person sleeping with pillow in bed

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With at Night?

by
/ February 25, 2022

If you sleep with the wrong number of pillows, your body will usually let you know as soon as you wake up. Chances are, you'll experience neck pain, back pain, and maybe even a headache. The thing is, how many pillows you should sleep with depends on a few different factors, including your sleep position and whether or not you have chronic pain. 

Here's everything you need to know about choosing the perfect amount of pillows to sleep with each night.

How many pillows should you sleep with?

The number of pillows you should sleep with depends on a variety of factors, including your sleep position and any health conditions you might have. In general, though, experts recommend most people sleep with one to two pillows per night. 

How many pillows should back sleepers use?

Back sleepers need to make sure they have the proper head alignment as they sleep. The easiest way to achieve this is by reaching for a memory foam pillow. In this case, one pillow under the head should provide the proper alignment for back sleepers.

How many pillows should side sleepers use?

Side sleepers do best with one slightly thicker and firmer pillow under the head. A memory foam pillow or poly-fiber-filled pillow that can contour to your body will help support your neck as you sleep. If you're a side sleeper, you may also want to consider placing a second pillow between your knees. This will help ensure you receive total body support while you sleep. Just make sure to choose a firmer pillow for between the knees so it doesn't lose its shape as you sleep. 

How many pillows should stomach sleepers use?

If you're a stomach sleeper, think about changing your sleep position. Most sleep experts recommend not sleeping in this position because it can put strain on your neck and back. That said, if you're committed to stomach-sleeping, then one thin pillow under your head should suffice. You may also want to place a pillow underneath your pelvis to help keep your spine in neutral alignment. 

How many pillows should people with back pain use?

To help prevent back pain, finding a pillow that keeps your neck perfectly aligned is crucial. You can choose from a variety of materials that can help achieve this. Memory foam, latex, and down can all help support the neck and relieve back pain. Place one pillow under your head and consider using an orthopedic body pillow as well. (Check out our guide to correct pillow posture to ensure you don't wake up with aches.)

How many pillows should people with neck pain use?

Similar to the recommendations for pillows for people with back pain, using one pillow under your head and adding a body pillow is the ideal scenario if you have neck pain. Choose a medium-firm pillow that will keep its shape and, in turn, help you find relief while you sleep. 

How many pillows should snorers use?

The most important thing to do if you snore is to keep your head elevated as you sleep, so you may need to use a couple of pillows to prop yourself up in bed if you're a back sleeper. You can also try switching up your sleep position and sleeping on your side to help keep your airways open and prevent snoring. If you try side-sleeping, then follow the pillow recommendations for this sleep position: one slightly thicker and firmer pillow under the head and an optional firm pillow between the knees. 

FAQs

Is it better to sleep with 1 or 2 pillows?

In general, most people can sleep well with one pillow under their head. In certain cases, you may benefit from an additional pillow, such as one between your knees if you’re a side sleeper or under your pelvis if you’re a stomach sleeper. If you're concerned, talk with your chiropractor or doctor for additional pillow recommendations.

How many pillows are best for sleep?

Typically, experts recommend one or two pillows for healthy sleep. How many are right for you will depend on your sleep position and whether you experience pain or are a snorer. (Learn about pillowcase sizes and how to choose the right size for you.)

Is it healthy to sleep with 3 pillows?

Sleeping with more than one or two pillows could put strain on your neck and lead to pain. Typically, one or two pillows should be sufficient for most people. 

Get high-quality pillows at Saatva

Saatva makes pillows that suit every sleep style and concern. All of our pillows are made with high-quality, luxury materials like natural latex, graphite memory foam, and organic cotton. Whether you're looking for a latex pillowmemory foam pillow, or down alternative pillow, we have plenty of options to choose from to upgrade your sleep. 

Brittany Leitner

Brittany Leitner

Brittany Leitner is a freelance writer, editor, and poet based in Brooklyn, NY. She was previously the senior lifestyle editor at Elite Daily and managing editor at The Dr. Oz Show. Her work covers health, wellness, beauty, and travel. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @britariail.

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