How are bed pillows measured?

Posted by A Little Pillow Company on

A Little Pillow Company pillow in the process of being stuffed, showing how to judge dimensions

In the industry, bed pillow measurements are made "on the flat", meaning the size you see stated on a pillow is BEFORE it is filled.  Once filled, the sides of any stuffed item will effectively pull in making it appear smaller from a side or top view.  For example, the same pillow shell if stuffed with little fill will measure bigger than one stuffed extra full.  Given this high post-stuffed variability, flat perimeter measurements are the only way the industry can standardize pillows. 

Most of us aren't aware that this is also happening with our standard/full, queen and king size pillows since years of familiarity with their relative size have made taking an actual measurement irrelevant. Usually this perimeter "discrepancy" is only noticed with smaller, unfamiliar sized pillows when ordering online straight from the numbers: one reads the dimensions, perhaps takes a ruler to gauge what that size may look like in real life, not knowing that it's a flat measurement only they read.  Any smaller or odd sized pillows bought in a store aren't subjected to this either because there most people simply look at the pillow to see if will fit their needs, not bothering to look at the numbers.  

So what does one do when ordering a smaller pillow online sight unseen?  Unfortunately there is no definitive answer for that as once again, every pillow will be stuffed differently and with a different fill. 

BUT we can most certainly help you with our pillows!  A good rule of thumb for A Little Pillow Company's smaller pillows is to take the flat measurement stated and visually reduce it by approximately the following amounts for a closer 3-D/top-down appearance:

  • Baby's First Pillow.....negligable
  • Toddler (13x18).....1 inch
  • Child (16x22).....1-2 inches
  • Youth (18x24)..... 2-3 inches
  • Travel (10x24).....1-2 inches

 

 


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