose a down pillow?

Used for centuries, the down (duck or goose) pillow is a bedding classic. This natural filling allows the pillow to adapt to the movements of the head during sleep. It offers natural thermoregulatory properties, allowing moisture to be easily wicked away, and promotes hygiene. More expensive than a down alternative pillow or a feather pillow, the down pillow should outlast the others if properly cared for.

Down filling is natural and allows comfort and well-being thanks to a soft feeling. The higher the percentage of down, the more fluffy and softer the feeling of the filling will be (plus also quieter compared to feathers)::

  • down <50% - firm

  • down <70% - soft, swelling 

  • down> 70% - softer and very puffy

Our down pillows are ethically sourced and we are proud to be certified byRDS (Responsible Down Standard). 

Why choose a feather pillow

Feather pillows and down pillows are sold as having similar qualities and characteristics and are often confused.Feather pillows have a shorter life span, cause more noise compared to down filling, and cost less than down pillows. The large feathers can easily pass through the pillowcase and sting the sleeper, so you will want to have a pillow protector and good quality pillowcase.

Why choose a chamber pillow?

Those that are undecided between a down and feather pillow often try the chamber pillow. A chamber pillow is a unique construction that provides the softness of down with the support of feathers. The chamber construction has a core of feathers with down all around the core, on the top and bottom of the pillow. This video explains how a chamber pillow is made.  

Why choose a cooling pillow?

People troubled by moderate night sweats, those that live in warmer climates, or who are especially sensitive to warm sleeping conditions choose cooling pillows. Inspired by a NASA technology created to regulate the body temperature with fabric, cooling pillows can help ease tossing and turning and moderate night sweats. The body regulates its temperature at the extremities (mainly by the head and the feet), which is why the cooling pillow helps regulate body temperature during sleep. Cooling pillows have also been reported to help relieve other discomforts, such as headaches, neck pain, and heavy legs.


Do you still have questions about your perfect pillow? Contact us, we’ll help you solve the conundrum.