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Why are Luxury Hotel Pillows so Comfortable? See Our Best Picks

Luxury vacations are synonymous with new memories, relaxation, and of course, comfort. There are few better feelings than resting your head on a bed piled with plush hotel pillows and crisp cotton sheets as you doze off and dream about the next day’s adventure.

The right pillows can make or break your trip. But the comfort doesn’t need to end there. Believe it or not, the best hotel pillows are available to purchase for your own bedroom. Below we’ll walk you through the different types of hotel pillows, and recommend a few of our own favorites.

Best Rated Luxury Pillows Used in 5 Star Hotels

#1 Best Seller

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Tailored to provide maximum comfort for all sleeping positions

5/5

Premium Choice

Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Pillow

Supportive, comfortable and breathable for the perfect night's sleep

5/5

Best Budget

Fern and Willow Premium Down Pillow

An affordable luxury pillow

4.5/5
Hotel Touch of Down™ Pillow by Pacific Coast®

Preferred in 2 million hotel rooms, including Hilton® Hotel & Resorts

4/5
EnerPlex Premium Down Alternative

A gel down alternative that is easy on your head and your wallet

4/5
Pacific Coast® Luxury Down Pillow

One of the most premium down pillows on the market

4.5/5

Reviews of the Best Hotel Pillows

 

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

The Hotel Collection Gel Pillow from Beckham takes the top spot of my list of best hotel pillows thanks to its combination of comfort and affordability. Currently the number one best-selling pillow on Amazon, The Beckham Hotel Collection pillow is made of plush down-alternative that comfortably supported my head, regardless of sleep position. It felt well constructed, and didn’t bunch up like many traditional down pillows, even when I shifted from one side to the other during the night. As someone who runs warm at night, a cool pillow is important to me. Fortunately, the gel fibers kept the pillow cool, even through hot and humid nights.

In addition to comfort, the Beckham Hotel Collection was a better value than any other pillowed I considered for this list. Whereas most other pillows retail for price $40 to $60 for a single pillow, the Beckham Hotel Collection sells as a set of two pillows for approx. $40 (when this article was publisher – price is subject to change). While there are certainly cheaper pillows on the market (I’ll cover a few below), I’m of the personal belief that spending a few extra bucks for good support is a worthwhile investment (your neck and back will thank you later).

 

Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Pillow

The Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Pillow is my pick for the best premium pillow. The Snuggle-Pedic is filled with shredded memory foam, allowing it to conform to my head, regardless of sleeping position. It’s also extremely breathable – an issue with some other memory foam pillows – which kept the pillow cool even on warm nights. The company credits its breathability to a proprietary mixture of foams that is lighter and fluffier than other shredded foam pillows.  

While the Snuggle-Pedic was already the most adjustable pillow that we evaluated, the company includes extra filling in each order, so that you can alter the height and firmness of the pillow. Personally, I like a firmer and taller pillow, while my wife prefers something softer and flatter. The extra stuffing allowed us both to find the perfect fit for our individual needs. Swapping in fresh foam can also help extend the life of the pillow. Whereas, typically I replace my pillows every year – the extra foam allowed me to replace some of the worn form, giving it a “new pillow” feel. 

The Snuggle-Pedic pillow is available on Amazon for approx. $50 (at time of publishing), as well as on the Snuggle-Pedic official website.

 

Fern and Willow Premium Down Pillow

Fern and Willow’s down alternative pillow is my pick for the best budget hotel pillow. Like the Beckham Hotel Collection, Fern and Willow’s hotel pillow set comes as a 2-pack, retailing for $32.99 on Amazon (price subject to change). While I didn’t find that these pillows provided as much support as the Beckham, they still offered a very comfortable night’s sleep at a great value. 

The Fern and Willow is made from a down-alternative, making it friendlier than traditional down to those with allergies. The plush gel filling offers more than adequate support for back and side sleepers, while also keeping the pillow (and my head) cool throughout the night. While some may prefer traditional down pillows, I like the added support (and resilience to wear and tear) that down-alternative provides. The other advantage is that this down-alternative pillow is 100% machine washable. There was no detectable difference in the pillow’s comfort and support after washing and air-drying the pillow several times, particularly helpful to those of us whose pets appreciate a soft pillow as much as we do.

The Fern and Willow Premium Down Pillow  (2-pack) can be purchased here.

 

Pacific Coast Hotel Touch of Down™ Pillow

The Pacific Coast Touch of Down pillow may be the closest you can get to a hotel-caliber down pillow without breaking the bank. Featuring an innovative “pillow-in-a-pillow” design, an inner feather pillow is enveloped by a high-quality down pillow, creating soft yet supportive experience for all types of sleepers. For that reason, it’s no surprise that the Touch of Down, like other Pacific Coast pillows, can be found in many luxury hotels across the globe.

The Pacific Coast Hotel Touch of Down pillow is allergy free and machine washable, which sets it above many other down pillows we looked at. And for those that may be on the fence, Pacific Coast is offers a 30-day comfort guarantee. If you you aren’t happy with your pillow within 30-days, you can return it without penalty.

 


Why hotel pillows are so comfortable

But have you ever wondered just how much thought process goes into creating this experience? Turns out, hotel management spends a big chunk of their budget on bedding , especially pillows and sheets. The types of pillows used in 5-star hotels make or break the experience as they determine how much of a goodnight’s sleep one will get. Because without a restful sleep, no one can enjoy.

So how exactly do these under-appreciated accouterments make our experience so uniquely comfortable? and why are they the source of sweet sweet slumber?

First of all, let’s address the how’s and why’s of their existence in the hotel beds. To sum it up, any hotel scene includes:

Number of Pillows

Have you ever noticed how hotel beds seemingly have a high number of pillows? In any hotel room, you can find king sized pillows, queen sized pillows, standard pillows and decorative pillows. On an average, you can count up to 8-10 pillows easily. This clever approach is adopted to give that illusion of luxury and finesse, all while giving the guests different options of pillows to sleep on too.

Premium Quality Pillows

Five star hotels invest in top-of-the-line bedding items. This means that the type of pillows used in 5-star hotels are very different to what a normal person has in their bedroom. The filling material, the pillow case, the color scheme, everything is well-researched and then opted as the perfect fit for any hotel bed. And frankly, all of this struggle does give that exquisite touch.

Well Maintained, Young Pillow

The truth is that the pillows found in hotel beds are well maintained, and also periodically replaced, unlike how we tend to hoard our old pillows. In fact, most of us can not even remember the last time they replaced their pillows. Although there is no physical change in a pillow over-time, but it gradually loses its firmness and the very qualities that contribute to a good night sleep. This is why when our environment changes as we move to a hotel bedroom, we sleep on a younger hotel bed pillow and sleep way better.

Different Kind of Pillows

The real game changer- no matter how many pillows you show case, no matter how attractive the covers are, its the filling and the right kind of pillow that actually matters. All hotels have their own cocktail of pillows rolled out, but most also provide you with the option to choose the kind you like from the “pillow” menu. Some popular types of hotel quality pillows include down pillows, down alternative pillows, white goose down pillows, memory foam pillows and polyester pillows.

Now the burning question:

Why are the Pillows Used in Hotels so Soft?

comfortable white pillows

The answer actually lies in their composition. These luxury hotel pillows that give us the touch of royalty and make our experience just so unforgettable, are chosen only after careful evaluation. Their composition and filling is well-researched upon to make sure that they meet the set criteria.

Unlike our conventional pillows, hotel collection pillows are of premium quality, are durable, bear a guaranteed longevity and hence, are more pricey. So there is a whole thought process that goes into selecting what kind of pillow will be put forth the guest.

Most Commonly Used Hotel Collection Pillows

Generally speaking, there are three major types of pillows widely used in five star hotels- Goose (feather) down pillows, down alternative and feather/down blend pillows. Let us break it all down for you, so that you can understand the real deal and maybe buy yourself the same comfort.

Goose or Duck Down Pillows

Down pillows are the most popular out of all the options, largely because of their exclusivity and composition. Made with super soft feathers obtained from either goose or duck down, these luxury pillows can give life to any bedroom.

Down pillows are soft, fluffy and have a long life as compared to other luxury pieces. You can be sure of finding these pillows dominating the suites of big hotel chains, such as Hilton and Marriott.

The downside, however, is that these luxury pillows can be a source of discomfort to a few allergy-intolerant people. Also, the fact that it involves bird feathers, the prices of these hotel style pillows are high, so you won’t really find them in your ordinary hotels.

Feather and Down Blend Pillows

The same lavishness as the down pillows, but with a twist! The feather and down blend gives the same comfort without the fear of any allergy. These pillows are here to offer medium density firmness and they bear a 50/50 feather ratio, giving it a really 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. With a fair price point, feather and down blend pillows can be seen as a favorite of many popular hotel chains as well- Sheraton, for instance, uses these kind of pillows.

Down Alternative Pillows

Probably the most commonly found pillow set in any hotel includes down alternative pillows. As the name suggests, these pillows offer the same feel and appeal as any down pillows, but are an alternative. Completely hypoallergenic in nature, these pillows have been dominating the hospitality industry for decades.

Hotels usually resort to these type of pillows simply because they offer the same results, fluffiness, firmness and are cheaper than the down pillows.

Down alternative pillows are usually made up of polyester microfiber material and are really good for people that are prone to getting usual neck strains and shoulder pains. However, as soon as you touch a down alternative pillow, you will be able to easily distinguish it from the others.

comfortable hotel pillows

And of course, there are many other types and kinds that are being used all over the world, but with these three particular materials, you can be sure of capturing the same hotel essence.

Now that you know what role pillows play in making your whole vacation mood, use this opportunity to take things up a notch in your own bedrooms and update your pillow sets today. We have done our part, now its on you to use this secret and really add in that oomph factor to your beds.


Sources

  1. How Often You Should Replace Everything In Your Bedroom, NBC News, Feb 2018
Jacob Rollings
Jacob is a pillow and bedding enthusiast who loves experimenting with new pillows and mattresses to help our readers make informed decisions. He possesses broad knowledge of quality bedding including comforters, bedsheets, mattresses, pillows, etc. Jacob experiments and tests new bedding accessories with meticulously researched and detailed, unbiased reviews to ensure that consumers get the most out of their investment. Having tested a variety of bedding items from mattress toppers, unique pillow fillings to comforters and more, Jacob’s know-how of the bedding industry runs deep and continues to expand.
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