The Real Reason Why Pillows Are So Expensive

If you’re in the market for some new pillows, you may have come across a wide array of price tags — it’s not uncommon to see pillows range from $20 to $200 and beyond. But why are pillows so expensive in the first place?

And if you’ve ever asked yourself exactly that, you’ve come to the right place. 

So, why are pillows so expensive? Is the large price tag justified? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at just that.. 

What Makes a Pillow Expensive?

why are pillows so expensive

With that in mind, let’s dive into the factors that make pillows so expensive. These materials and features can and will vary from pillow to pillow, but on the whole, these are the elements that lead to price fluctuations and significant differences between products.

Filling Type

Your level of comfort and your quality of sleep are defined by what’s in your pillow — also known as the filling.

For example, if you buy a Hungarian goose down pillow, it will be a lot more expensive than something with feathers. Down is the fluffy part of a bird’s feather, making it a very soft filling for pillows. They’re known for holding their shape and not going flat; they’re also lightweight and durable.

Feather pillows, on the other hand, might get flatter and harder after a few months of use. Memory foam pillows are another fan-favorite due to its body-contouring properties and support.

The most budget-friendly options are ones with synthetic stuffing. However, these pillows can show clumping, get flat and have a much shorter lifespan than the others. Ultimately, this can increase your expenses in the long run.

The amount of filling can also affect the price of the pillow, so keep that in mind, as well.

Outer Covering

Fabrics that are breathable, regulate temperature well and are soft to the touch will end up costing more. You will find that high quality cotton pillow shells or covers with high thread counts are typically more expensive than synthetic fibers. 

When it comes to cheap pillow shells and covers, nylon is a popular choice. Even though nylon can look like silk and give you a better looking pillow cover, it isn’t breathable or absorbent. If you’re used to sleeping on your side or on your stomach, using a nylon pillow can make you sweat, so be aware. 


While there isn’t much variety in terms of conventional pillows, improvements are being made. Researchers are putting plenty of resources into manufacturing new options for different body types and sleeping positions. This includes gusseted pillows, contour pillows and body pillows will cost a lot more than a normal pillow. 


At the end of the day, not all pillows are meant to be slept on — there are plenty of pillows that are meant purely for decoration. These types of pillows come with special covers and materials, as well as accessories to match the room’s aesthetic.

That said, decorative pillows are typically pricier than conventional pillows because of the extra work put in. They’re occasionally hand-made and aren’t mass-produced.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy an expensive pillow?

If you’re spending more money on a high-quality pillow, you have to think of it as an investment. While there are certainly luxury brands that charge an exorbitant price for a pillow, high-quality pillows from pocket-friendly brands will also cost a lot more.

However, a good but slightly expensive pillow will last you a lot longer than a cheap one. This will end up being kinder to your wallet in the long run.

What are some of the disadvantages of using cheap pillows?

The biggest con of using a cheap pillow is how they can affect your quality of sleep. Pillows filled with polyester filling will go flat and clump up, giving you an uneven surface to rest your head and shoulders on. Pillows with synthetic outer shells will also cause you to sweat in your sleep. 

A compromised sleeping experience can have some serious health effects, too — including increased blood pressure, risk of heart disease and obesity.

Bottom Line

With more options on the market all at various price points, it can leave you wondering whether or not a pillow is worth budgeting for. While it all comes down to personal preference, lifestyle, and of course, your budget, know that pillow prices can fluctuate due to the factors outlined here.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top