Healthy Sleep

How Many Pillows Should I Use? | Sleeping with Pillows

How Many Pillows Do You Really Need?

Pillows are not just for decoration. They play a huge role in supporting your head, neck, spine, and hips while you sleep. Considering that you spend a third of your life sleeping, you definitely want to make sure you keep your spine aligned and supported throughout the night. Or else, you’ll be waking up with neck pain, back pain, or who knows what else!

Whether you sleep with only one pillow or one dozen, the most important factor is to choose the right pillow for you. This, along with a proper mattress and your sleeping position, will help you have a restful sleep.

Sleeping Position and Pillows

There’s a huge debate about the health benefits of sleeping with and without pillows. The truth is, there is no pillow police who will show up in your bedroom in the dead of the night and confiscate all your extra pillows. Ultimately, you need to decide how many pillows you need for your particular situation and preference.

That being said, there’s no harm in learning more about how to get better sleep, right? According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates healthy sleeping, the average person sleeps with about 2 pillows. Considering this number, let’s take a look at the best ways to help you sleep better based on your sleeping position.

Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is said to be the healthiest sleeping position of all. In fact, 74% of people sleep this way. The key to a restful sleep in this position is to make sure your head and hips are supported. You want to get a supportive head pillow that is as thick as the distance between your neck and shoulder. Moreover, you’ll want to get a firm pillow between your knees. This will help relieve strain and keep the spine straight all the way down to your hips.

Back Sleepers

Many people find it uncomfortable to sleep on their back. It’s probably why only 8% sleep in this position. With your neck and back flat on the mattress, it’s all the more important to use pillows to properly support your body. You’ll need a thin, contouring pillow to level your neck with your spine. It’s also a good idea to place a small pillow beneath the knees or a thin pillow beneath the lumbar spine to relieve strain on the lower back.

Stomach Sleepers

Regarded as the most unhealthy sleep position, stomach sleeping is actually the only position that can truly benefit from sleeping without a pillow. Think about it, sleeping on your stomach with a thick head pillow will only twist your neck in an uncomfortable way. Best not use a head pillow (or, if you really want to, choose a very thin one) so your head will stay level with the mattress surface. You can also place a thin pillow beneath the hips to help even out the spine.  

READ: Stomach Sleeping - Should You Still Do It?

Is There a Such Thing As Too Many Pillows?

Most definitely no. You can never have too much!

Pillows are wonderful inventions that make sleeping so nice and comfortable. Here are some ideas to put your extra pillows to good use:

  1. 3 pillows: Use the 2 for support and the third for hugging. Or perhaps for your furry companion.

  2. 4 pillows: Use 2 for support while asleep and the extras to prop yourself up when you work or have breakfast in bed or binge-watch Netflix.

  3. 5+ pillows: Use 2 for yourself and the extras for your partner, kids, or to build your very own pillow fort.

Your Pillow Is More Important Than You Think

A single pillow makes all the difference for a good night’s sleep. So make sure you choose the right pillow for you! When you wake up fresh, relaxed, and ready to start your day, you’ll thank us for these tips.