What Number of Pillows Should You Sleep With?

What number of pillows should you sleep with? – Shocking revelation! It is not compulsory to sleep with two pillows. The sole purpose of a pillow is to give your head balance while sleeping. Sleeping with two pillows is advisable only for folks with partners. If your pet sleeps on the bed with you, you do not need to have a pillow for it.

Alright, can we say having two pillows on your bed is totally bad?  Let’s find out more about the number of pillows you should sleep with and its exceptions. Keep scrolling.


Exemptions and Rules

1. Side Sleepers

Side sleepers are exempted from the rule of one pillow per bed. They should use two pillows as one will go for their head and the other will go for their knees. Sleeping sideways can be a bit complicated if your body is not well aligned.

The sideways position can stress your spine and neck if you do not rest your body on a balance like a pillow. So if you are a side sleeper, go ahead and use the two pillows, you need them.

2. Back Sleepers

One pillow is ideal for back sleepers. All they need is get a soft pillow which will give their head balance. The other parts of your body are well inclined so you do not pose any risk of stress or pain. Your back is treated appropriately and your spine is safe.

Back sleeping is the best position to aim if you truly desire to sleep within seconds in bed and to stay healthy. Check out how to fall asleep within few seconds here.

3. Front Sleepers

This position of sleep is tagged to be the worst of all sleeping positions. Side sleepers are good to go with one pillow. One soft pillow will save you from headaches and neck pain. However, you should try not to eat late to bed if you are a front sleeper. You run the risk of stomach upset and indigestion. Read more on the dangers of eating just before bed here.

Front sleepers could also sleep properly without a pillow. If you are a front sleeper and cannot get a soft pillow, you can still get maximum rest and sound sleep without a pillow. Using a firm pillow will make you have pains in your neck and you will have body aches when you wake at dawn.  

4. Pregnant Sleepers

If you are pregnant with your child, you must use a body pillow to align your body properly while on the bed. Pillows must also be placed beside your knees, right behind your back, and in front of your stomach. As a pregnant woman, you need extra care and support when it comes to sleeping techniques and rules.

5. Back Pain Sleepers

You have just been diagnosed with chronic back pain – the recommended number of pillows for you will be just one which must be placed right between your knees or beside your ribs to align your spine and give it rest.

6. Multiple Positions

Some individuals sleep with more than one sleeping position. If you are a multiple-position sleeper, the ideal number of pillows for you is two. One for your head another for your knee. However, you can switch the pillow for your knee to your stomach or back. It all depends on how comfortable you are.

Similarly, multiple sleepers can also use the pillow. It comes like this, you might be are a multiple-position sleeper, you will have a dominant sleep style. If your dominant sleep style is the back position, you are on the path to using just one pillow.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I feel Like I need more than one pillow?

There are two answers to this question. The first goes thus; you could feel the need to buy another pillow simply because your current pillow is not good enough and does not suit your sleeping position. To solve this issue, know your sleeping position and get a softer pillow.

Secondly, you might feel the need for a second pillow just because you feel it is normal to have two pillows on the bed. In this scenario, try to ignore the thought and focus more on maximizing your current pillow.

How can I choose the right pillow?

When you are set to get a new mattress, you should be considering buying a new pillow too. Find out ways to buy the best mattress here.

Buying a new pillow requires the following consideration

  • Temperature: if you have sweaty skin, you should consider buying a soft and gel-made pillow. They are designed specifically for that purpose so get it.
  • Filling: what the pillow is made of is also important. Memory foams are the best bet and if you are a back sleeper consider a thin pillow. Make sure the pillow has exactly what is on the label. Check and check again.
  • Sleep position: like I earlier said, know your sleeping positions to make better decisions on the type of pillows you need to purchase.
Pillow: What number of pillows should you sleep with

Why do doctors ask how many pillows you use?

Your doctor asks this question mainly to be able to give a better diagnosis and prescription if you are showing symptoms of shortness of breath that mostly lead to heart failure.

The number of pillows you use can cause what is known as orthopnea – it is the shortness of breath or difficulty experienced while breathing.

What are the best pillow brands I can choose from?

What are the advantages of sleeping without a pillow?

It is not a mystery to know that sleeping without a pillow has no side effects. Some of the advantages of sleeping without a pillow include:

  • Prevention of facial acne
  • Alleviates stress
  • Dealing with headaches
  • Helps you avoid head and neck pain.

Facts about pillows

  • Pillows were once banned in the year 1500 by the Great King Henry VIII. Imagine getting arrested because you are using a pillow. How funny.
  • The Japanese once used the pillow called Taka-Makura also known as the Tall pillow as a ritual for their apprentices.
  •  In the earliest form of civilization, owning a pillow was a sign of being wealthy.
  • The ancient Chinese pillow was made of bamboo, jade, bronze, porcelain, and wood.
  • Romans and Greeks were the first to develop soft pillows.
  • The modern-day pillow originated from the industrial revolution.
  • Pillow can sometimes be used as an interior decoration.
  • Pillows expire just as mattresses do too.


Society has a way of conditioning your thoughts and decisions, you have to know your stand and stick to it unwavering. There is no compulsory rule that all mattresses must contain two pillows, or that you must sleep with two pillows. Each of these ideas is a product of a societal construct.

Now you know that you can sleep with just one pillow if you choose to and two pillows if you fall within the exemptions I indicated above.