How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With Every Night?

how many pillows should you sleep with

Many people sleep with two pillows, but is this the right choice? Sleep experts think sleeping with a single pillow is probably best for your sleep health (unless you use one under your head and a second somewhere else). But there are also additional factors to consider, like the size of your pillows and your preferred sleep position.

In addition to this, the pillows you use should promote the natural curvature of your spine if you want to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Pillows are an essential sleep accessory. Choosing the right pillow can be as important as selecting other sleep products, like the right mattress or bed frame.

So, how many pillows should you sleep with in bed? Should you use a pillow between your knees? Let’s take a closer look so you can rest assured you are using not only the correct number of pillows but are sleeping with them positioned in a way that helps you achieve proper alignment on your mattress.

How Many Pillows Should You Use?

Why Are Your Pillows Important?

Surprisingly, selecting suitable pillows can improve your sleep quality and general well-being, just like your mattress.

Sleeping with the wrong pillow can cause various health issues because it often results in improper spinal alignment. This can easily cause neck pain, lumbar pain, body aches, shoulder pain, joint pain, headaches, and, of course, poor quality sleep all around.

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With Under Your Head?

Is it better to sleep with two pillows or one pillow under your head? Research suggests that using one pillow beneath your head is best, as long as it is the correct size and promotes a neutral spine while you sleep. To achieve the proper neck support, you will first need to consider your sleeping positions and body type.

How Many Pillows Should Side Sleepers Use?

Most people typically sleep on their side, even though this is often your spine’s most strenuous sleep posture. Regardless, using suitable pillows can help make side sleepers significantly more comfortable.

You should use one lofty pillow or two thinner pillows beneath your head if you sleep on your side. It doesn’t matter if side sleepers use one or two pillows, as long as they keep your neck and shoulders supported while promoting neutral alignment down the length of your entire spine.

You can experiment with using an additional pillow between your knees for even more support as a side sleeper — this can help keep your lower back aligned. A pillow between your knees also helps prevent your lower back and hips from twisting while you sleep.

How Many Pillows Should Back Sleepers Use?

a girl comfortably relaxing on her bed

Only using one thinner pillow beneath your head is strongly encouraged for a back sleeper. Ideally, it would help keep your spine straight while laying flat on your mattress. Thicker pillows will likely push your neck forward in this position, so you should avoid them when you sleep on your back.

Using soft pillows is also recommended for back sleepers. A softer pillow can support the curve of your neck without forcing your head out of alignment with your spine. A firm pillow may fail to support your neck in the right places, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you choose the right one.

How Many Pillows Should Stomach Sleepers Use?

Like sleeping on your back, if you are a stomach sleeper, you should use one thin pillow beneath your head. More oversized pillows can force your head and neck into an unnatural, elevated position. If front sleepers want to avoid pain and other issues, using a soft, thin pillow is best.

If you are a front sleeper, you might also want to try sleeping with a second pillow underneath your hips. A thin, soft pillow below your hips can relieve pressure on your lower back.

While somewhat atypical, there is also an argument for front sleepers sleeping without a pillow. The absence of a pillow can help your neck relax entirely while in a natural position. This only works if you have a firm bed and a supportive mattress. Otherwise, the rest of your spine will not align with your neck correctly.

Is It Ok To Sleep With 2 Pillows?

Is sleeping with two pillows a good idea? The answer depends primarily on the height of the pillow or pillows you are using. Your sleep position and pillow placement also determine whether using a second pillow is right.

One good pillow is often the best choice, regardless of your sleep position. It just has to have the appropriate loft for your body type.

If you still want to use more than one pillow, it can safely be done as long as you prioritise maintaining a neutral spine while you sleep. Adding a second pillow in a different location, like between your knees, is often an excellent idea for providing additional spinal support.

Is It Better to Sleep With 3 Pillows?

When it comes time for sleep, using two or more pillows is often unnecessary. Extra pillows can also be bad for your sleep quality and overall health if they promote improper spinal alignment. If you prefer the cosiness of sleeping with multiple pillows, we recommend using them in alternative locations, not solely below your head and neck. You can also safely add pillows to your bedding and mattress, like a full-body or prenatal pillow. The most important thing is that you sleep comfortably and wake up rested and refreshed every day.

The Right Support for Your Back and Neck

The answer to our initial question, how many pillows should you sleep with, relies heavily on your preferred sleeping position. Back and front sleepers typically benefit from using one thin pillow beneath their heads. In contrast, side sleepers require a deeper or two thin pillows beneath their head. Hence, it depends on what type of sleeper are you.

Whether you ultimately decide to sleep with one or two pillows is up to you. Just choose appropriately sized ones for your body. Also, make sure they provide you with the spinal support you need to sleep in a comfortable position. We love modern pillows, like memory foam pillows or gel pillows, as they tend to give your head, neck, and spine ample support to help you sleep soundly and comfortably.

Nonetheless, the best pillow for you will depend on your sleep preferences. Now we’re curious, what kind and number of pillows do you plan to use?

Let us know what you think by typing in the comments below.

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