How Many Pillows Should You Sleep On?

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night or just don’t feel comfortable, you may not be using enough pillows. Pillows are things we take for granted, and that’s not surprising given that when you go to bed you just want to get some sleep. But the truth is, the number of pillows you sleep on can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and being kept awake.

How Many Pillows Do You Need?

How to Find the Best Pillows for SleepingTo get healthy sleep, you should use enough pillows to remove the angle between your shoulder and head. This will vary with people so you need to experiment until you find what you’re comfortable with. Some people for instance, can sleep fine with just one pillow as long as it’s large enough and comfortable.

The last point is especially important because in the end that’s what pillows are for, to make sleeping comfortable. For some, it doesn’t matter if they sleep with just a single pillow provided that it’s soft enough. But for others it just isn’t enough.

As far as numbers go, here are the most widely used:

  • One pillow for the head
  • Two pillows, one for the head, and one that they hug
  • Two pillows, one for the head and one for the feet
  • Three pillows, one for the head, the feet and one below the knees

You can choose from any of those above and see what works for you best. However, you’re not limited to that since some people use up to six pillows scattered all over their bed.

Sleeping with More Than One Pillow

Sleeping with one pillow is pretty straightforward as you just place it under your head, but if you’re going to use more than one, make certain that your neck doesn’t turn at an angle that makes you uncomfortable. Also keep in mind that using more pillows doesn’t necessarily equals comfort, as you must use them properly.

If you’re sleeping with at least two pillows, arrange them before you go to bed so you can lie down in the proper position. This is very important because improper sleep posture could lead to a stiff neck or cause soreness in other parts of the body. In addition, improper use of pillows leads to sleep breathing problems and even sleep apnea.

Tips for Using Pillows Effectively

Regardless how many pillows you use, there are ways to arrange them that will translate into healthy sleep.

  • As you lie down, your body should be in a midline position where your neck and head are relatively straight. If you’re going to use a single pillow, make sure that it’s not too flat because it will cause your head to fall down into the mattress.
  • Don’t stack two pillows under your head because it will raise your head to an angle. This can be very uncomfortable and cause a stiff neck. A much better option is to use a single, large pillow.
  • If you sleep on the side, put a pillow between your legs as this provides additional support.

As you can see, there is no “right” answer when it comes to the number of pillows, as it’s up to your personal preference, but the tips above should be able to give you ideas how to arrange your pillows.

If you sleep on your back, try putting a pillow below your legs for extra support. Now if you’re among those who like to sleep on their stomach, place a pillow below your hips rather than your head. However, sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended because it’s hard to keep the position and could induce body aches.

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