Why are hotel pillows so fluffy? 4 Big Reasons

The most important aspect of a positive overnight hotel experience is the quality of sleep one achieves during their stay. Even the weariest of travelers may find it hard to catch Zzz’s in a new, unfamiliar environment. On the flip side, there are those vacationers who have gotten the best sleep of their lives in a hotel room. Your quality of sleep impacts how you view your entire vacation, and hotels know this! So what’s their secret? Knock-your-socks-off pillows. 

Why Are Hotel Pillows So Fluffy?

What exactly is the feathery, squishy, and downright delightful soft filling found in hotel pillows? It’s the kind of pillow that makes you question what your lumpy old pillow you use at home is made of. So Why are hotel pillows so fluffy? There are actually a few different reasons why hotel pillows are so comfortable, and the reasons come down to four main things: The filling, the outer cloth, the pillowcase, and the cleanliness.

The Filling

Hotel pillows are typically made of either down feathers, memory foam, or gel. Depending on your pillow preferences, you may lean toward liking one type of filling more than the other. For instance, if you prefer a firmer pillow that gives extra support to your head and neck, then a memory foam pillow is the way to go. Memory foam will contour to your shape, giving support where needed without feeling overbearing. On the flip side, down feather pillows are known to be among the softest. So if you enjoy the feeling of sleeping on a cloud, go with the feathers! Lastly, gel pillows are similar to memory foam in terms of neck contouring, with the added bonus of having a cooling gel. If you’re the kind of person who keeps the fan running all night even during winter, you’ll want this pillow.

pillow filling

Something else to keep in mind with regards to pillow filling is that hotels are not afraid to splurge for the highest quality. Hotel pillows are usually stuffed to the brim, in order to achieve maximum fluffiness. If you went to your bed right now and squeezed your pillow, you’ll most likely find that there is room for more stuffing. That’s the big difference between hotel pillows and the ones we use in our home!

The Outer Cloth

The filling of a pillow is important, but it’s not the only determining factor in softness. What the outer layer is made of is just as crucial. To ensure that all that luscious pillow filling stays fluffy and undisturbed, the pillow is encased in double layers of fabric.  All those layers of plushness really do make a difference. Next time you’re at a hotel, you’ll be able to spot the difference right away.

The Pillowcase


The material of a pillowcase is usually either satin, silk, or cotton. More upscale hotels may offer silk pillowcases. Although the more expensive option, silk pillowcases keep cool at night and are known to be great for hair. The reason for this is a lack of friction between the hair shaft and the silk material. You’ll wake up with shiny, healthy hair on vacation and wish you had booked your trip sooner! It’s important to hotel management that a guest leaves the hotel with a positive experience, so it makes sense why details such as getting good sleep and waking up feeling refreshed would be incentive to provide only the highest quality bedding.

The Cleanliness

Have you ever stepped into a hotel room and immediately smelled fresh linen? It’s a great start to any vacation and a good indicator that your hotel room is in tip-top shape. However, you may be wondering: how do hotels clean pillows? With so many guests coming and going, it takes an organized operation to ensure hotel rooms and bedding stay clean for each guest that arrives. For the sake of the health and comfort of guests, pillows are rotated out of use often so as to not get repeated use. After each guest stay, the pillows are replaced with a new set. 

cleanly pillows

This rotation system helps keep the pillows in good shape without lumpiness or destroyed fabric, and after, they are stored in a low-moisture environment. Because the actual pillow itself does not come into contact with guests, they are usually laundered on a monthly or quarterly cycle. Hypoallergenic materials are typically used in the construction of the pillows so as to keep dust mites away. As for the pillow cases, they are washed on high heat and sanitized effectively for the next guest to enjoy.

Experience Hotel Luxury At Home

We’ve made the search for hotel-quality pillows easy for you! Check out this article detailing our top picks for the best hotel pillows found in luxury 5-star hotels. In addition to ranking softness and comfort, other criteria we used to determine what the best pillows on the market are include:

  • Allergy-friendly
  • Material type
  • Firmness
  • Breathability
  • & More

 Now you know: why are hotel pillows so fluffy? If you’re ready to step up your pillow game and achieve luxurious sleep every night in your own home, then the first step is to stop buying your pillows from department stores! Hotels get their pillows from trusted brands, typically through online retailers that cater not only to hotels but the general public as well. While it may be tempting to walk into a store and feel the softness of a pillow for yourself, online reviews generally speak for themselves. Here’s to more restful nights!

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