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Getting a purpose-built kick drum pillow is a fantastic way of muffling your bass drum while achieving an optimal kick drum tone. Specifically-designed bass drum pillows are also durable and designed to stay firmly in place.
Since they’re small, they don’t muffle your bass drum enough to kill the tone entirely like other forms of muffling do.
Dedicated kick drum pillows are durable, reliable, and look good so that they don’t stick out if your bass drum is open enough to see them.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best bass drum pillows to fit inside your kick drum. I’ve compared weight, size, design, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
In a Rush Round-Up
Bass Drum Pillows Reviews
The KICKPRO Kick Drum Pillow is an innovative new drumming product that’s placed inside your bass drum to enhance the tone of your kick.
This pillow has a perfect weight and is perfect for live use as well as use in the recording studio.
I’m totally impressed by how effective the KICKPRO kick drum pillow is in operation.
It feels premium quality, and it has a hefty weight that adds serious punch and depth to your kick.
The product’s weight, alongside the rubber non-skid underside fabric, keeps the pillow firmly put inside the drum without needing any adhesive to secure it in place.
One of the best things about this bass drum pillow is that you have total control over your desired sound. You can position the pillow to have as little or as much contact with the bass drum head as you like, and this alters the amount of dampening.
If you are looking for a bass drum pillow that will significantly improve the sound of your kick drum then the KICKPRO weighted pillow is the ultimate choice.
It enhances the natural tone of your kick drum, and you’ll be amazed at how good this product works.
- Enhanced tone, power, and projection
- Suitable for all sizes of bass drums
- Non-slip rubber bottom prevents sliding
- May over-dampen the bass drum sound due to its size and weight
One of the most popular kick pillows on the market, the Evans EQ Pad Pillow offers fantastic value for money. This product has been one of the most popular choices amongst drummers for a long time now.
Featuring a hinged design, the Evans EQ bass drum pillow puts you in charge of just how much attack and sustain you would like from the kick drum.
You can install the pillow so that it has either a little or a lot of contact with the bass drum head.
The design of this bass drum pillow is excellent, and it stays firmly in place inside the drum.
While in use, this kick drum pillow improves the sound quality of the drum and helps to provide a more focused sound.
Boasting a simple yet effective design, a professional appearance, and a great overall level of adjustability; the Evans bass drum pillow is an awesome choice and makes a great drumming gift too.
- Lightweight and effective dampening system
- Suitable for all sizes of bass drums
- Allows you to choose how much or little dampening you would like
- Can separate from the adhesive strips while in transit
The Pearl BDMF Bass Drum Pillow is the very same product that Pearl uses on its flagship Masters Maple Reserve drum sets to create the perfect balance of power, attack, and sustain from the kick drum.
This quality bass drum pillow features a segmented design that fits most sizes of bass drums.
Just like the previous bass drum pillows reviewed, you can choose the optimal level of dampening on both the batter and resonant bass drum heads.
This bass drum pillow does a great job at absorbing the internal sound waves to help produce a more focused sound.
I found this pillow helps to bring out the natural tone of any kick drum without choking it too much.
To keep this pillow in the bass drum, Pearl includes a hook-and-loop adhesive to prevent it from sliding around inside the shell. It does the job but the pillow tends to move about while in transit.
- Suitable for all sizes of bass drums
- Pearl’s premium bass drum pillow design that's used on flagship drum sets
- Looks great and enhances the tone of a kick drum
- Velcro does not stay put very firmly
The DW Bass Drum Pillow is another quality product designed to significantly improve the sound of your kick drum.
This bass drum pillow sits lengthways and has two elongated heads that simultaneously muffle both the batter and resonant bass drum heads.
Using the pillow in the bass drum will reduce the sustain whilst providing a fatter, more controlled, and punchier tone.
The DW bass drum pillow offers enhanced sonics and a professional appearance. It’s a top choice amongst pro drummers for use in the recording studio and live on stage.
One thing to be wary of is that this DW bass drum pillow is not designed to fit inside all different sizes of bass drums. You will have to choose the correct size diameter to accommodate your kick drum.
- Dampens batter and resonant heads
- Stays firmly in place as it's designed for the specific depth of your bass drum
- Professional aesthetics
Bass Drum Pillow Buying Guide
Buying a bass drum pillow may seem quick and easy, but different pillows offer varying benefits. It’s good to know exactly what those are to make the most informed buying decision possible.
You should also know how much dampening you need for your bass drum.
Some music styles, such as jazz, require much less dampening than others. Metal drummers need very tight and controlled kick drum sounds, so you’ll need to consider different pillows for those styles and any others with similar sound requirements.
The final thing to note here is that all bass drum pillows sold by drum companies have black material. They make them like this so that they look natural inside the bass drum.
While you won’t notice the color in kick drums with closed-off designs, the black coloring fits in the best with kick drums with portholes or acrylic kick drums. Keep that in mind if you’re wondering why you won’t find a fun color for a bass drum pillow.
Things to Consider When Buying a Bass Drum Pillow
Benefits of a bass drum pillow:
A bass drum pillow costs more than a normal pillow or towel to put inside your bass drum, but it makes it much easier to get a good tone; plus, they are more durable and stay in place much better.
The level of dampening you require:
Purpose-designed kick drum pillows are made from different materials and come in different sizes. Some bass drum pillows are larger and heavier, and therefore provide a more muffled and tighter kick sound.
Evans, DW, and Pearl have bass drum pillows available that are easy to find. A few other brands offer them, but they’re not sold at as many stores.
Where you’ll use it:
If you’re going to play gigs with a kick drum that uses a bass drum pillow, you should get one that doesn’t move around inside the shell.
Consider your budget:
Bass drum pillows are relatively inexpensive. However, you get thicker materials and better design features on ones that cost a bit more.
What Features to Look for in a Bass Drum Pillow
Bass drum pillows are intended to cut out much of the resonance from your bass drum and improve the sound.
However, depending on their design, different pillows have varying effects on the tone of your kick drum.
When looking to buy a bass drum pillow, look to see how the pillow will affect your bass drum tone. The more inexpensive pillows simply eliminate the overtones, controlling your bass drum sound.
As you spend a bit more money, you’ll be able to get bass drum pillows that richen the sound more than you’d expect. Some make your bass drum punchier, while others provide more balance.
Check the size of the bass drum pillow you intend to buy. While size doesn’t matter for most options, some bass drum pillows have designs that make them only fit inside certain bass drum depths.
The DW Bass Drum Pro-Cushion is a good example, as it’s designed to fit into a 16-inch-deep bass drum perfectly.
If you put it inside a larger bass drum, it won’t have the same sound benefits. So, it would be better to get a pillow that is better suited for the depth of your bass drum.
The heavier a bass drum pillow is, the more it will muffle your bass drum’s tone. You should get a heavy pillow if you want a significant amount of tonal control.
A lighter pillow will be a better option if you only need a slight amount of muffling.
Lighter pillows are cheaper than heavy ones, but they often leave drummers with unsatisfying results, causing them to add more muffling to the bass drum.
Light pillows are excellent for getting a bass drum tone that still has singing resonance. Heavy pillows are good for a tight kick drum sound.
All the bass drum pillows that I’ve mentioned above have either non-slip material or hook-and-loop adhesive patches to keep them in place.
The best bass drum pillows feature a non-slip material. They are easy to reposition and don’t leave residue marks on the inside of your shell like pillows with adhesive patches.
However, pillows with non-slip material are more expensive, making the pillows with adhesive patches better for budget-minded drummers. The hook-and-loop attachment designs are also a lot more commonly found.
Bass Drum Pillow FAQs
Is Buying a Bass Drum Pillow Worth It?
Yes, dedicated bass drum pillows from brands are designed specifically to be used in bass drum pillows, whereas using soft materials that you find around the house won’t richen your bass drum tone as much.
Dedicated pillows are much more stylish and look much better in your bass drum. They also dampen your bass drum more while taking up less surface area. These factors make them well worth their cost.
Should Your Bass Drum Have a Kick Port?
Having a kick port in your bass drum resonant head is incredibly beneficial as it allows you to easily stick any sort of muffling through it. It also allows you to position a kick drum mic inside the bass drum.
However, it’s not essential. Many drum kits come with a resonant head without a port. You can still get a great bass drum tone by placing the mic just in front of the kick.
It will require you to remove the head to a pillow or any other muffling inside, making the process longer.
Are Bass Drum Pillows Used By Professionals?
Bass drum pillows are fairly common amongst professional drummers. Casual drummers will generally just put living room pillows or towels inside their bass drums to control their resonance.
However, specially made bass drum pillows should be utilized much more as they provide amazing sound benefits compared to the DIY solutions.