How To Choose The Best Pillows At Spotlight

How To Choose The Best Pillows At Spotlight

Choosing the correct pillow is just as important as your choice of mattress. No one pillow type is right for everyone, and it pays to take the time to identify the perfect pillow for your sleeping needs. Get it right, and sweet dreams await. Get it wrong, and it could be a nightmare.

At Spotlight we have a fantastic range of quality pillows for you to choose from, from classic bed pillows and stylish European pillows to handy travel neck pillows and supportive v-shaped pillows. Not only that, but you can style your pillows with a variety of beautiful pillowcases and pillow protectors as well.

To help you find the perfect pillow for your needs we've created this comprehensive pillow buying guide. Read our pillow guide to find out everything you need to know about choosing the right pillow, then shop online or in-store and take home your dream pillow today!

Quick Links

Pillow Sizes

Pillow types and sizes tend to be standard across most bedding and homeware brands. Pillows have regulated sizes for both length and width, with their height depending on the fill power. Fill power refers to the overall quality and loft of a pillow, and how long it will last.

The rule is simple: the higher the number, the better the quality and, therefore, the longer you're likely to enjoy optimal pillow performance. But, remember, even pillows with high fill power will need to be regularly replaced - pillows aren't designed to last a lifetime.

Pillow Type

Width x Length (cm)

Standard Pillow

51 x 66

Queen Pillow

51 x 76

King Pillow

51 x 92

Body Pillow

48 x 150

V-Shaped Pillow

28 x 60

European Pillow

65 x 65

You may like to match the size of your pillow with the size of your bed - so a standard pillow for single or double beds, a queen pillow for a queen bed and king pillows for a king bed. You may also need more than one pillow to fill the empty space on larger beds.

Of course, your pillow sizes don't need to match your bed - sink into a king pillow for a more luxurious experience, or look for a smaller pillow if you like to have your arms wrapped around your pillow while you sleep.

Pillow Filling Types

The filling of your pillow is extremely important, and it will determine how soft or firm the pillow feels, as well as influencing factors like how easy it is to clean, if it has any potential allergens and if it keeps you warm or cool as you sleep.

Down and feather

Pillows filled with feathers, down or a mixture of the two are light and fluffy, and can make you feel like you're sleeping in the lap of luxury. More down equals a softer pillow, while more feathers will equate to more firmness. Though malleable, they also offer good support for your head and neck. Additionally, many down and feather pillows can be treated to remove most, if not all, of the dander on the feathers, making them suitable for people with allergies to use. Hypoallergenic pillow covers are available for those with allergic reactions or sensitivities as well.

Wool pillows

Naturally breathable, moisture-wicking and long-lasting, wool pillows are a wonderful choice for all sleepers. Wool pillows wick moisture away into the air and allow plenty of to circular through the pillow, creating a dry and clean space that bacteria, dust mites and other microbes won't be able to survive in. Wool is firm and perhaps not as soft as down, but is still very comfortable to sleep on and can last you a long time when properly cared for. Wool loves sunlight and fresh air, so hang your wool pillow somewhere sunny for a few hours to freshen it right up!

Latex pillows

Made from either natural or synthetic rubber, latex pillows are cool, squishy and long-lasting. They aren't quite as supportive as memory foam pillows and have a little more bounce comparatively, but are quick to adjust to your weight, promote airflow and will keep your head comfortably cool all night - they're perfect if you are a hot sleeper, or struggle to sleep during hot weather.

Memory foam pillows

If you struggle to get to sleep or stay asleep during the night, a memory foam pillow is a smart option. Why? The synthetic foam moulds to your head shape while you sleep, then springs back when you're up and about. If you toss and turn, it also adjusts to your movements during the night and offers extra support for your back and neck.

Memory foam is a warming material and will keep your head at a consistently warm temperature. It's great for cold winter nights, or if you just sleep cold naturally!

Pillow Shapes

Pillows come in a variety of shapes to suit how they are intended to be used - pillows for use under the head will differ from pillows designed to support other areas of the body, like the back or neck.

Standard bed pillow

Your standard bed pillow will be rectangular in shape, ensuring you can roll from side to side while keeping your head on the pillow. While standard pillows can come in small and large sizes to suit the width of your mattress, they will always be rectangular.

European pillow

A classic European pillow will always be square, with no more than a few extra centimetres on any given side. European pillows are usually used for decor, although their shape also makes them useful as back or leg support when sitting on the couch or sitting up in bed.

Body pillow

Long and cylindrical, body pillows can be used to support your body in a variety of ways as you sleep. Lay one across your body to help you sleep on your back at night, keep one down the side of your body for support or pop it under your legs or hips to elevate them to a more comfortable position.

V-shaped pillow

The unique form of a v-shaped pillow makes it great for supporting your body in many ways. If you like to sleep on your side, place a v-shaped pillow between your legs to help keep your hips and spine aligned in a comfortable position They're also very useful for sitting up in bed and reading with, both behind your back and underneath your book or laptop.

Pillow Shapes

Best Pillows For Your Sleeping Style

Do you sleep on your back, your side or your front? Certain pillow fills or even cases can be better than others depending on how you sleep:

  • Back sleepers need a moderate pillow that is a good balance between firm and soft. This will keep their head aligned with their neck without pushing it too high or allowing it to sink too low. Look for good, general-purpose fills like a feather/down mix, cotton or wool.
  • Side sleepers need a firm pillow that will keep their head elevated and in line with their neck, rather than pushing it too high or too low into their shoulder. Some of the best pillows for side sleepers are made from firm materials like latex or memory foam.
  • Front sleepers need a thin, soft pillow to keep their head down in a neutral position, rather than pushed back. Down pillows are great, and make sure to choose a satin or silk pillowcase to give part of your face that's pressed into the pillow some love as well.

You can find the best pillows for side sleepers, back sleepers and front sleepers in our pillow collection, online or in-store.

Pillow Protection

Protecting your pillow from moisture, dust, skin cells and critters will drastically extend its life. There are two types of pillow covers you can use for this:


A simple slip-on pillowcase is open at one end and is an easy way to help protect your pillow. Because they are open at one end, pillowcases can let a small amount of debris into your pillow, but that also makes them very easy to change and you can even layer them to help fix this problem. Simple pop on a single pillowcase, flip your pillow around and place a second pillowcase over it, with the open end of your initial case now covered by the second one. Layering a silk or satin pillowcase over a cotton one can also help prevent your outer case from sliding around.

Pillow protector

Pillow protectors offer full-cover protection for your pillow, acting as a pillowcase with an end that zips shut, instead of staying open and exposed. Because they zip shut, your pillow is protected from all angles from bacteria, dust mites and excess moisture. They are also useful for layering with a pillowcase - pop your protector on the inside and your pillowcase over the top if you need to.

Adult Pillows Vs Kids Pillows

While the biggest initial difference between an adult's and a child's pillow may be the size, it's actually the firmness and fill that is the most important factor. Pillows for children, especially very young children, should always have a lower profile so there's no chance of them suffocating on the side of a very fluffy pillow.

Look for pillows with hypoallergenic properties and a firm body for good head and neck support as your child grows. You may also like to get either a waterproof pillow or a waterproof pillowcase to extend the life of your child's pillow.

How To Wash Pillows

The best way to wash pillows will depend on their fill, so you should always check the label on your pillow to determine the best way to wash it at home. Some pillows may not survive a machine wash, particularly foam or delicate down pillows, so hand washing is always a safe choice. Simply fill a tub or sink with cool water, add a delicate detergent and agitate your pillow in the soapy water to clean it. Rinse the pillow by pressing it gently against the sides of your tub - never wring or scrunch your pillow. Then either line dry or dry flat on an aerated surface in the shade until all the moisture is completely gone.

How To Style A Bed With Pillows

Pillows can be styled on your bed, couch or armchair - always look for a pillowcase that matches or compliments the surrounding space!

Beds will generally have standard pillows on them, but you can add a v-shape or body pillow in layers if you use them - think a body pillow across the front, two standard pillows side by side and then a v-shaped pillow up the back. You can also add a European pillow or two to balance the space.

Standard pillows don't tend to leave the bedroom, so stick to European pillows and maybe body pillows on your couches and armchairs if you'd like some extra pillows in your lounge or dining room.

Pillow FAQs

How often should I wash my pillow?

Because pillows are under our heads, oils from our hair and faces will quickly make their way onto them during the night. Using good quality pillow protectors and pillowcases can greatly extend the life of your pillow between washes, and these cases can be washed along with the rest of your sheets every two weeks or so.

Eventually, your pillow will need a good clean. But if you've been consistently cleaning and changing your pillowcases to keep as much oil and dirt off the actual pillow as possible, your pillow should only need to be washed twice a year!

How often do I need to replace my pillow?

No matter how much you love your pillow, eventually it will need to be replaced. Pillows lose their firmness and loft over time due to repeated use, plus constant exposure to our skin can slowly turn them yellow, no matter how rigorously you wash them.

The general rule is to replace them every two years, but this can vary depending on what your pillow is made of - a durable wool pillow may last longer than a polyester one. If you start waking up with a sore neck, it may be a sign it's time for a new pillow.

Which pillow is the best for neck pain?

The key to waking up without neck pain is ensuring your neck is aligned with your spine, no matter your sleeping style. This means your head shouldn't be sitting too far back on your shoulders or poking forwards, chin out. Ideally, your head would be facing forward and not to the side, but sleeping on your front or back can make this tricky!

The best pillows for neck pain are the kind back sleepers prefer - ones that are in the middle of soft and firm, that cradle your head in a central position but don't let it sink so far into your pillow that your chin is sucked too far in.

Pillows with cooling properties, like latex, may also help with burning neck pain.

Find The Best Pillows For Your Needs At Spotlight

Once you've done your homework on which pillows meet your needs and preferences using our pillow guide, give them a test drive wherever possible. Ultimately, the best way to know what pillow will work best for you is to sleep on it and assess the results. Be pillow-perfect, and have a good night!

Choose from a huge range of the best pillows online or in-store at your local Spotlight. Shop online and we'll deliver your pillows straight to your front door, or shop in-store and our staff can give you a hand finding the right pillow in person.




Get VIP discounts, attend exclusive events and more