How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve slept with two pillows. As a side sleeper, the combination of two, thinner pillows seemed to provide the right amount of support and kept me comfortable at night. Or so I thought.

It wasn’t until I started researching sleep health that I realized I was doing myself a disservice by using two pillows. The truth is that it should really only take one good pillow under your head to give you a proper night’s sleep.

Why Should We Opt For One Pillow?

Experts say the best sleeping position is one that keeps your head, neck, and spine in neutral. Bad sleep posture can be the culprit behind a slew of health issues, from back and neck pain to fatigue and headaches.

Related: what is the best pillow for side sleepers?

While there are several factors that play into whether or not your body is in neutral alignment when you sleep, including your general health and mattress type, you can help keep your neck in proper alignment by choosing the right type of pillow.

source: Coastal Orthopedics

Choosing a pillow that is too high or too low will bend your neck away from the neutral spine alignment. This could lead to neck soreness, stiffness, and inflammation.

How To Choose The Right Pillow

Picking a pillow that keeps your neck and spine in a neutral, comfortable position will depend on many factors, including your body type and your sleep position.

There are many types of pillows available – memory foam pillows are popular, especially with back sleepers, because they mold to the back of your head and neck and provide consistent support.

Others may want to try an adjustable pillow that allows you to add/remove filling until you find a thickness that allows your neck to remain in neutral.

Casper Pillow Review

Some pillow makers, like Casper, offer a trial period in which you can test the pillow out before deciding if it’s right for you. This can be a great way to test pillows until you find one that provides the right support for your neck and your spine.

Other Ways To Support Your Neck And Spine

In some cases, it’s worth sleeping with two pillows. For side sleepers, it is recommended that you sleep with one pillow under your head and one pillow in between your knees. Back sleepers may want to place a pillow under their knees.

Stomach sleepers have the hardest time finding neutral spine and neck alignment and may benefit from a full body pillow that can help create room for breathing and air flow.


[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate health expert if you have concerns.]

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.

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