Size difference between standard & queen pillows

Updated February 21, 2017

Bed pillows come in three sizes: standard for twin and full-size beds; queen for queen-size beds; and king for king-size beds, although many people prefer using a standard pillow no matter the size of the bed. Bed pillows are often covered with plastic or very tightly-woven cotton protectors and usually have pillowcases, both intended to keep the pillow clean.

Pillow Sizes

A standard pillow is 20 inches by 26 inches; a queen pillow is 20 inches by 30 inches; and a king is 20 inches by 36 inches. A queen-size pillow is the same width and 4 inches longer than a standard pillow.


A wide variety of fillings are used for pillows, ranging from inexpensive polyester stuffing to costly down. Depending on your budget and your preferences, you can also choose pillows stuffed with shredded foam, foam pillow forms, feathers, cotton or wool batting, buckwheat hulls, memory foam and microbeads.

Caring for Pillows

Pillows stuffed with shredded foam, foam pillow forms, memory foam or microbeads can be washed in a commercial front-loading washing machine using a mild detergent and the delicate cycle. Air dry foam pillows; they may melt in the dryer. Hand-wash pillows stuffed with feathers or down in a large tub using a mild detergent or wash them in a commercial washing machine. Dry feather and down pillows on low heat in a large commercial dryer. Add a couple of tennis balls to help fluff the pillows as they dry. Stop the dryer every 20 minutes and fluff the pillows by hand before returning them to the dryer. Dry pillows completely to avoid any problems with mould or mildew. Do not let feather or down pillows stay wet. Once the filling has matted, the pillow is ruined.


Pillowcases are slightly larger than pillows so they will be put over. The open end extends about 6 inches beyond the end of the pillow to keep it covered when it is slept on or fluffed. The finished size of a standard pillowcase is 21 inches by 32 inches; a queen-size pillowcase is 21 inches by 36 inches; and a king-size pillowcase is 21 inches by 42 inches.

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About the Author

Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.