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We’re sure you’d agree that there are few things better than getting into a comfortable hotel bed at the end of a long travel day. But what exactly makes those nights sleep on hotel pillows so comfortable? Here’s the scoop: Hotel pillows are so luxurious and comfortable because of the fill material inside. They’re typically made with large, goose down clusters that are extremely soft and fluffy. Some hotels also use a combination of down and feathers, which guests are sure to love.
It goes without saying that the type of pillows used in 5-star hotels can even make or break your experience, since they’ll determine how much of a good night’s sleep you can get. Let’s take a closer look at how hotels work their magic to make their pillows so fluffy and dreamy.
It’s no secret that hotel beds generally have more pillows than you would have in your bed at home. In any given hotel room, you can typically find king-sized pillows, queen-sized pillows, standard pillows as well as decorative pillows. This clever approach gives adds to the illusion of even more luxury and finesse — as well as plenty of options of pillows to sleep on.
Five star hotels invest in top-of-the-line bedding items to provide a luxurious experience for each and every guest. This means the type of pillows used in 5-star hotels are very different to what the average person may have in their bedroom. Everything from the filling material to the pillow case and the color scheme is well-researched and hand-selected.
Pillows found in hotel rooms are also well-maintained and periodically replaced. At home, the average person may tend to hold on to pillows past their prime. Over time, pillows can become flat or lumpy and disrupt your good nights sleep.
What Pillows Do Luxury Hotels Use?
Generally speaking, there are three major types of pillows widely used in five star hotels. This includes goose (feather) down pillows, down alternative and feather/down blend pillows.
Goose or Duck Down Pillows
Down pillows are made from soft feathers obtained from either goose or duck down, and can give a luxury vibe to any night – not to mention that they are the most temperature regulated pillows. These are generally the most popular pick in hotels, so you’ll typically find these pillows dominating the rooms in big hotel chains, such as at Marriott and Hilton properties. One downside of note is that these may not be the best for allergy-sufferers and some people may be concerned that the down is sourced ethically. Additionally, because prices can be on the higher end — so you’ll typically only find them in the ritziest hotels.
Feather and Down Blend Pillows
These pillows have the same lavishness as down pillows, but at a more fair pricepoint. They offer medium-density firmness and bear a 50/50 feather ratio, which gives it a solid reputation in the market. The mature feathers, covered with down, prevent any feathers from poking out and also maintain that firm-yet-soft appeal. You can likely find these types of pillows in many Sheraton hotels.
Down Alternative Pillows
Down alternative pillows are the most commonly found pillow set in any hotel. As the name suggests, these pillows offer the same feel and appeal as any down pillows, but are an alternative as they’re completely hypoallergenic and generally made up polyester microfiber material. Hotels usually opt for these type of pillows because they offer a comprable experiece at a cheaper than standard down pillows. They’re ideal for people that are prone to getting usual neck strains and shoulder pains. You should be able to easily distinguish it from the other types of hotel pillows.
How to Shop for Hotel Pillows
If the bed is the most important amenity in a hotel room, then pillows are the most important thing on that bed, so if you’re trying to mimic that hotel luxury experience at home, there are a few things you should remember.
Established hotels replace their pillows after a year or so, whereas you probably can’t remember how long you’ve had your pillow, right? Big hotel chains go through thousands of pillows a year, making sure they’re always new and fresh.
Natural down and feather pillows have a higher pricepoint to get that luxurious feel, while more inexpensive materials like synthetic fiber, microfiber and polyster don’t offer the same premium elevated feel. Those natural luxury materials are also much more temperature regulating while materials like memory foam can retain a lot of heat.
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The Pillow Insider editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.