We’ve all been there. You sink into your hotel bed and enjoy the most comfortable, restorative night’s sleep, only to return home and wonder, “what is so magical about hotel pillows?” No, it’s not just the psychological state of vacation that makes you believe the hotel had superior pillows. There’s a science to it. We break down the tips of getting vacation-style comfort at home every night.
Hotel chains and boutique resort owners put a lot of thought into every aspect of their guest’s experience, especially concerning comfort. A luxurious stay leads to good memories, positive reviews, and returning guests. Pillows are a top priority, and hotels generally focus on three things when considering pillow selection: quality, fill material, and loft.
Quality pillows are of utmost importance and what hotel guests expect. Hotels purchase pillows from bedding experts with years of experience who consistently produce expertly-crafted, durable, and high-caliber products.
Hotels prioritize quality fill material. Fill material gives pillows their shape, softness, and comfort. Hotels commonly use a blend of down and feathers, or a synthetic down alternative. Pillows stuffed with a first-rate filling provide superior support and billowy softness compared to cheaper brands claiming to use similar material.
Hotels also consider pillow loft, or the height and support a pillow provides. Since body size and personal preference affect what guests consider comfortable, hotels often offer multiple pillows with a range of loft. Most people agree that the higher the loft, the more luxurious the feel, especially if the pillows are soft and down-like.
Pro Tip: Hotels often use a smaller pillow protector to enhance the fluff and firmness of a bed pillow. For instance, a King size pillow packed into a Queen size pillow protector will increase the loft and support.
Once pillows are selected, hotels implement standards for meticulous pillow care to extend pillow life and comfort. You may not have housekeeping services follow you home to clean and make your bed, but there are simple steps you can take to ensure hotel-quality pillows at home.
- Wash Pillows Often: Hotels wash and sanitize pillows on a schedule to ensure cleanliness. But this practice is also beneficial to the life of the pillow. Washing and drying naturally fluff a pillow for a soft and supportive texture. Many people believe washing their pillowcase is good enough, but washing a pillow maintains its original shape and feel. Bedding experts recommend washing pillows every 3-6 months, but more frequent cleanings keep them feeling fresh and hotel-like. For more in-depth recommendations read how to care for your pillows. Pro Tip: Adding a couple of tennis balls to the dryer may enhance the natural fluffing process. The tennis balls will press into the pillow, break up clumps, and allow air to circulate for dreamy softness.
- Fluff Pillows Regularly: Adding an extra chore to your to-do list may sound daunting, but fluffing a pillow takes less than 30 seconds and makes a huge difference. A pillow’s fill naturally clumps and flattens from nightly use. Fluffing a pillow breaks up lumps and allows the inner material to breathe and expand. This rejuvenating action makes it feel like you’re laying your head on a fresh pillow on the very first night of vacation. Pro Tip: Start with your hands on the short sides of your pillow and pretend you are playing the accordion, pushing the sides in and out. Next, move your hands to the longer sides of the pillow and repeat. This motion quickly fluffs the pillow for cushiony support.
- Replace Pillows Every 1-3 Years: Even with the best care, pillows begin to get worn and don’t feel as good as they once did. Most of us use pillows well past their prime. The average life of a synthetic pillow is 12-36 months, while a feather and down pillow may last 4-6 years. After that, they lose their loft and support. Hotels keep a watchful eye on the condition of all bedding and replace pillows once they show signs of wear and tear. Pro Tip: Buy your pillows from a certified hotel bedding provider where you can purchase pillows in bulk or get wholesale pricing without compromising quality.
Check out Downlite’s assortment of hotel pillows to select the right softness and support to mimic your favorite hotel stay. Or, if you have a memorable hotel visit in mind, use our Hotel Finder tool to discover what pillow you enjoyed on your trip. If you would like personalized assistance or professional advice before ordering your bedding, you may also contact our customer service representatives, and we will assist you in your decision-making.
Photo by Kampus Production