What Is a Pillow Menu at a Hotel?

Luxury hotels enhance guest experiences with amenities like pillow menus, allowing guests to choose from a variety of pillows to improve sleep quality. Options include different firmness levels and materials such as down, memory foam, and latex. Guests can order and swap pillows to find their perfect match, personalizing their sleep experience.

From sweet treats left on the bed during turndown service to personalized mini bars, luxury hotels and resorts are constantly upping their game with amenities that improve the guest experience.

Many have also started offering sleep-enhancing amenities like white noise machines and pillow menus. Yes, you read that right: pillow menus.

This article will explore everything you need to know about pillow menus, including how to choose the best pillow for your stay.

What is a pillow menu at a hotel?

A pillow menu is exactly what it sounds like: a list of pillows available to hotel guests. Many five-star hotels offer pillow menus to help improve your sleep quality while on vacation.

In most cases, you can “order” a new type of pillow off the menu to try on your first night, then swap it out as often as you like until you find the perfect pillow.

Ultimately, pillow menus empower guests to personalize their sleep experiences, says Arun Kumar, the integrated wellness practitioner at Six Senses Bhutan.

He explains: “By tailoring neck support, pressure relief, temperature regulation, and hypoallergenic factors…[our pillow menu] will help to uplift overall quality of the sleep.”

Many luxury hotels now offer a wide selection of pillows. Here are just a few properties where I’ve been offered a pillow menu:

Types of pillows on a pillow menu

Many types of pillows might show up on a pillow menu. Some hotels offer just a few options—for example, feather, down alternative, and memory foam—while other menus list a dizzying array of places to rest your head.

At Intercontinental Danang, I was offered the following types of pillows:

  • Natural latex
  • Memory foam
  • Synthetic (medium)
  • Synthetic (firm)
  • Down (soft)
  • Down (super firm)
  • Silk
  • Buckwheat
  • Body pillow

While hotel pillow menus vary slightly, this list is a good representation of a robust pillow menu.

How to choose the right pillow from a pillow menu

You might have noticed that some pillow types are defined by firmness level, while others are set apart by filling or casing material.

Choosing the right pillow by firmness

Different pillow firmness levels support different sleep positions.

  • Firm pillows are great for side and back sleepers.
  • Soft pillows are best for stomach sleepers.
  • Medium-firm or medium-soft pillows work for a variety of sleep positions.

Choosing the right pillow by material or filling

The best pillow for you depends on your preference and, in some cases, allergies.

  • Down feather pillows are known for being super plush, but some people are allergic to down—and others don’t like the way down flattens as the night goes on.
  • Down alternative pillows are a solid option for people who like the fluffiness of down but want to avoid a potential allergic reaction.
  • Memory foam pillows offer great head support, but some people—myself included—find that they trap heat and can cause nighttime sweating.
  • Latex pillows offer support similar to memory foam but are more breathable. Latex pillows are also hypoallergenic.
  • Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls, resulting in a plant-based, breathable, hypoallergenic place to rest your head. However, the hulls are quite hard and make some noise when moved. When I once selected a buckwheat pillow during a luxury hotel stay, I thought it felt like sleeping on a pillow stuffed with squishy beads.

Many hotels also offer body pillows and special neck pillows. Body pillows offer excellent sleep for side sleepers or anyone not used to sleeping alone. And neck pillows can be helpful if you’re experiencing muscle tightness or head, neck, and shoulder pain.

The good news is that you’re not just stuck with one option—five-star hotels typically allow you to request several pillows and swap out pillows you don’t like throughout your stay.

Find a hotel-quality pillow for your bedroom at Saatva

Latex Pillow

A core of shredded natural latex, wrapped in a breathable organic cotton cover. Plush and responsive for the perfect head and neck support.

Find a hotel-quality pillow for your bedroom at Saatva

Graphite Memory Foam Pillow

Breathable shredded memory foam and latex core provides contouring support, while advanced graphite technology draws heat away.

Find a hotel-quality pillow for your bedroom at Saatva

Cloud Memory Foam Pillow

A specially engineered blend of shredded gel-infused memory foam and buoyant latex foam offers best-in-class comfort and support.

Find a hotel-quality pillow for your bedroom at Saatva

Organic Quilted Pillow

Perfect for eco-conscious sleepers who expect nothing less, our all-organic pillow combines weightless support of natural latex with the superb breathability and comfort of cotton and wool.

Find a hotel-quality pillow for your bedroom at Saatva

Down Alternative Pillow

Made from two types of hypoallergenic down alternative fibers, wrapped in 100% organic cotton. Soft, plush, and breathable for cool, comfortable sleep.


Do hotels offer different pillows?

Some do. Five-star hotels often offer a pillow menu so that guests can choose the best pillow—or pillows!—for head, neck, and body support while sleeping.

What are some types of pillows offered by five-star hotels?

Some five-star hotels offer pillows filled with different materials, such as buckwheat, feathers, or foam. Many also offer pillows in different shapes, such as a standard queen- or king-sized pillow, neck contour pillow, and body pillow.

What is sleep tourism, and why is it so popular right now? Next, learn all about the sleep tourism trend and how to plan your vacation to improve your sleep.

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