How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?

Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
Reviewed By
Medical Advisory Team
Medical Advisory Team
Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: September 09, 2023
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Returning home after a boisterous day at work, a night of comfortable and quality sleep Trusted Source Trouble getting to sleep? You just need to get into the swing of it | Sleep | The Guardian Gentle rocking helps people to nod off and improves memory, say scientist. is all you need to tear off the fatigue. Many factors influence your rest, but choosing the right pillow plays an incredibly essential role in improving your overall sleep health. A pillow can provide the sense of comfort you deserve and support your sleep posture. Some people love stacking the pillows on their bed instead of using one.

You might be one of them! But do you know how many pillows you should sleep with for a good night’s rest? Or how to choose the right pillow(s) according to your sleeping positions?

If your answer is No! Then this guide is exactly what you need to get the answer. Here, we will outline how to choose a suitable pillow, why you need a pillow for sleeping, why you should sleep without a pillow, and how many pillows you need for a night of healthy sleep. Let us dive right in!

How to Choose the Best Pillow?

Many pillow options are out there, so selecting only the right one for you could lead to confusion. Which criteria do you need to consider while choosing the best pillow for you? We have listed a few yet most essential criteria to pick the best pillow for you to ease this.


How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?While selecting a pillow for you, check the fill that you need in the pillow. There are various fill options available for a pillow. The few best fill options you might like are polyester fill, latex, wool, cotton, down, memory foam, and synthetic down.


If you need a lightweight pillow, then a down or synthetic pillow is the best option for you. In contrast, a pillow with memory foam or latex filling is heavy to carry.


Check the fabric of the pillow before purchasing. The material must be durable and breathable to stays intact.


How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?Generally, pillows are available in two sizes: one is standard, and the other is king-size. Traditional pillows are 41 cm ×41 cm in size, while the king pillows are 51 cm × 91 cm in size. For king-size beds, king-size pillows look best.


premium quality pillow will improve sleep and last longer than a medium or low-quality-made pillow. Keeping in mind these criteria, decide on the pillow type you prefer and select the right one for you.

How Many Pillows Do You Need?

Sleeping with one pillow under your head is all you need. But most people use two pillows instead. The reason for using a pillow is to raise your head, align your neck and spine, and ease breathing.

You can increase the number of pillows according to your sleeping position. Be careful, as different sleeping positions might have harmful consequences. Having the right pillow under your head can give you plenty of sleep that you deserve. We will outline various sleeping positions and the pillow(s) you should use to sleep.

If You Sleep on Your Back

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?The ideal way to sleep for a perfect spine’s health is by resting on your back. You are treating your spine in the best way if it is your sleeping position. All you need is an excellent pillow to keep your head and neck align perfectly.

Back sleepers can improve their spine’s natural curvature by using two pillows to sleep. One pillow to keep under your head, and the other under your knees. For a quicker sleep, raise your knees slightly when sleeping on your back.

If You Sleep on Your Side

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?Two pillows, one for your head, the other for your knees, work best for you. A side sleeper can easily hurt its lower back, hips, spine, and neck. The excellent way for spinal alignment is to keep one pillow under the head and the other pillow between the knees. Make sure to use a medium-firm pillow for your head to avoid any neck pain. To prevent your knees from touching, a firm pillow is the best option for you. With the combination of these two pillows, your neck and spine will align perfectly.

If You Sleep on Your Stomach

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?As per the experts, sleeping on your stomach is not suitable for your spine. It is the most damaging position to sleep in, so try to avoid sleeping flat on your stomach. High pressure on your spine causes it to pull out of its original place and disturbs the body’s alignment.

If you find difficulty sleeping in other positions, try to put a medium pillow under the pelvis region. It will help spinal alignment. Also, while sleeping on your stomach, try to avoid a pillow under your head or make sure it is a very soft pillow. Keep your head as low as you can to align your spine correctly.

If You Have Neck or Jaw Pain

Mostly, people who sleep without a pillow might get neck and back pain. Back sleepers can also encounter such problems if they are using the wrong pillow to sleep. Using one right pillow for you will ease sleeping.

Side and front sleepers find problems like teeth clenching and jaw pain if they are not using any pillow. Two pillows for the side sleeper will help better alignment of head and neck hence, better sleep.

Sleeping in the wrong position can also result in a sore jaw. Sleeping on your side places a lot of stress on your jaw. The most solid way to solve this problem is to rest on your back. It will reduce the strain on your jaw.

It is challenging to have the best pillow, but if you wake up a jaw pain every morning, it is alarming! Try sleeping on different pillows to check if it is workable for you.

How About No Pillows?

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?Sleeping with or without a pillow is totally up to your personal preference. If sleeping with a pillow makes you feel comfortable, go for it. And if not, do not use it at all. A night of good sleep will let you be fresh every morning, so never compromise on that.

However, for your assistance, here are few general tips for you if you are planning to sleep without a pillow:

  • People who choose to sleep mainly on the side should use a thick pillow. Side sleepers, beware! If you try to rest without a pillow, you might end up hurting your neck.
  • Thinner pillows work best for back sleepers, although if the mattress they sleep on is firm enough, they can sleep without a pillow to sleep more comfortably.
  • Front sleepers or stomach sleepers should sleep without a pillow if it is easy and relaxing for them.

Final Thoughts

One good pillow fit for better sleep. If you still wonder how many pillows you should sleep with according to your sleeping position, this guide is for you. If you love to pile up the pillows on your bed, make sure all of them are best in supporting your head and neck. A better pillow will help spinal alignment and relax your pressure points.

Getting proper sleep will improve the overall health of a person and is a real-time stress releaser. Having good sleep hygiene can help people improve their energy levels, and they perform best in every situation. Research your pillow type and follow the above tips to find yourself the best pillow that allows you to have an uninterrupted sleep all night. After trying your best to improve your sleep health, if you are still suffering from sleep difficulties, get yourself to a doctor.


Trouble getting to sleep? You just need to get into the swing of it | Sleep | The Guardian
Gentle rocking helps people to nod off and improves memory, say scientist.
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