How many pillows does the average person sleep with?

Pillows play an essential role in our daily lives, particularly when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. They provide comfort, and support, and can even contribute to overall sleep quality. However, the number of pillows a person sleeps with varies greatly from one individual to another, and it is influenced by personal preferences, sleeping positions, and specific health needs.

In this guide, we will delve into the factors that determine how many pillows the average person sleeps with and provide some tips on choosing the right pillow for your sleep style.

How many pillows does the average person sleep with? – Detailed guide

Factors Affecting Pillow Preference:

  1. Sleeping Position: The way you sleep greatly influences your pillow needs. There are three primary sleeping positions:
    • Back Sleepers: Those who sleep on their backs typically require one medium-firm pillow to support the natural curvature of the spine and neck.
    • Side Sleepers: Side sleepers often benefit from two or more pillows. One pillow for the head and another between the knees can help align the spine properly.
    • Stomach Sleepers: People who sleep on their stomachs may use a very thin or no pillow at all to reduce strain on the neck.
  2. Personal Comfort Preferences: Some individuals prefer a minimalistic approach and only use one pillow for their head, while others enjoy the luxurious feel of multiple pillows for added comfort and elevation.
  3. Health Considerations: People with certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea or acid reflux, might require additional pillows to alleviate symptoms or ensure they sleep comfortably.
  4. Allergies: Those with allergies may use hypoallergenic pillows or pillow covers, which can impact the number of pillows they use.
  5. Mattress Type: The type and firmness of your mattress can also affect your pillow needs. A softer mattress may require fewer pillows for support compared to a firmer one.

Choosing the Right Pillow:

Now that you understand the factors influencing pillow preference, here are some tips for selecting the right pillows:

  1. Consider Your Sleeping Position: Choose a pillow that suits your primary sleeping position. Look for options designed specifically for back, side, or stomach sleepers.
  2. Material Matters: Pillows come in various materials like memory foam, latex, feather, and synthetic fill. Select a material that aligns with your comfort and support requirements.
  3. Firmness Level: Pillow firmness varies from soft to firm. Back sleepers typically prefer medium-firm pillows, while side sleepers may opt for firmer ones. Stomach sleepers usually prefer a soft pillow.
  4. Pillow Size: Pillow sizes can vary, from standard to king-sized. Consider your bed size and personal comfort preferences when choosing pillow size.
  5. Budget: Pillows come in a wide price range. Set a budget, but also keep in mind that investing in a quality pillow can significantly impact your sleep quality.
  6. Allergies and Health Concerns: If you have allergies or specific health needs, opt for hypoallergenic pillows or those designed for your condition.

The number of pillows the average person sleeps with is subjective and depends on factors like sleeping position, comfort preferences, and health considerations. Ultimately, the right number of pillows for you is the one that helps you achieve a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Take the time to assess your needs, choose the right pillow(s), and enjoy the benefits of improved sleep quality. Remember that a good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and well-being.

What’s the most recommended number of pillows to sleep with?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the most recommended number of pillows to sleep with, as it varies from person to person based on individual preferences and needs. However, I can provide some general guidelines based on common sleeping positions:

  1. Back Sleepers: Most experts recommend one medium-firm pillow for back sleepers. This pillow should provide adequate support to maintain the natural curvature of the spine while keeping the head in a comfortable, neutral position.
  2. Side Sleepers: Side sleepers often benefit from using two pillows. One pillow for the head and another between the knees can help align the spine properly and reduce pressure points.
  3. Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleeping is generally not recommended as it can strain the neck and spine. If you are a stomach sleeper, it’s best to use a very thin pillow or no pillow at all to minimize neck strain.
  4. Combination Sleepers: If you frequently change sleeping positions during the night (e.g., switching from side to back), you may need to adjust the number of pillows accordingly. Typically, one or two pillows should suffice for combination sleepers.
  5. Health and Comfort Preferences: Some individuals may have specific health conditions or personal comfort preferences that require them to use more pillows. For example, people with sleep apnea may use extra pillows to elevate their upper body for better breathing, and those with acid reflux may benefit from a wedge-shaped pillow.

Ultimately, the most recommended number of pillows is the one that allows you to sleep comfortably and wake up feeling rested without experiencing any neck or back pain. It’s important to consider your individual needs, experiment with different pillow arrangements, and choose pillows that align with your sleeping style and comfort preferences. Pay attention to how your body feels in the morning and make adjustments as necessary to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pillows should I use if I’m a side sleeper?

For side sleepers, it’s generally recommended to use two pillows. One pillow should support your head and neck, while the other can be placed between your knees. This arrangement helps align your spine, reduces pressure on your hips, and promotes a more comfortable sleep posture.

Is it okay to use more than two pillows for added comfort?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use more than two pillows if it enhances your comfort and sleep quality. Some people enjoy having extra pillows for added cushioning, elevation, or support. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between comfort and maintaining proper spinal alignment to avoid waking up with neck or back pain.

Can using too many pillows be harmful?

Using too many pillows, especially if they are not appropriately positioned, can potentially strain your neck and lead to discomfort. It’s crucial to ensure that the pillows you use provide adequate support and maintain a neutral spine alignment. Using excessively high pillows or multiple pillows stacked on top of each other can lead to poor sleep posture and potential health issues.


The number of pillows the average person sleeps with varies based on personal preferences, sleeping positions, and specific needs. While some individuals find comfort and support with just one pillow, others, particularly side sleepers, may benefit from using two pillows to ensure proper spinal alignment.

It’s important to prioritize comfort and spinal health when choosing the number of pillows to sleep with. Experiment with different pillow arrangements and listen to your body’s signals to find the ideal configuration that allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and free from discomfort. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve a good night’s sleep, and the number of pillows you use should support that objective.

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