This post was most recently updated on October 13th, 2020
There’s no doubt about it – hotel know which pillows to use. It’s not just about choosing the right brands, you also have to know which models are best.
Hotels go through a lengthy process to not only craft an amazing bed, but also the bedroom itself. Part of creating a relaxing and lofty sleeping environment is furnishing the room with the proper pillows.
But how do they get it right? How do they always have the right pillow for you?
To answer those questions, let’s take a look at the kinds of pillows hotels usually stock in their room, and then we’ll show you some popular examples.
Factors that decide which types of pillows to provide
If you survey 10 different people, you might find 10 different answers as it pertains to pillow preference.
Some factors that influence pillow choices might be:
- Sleeping position (stomach, back, side)
- Allergy concerns
- Laying vs sitting
- Physical size of the person
We listed four factors, but there are sure to be more. As a person in charge of furnishing a hotel room, one of your responsibilities would be to ensure that there is a pillow to satisfy each preference.
Hotels want to provide each guest with the proper amenities to ensure maximum satisfaction. A well-slept guest is usually a satisfied guest, so it would make business sense to satisfy each pillow preference.
Does that mean stocking the room with 100 different types of pillows? Not at all! In reality, you only need about 4-5 different pillows to satisfy the majority of your guests.
And in the majority of hotels, you’ll typically find three different types of pillows (two in budget locations):
- Goose (or duck) down
- Feather/down blend
- Down alternative
Let’s look at these 3 major types, and the variants of each that might be provided.
In finer hotels, it will be common to find goose down pillows (or duck down). These are provided as the crowd-pleasing option, and are usually available in medium and firm densities.
Feather and down blend
Pillows that contain a blend of (goose or duck) feather and down fill are provided for various reasons. Some variants are provided as a cheaper alternative to all down pillows. Others are provided as a firm pillow option, and some are there for sitting purposes (the picture below is of a type of “Chamber” pillow). Let’s look at the usual offerings:
50/50 – As the name would imply, these pillows contain a blend of 50% down, and 50% feather. They combine the softness of down, with the support of feathers. They are usually provided in place of all-down pillows.
Chamber – This is the type of pillow shown in the picture above. Chamber pillows are commonly filled with 15% down, and 85% feather. They are a loftier alternative to firm down pillows. Chamber pillows contain “chambers” filled with alternating fill materials; hence the “chamber” description.
For those that prefer a firm pillow, especially for larger guests, chamber pillows are very popular.
5/95 – This variant contains a blend of 5% down, and 95% feather. They are very firm, and are an excellent pillow for sitting in bed. They are also suitable for those that prefer a very firm pillow.
Finally, for those with allergy concerns, down alternative pillows are provided as well. You will usually find medium and firm density down alternative pillows in the linen closet.
Depending on the hotel in question, you will find a range of quality, ranging from plain to blown-polyester options.
That’s about it – those are the three main types of pillows that hotels use. With that said, let’s examine some of the more popular options if you’d like hotel pillows for yourself:
Popular hotel pillows
Roughly 80% of the pillows that you’ll find in hotels are provided by two manufacturers: Standard Textile, and Downlite. Interestingly, both are based out of Ohio, about 30 minutes away from each other. We’ll examine the models which are used, and provide you with links to check them out for yourself if you’re interested.
Standard Textile manufactures sheets, comforters, towels, and pillows for hospitality use. Click here to visit their store on Amazon.
The three pillows that they manufacture are:
Chamberloft – The most popular of their pillow offerings by far!
The Chamberloft pillow is the crowd-pleasing medium density version. These are chamber style pillows, with outer layers of polyester, and an inner layer filled with polyester. Here is a picture that will make sense of it for you if you’re not familiar with chamber style pillows:
These are great if you’re looking for something a bit more than medium, but not quite firm.
Chamberfirm – These pillows are filled with two chambers of polyester fill. They usually satisfy two needs: a firm, yet down alternative pillow.
These are firm, yet lofty. People with larger than average frames particularly love this pillow!
Chambersoft – Much like the Chamberloft pillow, these are filled with polyester, and feathers. They are a softer alternative to medium density pillows, and are commonly provided as the “soft” option.
Downlite is the largest manufacturer or down bedding in the United States. It’s fitting then that they are also one of the largest hospitality bedding suppliers as well. Click here to visit Downlite’s store on Amazon.
You’ll generally find six Downlite pillow varieties available at hotels across the country. They are as follows:
Down – They have two varieties that are commonly found in hotels; a 600 FP white goose down pillow, that is of medium density, and a 550 FP version that is available in soft, medium, and firm.
Chamber – This is a duck down and feather version, although they do make a goose down/feather version for retail sale as well.
These pillows combine the support of feathers on the inside, with a layer of soft down on the outer layers. They contain 85% feathers, and 15% down.
Enviroloft – This is their down alternative model. It features blown polyester, which is the closest thing to actual down in terms of feel.
5/95 – These pillows are usually found at both budget properties, as well as 5-star hotels. In less expensive hotels, they are commonly the “firm” pillow option, whereas in higher end hotels, they are used as a sitting pillow.
50/50 – These pillows, featuring a 50/50 down to feather ratio are extremely popular with 3 and 4 star hotels. They are an affordable alternative to 100% goose down pillows.
For rental properties, vacation homes, and cabin rentals
If you own one of the above, you might be wondering – what kind of pillows should I stock my property with?
If you own rental property – whether it be a home, condo, cabin, etc. – your main priority is to make it profitable. With that in mind, there’s no sense in going all out, and providing each type of pillow for your guests.
Generally, we recommend 3 pillows for single-sleeper beds/bedrooms, and 4 for master bedrooms. The following is a good guideline to use when furnishing your property:
- 1 down alternative pillow (medium density)
- 1 down or 50/50 pillow
- 1 chamber pillow
- 1 down alternative pillow
- 1 chamber pillows
- 2 down or 50/50 pillow
For each type of bed, we recommend 5/95 pillows for sham-stuffers. Not only are they affordable, but they are also very plump, and fill out a pillow sham perfectly!