Home / Blog January 15, 2024

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7 Most Popular Types of Pillows Hotels Use

In this blog, we explore the intriguing world of hotel pillows and discuss the criteria that hotels consider when selecting pillows. We also share how hotels maintain the hygiene of their pillows.

what pillows do hotels use


Most hotels use down pillows made from duck or goose feathers or synthetic fillings.

The ideal hotel pillow strikes a balance between firmness and support

Hotel pillows are selected for durability and must be easy to maintain and clean. 

Did you know?
In a survey, it was found that 54% of hotel guests had a strong preference for sleeping with two pillows, which is why many hotels provide multiple pillows per bed.

Have you ever wondered why hotel pillows always seem to be comfier than the ones you have at home? It's not just your imagination – there's a deliberate strategy behind the comfort of hotel pillows. In this blog, we'll delve into the secrets behind hotel pillows to understand the meticulous criteria that hotels follow when choosing the ideal pillows for their guests’ comfort.

So, what kind of pillows do hotels use? Let’s find out.

What Type Of Pillows Do Hotels Use?

Here are some of the most common types of pillows in hotels:

1. Goose (or Duck) Down Pillows: These are the most popular and widely recognized pillows in hotels. Down offers a luxurious and cloud-like feel, which is why it’s often chosen by upscale establishments. These pillows come in various densities, with medium and firm options available. The natural insulating properties of down feathers also help maintain a comfortable sleep temperature.

2. Feather and Down Blend Pillows: These pillows provide a balance between softness and support. Available in different blend ratios, such as 50/50, chamber, and 5/95. The combination of feathers and down ensures that guests experience both a plush surface and adequate support.

3. Down Alternative Pillows: To accommodate guests with allergies or those who prefer synthetic materials, hotels offer down alternative pillows. These pillows are designed to mimic the softness of natural down while being hypoallergenic and easy to maintain.

4. Memory Foam Pillows: Some hotels have embraced the adaptability and contouring support of memory foam pillows. These pillows conform to the shape of the head and neck, offering personalized comfort. They are especially popular among guests seeking ergonomic support.

5. Latex Pillows: A few hotels opt for latex pillows, known for its resilience and breathability. Latex pillows provide consistent support and are resistant to allergens and dust mites, making it a great hypoallergenic choice.

6. Buckwheat Pillows: Less common but still found in select hotels are buckwheat pillows. These unique pillows contain buckwheat hulls and offer excellent breathability and support.

7. Polyester Pillows: Polyester pillows are often chosen for their durability and affordability. Available in various firmness levels, polyester provides a practical option for many budget-friendly hotels.

While goose, feather blends, and down alternatives are common choices, some hotels are now embracing innovative options.

In the next section, we take a closer look at the specific criteria that hotels look for in their pillows.

lady sleeping with throw pillow in hotel

How Do Hotels Choose Pillows?

You may be curious about how to find hotel style pillows for your AirBnB, guest room, or home. So, there are some pointers we can draw from how hotels choose their pillows. When selecting pillows, hotels consider several important factors:

1. Sleeping Position: People sleep in different positions—back, side, stomach—and each position requires a different level of support. Hotels aim to provide a variety of pillows to accommodate these preferences. If you’re a side sleeper, you might find our Cuddler body pillow to be a good solution.

2. Allergy Concerns: Many guests have allergies, especially to down feathers. Hotels often include hypoallergenic or down alternative pillow options to cater to them.

3. Durability: Hotel pillows must withstand frequent use and washing, so durability is a top priority. They select pillows that maintain quality over time.

4. Comfort: The pillows must be comfortable and inviting. Hotels choose pillows that offer a cozy and luxurious feel, contributing to a good night’s rest.

5. Brand Reputation: Hotels often opt for reputable pillow brands with a track record of quality and guest satisfaction.

6. Cost-Effectiveness: While comfort is essential, hotels also consider their budget. They aim to strike a balance between quality and cost.

7. Pillow Varieties: To cater to a diverse range of guests, hotels choose various pillow types, including goose (or duck) down, feather and down blends, and down alternatives.

8. Pillow Density: Different guests have different preferences for pillow firmness. Hotels typically offer options such as soft, medium, and firm pillows.

9. Eco-Friendliness: With increasing concern for the environment, some hotels opt for eco-friendly pillow options that are sustainable and biodegradable.

Next, let’s look at how all these factors combine to make hotel pillows as good as they feel.

Why Do Hotel Pillows Feel So Comfortable?

Hotel pillows feel remarkably comfortable for several compelling reasons. Featuring high-quality materials, hotel pillows come in a diverse range of types to cater to different sleeping positions and firmness preferences.

Durability is another key factor, as hotel pillows are built to withstand frequent use and laundering, maintaining their shape and support over time. Regular pillow replacement is a standard practice in hotels, ensuring guests enjoy a consistently comfortable experience. Finally, hotels actively seek and consider guest feedback to adapt to evolving expectations and needs, making their pillows synonymous with premium comfort and quality

In the next section, let’s look at some ways hotels uphold high hygiene standards for their pillows.

holding bolster pillow in hotels

How Do Hotels Maintain Pillow Hygiene?

Some steps hotels take to keep their pillows clean:

1. Pillow Protectors: Hotels often use pillow protectors or pillowcases that act as an extra barrier against dirt, allergens, and stains. These protectors are washable and help extend the life of the pillows.

2. Frequent Washing: Pillowcases, protectors, and pillow covers are laundered regularly. Hotels have strict cleaning schedules to ensure these items are always fresh and clean.

3. Pillow Rotation: Pillows are rotated regularly to evenly distribute wear. This prevents overuse on one side and ensures that guests receive consistent comfort.

4. Inspection: Housekeeping staff inspects pillows for any damage, stains, or signs of wear. Damaged pillows are promptly replaced to maintain quality and hygiene.

5. Professional Cleaning: Some hotels send their pillows to professional cleaning services that can thoroughly clean and sanitize them. This process helps remove allergens and bacteria.

6. Dust Mite Control: Hotels often employ measures to control dust mites, a common allergen. This may include using allergen-resistant covers or periodically heat-treating pillows to eliminate dust mites.

7. Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning can disinfect pillows, especially non-washable pillows like memory foam. Steam effectively kills bacteria and odors.

8. Regular Pillow Replacement: Hotels replace pillows periodically, ensuring they remain in good condition. The frequency of replacement depends on the hotel's standards and pillow quality

By implementing these practices, hotels can maintain high standards of pillow hygiene, which is essential for guest comfort and satisfaction.

To gain deeper insights into the wide range of pillows available in the hotel industry, let's take a closer look at specific well-known hotel chains and their distinct preferences when it comes to pillows.


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What Pillows Do Popular Hotel Chains Use?

These are some of the most popular hotel chains and the pillows that they mostly use:

1. Hilton Hotels: Hilton Hotels, a global brand, want to ensure guests are comfortable without breaking the bank. That’s why they use a mix of down and synthetic down in their pillows. These pillows offer a pleasant night’s sleep and are mindful of your budget. They seem to have found the sweet spot between being cost-effective and cozy.

2. Marriott Hotels: Marriott Hotels, the kings of upscale stays, pick duck feather and down pillows. These pillows feel luxurious and help regulate your sleep temperature. Staying at Marriott Hotels often means enjoying these plush pillows, adding to the overall sense of luxury and relaxation during your visit.

3. Radisson Hotels: Radisson Hotels typically use goose down pillows for their incredible softness and comfort. These fancy pillows enhance the luxurious experience at Radisson Hotels, giving you that extra touch of opulence during your stay.

Exploring what pillows these famous hotel chains use gives us a glimpse into how they go the extra mile to ensure you have a fantastic night's sleep.


Hotel pillows are carefully selected to offer guests the best night’s sleep. When choosing pillows, hotels consider various factors, such as sleeping position, allergies, durability, comfort, brand reputation, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendliness.

By maintaining high standards of pillow hygiene and offering a diverse range of options, hotels create a comfortable and memorable stay for their guests. And when it comes to popular hotel chains, they each have their unique pillow preferences to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.


Can I Take Pillows From Hotel Rooms?

While it’s against hotel policies to remove pillows from your room, many hotels offer these comfortable pillows for sale, either through their gift shops or online stores

Do Hotels Offer Pillow Menus For Guests To Choose From?

Some hotels offer pillow menus, allowing guests to choose from various pillow options based on their preferences. These menus may include choices like firm or soft pillows, feather or memory foam pillows, and even specialty pillows designed for specific needs, such as hypoallergenic or ergonomic pillows.

Why Do Hotels Give 2 Pillows?

Hotels provide two pillows per bed to accommodate guests’ varying preferences and sleeping positions. One pillow might be soft, while the other is firmer, allowing guests to choose the one that suits them best for a comfortable night's sleep.

How Do Hotels Keep Pillows Fluffy?

Hotels keep pillows fluffy through a combination of careful selection, regular washing, pillow rotation, inspection, professional cleaning, dust mite control, and periodic replacement. This maintenance routine ensures that the pillows remain soft, fluffy, and comfortable for guests.

How Often Should Hotels Replace Their Pillows?

Hotels typically replace their pillows every 18 months to two years, although luxury hotels might do so more frequently, around every six months to a year. The replacement frequency depends on several factors, including the hotel’s quality standards, the type of pillow used, and the level of guest turnover. By replacing pillows regularly, hotels ensure their guests enjoy the highest level of comfort and hygiene during their stays.

Are There Any Innovative Pillows Used In Certain Hotels?

Yes! Some hotels offer innovative pillows to enhance guests’ comfort. These options may include memory foam pillows for superior support, cooling pillows with temperature-regulating features, anti-snoring pillows, and specialty pillows like aromatherapy or customizable pillows. An ergonomically-designed pillow like our Cuddler body pillow would be an excellent addition for travelers. Innovative choices like our Cuddler cater to diverse preferences and specific needs, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests.

Are There Any Environmental Certifications Or Standards For Eco-Friendly Hotel Pillows?

Yes, there are environmental certifications and standards for eco-friendly hotel pillows. Many hotels increasingly adopt sustainable practices by choosing pillows made from materials that meet specific eco-friendly criteria. Some common certifications and standards include OEKO-TEX certification, which ensures that textiles and materials used in the pillows are free from harmful substances, and certifications for using recycled or organic materials.

Additionally, some hotels participate in sustainability programs, such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certification, to demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility in various aspects of their operations, including the choice of eco-friendly pillows.