Is it bad to sleep with two pillows?

Introducing the age-old debate: Is sleeping with two pillows a good idea or a potential pitfall? While the quest for the perfect sleep setup continues, the answer isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. With comfort, spinal alignment, and overall well-being on the line, the choice between one pillow or two holds more significance than we might realize. In this exploration, we delve into the pros and cons of resting our heads on a duo of cushions, navigating through the realms of sleep posture, breathing ease, and individual preferences. So, let’s unravel the layers and discover whether the double-pillow approach is a dreamy indulgence or a potential sleep disturbance.

Is it bad to sleep with two pillows?  – A guide

Sleeping with two pillows isn’t inherently bad, but whether it’s good for you or not depends on your individual comfort and any potential health considerations. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Neck and Spine Alignment: Using two pillows might elevate your head and neck too much, leading to misalignment of your spine. This can potentially cause discomfort, neck pain, and even exacerbate certain conditions like sleep apnea or acid reflux.
  2. Breathing and Sleep Quality: Elevating your head too much can affect your breathing during sleep. It might lead to shallower breathing or even blockage of airways, which can disrupt your sleep quality.
  3. Comfort: Some people find sleeping with two pillows more comfortable, especially if they have conditions like snoring, acid reflux, or nasal congestion. However, it’s important to strike a balance between comfort and maintaining good sleep posture.
  4. Individual Preferences: Sleeping positions and preferences vary widely from person to person. What works for one might not work for another. Some people might benefit from using one pillow or a thinner pillow, while others might be comfortable with two.
  5. Potential Side Effects: If you’re not used to sleeping with two pillows and suddenly start doing so, you might experience discomfort or stiffness initially as your body adjusts to the new sleeping position.
  6. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as spinal issues, might necessitate specific pillow choices. If you have any medical concerns, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

In general, the goal is to maintain proper alignment of your head, neck, and spine while you sleep, and to ensure that you’re able to breathe comfortably. If sleeping with two pillows helps you achieve this without any negative effects, then it might be fine for you. However, if you’re experiencing discomfort, pain, or disrupted sleep, it’s worth experimenting with different pillow setups or seeking advice from a healthcare provider or sleep specialist.

Should you sleep on one pillow or two? Here’s what the experts say

The question of whether to sleep on one pillow or two is a topic that has garnered varying opinions from sleep experts. While there is no definitive answer that applies universally, experts offer insights that can help guide your decision based on your individual needs and preferences.

One Pillow Advocates: Some sleep experts recommend using just one pillow to maintain proper spinal alignment. This approach ensures that your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position, which can help prevent discomfort and reduce the risk of developing neck or back pain. By keeping your body in a natural alignment, you’re more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and ache-free.

Two Pillow Advocates: On the other side of the pillow spectrum, there are experts who believe that sleeping with two pillows can offer benefits for specific situations. For individuals who suffer from snoring, acid reflux, or nasal congestion, elevating the head slightly can help alleviate these issues. Additionally, those with sleep apnea might find that using two pillows can improve airflow and breathing during the night.

Individual Factors: Ultimately, the decision between one pillow and two depends on various factors, including your sleeping position, body size, and any underlying health conditions you may have. Back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and side sleepers might each have different preferences when it comes to pillow usage. It’s important to take into account your comfort level and any potential discomfort that might arise from an improper sleeping posture.

Experiment and Consult: Rather than adhering strictly to one school of thought, consider experimenting with different pillow configurations to determine what feels most comfortable and supportive for you. If you’re unsure, seeking advice from a healthcare professional or a sleep specialist can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique needs.

In the end, the pillow debate is a matter of finding the right balance between comfort, spinal alignment, and any specific health considerations you may have. By exploring your options and heeding the advice of experts, you can make an informed choice that contributes to restful, rejuvenating sleep.

Getting the right height for your pillow

Finding the right height for your pillow is crucial for maintaining proper sleep posture and ensuring a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Here are some steps to help you determine the ideal pillow height for your needs:

  1. Sleeping Position: Consider your preferred sleeping position. Back sleepers usually need a thinner pillow to maintain proper alignment, while side sleepers may require a slightly higher pillow to support the space between the head and shoulders. Stomach sleepers often benefit from using a very thin pillow or no pillow at all to prevent excessive strain on the neck.
  2. Spinal Alignment: The goal is to keep your head, neck, and spine in a neutral alignment. When lying on your side, your head should be level with your spine; when lying on your back, your head should be supported without being pushed too far forward. Your pillow’s height should accommodate these alignments.
  3. Shoulder Width: Consider your shoulder width. If you have broader shoulders, you might need a higher pillow to fill the space between your neck and the mattress. Conversely, narrower shoulders might require a lower pillow.
  4. Pillow Material: The material of the pillow can affect its height and firmness. Memory foam pillows can compress and adjust to your head and neck, while traditional pillows with filling can be fluffed or adjusted to achieve the desired height.
  5. Personal Comfort: Ultimately, your comfort is paramount. Lie down on your bed in your usual sleeping position with the pillow(s) you have. Assess whether your head and neck feel well-supported and aligned. If you feel any discomfort, you might need to adjust the pillow’s height.
  6. Experimentation: It might take some trial and error to find the perfect pillow height. Don’t be afraid to try different pillows, adjust the number of pillows, or fold a pillow to achieve the desired height. Pay attention to how you feel when you wake up – if you experience neck pain, it might be an indicator that your pillow height needs adjustment.
  7. Special Considerations: If you have specific health conditions, such as sleep apnea, acid reflux, or chronic pain, consult with a healthcare professional or sleep specialist. They can provide tailored recommendations for the best pillow height to address your unique needs.

Remember that your pillow needs might change over time due to factors like weight loss, weight gain, or shifts in sleep position preference. Regularly assessing your pillow’s height and comfort can contribute to better sleep quality and overall well-being.


How do I know if my pillow’s height is right for me?

Determining the right pillow height involves considering your sleeping position, spinal alignment, and personal comfort. Lie down in your usual sleeping position with the pillow(s) you have. If your head and neck are aligned with your spine and you feel comfortable, the height is likely suitable. Discomfort, strain, or pain are indicators that you might need to adjust the pillow’s height.

Can I use two pillows if I sleep in different positions during the night?

Yes, using two pillows of varying heights can be a solution if you switch between sleeping positions. For instance, a thicker pillow might be suitable for side sleeping, while a thinner one could work for back sleeping. However, be mindful of ensuring that your head, neck, and spine remain properly aligned in both positions.

Will the type of pillow material affect the ideal height?

Absolutely. Different pillow materials, such as memory foam, down, or synthetic fill, can impact the pillow’s height and firmness. Memory foam pillows can conform to your head and neck, potentially affecting the required height. Experiment with various materials and densities to find the right combination that offers optimal comfort and support.


The quest for the perfect pillow height is as unique as the individual seeking it. Achieving the right balance between comfort and spinal alignment can significantly impact the quality of your sleep and overall well-being. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and the ideal pillow height might change as your body and sleep preferences evolve.

Pay close attention to your body’s signals, experiment with different options, and don’t hesitate to seek advice from experts if you encounter persistent discomfort or sleep issues. Whether you opt for a single pillow, a duo, or something in between, prioritizing your sleep health is the key to waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

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