July 31, 2017

Is Sleeping with Two Pillows Bad for You? (Ideal Number of Pillows for Sleeping)

Pillows are supposed to be comfortable and plush, but sleeping with two pillows or more can be detrimental to your health. Whether you believe it or not, the number of pillows you sleep on may be responsible for the bad sleep you experience on daily basis.

sleeping with two pillows

The answer to this question is simple and straightforward. The number of pillows you need to support your neck and head during sleep is one. The main purpose of the pillow is to keep the head aligned with the spine, and also ensure that your breathing airway remains open. If the angle of your neck is too far in one direction it can lead to a disruption in your sleep, or the development of a stiff neck or the partial blockage of your breathing airway. It is believed that sleeping with more than one pillow can block your breathing airway, which in turn can cause you snore heavily.

Aside the fact that sleeping with two pillows is bad for neck, it can also increase your body temperature rapidly because heat is generated. As a slumber, you should know that a single pillow is just more than enough to support your body weight, regardless of whether you are a side sleeper, stomach sleeper or back sleeper. If you discover that a single pillow is not comfortable for you then there are chances that you are using the wrong pillow.

Aside from using the ideal pillow, there are several other factors that may contribute to the effect of the pillow you choose, on your body. These factors include;

  • Your sleeping position,

  • The size of your body,

  • The firmness or softness of the pillow , and

  • Any underlying medical conditions you have

The number of pillows for sleeping may not change your situation for better of some underlying medical conditions are not treated. A High loft pillow for instance, is the most suitable type of pillow for the side sleepers, the pillow, however is not ideal for the back and stomach sleepers because it will narrow down the angle of the neck in an awkward position , thus raising the risks of developing neck pains when they wake up.

If you’re finding a pillow for your neck pain, this pillow might do the trick as well.

Even if you are sleeping with more than one pillow and you are comfortable for the moment, you need to check that such pillows will not trigger some allergies, because not all pillows come with hypo-allergenic materials, hence you need to learn more about the brand you are choosing. With lots of different types of pillows in the market today, sometimes, it may seem all the effort invested in getting the right pillow may not worth it afterall.

Reasons Why You Should Not Use More Than One Pillow

Sleeping with two pillows come with more negative side effects than positive effects. Two pillows can be regarded as one too many and the reason being that stacking one pillow on top of another will add more height, which can trigger a number of problems including stiff neck and snoring. The only benefit you will probably get from using more than one pillow is that you can put one below your head and another beside you.

You may be saying to yourself “But I feel more comfortable propping up an extra pillow under my head”. If you are comfortable sleeping at awkward angle, then you may be suffering from an underlying medical issue that seems to help your body remain comfortable at such awkward position. According to medical experts, when you feel that you are breathing much better when you prop up and extra below your head, you might be having some lung or heart complications, in some cases, you may be suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux, you need to speak to your doctor to deal with the situation.

Aside from the underlying medical conditions, having a second or even third pillow can cause you to toss and turn, which means your body will shift from time to time, while you are sleeping, this will force you to sleep in an awkward position for the rest of the night. Having a single pillow under your head can simplify your sleeping process and help you wake up fresh in the morning.

Just because you use one pillow under your head does not mean you can’t use two or more pillows to support other parts of your body. As a matter of fact, you can use two or more pillow to provide optimal support to some sensitive body parts such as; the sagging areas, that may put extra pressure on the spine. You may need more than one pillow if you suffer from back pain.

What Are The Ideal Number of Pillows For Side, Back and Stomach Sleepers?

Side Sleepers- For side sleepers, two pillows are recommended but one pillow should be under the head and the second pillow should be placed in-between the knees. When you are in the side sleeping position, the leg that is resting on the top can easily pull on the spine, thus causing stress on your hips as well as the lower back. With a pillow in-between your legs, you can sleep with your knees pulled up toward your chest.

Back Sleepers- For back sleepers, two pillows are recommended, which means, one pillow under your head and the other pillow under the pelvis or stomach. When you sleep on your stomach, the back of your spine can be stressed, causing it to pull out of position. Putting a flat pillow in-between your stomach and the bed can align your spine much better. Make sure the pillow below your head is almost flat.


The argument for the number of pillows recommended for usage can continue for a while, but sticking to the rules of two pillows (with just one below your head), can help a lot in preventing some health complications associated with stiff neck, bad alignment of spine and partial blockage of the breathing airway way which can cause snoring and some other breathing problems.

You wouldn't want to miss out our recommendations for best sleeping pillows and best pillows ever of all time.

    Caryn Agnes

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