How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With? What You Need To Know Update 05/2024

Every night, the average American rests their head on a pillow, which equates to about a third of their lives.

Cotton and down pillows are no longer the only options for bedding. It’s now possible to buy pillows that are made from buckwheat and biodegradable materials as well as ones that are contoured, made of natural latex, and filled with gel or copper.

This “pillow fever” appears to be encouraged by interior designers as well. Four regular rectangular pillows, two square European pillows and two accent pillows of your choice could be recommended for a queen-sized bed by a designer. Extra neck, hip, and arm support can be provided by smaller accent pillows.

It’s possible that you’re wondering: what is the perfect quantity of pillows to sleep on? You may have four pillows on your bed, but you’re probably not utilizing all four of them. However, some people may require more than one to get a restful night’s rest.

You may improve the quality of your sleep, your physical health, and even the appearance of your bedroom by learning about the various reasons for utilizing pillows.

Why Do We Sleep on a Pillow?

He claims that the cushion has been around since ancient Egypt and that the idea dates back to that time period. While they slept, the Egyptians rested their heads on stones in order to keep bugs from crawling up their nostrils! Although this is no longer an issue for us in the 21st century, pillows are nevertheless seen as an essential part of the bedtime routine.
How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With? Sleep Advisor

Our spine, neck, and head must all be properly aligned before we can begin. We walk with our neck and head perpendicularly positioned to our spine. Why do we think it’s a good idea to rearrange our bodies when we sleep?

In fact, several studies suggest that sleeping without a pillow may be healthier for us in the long run. However, we all know that going to bed without a pillow isn’t always an option. After all, they’re extremely comfortable. Is there a right number of pillows for a good night’s sleep?

A Brief History of The Pillow

Pillows are rectangular cloth bags filled with feathers, foam, rubber, or other soft materials to support the head while lying down, according to However, how crucial is it to provide such support for the head?
Let’s take a look at the product’s history to get the answer to this question. Pillows have been used by humans for generations, according to Dr. Weil, MD, a prominent alternative medicine practitioner and publicist. People have been resting their heads on stones to keep bugs from crawling up their noses and into other parts of the face since the early Egyptians.
Stone pillows were used in many ancient cultures, whereas linen and feathers were initially used by the Greeks and Romans. Fast forward to the present day, and they have become an indispensable component of daily life and a must-have for a good night’s sleep.

The Thing About Sleep

Everyone sleeps in a unique way, which is kind of amusing. The ideal number of pillows for one person may be a nightmare for someone else. There are a few things to keep in mind while deciding how many pillows to use when sleeping.

In a perfect world, every person would have a single pillow that met all of their requirements at all times. The right cushion should be able to provide:

  • The key to a good night’s sleep is a neutral spine, which can only be achieved with proper neck support. In order to avoid a stiff neck and tense shoulders in the morning, you need a pillow that provides just the perfect amount of support while you sleep.
  • Sleeping on a cushion that’s too small can put you in an awkward position—literally. You’ll need a pillow with a lot of surface area if you sleep on your side or back. Your head may be lying flat on the mattress if you don’t.
  • The ideal pillow should be able to contour to your body’s natural shape, depending on the position you sleep in. Some people like a firmer cushion that allows their head to sink in, while others want a pillow that can be fluffed, twisted, bent, or squeezed while they sleep. For the best pillow, it should be made of soft, pliable material that doesn’t lose its structural integrity over time.

Still, why aren’t all pillows equipped to meet these basic requirements? Is it better to have more or less pillows as a solution?

Everyone is Different

Every person’s body is unique. Sleeping on one pillow may not be comfortable for persons who sleep on their sides and backs, or who have wide shoulders. Sleeping on one’s back, with no neck support, can result in stiffness, poor sleep quality, and even headaches.

Overly supportive pillows can be problematic for people who like to sleep on their stomachs. Too much thickness or firmness might cause the neck to be tilted too far forward, irritating the face and making it difficult to breathe.

However, it’s not exactly the case that changing the amount of pillows you sleep with would help you achieve a more comfortable night’s rest.

Choosing The Right One

If your ultimate goal is to align your neck and spine anatomically and provide support for your neck as you sleep, then less elevation makes sense. The pillow you’ve picked may not be optimal for your body type if you feel the need to use a second one under your head all the time. Is there a formula for determining which cushion is ideal for you? The first step is to figure out exactly what you want. Ask yourself what is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Are You Frequently Experiencing Neck or Back Pain?

In that case, you may be sleeping in an uncomfortable posture on a regular basis. Choosing a pillow that is the right height for your neck and spine is essential. This might be a time-consuming process because there are so many possibilities out there.

In order to get some advice on which pillow might be most beneficial in terms of alleviating neck aches and pains, we’ve put up some recommendations. It’s a good idea to examine your sleeping position if you suffer from back pain. The one pillow rule may not apply to you if you sleep on your side.
How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With | Sleep Journal

Two Pillows for Side Sleepers

Don’t get carried away. The guideline still holds true for what’s going on below your shoulders. The second pillow should be placed between your knees, though. Put a pillow between your knees at night to keep your top leg from dragging your spine out of alignment, says University of Rochester. Your lower back and hips will thank you for doing this. If you like to sleep on your side, you may want to look into our side sleeper pillows, although the pillow for your knees does not need to be of the highest quality.

One Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

Even though this sleeping position is not suggested, you will eventually fall asleep and stay awake in the position that is most comfortable for you. You should use one thin pillow if you sleep on your stomach, unless you want to sleep without one at all. Your general health will benefit from a less hunched neck and back.

Why Sleep on More Than One Pillow?

The average American sleeps with just one or two pillows, despite advice that the average individual should own six to ten pillows for their bed. So what are some reasons why a person can require more pillows than the standard one for their head?

  • Pillows that are more than a decade old will lose their plumpness. In spite of its claims to the contrary, even a long-lasting pillow will lose its shape and grow thinner or lumpier with time. If you don’t want to buy new pillows, you can increase height to your current one by placing an additional old one on top of it. Because of the growth of dust mites and mold, there are numerous reasons to avoid using old pillows.
  • Wrong content: On your side, if you sleep with a down feather pillow that’s soft and thin, your head may feel like it needs a second or third cushion in order to stay supported. Neck and back pain are frequently caused by using the improper sort of pillow for your sleeping position.
  • Support for the torso and limbs Using many pillows effectively improves your body’s support. Sleeping on your stomach might cause back pain if you do it frequently. A standard-sized cushion placed behind your back and one in front of you will keep you from rolling over, allowing you to sleep on your side instead of your back. Sleeping on your side may necessitate the use of a neck cushion that is no larger than a quarter-inch in diameter.

Sleeping with 2.2 pillows on average shows that most Americans either stack them to provide better neck and back support or utilize one to support their entire body while they sleep.

Maintaining proper spinal and back alignment becomes increasingly important as we age. By sleeping in an ergonomic position, you can significantly lower your risk of developing chronic back and joint problems.

Arranging Your Pillows

People that have a lot of pillows on their beds don’t use all of them during the night. Improved spine alignment and reduced joint pain can be achieved with some of these pillows.

Pillows sold as “standards” are the huge, rectangular pillows that the majority of Americans use on a regular basis. People who sleep on their backs or who prefer to raise their head and neck while reading in bed may benefit from using European pillows, which are larger square pillows.

Accent pillows come in a variety of sizes and styles. While you’re trying to drift off to sleep, consider the following possibilities.

  • If you prefer to sleep on your side, you may keep your neck in alignment with your spine by placing a cylindrical pillow beneath your head and one over your shoulders.
  • To keep your hips in line, you can arrange small square or rectangular pillows between your knees.
  • If you prefer to sleep on your side, you can align your shoulders by placing a medium rectangular or square cushion under your arm.
  • You can use a body pillow to keep your entire body straight when you sleep on your back or your side.

Are Pillows Even Necessary for Good Sleep?

Our mattresses have become an extension of our pillows in the modern day. Some sleep experts say that a pillow isn’t necessary if you have a nice mattress.

Pillow loft, or the height of the pillow, might have an impact on your sleep experience. Pillow loft can either aid or impede a good night’s sleep, depending on your sleeping posture.

  • Because the head is bent forward while one sleeps on one’s stomach, it is important to use a low-loft pillow to prevent an abnormal curvature of the neck. Those who sleep on their stomachs may be able to get by without a pillow at all.
  • If you’re a side sleeper, a medium loft pillow will keep you from experiencing pins and needles while you sleep with your arms under your head. The pressure on the face and jaw caused by a pillow that holds the neck in an upright position can cause headaches and jaw pain.
  • Back sleepers choose medium- to high-density pillows in order to avoid discomfort in their shoulders. A thin pillow can cause the shoulders to move forward or backward if you sleep on your back.

When it comes to neck discomfort, back pain, headaches and migraines, sleeping without a pillow can actually make things worse for the vast majority of individuals. To get the best night’s sleep, sleep experts recommend utilizing no more than one or two pillows at a time.

An Interesting Argument For The Use of NO Pillows

The subject of whether or not a pillow is necessary for good night’s sleep has never occurred to many of us. They are first introduced as a natural attachment to the bed at a young age. The human body’s anatomy suggests that pillows should no longer be used.
The most fundamental reason why a pillow might not make sense is that our head and neck are vertically aligned at the top of the spine when we are standing. When our bodies are laid out flat, it makes reasonable that we would be most aligned pillow-free.
Many health advantages can be gained by forgoing the usage of a pillow under our heads. Acne can be reduced as a first benefit. It is common for pillows to be a source of dust and other allergens. It’s possible that sleeping with your face resting on a soiled cushion is contributing to the development of acne.
Another noticeable advantage is a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles over time. Because you sleep on your face, there is a chance that wrinkles will form more quickly because of the pressure you place on your face. If you give up your overnight neck pad, there are a number of other prospective benefits that you may or may not reap:
  • Make sure you’re taking care of your back and neck.
  • Re-align and re-shape the bones.
  • Avoid putting yourself under too much pressure.
  • Inflammation can be avoided.
  • Reduce or prevent depression.

Start With Your Mattress to Pick the Right Pillow

Pillows are crucial, but finding the right mattress is more important when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Mattresses that are too old or too firm can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Mattresses can last anywhere from seven to ten years, but experts recommend replacing them every eight years. After the 10-year mark, many people wait to buy a new mattress because they don’t want to break the bank. Waiting too long, on the other hand, can have negative effects on your sleep.

You may be sleeping on the improper firmness, even though your mattress is brand new. For example, if you prefer to sleep on your back, you’ll want a mattress that’s firm or even hard. If you want to retain your spine’s natural curve, you may want to go with a less firm mattress than what most experts recommend. For those who sleep primarily on their sides, medium or medium-soft mattresses are ideal, whereas firm mattresses may be suitable for those who sleep primarily on their stomachs.

Pillows can help to keep your body in proper alignment by supporting the mattress’s job. Think of your mattress as a pillow that covers your entire body. When it comes to sleeping, you don’t want to contribute to long-term back or joint problems. Then, choose a pillow that will boost the mattress’s support.

Other Ways to Support the Neck and Spine

Sleeping with two pillows is a good idea in some situations. Side sleepers should use one pillow beneath their head and one pillow between their knees while they sleep on their side. Pillows under the knees are recommended for back sleepers.

You may benefit from a full body pillow for stomach sleepers who have difficulty finding neutral spine and neck posture.

Other Factors That Influence How Many Pillows You Should Sleep With

Depending on how soft your pillows are, you may need more than one to achieve proper spinal and neck alignment.

Medium-height pillows are best for people with tiny to average sized heads because they are the most comfortable for them. If you have a large head, you may prefer a thicker cushion since your head sinks in too much.

Lighter people are less likely to sink into the mattress, therefore they choose medium-thick pillows to keep their spines in the correct position while they sleep. Cushion sinkage is more common in those who are heavier, therefore they may benefit from a thinner pillow to maintain their head level with their spine.

For those who like to read or watch television in bed, you may desire to have some help. in order to support your neck, shoulders, and back whether sitting up or lying down on extra pillows in your bed.

For aesthetic reasons, you may want to have a lot of pillows on your bed. Pillows are an essential part of any hotel room that has a high level of luxury. To make the bed look more inviting, several hotel chains place rows of pillows at the head of the bed and against the headboard. Colored pillowcases can be used to match duvet covers, bed runners, blankets, and throws if you want your bed to appear affluent and luxurious. To achieve the ultimate final look, learn how to position your pillows and find out what a common pillow size is.

If you suffer from colds, allergies, or a blocked-up nose, you may opt to prop yourself up with extra pillows.
How Many Pillows Should You Sleep On To Feel Comfortable? - Mattress Reviews

Things To Consider When Choosing How Many Pillows To Sleep With

If you’re trying to figure out how many pillows to use at night, your ultimate goal should be to select a pillow that helps keep your head and neck straight and your spine aligned. Consider how often you change your pillow and how old it is before making a decision about how well you sleep. If you have allergies or snoring problems, a washable pillow may be a better option.

Sleepseeker carries a wide variety of pillows, including those for side, front, and back sleepers, among others. We even have scented pillows and V-shaped pillows for nursing mothers and the elderly in our selection.


How many pillows should side sleepers use?

Sitting on your side means only one cushion is for your head, however lying on your stomach means two! Having one pillow under your head and one between your knees is the greatest approach to keep your spine in proper alignment. In the side sleeping position, your spine can be strained and your hips and lower back are stressed because of the pulling force of the leg on top.

The best way to keep your knees apart is to place a firm pillow between your legs. A medium-firm cushion is ideal for supporting your head. When used together, these two pillows can keep your neck and spine in perfect alignment.

How many pillows should back sleepers use?

You’re already doing your spine a favor by sleeping on your back. It is theoretically the best position for your spine’s health to sleep in this way. That is, if you utilize the proper pillows.

Try sleeping with a comfortable pillow under your knees and your head to relieve stress at the end of the day. Maintaining your spine’s natural curvature is made easier by positioning the two pillows in this way. When you’re lying on your back, raising your knees slightly can help you fall asleep faster!

How many pillows should front sleepers use?

Sleeping on your stomach is considered to be the worst posture for a good night’s sleep. Laying flat on your stomach puts a lot of strain on your back, which can cause it to misalign.

Try to avoid sleeping in this position if at all possible. Place a medium-sized pillow under your pelvis to help you sleep. In this position, your spine is in the finest possible alignment. You should attempt to avoid using a pillow, but if you must, make sure it is comfortable. Keeping your head as low as feasible will aid in correcting your spine’s alignment.

How often should you change your pillows?

To keep them in good shape, most experts recommend that you replace your pillows every one to two years. Even the greatest memory foam pillows begin to lose their bounce after this point. If your pillow has a huge dip in the centre, it can be tough to get comfortable.

Pillows must also be maintained free of allergies and clean. It’s time to replace your pillow after the second year because it’s undoubtedly starting to grow dirty.

How to break in a new pillow?

It’s normal for a new pillow to feel a touch stiff at first! To quickly break in a pillow, place it in a pillowcase and tumble dry it for five minutes with a few tennis balls inside. The structure should be a little softer as a result, but the pillow’s shape should remain intact. Please keep in mind that this method only works with fiber pillows, not memory foam or down ones.

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