Is It Better to Sleep Without a Pillow - Good or Bad?

Are you someone who struggles to get a good night's sleep? Do you find that you often wake up sore or in pain?

If so, you may want to consider sleeping without a pillow.

There is no one answer that fits everyone when it comes to sleeping without a pillow.

Some people find that they sleep better and more soundly without a pillow, while others find that they need a pillow in order to get comfortable.

There are pros and cons to both sleeping without a pillow and sleeping with a pillow.

Sleeping without a pillow can help to reduce the chances of developing neck pain or other joint problems, and it can also help to keep your spine in alignment.

However, if you're not used to sleeping without a pillow, you may find that you toss and turn more during the night or that you wake up with a stiff neck.

Sleeping with a pillow can help to improve your comfort level and can also help to keep your head and neck supported.

However, if you sleep with a too-thick pillow, you may end up with neck pain. Additionally, using a pillow can cause your head and neck to stay in the same position for an extended period of time, which can lead to stiffness or discomfort.

The bottom line is that there is no one right answer when it comes to sleeping without or with a pillow. You may need to experiment a little bit to see what works best for you.

Try sleeping without a pillow for several nights and see how you feel.

If you find that you're not getting enough rest or that you're waking up sore or uncomfortable, then try using a thinner or less-stuffed pillow.

Is It Good for You to Sleep Without a Pillow?

Is it good for you to sleep without a pillow, young woman not willing to give up her pillow

Is it good to sleep without a pillow, or are pillows not really a problem when it comes to safe and healthy sleeping?

The answer to this complicated question is, well, complicated!

There are both pros and cons to sleeping without a pillow.

Generally speaking, it can be beneficial because of the natural sleeping position it allows your body to rest.

On the flip side, many people can find it very hard to get comfortable enough to sleep when they try to sleep without a pillow.

To get a full understanding of the potential risk and benefits, let’s go deeper into the pros.

Lower Risk of Neck Pain

When sleeping with pillows, it is actually very easy to cause yourself neck pain that could otherwise be avoided, especially if you are a stomach sleeper.

Necks that are bent in one way for too long will become strained, which can cause pain that lasts for a few days or even longer.

Pillows that are too soft, too firm, or not situated under your head properly can lead to this type of situation.

When your neck is pushed too far in one direction, your neck will become uncomfortable.

Even if you do not notice that difference right away, the strain your neck undergoes could cause problems in the long run.

Can Help With Posture

Depending on your sleeping position leaving the pillow off the bed might actually help with posture. That is especially true if you are a stomach sleeper.

When you sleep on your stomach, your head is turned to one side, which can put stress on your neck.

Using a pillow can add to that stress and pressure on your spine not allowing for good spine alignment.

If you're a side sleeper, you'll typically need a higher pillow to keep your spine in alignment.

This is because when you sleep on your side, your head and neck tend to slump down, which can cause fatigue and pain in the morning. A higher pillow will help keeping your neck in line with your spine.

But if you're a back sleeper, using a too-high pillow can actually cause problems.

This is because when you sleep on your back, there's a natural gap between your neck and the mattress.

If you use a too high pillow, put unnecessary pressure on your neck. A medium-height pillow is typically best for back sleepers.

So if you're looking to improve your posture, sleeping without a pillow might be the best way to go, espeically for stomach sleepers.

But be sure to experiment until you find the best setup for you.

Some Experience More Comfortable Sleep And Better Sleep Quality

More comfortable sleep and better sleep quality, woman comfortably sleeping on her stomach

If your pillow is uncomfortable or causes your neck to be in pain, you might not be able to sleep very well. It won't take long and your detoriated sleep quality will have consequences.

Sleep deprivation can be a huge problem. Not getting enough sleep affects many different processes in your body that usually happen while you are asleep.

This can include tissue repair, muscle growth, digestion, memory retention, stress relief, and blood flow.

When these systems are compromised, everything from your mental health to your appetite to your coordination can be affected.

Not getting enough sleep because of an uncomfortable pillow or pain caused by pillows could be incredibly detrimental.

If you have sleep deprivation or lack of sleep quality for a long time, it could lead to more serious conditions such as heart disease.

Can Be Better for People With Sleep Apnea

CPAP treatment, also known as continuous positive airway pressure, is important for those suffering from certain conditions such as sleep apnea.

CPAP treatment utilizes a sleep device to ensure that air is pushed through your airways at a continuous rate so that you will not stop breathing while sleeping.

Depending on how you sleep, having a pillow in your bed can actually cause the mask to come off, and this could cause big problems.

Is it Bad for You to Sleep Without a Pillow?

As we have seen above there is no definite answer on the benefits of sleeping without a pillow.

Consequently the same goes with potential drawbacks.

So before you decide to get rid of your pillow consider carefully the potential disadvantages of sleeping without a pillow.

Doesn't Allow for Proper Spinal Alignment

Sleeping on your stomach is the only sleeping position that somehow allows to leave all the pillows of the bed.

But even when you sleep on your stomach without any pillow it is not a position that is completely neutral when it comes to spine alignment.

Actually it promotes a hollow back as your body's weight is concentrated around your stomach.

Putting a pillow under your pelvis can help to eleviate that and help to avoid a hollow back position for hours on end while sleeping.

Can Cause Neck and Back Pain

Sleeping without pillow might lead to neck pain, woman sitting on bed having neck pain and holding her neck

Snoozing without your pillow can also cause Neck and Back Pain.

It again comes down to a missing alignment of your spine and the stress that puts onto your neck and back.

After a night without a pillow many people wake up with a sore or stiff neck due to hours of overextension.

Severe headaches or other pain, especially in your back, might also be the consequence.

So if you wake up with a stiff neck or sore back you might want to reconsider using a long as it is the right one for you.

How Important Is a Pillow for Sleep?

Getting sleep is important. Is it better to sleep without a pillow if you find that to be uncomfortable? Of course not!

If you need a pillow to be able to fall asleep comfortably, then use a pillow.

The main reason that some doctors and scientists have pointed out that pillows can be detrimental to sleep is that some people don’t take the time to get the right pillow.

Sure, sleeping without a pillow can have benefits. However, it is also possible to sleep with a pillow and see the same benefits as long as the pillow suits how you sleep.

It is better to sleep with a pillow if it helps you sleep rather than toss and turn all night without a pillow to provide any comfort.


Here are some points to consider when you're still worried about the problems with sleeping with a pillow:

Specialty Pillows Exist

    There are a several of specialty pillows out there that have been designed specifically to help treat common problems.

    From heartburn to neck pain, these pillows ensure that your body is better able to prevent symptoms and recover from previous problems.

    Wedge pillows, for example, can help relieve sinus problems as well as recurring heartburn when compared to sleeping in a flat position.

    Pillows that allow less pressure on your ear as well as allowing to sink in better into the pillow.

    There are even pillows designed specifically for CPAP patients.

    These pillows have cutouts for the mask so that it will not be easily knocked off during sleep.

    You Can Shop Around for Pillows

      When answering "Is it good to sleep without a pillow?", you would notice that the problems with using a pillow are easily correctable with the right pillows.

      Luckily, for most people, there are hundreds of different types of pillows on the market!

      The right pillow depends on your personal preferences, your sleeping habits, and your health issues.

      There is not one single pillow design that will work for everyone.

      It can feel high-maintenance to spend so much time shopping for the right pillow, but pillows can have a huge effect on your life quality.

      Take the time that you need to find the best fit!

      Is It Better to Sleep With One Pillow or Two?

      If your answer to "Should I sleep without a pillow?" is a yes, then the next question is how many pillows should you use?

       Is It Better to Sleep With One Pillow or Two?

      Most people should sleep with one pillow because this gives the appropriate amount of elevation and relief to the back while sleeping.

      However, those who suffer from a breathing or sleeping condition such as sleep apnea may be advised by their doctors to use two or more pillows.

      If you have this type of condition, talk with your doctor about the best sleeping position for your body.

      How Sleep Hygiene Improves Your Sleep

      Whether you decide to try sleeping without a pillow or find a better pillow for your sleep patterns, the key is that you need to find a way to improve your sleep hygiene.

      Sleep hygiene is the term used to describe how restful and healthy your sleep is.

      To make sure that you are getting enough sleep, you can try a number of tactics, such as:

      • Finding a better pillow
      • Using a sleep mask
      • Setting up a bedtime routine
      • Doing physical activity during the day
      • Changing your diet

      These are just a few ways that you can improve your sleep.

      Is It Better to Sleep Without a Pillow: The Conclusion

      Sleeping without a pillow isn’t the be-all, end-all solution to getting better sleep.

      In fact, most people will agree that sleeping with a comfortable pillow that properly supports your body will be more effective.

      It will always be better to sleep with a pillow as long as you have the right one for you.

      With so many different great pillow options on the market, take the time to find the pillow style that will support better sleeping habits in your life.

      Once you find the right fit, you’ll be amazed at how well-rested you are when you wake up each day.