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How to Measure a Pillow? Examining Different Sizes and Types

How to Measure a Pillow? Examining Different Sizes and Types

Pillows are a great way to elevate your space by making it look more comfortable, organised, and inviting. Throw pillows, for instance, add a touch of flair to your rather cold and uninviting space.

Getting a snug fit to your pillow requires you to pay attention to all the measurement details prior. Aspects like seam allowance, girth measurement, and pillow fluffiness count in giving you the perfect pillow fit.

There are times when you want to purchase pillows or pillowcases online. However, your shallow knowledge of pillow measuring tips holds you back. Today, we examine different sizes and types of pillows while informing you how to measure them.

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How to Measure a Pillow for a Pillowcase

The best way to get the pillow's correct measurements is to separately measure it and the pillowcase. This rule applies to both throw pillows and decorative pillows too.


  • A measuring tape, preferably a flexible one.
  • The pillow/throw pillow/decorative pillow.
  • The pillowcase or cover.
  • Notebook and pen.

Steps to Follow to Measure a Pillow for a Pillowcase

Follow the following steps to get the correct measurement for your pillow;

Step 1: Get your Measuring Tape ready

Some may argue for a carpenter's measuring tape instead of a flexible one. However, remember that a pillow is rounded and three-dimensional (3D). Using a flexible measuring tape will give you the leeway to bend and get to the curved parts.

Step 2: Turn the Pillowcase inside out

If you have the pillowcase with you, turning it inside out will allow you to get the most accurate measurements. By measuring the right side, you overlook the folding at the corners. When measuring, size as little as half an inch goes a long way.

Step 3: Identify the Right Direction of Your Pillow

Every pillow has a top side as well as a bottom side. You will need to figure them out since it helps in sizing.

In most cases, the bottom side has the opening where the removable pillow goes in and out. This opening could either be in the form of a zipper or buttons. Sometimes, this opening could be completely closed off. In such cases, look for the seam overlay left behind after the sewing.

Step 4: Measure the Pillow's Height

Start by placing your measuring tape along the pillow's seam. Ensure that the 0 mark on the measuring tape aligns with the seam. Roll the tape from top to bottom or vice versa to find the height of the pillow.

The pillow's height is measured seam to seam. Once you find this figure, round it up to the nearest inch. Note this figure down, indicating it as the pillow's height.

Pillows, especially fibre-filled ones, are bouncy and tend to move, leading to inaccurate measurements. To avoid any errors, you can find someone to assist in holding the pillow in place as you do the measuring.

Step 5: Measure the Pillow's Width

A pillow's width or breadth is measured from left to right or vice versa. Take the flexible tape measure and put it from one seam end to the other end. Repeat to ascertain the measurement. Note down this figure, indicating it as the pillow's width.

If you are using a square throw pillow, you can make do with the measurements of one side.

Step 6: Get the Dimensions of the Pillowcase Right

Remember when we said you need to empty your pillow cover before measuring? This is the part where you turn the pillowcase inside out. Proceed to lay it on a flat surface to get its dimensions.

Start by getting the length of the pillowcase. Measure the distance between the inner seams only. Proceed to get the width as well. Consider the inner seam measurements only. Note down these measurements.

For squared throw pillows, the length equals the width. Hence, having one side's inner seam to inner seam measurement will work.

Step 7: Compare your Dimensions

Compare the dimensions of your pillow to the dimensions of your pillow cover. The pillow cover's measurements should be higher than those of your pillow. The recommended difference is at least 1-2 inches long.

Tips to Consider when Measuring a Pillow for a Pillowcase

For a snug fit, pay attention to the following factors when measuring your pillow:

Always Size Up on Your Pillowcase

Whatever your pillow insert is, always size up on your pillow cover. When you stuff your pillow, it swells, appearing larger than the cover. It can be inconvenient if your pillow is the same size as your pillowcase.

In addition, different companies have different sizing charts and filler capacities. Have your pillow be at least one inch larger than your pillowcase dimensions. The bigger your pillow, the more the difference should be. It will save you from having an unpleasant look where your pillowcase grips too tightly on the pillow.

Do not Measure Across the Pillow's Center

A common measuring mistake is measuring the pillow across the center. They do so, assuming this length to be the same as the one from seam to seam.

When you stuff your pillow, it tends to cave around the center—the corner and up pointer, whereas the mid areas for a C-shape. If measured in this state, the seam through seam length seems longer than the seam through the center length. In this case, the true length of the pillow is the length across the seams.

Also, do not measure the pillow's diagonal length as it can be misleading.

The Type of the Pillow Insert

The main pillow inserts include memory foam, microfiber, feathers, polyester fiber filling, and down. Each of these materials has a different quality, fluffiness, and sturdiness.

Paying attention to the quality of your pillow insert will help you determine how close-fitting your pillow will be. For instance, a memory foam insert is sturdier than polyester fiber-filled pillows. When using a memory foam insert, ensure that your pillowcase dimensions are at least 1 inch bigger on each side.

The Material Of The Pillowcase

The degree of stretch on the material of the pillowcase impacts your pillow's final look. More elastic materials give you the leeway of having more room for error. On the other hand, pillowcases made from tauter materials limit your pillow sizing.

For instance, pillowcases made from silk satin have more stretch as opposed to materials made from pure cotton. In this case, the person using silk satin pillowcases has more room for error than one using cotton.

When buying either pillows or pillowcases online, you have to pay attention to the material and quality of the pillowcase. In addition, look at the size chart and any information provided by the manufacturer. It will save you the pain of buying mismatched pieces. In addition, you get to exercise your creativity in making your space have a specific feel.

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The Overall Softness of the Pillow

Preferences for the softness of a pillow vary due to different reasons. Determining how hard or soft you want your pillow to be will help you play around with the final measurements.

Stuffier pillows may cause stress on the seams, causing them to unravel. However, when the pillow is too soft, it may sag in the casing. It becomes an issue when it is unappealing and fails to match your aesthetics.


Getting the correct measurements for your pillow allows you to perfect the art of décor styling. Avoid weird-fitting pillow situations by knowing measuring tips and the factors that come to play.

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