Measurements of H and V (dimensions in the horizontal and vertical directions of pillows exposed in vertical cross-section) were made on 19 pillow lavas from the Azores, Cyprus, Iceland, New Zealand, Tasmania, the western USA and Wales. The median values of H and V plot on a straight line that defines a spectrum of pillow sizes, having linear dimensions five times greater at one end than at the other, basaltic toward the small-size end and andesitic toward the large-size end. The pillow median size is interpreted to reflect a control exercised by lava viscosity. Pillows erupted on a steep flow-foot slope in lava deltas can, however, have a significantly smaller size than pillows in tabular pillowed flows (inferred to have been erupted on a small depositonal slope), indicating that the slope angle also exercised a control. Pipe vesicles, generally abundant in the tabular pillowed flows and absent from the flow-foot pillows, have potential as a paleoslope indicator. Pillows toward the small-size end of the spectrum are smooth-surfaced and grew mainly by stretching of their skin, whereas disruption of the skin and spreading were important toward the large-size end. Disruption involved increasing skin thicknesses with increasing pillow size, and pillows toward the large-size end are more analogous with toothpaste lava than with pahoehoe and are inferred from their thick multiple selvages to have taken hours to grow. Pseudo-pillow structure is also locally developed. An example of endogenous pillow-lava growth, that formed intrusive pillows between ‘normal’ pillows, is described from Sicily. Isolated pillow-like bodies in certain andesitic breccias described from Iceland were previously interpreted to be pillows but have anomalously small sizes for their compositions; it is now proposed that they may lack an essential attribute of pillows, namely, the development of bulbous forms by the inflation of a chilled skin, and are hence not true pillows. Para-pillow lava is a common lava type in the flow-foot breccias. It forms irregular flow-sheets that are locally less than 5 cm thick, and failed to be inflated to pillows perhaps because of an inadequate lava-supply rate or too high a flow velocity.