What Size Pillow Insert - How To Pick The Correct Insert

A nice, fluffy sleeping pillow can improve your sleep quality. There are many various sorts of products, so picking one goes beyond selecting its size and shape. 

The insert is what you should pay attention to, as it shows how well your pillow supports you. So, what size pillow insert should you choose? The answer lies in this post.

What Is A Pillow Insert?

What Is A Pillow Insert?

What Is A Pillow Insert? - Image Source: Pixabay

A pillow insert is a cushion filling. It affects the level of comfort and determines how firm or soft the pillow is. There are several materials for those with diverse demands.

Your decision on the proper pillow insert depends on several things. For those with allergies, there are some insert materials to stay away from, such as feather or down, and it would be best to pick a hypoallergenic fill like in organic pillows

Meanwhile, you might prefer a firm pillow fill material that can provide extra support when you suffer from back pain.

Pillow Insert Types

Below are the most popular types of pillow insert you might have heard of.


Down Pillows

Down Pillows - Image Source: Pixabay

Inserts for pillows made of down are widely known. This material is the feathers close to the bird's skin surrounding its chest. It is referred to as a bird's undercoat and typically comes from swans, ducks, or geese.

A few down-and-feather inserts will disclose the proportion of each. Knowing the filling ratio is crucial when selecting this kind of cushion insert.

The use of down has many advantages. Not only can it provide warmth and insulation, but it is also lightweight and supple. Due to the cushioning it provides, it is a fantastic option for stomach sleepers. Additionally, compared to synthetic pillows, this kind lasts longer.


Synthetic pillow inserts, known as polyfill, are often polyester. This kind of cushion is intended to mimic a down one without the allergens. Also, they are more reasonably priced and soft while still providing support.

These polyfill pillow inserts are simple to clean and maintain their original shape well. Still, they don't have as much insulation as down, which is the one significant negative.


Feather Pillows

Feather Pillows - Image Source: Pixabay

If you select a feather pillow insert, the feathers within come from the wings and backs of ducks or geese. When they are grouped together, they are bigger and can keep their shape for a longer period of time compared to the down material. Due to their strength and ability to rebound after pressure, they are more frequently employed than down.

However, while you are sleeping, they can raise your body temperature. Keep in mind that they flatten rather easily, so you'll need to fluff them. Another thing to note is that you should check the pillowcase for quills because they can make you allergic.


Buckwheat is an insert material that is getting more and more popular. Buckwheat hulls, or the seed's outer shell, are used to fill this particular sort of cushion insert.

This material is organic and firm. It is also well-breathable and provides ventilation. Buckwheat's hypoallergenic nature is another noteworthy feature, which makes it a popular choice among consumers.

Besides, these buckwheat insert products support you in maintaining proper spinal alignment and are both strong and simple to form. Still, they can be noisy when the hulls brush against one another, which some people find annoying. Also, they have a crispy texture and weigh more than other insert materials.


Latex is another popular material used in creating pillow inserts. It is well-liked as it is durable, supportive, and organic while delivering excellent breathability. Additionally, the latex cushions are receptive and retain their shape well.

On the other hand, the durability of latex products decreases when they are combined with other substances, such as polyurethane foam. These cushions are heavier than the ones made of profill or down and don't provide as much airflow. Still, notice that this insert material is not suitable for those with latex allergies.

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What Size Pillow Insert Should You Get?

What Size Pillow Insert Should You Get?

What Size Pillow Insert Should You Get? - Image Source: Pixabay

What size pillow for 20 x 26 sham? The rule of thumb is to go for pillow inserts that are 2 inches bigger than the finished pillow cover size. For instance, suppose the cover is 18 x 18 inches; you should choose a 20x20-inch insert.

This will guarantee that the pillow is stuffed and has a plusher, plumper pillow appearance. Also, when the size of pillow insert is too small, your cover will seem sagging, giving it a less aesthetically pleasing look.

However, there are some exceptions. Most lumbar pillows and pillows less than 18x18 inches work better with inserts that are 1 inch bigger rather than 2 inches. For extra-large pillows, which are 24x24 inches or greater, can also be used with inserts that are 3 inches bigger than the cover.

People Also Ask

How Do I Know What Size Pillow Insert To Use?

First, you will need to know the measure of your pillow cover. For example, what size pillow for 20 x 36 sham? Depending on the pillow sizing, you can choose an insert that is about 1 or 2 inches larger than the cover.

Should You Go Up A Size In Pillow Inserts? Should Cushion Inserts Be Bigger Than Cover?

Yes. It is always advisable to upsize the insert. This means that your insert must be bigger than your pillow cover to achieve the full stuffed look. 

How many inches larger you should go for depends on the size of the cover. In most cases, the insert should be at least 1 or 2 inches bigger.

Should Cushion Insert Be Smaller Than Cover?

No, as a smaller cushion insert won't give the best cushioning effect. Also, if you choose an insert that is too small, it will move and slide inside the cover, bringing an uneven appearance.

The Bottom Line

Determining what size pillow insert is can be extremely helpful in improving your sleep quality. Apply our pillow tips above on your next purchase, and you will notice how nice your sleep becomes. Also, check out Myorganicsleep.com to find the perfect pillow for you and your loved ones.

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