Why Are Pillows So Expensive?

Published Categorized as Bedding, Pillows

Wondering why pillows are so expensive? Their price can range from $20 to over $200.

Let’s dive into the reasons behind the high prices and see if they’re justified.

👉 You Might Also Enjoy: Types Of Pillows

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What Makes A Pillow Expensive?

why are pillows so expensive

Filling Type

The type of filling used in a pillow significantly influences its price. Different materials have varying qualities and costs associated with their production. Let’s explore some common filling types:

A. Foam Pillows

Foam pillows, made from polyurethane or memory foam, are known for their exceptional support and contouring abilities. The manufacturing process for these pillows involves specialized machinery and materials, resulting in higher production costs. The superior comfort and durability provided by foam pillows make them a popular choice, albeit at a higher price point.

why are pillows so expensive

B. Layered Foam

Layered foam pillows combine different types and densities of foam to create a customized sleep experience. The complex construction process and the use of multiple foam layers increase the production costs, ultimately leading to a higher price tag. These pillows offer enhanced support, breathability, and a luxurious feel, justifying their higher cost for those seeking premium comfort.

C. Contoured Foam

Contoured foam pillows are designed with specific curves and shapes to support the head, neck, and shoulders. The intricate molding process required to create these unique contours adds to the manufacturing expenses. The ergonomic benefits provided by contoured foam pillows, which promote proper spinal alignment and alleviate pressure points, contribute to their higher price.

D. Natural Latex Foam

Pillows made from natural latex foam are crafted from the sap of rubber trees, making them eco-friendly and hypoallergenic. The extraction and processing of natural latex involve meticulous procedures, raising the production costs. These pillows offer excellent durability, breathability, and natural resistance to dust mites, resulting in a higher price point for those seeking sustainable and allergen-free sleep options.

E. Polyester

Polyester-filled pillows are often more affordable compared to foam or latex options. Polyester fibers are synthetic and less expensive to produce, making these pillows more budget-friendly. However, the lower cost is accompanied by reduced durability and support, which may not meet the needs of individuals seeking long-lasting comfort and proper spinal alignment.

Outer Covering

The outer covering of a pillow significantly impacts its price. Pillows with covers crafted from breathable, temperature-regulating, and skin-friendly fabrics such as high-quality cotton are pricier. These premium coverings offer a higher thread count, contributing to their enhanced comfort and cost, compared to synthetic fibers.

Nylon, a budget-friendly choice, is often used for affordable pillow shells. Despite its silk-like aesthetic appeal, it lacks breathability and absorbency. For side or stomach sleepers, nylon pillows can lead to discomfort due to sweating. Thus, while the outer covering’s material can influence the pillow’s look and feel, it’s vital to consider the balance between cost and comfort.


why are pillows so expensive

The pillowcase, just like the outer covering, plays a pivotal role in the pillow’s cost.

  • Material: Pillowcases can be made of a variety of materials such as cotton, linen, silk, and satin. The cost of these materials varies, with silk and satin generally being the most expensive due to their luxurious feel and the complexity of their production process.
  • Design and Craftsmanship: Pillowcases with intricate designs, embroidery, or handiwork are pricier. This is because they require more time and skilled labor to make.
  • Brand: High-end brands often use premium materials and unique designs for their pillowcases, driving up the cost. Consumers pay not only for the quality but also for the brand name.
  • Ease of Cleaning: Pillowcases that are machine washable and don’t require special care are generally more desirable. However, the technology and materials needed to ensure durability despite frequent washing can add to the price


The shape of a pillow can also affect its price.

  • Standard Shapes: Standard-shaped pillows like rectangles or squares are the least expensive since they’re easier to manufacture and are produced in large quantities.
  • Contouring Shapes: Pillows contoured to support specific body parts (like the neck or back) are more expensive due to the extra molding and crafting required to achieve the shape.
  • Custom Shapes: Custom-shaped pillows tailored to the user’s specifications are the most expensive. These require more time, effort, and resources to produce, justifying their higher price.


The size of a pillow can influence its price.

  • Standard Size: Standard-sized pillows are usually the most affordable as they are mass-produced.
  • Larger Sizes: King, queen, or body pillows are more expensive due to the increased amount of material and labor required to produce them.
  • Custom Sizes: Custom-sized pillows tailored to the user’s specifications are the most expensive. These require more resources to manufacture, hence their higher price.

Special Engineering

Special engineering or design features that cater to specific needs can add to the cost of a pillow.

  • Orthopedic Designs: Pillows engineered for orthopedic purposes, like cervical pillows for neck support or lumbar pillows for lower back support, are typically more expensive. They are carefully designed to provide targeted support, which requires additional research and development.
  • Cooling Technology: Pillows incorporating cooling technology like charcoal (read more about charcoal pillow benefits) or breathable gels can also be costly. They are designed to provide a cooling effect and manage body temperature, providing a comfortable sleep during warm nights.
  • Adjustable Loft: Pillows with adjustable loft (height/thickness) feature provide customized comfort. These pillows typically cost more due to the added feature.
types of pillows 3 cooling

Frequency Of Sales

The frequency of sales or discounts can impact the perceived price of a pillow.

  • Frequent Sales: If a brand frequently offers sales or discounts, it may indicate that their regular prices are inflated. The true cost of the pillow is likely closer to the sale price.
  • Rare Discounts: On the other hand, premium brands rarely offer discounts. Their prices are higher but reflect the actual value of the pillow.
  • Seasonal Sales: Prices may fluctuate during certain periods, such as holiday seasons when many brands offer discounts.


The aesthetic appeal of a pillow can significantly contribute to its cost. After all, the look of a pillow can either enhance or downgrade the overall appeal of your bedroom or living room.

Any unique or distinct aesthetic features like designer collaborations, limited edition prints, or handmade designs often come with a higher price tag due to their exclusivity.


The markup, or the difference between the cost to produce a pillow and its final retail price, can significantly contribute to a pillow’s cost.

  • Material Costs: High-quality materials, whether it’s the fill or the fabric used for the outer covering, tend to be more expensive. The cost of these materials is usually passed onto the customer through a higher retail price.
  • Production Costs: If the production process involves complex techniques or skilled craftsmanship, the production cost will be higher. This cost is also factored into the final retail price.
  • Profit Margin: Companies need to make a profit to stay in business. The profit margin is added to the production and material costs to determine the final price.

Shipping Costs

The cost of shipping pillows can also affect their price.

  • Weight and Size: Pillows, especially larger sizes, can be bulky and heavy. This can increase the shipping costs, which are often included in the final price.
  • Distance: If a pillow is being shipped from overseas or from a distant location, the shipping costs will be higher.
  • Custom Duties and Taxes: For imported pillows, custom duties and taxes are often incurred. These additional costs are usually factored into the retail price.

Synthetic Vs. Organic

The choice between synthetic and organic materials can significantly influence the price of a pillow.

  • Synthetic Materials: Synthetic materials, such as polyester, are typically cheaper. They’re mass-produced and easy to manipulate, making synthetic pillows a budget-friendly option.
  • Organic Materials: Organic materials, on the other hand, are more expensive. They’re sourced sustainably and without the use of harmful chemicals. This eco-friendly process is more costly, which is reflected in the price of organic pillows.

Brand Name

The brand name is another factor that can impact a pillow’s price. This usually manifests in three ways: loyalty, quality, and prestige.

A. Loyalty

Brands that have established trust and loyalty with their customers often command higher prices. Customers are willing to pay more for a product they trust from a brand they have a good history with.

B. Quality

High-end brands often differentiate themselves through superior quality. Whether it’s the materials used, the durability of the product, or the comfort it provides, quality is usually synonymous with higher prices.

C. Prestige

Some brands are associated with prestige or luxury. Purchasing from these brands can be seen as a status symbol. Customers are often willing to pay a premium for the prestige associated with these brands.

In conclusion, many factors contribute to the price of a pillow. The markup, shipping costs, choice of materials, and brand name all play a role. By understanding these factors, customers can make informed decisions and choose a pillow that offers value for the price.

How To Preserve Expensive Pillows So That They Last Longer?

Maintaining expensive pillows involves careful handling and specific care procedures. These include using a pillow cover, daily fluffing, and keeping it away from direct sunlight. Implementing these measures can help retain the pillow’s shape, protect the material, and extend its lifespan.

Use A Cover

Pillow covers or protectors are essential to preserving the life of your pillow. They protect the pillow from dust, sweat, and skin oils, all of which can degrade the material over time. Choose a cover that’s easy to remove and wash. This enables you to keep the cover clean without frequently washing the pillow itself, which can cause wear and tear.

Fluff Your Pillow Daily

Daily fluffing helps maintain the shape and comfort of your pillow (Read more: How Do You Fluff A Bamboo Pillow?) It prevents the material inside from clumping together, which can make the pillow lumpy and uncomfortable. Regular fluffing redistributes the filling evenly, maintaining the pillow’s loft and supportiveness.

how do you fluff a bamboo pillow

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While airing out your pillow is beneficial, avoid placing it in direct sunlight for extended periods. Sunlight can fade the color and degrade the material, especially if the pillow is made of natural materials like down or feathers. If you need to air out your pillow, do it in a shaded, well-ventilated area.

Why Are Pillows So Expensive? Final Verdict

Understanding why pillows can range in price from affordable to exorbitantly expensive requires consideration of several factors. The type of pillow, whether it’s a standard bed pillow, adjustable pillow, or decorative throw pillow, can greatly influence pillow prices.

Materials used, from polyester filling in inexpensive throw pillows to goose down in high-end throw pillows, are a significant factor. High-quality fabrics like Egyptian cotton or artful designs on outer shells add to the cost, particularly for decorative items.

Pillow size also matters, with larger or specialty-shaped pillows typically costing more. A perfect pillow for pain relief, for instance, might be a contour pillow, a type that can demand a higher price due to its specialized shape and materials.

Sleep positions and individual body types dictate the ideal pillow firmness and loft. For side sleepers needing neck and shoulder pressure relief, a firm pillow might be necessary. A feather pillow or high-quality shredded foam pillow can offer that firmness, but at a cost.

Hypoallergenic pillows, using alternative materials like down-alternative or natural foam, are more expensive than standard types. Yet, for shoppers with allergies, this extra cost can be worth the comfort and restful night’s sleep they provide.

Higher-quality pillows tend to be more durable, maintaining their original shape longer. Machine-washable pillow options and pillows with removable, washable cotton covers may also command higher prices but provide long-term value.

Brand names like Coop Home Goods can also drive up prices due to their reputation for quality. Some pillows feature layers of foam, including various types of memory foam, adding to their cost but also their potential for customized comfort.

Copper pillows are becoming increasingly popular for their anti-aging properties. It is widely known that copper is essential for collagen synthesis, the key to preventing wrinkles.

All in all, the seemingly simple item on your bed or couch has a lot more to it than meets the eye. Its price can reflect the quality of materials used, the level of comfort it provides, and even its potential to enhance your home’s decor. So, while some pillows may carry expensive tags, the value they offer often justifies the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions: Why Are Pillows So Expensive?

How to preserve expensive pillows so they last longer?

Preserving expensive pillows involves careful handling and care procedures. Utilize a protective pillow cover to shield from dust, sweat, and skin oils. Fluff the pillow daily to maintain its shape and comfort, preventing the filling from clumping. Lastly, avoid placing pillows in direct sunlight for extended periods as it can fade the color and degrade the material. Regular maintenance and proper care can enhance the pillow’s lifespan.

Why are down pillows more expensive?

Down pillows are usually more expensive due to the high cost of sourcing and processing the down feathers, which are known for their plush softness and insulating properties. Down is often sourced from geese or ducks, and it takes a large number of feathers to fill a pillow, adding to the cost. Additionally, down pillows offer excellent longevity and comfort, which contributes to their higher price tag.

What are the most comfortable pillows ever?

The most comfortable pillow varies based on individual preference as comfort is subjective. However, memory foam and down pillows are often praised for their comfort. Memory foam pillows conform to the shape of your head and neck, providing excellent support. Down pillows, on the other hand, are incredibly soft and fluffy. They can be easily shaped to suit personal preference, making them a popular choice for their luxurious comfort. Remember, the key to finding the most comfortable pillow lies in considering your sleeping position, personal preference, and any specific needs you might have.