How Many Pillows Sould You Sleep With?


The question of how many pillows we need is a personal one, though there are some factors that should be considered. It’s not just the number, but the positioning of the pillows that is important. Achieving the correct balance of support and comfort makes for deeper sleep and avoids the possibility of waking up with a sore neck. The type of pillow may also be important if the degree of firmness or susceptibility to allergies is an issue.


The position in which you sleep – on your back, your front or your side – is an important factor in choosing how many pillows you need.

BACK – A single pillow is probably sufficient if you sleep on your back. Minimising the angle of your neck by having a pillow that is too thin or extending that angle by using too big a pillow, or too may pillows, can strain the muscles in your neck and mean you wake up feeling sore.

SIDE – When you sleep on your side, the distance between the mattress and your head is greater, so it may be more comfortable to use two pillows. Some people even like to use a third pillow, placed between their knees, to keep their hips in line and their spine straight.

FRONT – People who sleep on their stomach often find they need the least support of all, some choosing a thin pillow and others not using a pillow at all.


Certain health conditions can be mitigated by the extra support pillows provide so that the ways in which these conditions interfere with sleep can be minimised.

ACID REFLUX – This can be reduced by using multiple pillows, according to your size and personal comfort needs. Piling up pillows to support you in what is almost a sitting position prevents acid from your stomach bleeding up into your throat and causing discomfort..

BACK PAIN – Keeping one’s spine straight whilst sleeping is crucial in avoiding exacerbating back pain. This can be done by placing a pillow under your knees, for back sleepers, or between your knees, for side sleepers, reducing the pressure placed on your back muscles.

SLEEP APNEA/SNORING – The important issue here is to try and keep your airways open and this can be aided by using more than one pillow, or an orthopaedic pillow, designed for this purpose.


You probably know the type of pillow that best suits you. Just remember that pillows filled with down flatten, becoming thinner with use, whilst memory foam pillows keep their shape and maintain a good level of support.


The number of pillows that is best for you is something to experiment with. If you have health issues, you might want to consult a healthcare professional as to what is best for you. But the main thing is to value quality, find out what suits you best and ensure that your favoured sleeping position is being supported by your pillows in comfort.