A good night’s sleep is a combination of multiple factors - a good mattress, a good duvet, good sheets, and - as we’ll explore here - a good pillow. But when it comes to getting the best rest possible, how many pillows should we actually be sleeping with? And why does the number of pillows you sleep with matter?
How Many Pillows Is Best?
Whilst sleeping with two or more pillows can be a popular choice, less is actually best. In fact, a single, high quality pillow is all you need. A good pillow will keep your neck, spine, and head neutrally aligned throughout the night, no matter what position you sleep in. Think of this alignment similarly to your posture throughout the day; ideally your head should be comfortably squared right in the middle of your shoulders. But why is this important? Keeping these parts of your body in alignment not only is more comfortable, but will mean you’re less likely to wake up with aches and pains.
Why Should We Opt For One Pillow?
There are a couple of reasons why opting for one pillow is beneficial, and as we mentioned earlier, this is all to do with keeping your neck, spine and head in a comfortable neutral alignment. Here’s how sleeping with multiple pillows can affect this position.
Firstly, if you're sleeping with multiple pillows, your spine and neck may end up being curved upwards. All the additional wadding pushes these away from their neutral alignment. The result is waking up with soreness in these areas.
On the opposite end of the scale, sleeping on multiple pillows can cause them to flatten over time. This can end up causing your spine and neck to curve downwards, as there isn’t adequate support. This again can lead to waking up with neck and back pain.
However, there is an exception to the rule. If you sleep on your side, two pillows can be beneficial. But, this second pillow isn’t for your head to rest on. Rather, you can position it between your knees. This helps reduce any extra stress that this position can place on your spine, as well as your hips and lower back.
It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that proper support doesn’t just come down to having a single pillow. It comes down to having a high-quality single pillow. A flat, unsupportive pillow will lead to neck and back ache too.
How Do You Choose The Right Pillow?
A good pillow will provide the right level support for your neck and spine. But that’s not the only factor that makes a pillow right for you. Here’s what to look out for when you’re searching for one:
- It should be supportive and comfortable.
- It should work for you whatever position you lie in - side, front or back.
- It should be made from temperature-regulating materials.
- It should be made from hypoallergenic fabrics.
- It should be easy to clean, with removable covers.
Some personal preference may come into this decision too. Our Hybrid pillows and Hybrid firm pillows take this into account, both of which can be compared here. For instance, they provide different, customisable support levels; the Hybrid pillow has adjustable Nanocubes filling, whilst the Hybrid firm pillow has layers that you can remove. If you are a front sleeper, soft-to-medium support may suit you best. This will keep your body in optimum alignment. On the other hand, if you’re a side sleeper, medium support will keep your neck and spine in the most comfortable position.
Is It Better To Sleep Without A Pillow?
This is a hot discussion point. Sleeping without a pillow can bring benefits for certain people, especially those who sleep on their front. This is because sleeping flat on a mattress can get the neck, head, and back in the all-important neutral alignment, and reduce any arching.
Understandably though, this may not be an appealing option for everyone. And, for those who sleep on their back or side, a lack of pillow could lead to additional pressure being placed on their neck. Ultimately, sleeping without a pillow may be better for stomach sleepers who have a preference for it.