How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?

April 21, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team
White pillow on the bed White pillow on the bed White pillow on the bed

There are two types of people in this world: those who sleep with one pillow and those who sleep with a thousand of them. 

Here at Casper, we’re not in the market of shaming your pillow count (or lack thereof). Every person has a bedtime routine that works for them, and that fact is worthy of a celebratory snooze. 

That said, we are interested in the science of sleep. And that leads us to the question of how many pillows should you sleep with?

So, what does science have to say about the optimal number of pillows?

According to sleep experts, you should sleep with only one pillow under your head, however, preference and sleeping position often take the lead when it comes to considerations for the ideal number of pillows.

Read on to learn why we recommend sleeping with a high-quality single pillow.

The Thing About Sleep

The funny thing about sleeping is that everyone does it differently. What might be the perfect amount of pillows for one person could totally throw off someone else’s slumber. With that in mind, there are some factors to consider when choosing how many pillows to sleep with.

In an ideal world, everyone would have a single pillow that fits all their needs. The right pillow should provide:

  • Neck support – A neutral spine is the name of the game when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. A sleeping pillow with the right amount of support will keep your spine in a neutral position, thus preventing a stiff neck and tight shoulders in the morning.
  • Ample head space – A pillow that’s too small can put you in an awkward position—literally. If you tend to move around in your sleep, you’ll want a pillow with a good amount of surface area. Otherwise, you may find yourself waking up with your head flat on the mattress.
  • Malleability – Depending on your sleeping position, the right pillow should conform to your body’s natural shape. Stomach sleepers will need a softer pillow that allows their head to sink in, while back and side sleepers may fluff, bend, or squeeze their pillow during the night. A good pillow should have soft, malleable material that doesn’t lose its structural integrity over time.1

Still, the question remains—why don’t all pillows meet these basic needs? And is the solution more or fewer pillows?

Everyone is Different

Everyone’s body is built differently. For side and back sleepers and people with wide shoulders, one sleeping pillow may not comfortably fill the gap between their head and the mattress. This lack of support in bed can lead to neck pain, poor quality sleep, and even headaches.2

For those who prefer stomach sleeping, a pillow with too much support may be the problem. A thick or firm pillow can tilt the neck too high, irritate the face, and disrupt breathing.

Hearing this, you might think that you should change the number of pillows you sleep with to match your body’s natural sleeping position—but that’s not exactly the case.

How Many Pillows Should I Sleep With?

While sleeping with two or more pillows each night may work for some people, pillow stacking can lead to its own set of problems that are worth considering, such as:

  • The squished stack – Multiple thin pillows and one thick pillow provide two entirely different sleep experiences. While a single pillow with moderate thickness will usually hold its shape, two thinner pillows can create something called the squished stack. The squished stack occurs when two or more flimsy pillows are being squeezed together by the weight of your head. Repeated stacking can result in loss of structure and essentially leave you with two flat, misshapen pillows. Due to the loss of structure caused by pillow stacking, the recommended time frame for how often you should replace pillows will be shorter than usual. 
  • The tower – Another problem with multiple pillows is that they may be stacked too high—also known as the tower. When you sleep with your head at an incline, your spine loses its normal level of cervical curvature (which is just a fancy name for your neck’s natural curve). This can result in stiffness and even make falling asleep more challenging.

The bottom line: Sleeping with multiple pillows may seem like a supportive choice, but it could be disrupting your spine’s natural alignment. For this reason, sleeping with one thicker pillow is generally the preferred option.

Finding The Right Pillow with Casper

So, how many pillows should you sleep with? If it’s a Casper pillow, one will do.

If you’re looking to ditch the multi-pillow life, Casper can help. We provide sleepers three unique types of pillows to fit their nighttime needs:

  • The Original Casper Pillow – The Original Casper Pillow is filled to perfection with a supportive down alternative. Our unique pillow-in-pillow design combines the fluffiness of a single pillow with the support of two. Not to mention, the 100 percent cotton pillowcase remains cool and breathable on even the hottest nights.
  • The Foam Pillow – Side and back sleepers who need neck support should look no further than the Casper Foam Pillow. Our three-layer design reinforces spinal alignment without sacrificing comfort.
  • The Down Pillow – Filled with 100 percent ethically-sourced down feathers, the Casper Down Pillow is like sleeping on a cloud. Sleepers who value softness will appreciate the comfortable support this pillow provides. The 5-chamber design makes this an ideal pillow choice for back, side, and stomach sleepers alike. 

There you have it — an answer to the age-old pillow debate. One pillow is a win, two can be a gamble, but a Casper pillow is always a safe bet.

Related Content:

What is a Down Pillow?

Sources:

  1. The Sleep Doctor. How to Pick the Perfect Pillow. https://thesleepdoctor.com/2017/10/09/how-to-pick-the-perfect-pillow/ 
  2. Physioworks. What’s the Classic Signs of an Unsupportive Pillow? https://physioworks.com.au/faq/whats-the-classic-signs-of-an-unsupportive-pillow/