Updated at: 23-04-2022 - By: Jane Brody

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

Choosing between cotton and down pillows is a thing of the past. It is possible to purchase pillows made from various materials such as biodegradable buckwheat, latex, and gel/copper infusion, among others.

There is a “pillow fever” among interior designers as well. An interior designer might recommend that you use four conventional rectangular pillows and two square European pillows on a queen-sized mattress to create a visually appealing bed. If your neck, hips, or arms require a little extra support at night, consider using a smaller accent pillow.

You may be perplexed as to the optimal number of pillows to sleep on in light of all the recommendations you’ve seen. Even if you have four pillows on your bed, it’s unlikely that you’re utilizing them all. However, it’s possible that some people will require more than one to get a good night’s rest.

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

Why Do We Sleep on a Pillow?

An alternative physician, Dr. Andrew Weil, asserts that pillows have been around since ancient Egypt. To keep bugs from crawling up their nostrils while they slept, the Egyptians used stones to lay their heads on as they slept! In the 21st century, this isn’t actually a danger for us, but pillows are still considered a necessary part of the sleeping experience.

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With? | Casper

Our spine, neck, and head should all be aligned initially. When we walk, our neck and head are perfectly aligned with our spine. Why do we find it so relaxing to sleep in a position that is radically different from our waking state?

Sleeping without a pillow may be better for us than using one, according to several studies. However, we know that it isn’t always possible to sleep without a pillow. After all, they’re extremely comfortable. Is there a right number of pillows for you to use at night?

A Brief History of The Pillow

The Thing About Sleep

When it comes to sleeping, everyone has a unique way of doing it. The ideal number of pillows for one person may be a nightmare for someone else. Keeping this in mind, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding how many pillows to use at a given time.

In a perfect world, every person would have a single pillow that met all of their requirements at all times. The right cushion should offer the following:

  • The key to a good night’s sleep is a neutral spine, which can only be achieved with proper neck support. To avoid waking up with a stiff neck and sore shoulders, use a sleeping pillow that provides just the perfect amount of support.
  • Enough room for your head – If your pillow is too small, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable sleeping posture. You’ll need a pillow with a lot of surface area if you sleep on your side or back. If you don’t, you may wake up with your head on the bed.
  • The ideal pillow should be able to contour to your body’s natural shape, depending on your sleeping position. Stomach and back sleepers will require softer pillows, whereas side and stomach sleepers may fluff, bend, or squeeze the pillows they use at night to keep their heads supported. A decent pillow should be made of soft, flexible material that doesn’t lose its structural integrity over time. 1

Still, why aren’t all pillows equipped to meet these basic requirements? So, what’s the answer? More pillows or fewer?

Everyone is Different

There is no one-size-fits-all body. It may not be possible for persons who sleep on their sides or backs to comfortably fill the distance between their head and mattress with just one sleeping pillow. Neck pain, poor sleep, and headaches can all be symptoms of sleeping on one’s back without adequate support in the bed. 2

An overly supportive cushion could be an issue for folks who prefer to rest on their stomachs. A thick or hard pillow might cause the neck to be tipped forward, causing irritation to the face and causing breathing problems.

In light of these findings, it’s normal to assume that the quantity of pillows you use at night should be adjusted to match your natural sleeping position.

Choosing The Right One

Are You Frequently Experiencing Neck or Back Pain?

If you said yes to this question, you may be sleeping in an uncomfortable posture every night. It’s critical that you pick a pillow that’s just right for your particular neck and spine shape. With so many alternatives available, this can be a time-consuming process.

We’ve put up a list of some of the greatest neck pain-relieving pillows for you to consider. It’s a good idea to examine your sleeping position if you suffer from back pain. One exemption to the one pillow rule may apply if you sleep on your side.

Two Pillows for Side Sleepers

Take a breather. Under your head, the same rules apply. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to place that second pillow between your legs. Put a cushion between your knees at sleep to keep the leg on top from placing pressure on your spine, according to a study from the University of Rochester. Your lower back and hips will appreciate the relief. If you like to sleep on your side, you might want to consider one of our side sleeper pillows, although the pillow for your knees doesn’t have to be as good.

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With: Here's the Answer [Upd. 2022]

One Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

Even if this sleeping posture is not suggested, you will eventually fall asleep and stay awake in the position that is most comfortable to 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?

Most Americans only use one or two pillows to sleep, despite design standards that suggest the average person should buy 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 made of down, feather, or memory foam that are more than a decade old will go flat. However long you keep using it, your pillow will ultimately lose its shape and become thinner or lumpy. 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. Aside from health concerns (because to mildew and dust mites) and reduced neck support, there are numerous other reasons to avoid using old pillows.
  • If you sleep on your side and have a soft, thin down feather pillow, you may find that you need a second or third pillow to keep your head in a comfortable position while you are asleep. Neck and back pain might be caused by the wrong sort of pillow for your sleep posture.
  • Multiple pillows are a great way to improve your body’s support. Sleeping on your stomach might cause back pain if you do it frequently. To avoid turning over and allow you to sleep on your side, place a standard-sized cushion behind your back and another in front of you. If you like to sleep on your side, a smaller pillow under your neck may be necessary to maintain proper alignment of your spine and head.

This shows that the average American sleeps on two pillows, either stacked on top of each other to provide more support for their back or neck, or they utilize one to keep their body in place as they rest.

Maintaining proper alignment of your spine and back is especially important as you 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 mattresses don’t use all of them when they sleep. Using some of these pillows can help with spinal alignment and joint pain all over your body. These pillows can help.

The most common type of pillow purchased in the United States is a standard pillow. People who sleep on their backs or who like to prop their head and neck up while reading in bed may benefit from larger square pillows, or European pillows.

Many different shapes and sizes of accent pillows are available to choose from. While you’re trying to drift off to sleep, consider the following possibilities.

  • To keep your neck aligned with your spine as you sleep, cylindrical pillows can be positioned beneath the head and above the shoulders while you are sleeping on your side.
  • To keep your hips in line, you can arrange small square or rectangular pillows between your knees.
  • If you sleep on your side, a medium-sized rectangle or square pillow can be positioned under your arm to keep your shoulders in line.
  • This type of pillow is designed to support your entire body as you sleep on your back or side and can be either rectangular or cylindrical in shape.

Are Pillows Even Necessary for Good Sleep?

Modern pillows, like our mattresses, are an extension of our bed. Experts in the field of sleep say that a well-made mattress can do away with the use of pillows altogether.

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 stretched forward, stomach sleepers should use a low-loft cushion to avoid neck curvature. 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 cheek and jaw can become strained if you sleep with a pillow that is overly hard and maintains your neck straight.
  • 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.

If you sleep without a pillow, you are more likely to suffer from neck pain, back pain, headaches, migraines, and other breathing problems. For those who like to sleep on their backs or sides, sleep experts recommend using no more than one or two pillows.

An Interesting Argument For The Use of NO Pillows

  • Take care of your back and neck to avoid discomfort.
  • In order to straighten and normalize the bones,
  • Avoid putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.
  • Inflammation can be avoided.
  • Depression can be prevented or reduced.

Start With Your Mattress to Pick the Right Pillow

Choosing the perfect mattress for your needs is more crucial than finding the right pillows if you want to get a good night’s sleep. As a result, if you’re having difficulties sleeping, you may be sleeping on the improper mattress.

The usual lifespan of a mattress is between seven and ten years, but most experts advocate switching out your mattress every eight years or so. Because mattresses can be expensive, many individuals put off purchasing a new one until well over the 10-year mark. Waiting too long, on the other hand, can have negative effects on your sleep.

Your mattress may not be the right firmness even if it’s brand new. Traditionally, if you prefer to sleep on your back, you’ll want a mattress that’s extra 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. Those who prefer to sleep on their sides should go for a medium or medium-soft mattress, while those who prefer to sleep on their stomachs should try a firmer one.

Pillows can help your mattress do its job of keeping your spine in proper alignment. Think of your mattress as a pillow that covers your entire body. As long as you don’t end up with back or joint pain as a result of your normal sleeping patterns, you’re happy. Then, choose a pillow that will boost the mattress’s support.

Other Ways to Support the Neck and Spine

Sleeping on two pillows can be beneficial in some situations. For persons who sleep on their side, one pillow should be placed under the head and another between the knees. The knees of back sleepers may benefit from a pillow.

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With | Sleep Journal

It’s difficult for stomach sleepers to achieve neutral spinal and neck alignment, therefore a full-body cushion that allows for more area for breathing and air flow may be beneficial.

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 may be the most comfortable for people with tiny to average-sized heads. It is possible for larger heads to sink too far into standard pillows, therefore thicker pillows may be preferred by those with larger heads.

Weighing less means you’re less likely to sink into the mattress and hence prefer medium-thick pillows, which assist keep your spine properly aligned. 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.

If you enjoy curling up in bed to read or watch television, you might consider getting a pillow to help you relax. 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 appear more inviting, many hotel chains place rows of pillows on top of the bed and against the headboard. Pillowcases in complementary colors to your duvet covers, bed runners, blankets, and throws will give your bed a luxurious and opulent appearance. Pillow arrangement and the usual pillow size will help you get a polished look that you’ll be proud of.

If you suffer from colds, allergies, or a blocked-up nose, you may opt to prop yourself up with extra pillows.

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. The age of the pillow, as well as how frequently you change your pillow, can affect the quality of your sleep. In addition, think about whether you want a pillow that is hypoallergenic, reduces snoring, or can be washed in the dishwasher.

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.

FAQs

How many pillows should side sleepers use?

If you’re a side sleeper, you do get to use two pillows but they’re not both for your head! Having one pillow under your head and one between your knees is the greatest approach to keep your spine in proper alignment when sleeping. When you sleep on your side, your lower back and hips can be strained by the leg you lie on top.

If you’re a side sleeper, you do get to use two pillows but they’re not both for your head! Having one pillow under your head and one between your knees is the greatest approach to keep your spine in proper alignment when sleeping. When you sleep on your side, your lower back and hips can be strained by the leg you lie on top.

How many pillows should back sleepers use?

Side sleepers can utilize two pillows, but not both of them are for their heads! In order to keep your spine straight, place one pillow under your head and the other between your knees when you’re lying in bed. Your lower back and hips can be strained if you sleep on your side with your lower leg on top.

Try sleeping with a comfortable pillow under your knees and your head to relieve stress at the end of the day. In this position, the two pillows preserve your spine in its natural curve, which helps you sleep comfortably. You can also get to sleep faster if you raise your knees slightly while sleeping on your back.

How many pillows should front sleepers use?

Sleeping on your stomach is considered to be the worst posture for a good night’s sleep. This is because resting flat on your stomach exerts a lot of pressure on the back of your spine, causing it to be out of place.

In the event that you can, avoid sleeping in this position if at all possible. Put a medium-sized pillow under your pelvis if that’s the only way you can sleep soundly. 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. In order to keep your spine aligned, keep your head as low as possible.

How often should you change your pillows?

Pillows should be replaced every one to two years, according to the majority of specialists. Even the greatest memory foam pillows begin to lose their bounce after this point. If your pillow has a large dip in the centre, it may be difficult to feel comfortable.

Clean and allergen-free pillows are also a need. It’s time to buy a new pillow after the second year if your current one is getting a little soiled.

How to break in a new pillow?

It’s normal for a new pillow to feel a touch stiff at first! Put the pillow in the dryer with a couple of tennis balls and give it a fast twirl for five minutes to break in the fibers. The structure should be a little softer as a result, but the pillow’s shape should remain intact. It’s important to note that this method only works with fiber pillow, not memory foam or down pillows.

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