Is it Better to Sleep With or Without a Pillow?

It may be inconceivable to sleep without a pillow but many people do. A quality mattress and pillow are an unbeatable combination for restorative sleep. But, could sleeping without a pillow be best for you? 

Muscle tension is caused when you are unable to find a comfortable position in bed

Why Does My Pillow Cause Pain? 

Your neck and spine are sensitive and could be prone to strains and pains from sleeping wrong. You may be suffering pain from a pillow that is too flat, too high, or too lumpy. Muscle tension is caused when you are unable to find a comfortable position in bed. You may experience headaches, insomnia, and neck pain from sleeping on an inadequate pillow.   

Can Sleeping Without a Pillow Help My Posture? 

The benefits of sleeping with a pillow under your head allow a neutral position of your spine. Good posture aligns the spine, preventing drooping shoulders and an arched back in your waking hours. Even when sleeping you can correct bad posture with a quality pressure relieving mattress and pillow. 

Pros of Sleeping With a Pillow 

Aligns the Spine

A pressure-relieving mattress helps to keep your spine straight as you sleep. A pillow can support the natural curve of your spine by elevating your head, preventing your neck and shoulders from becoming stiff from sleeping wrong. 

Prevents Neck and Back Pain

A thin pillow may be suitable for stomach sleepers but if you are a back sleeper, or you enjoy sleeping on your side, it may be best to avoid neck and back pain by sleeping with a pillow under your head. A pillow between your knees as a side sleeper or under your knees as a back sleeper can bring additional comfort.

Eases Insomnia  

Insomnia can be caused by many reasons, sleeping on an uncomfortable pillow that does not provide enough support can cause neck and back strain. Not being able to find a comfortable sleeping position leads to tossing, turning, and loss of restorative sleep. Bed comfort is essential to good quality sleep and this includes good spine alignment from a pressure-relieving mattress and pillow. 

Increases Energy 

Feeling energized in your waking hours comes down to good food, fresh air, water, good times, and a restorative sleep every night. Sleep disorders from an uncomfortable pillow and mattress steal quality sleep and vital daytime energy. Sleepers should not sleep without a pillow unless you are a strict stomach sleeper, in this instance, a thin pillow may be suitable or none at all depending on your preference.  

Ease Allergies 

If you suffer from allergies or find yourself sneezing in the mornings, it may be time to upgrade your pillow. Over time, your pillow accumulates dead skin cells, skin oils, saliva, dust, and animal dander. If your pillow is washable you could try washing it before replacing it. A pillow protector could ease allergies too as well as replacing your pillowcase every few days.  

Prevents Headaches  

Morning headaches could be caused by head and neck strain from sleeping on an uncomfortable pillow. Keeping your spine in a natural position on a pressure-relieving mattress and head on a comfortable pillow can aid blood flow, limiting headaches.  

Cons of Sleeping With a Pillow

May not be Comfortable for Some Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers may want to forgo the pillow entirely. If you sleep on your stomach, a thin pillow under the stomach can help to keep the spine aligned. Stomach sleepers may experience back pain as their hips can sink into the mattress if it is too soft. 

Unbreathable Materials Causing Acne

Old pillows are packed with dead skin cells, saliva, dust, animal dander, and skin oils. Side sleepers who sleep with their cheek pressed against the pillow may experience acne or wrinkles. A breathable pillow with a pillow protector and cotton pillowcase could help keep skin clear and bright.  

Inadequate Pillow Causing Strain 

A pillow that is too flat, too high, or too lumpy may cause strain, putting your neck at risk of pain from sleeping in a bad position. Take note of how you feel when you wake up. Do you suffer from headaches, neck pain, or strain? If so, an upgrade may be best for your sleep health. 

Does a Side Sleeper Need a Pillow?

Yes, under your head and between knees

Does a Back Sleeper Need a pillow?

Yes, under your head and knees

Does a Stomach Sleeper Need a Pillow?

Yes, a thin pillow under hips (maybe a thin pillow under head depending on personal preference)


What is the Best Type of Pillow?

A luxurious down-alternative AirFiber™ pillow will provide much comfort whatever your sleeping position. Airfoam™ pillows are made of temperature-neutral foam with an Outlast® phase-change cotton cover for just the right amount of support and comfort. Memory foam pillows could provide some comfort too but may sleep hot due to the heat-trapping chemicals.  

Sleeping without a pillow comes naturally to stomach sleepers but may find a pillow under the hips beneficial


Sleeping without a pillow comes naturally to stomach sleepers but may find a pillow under the hips beneficial. Back and side sleepers will benefit from a good quality pillow of foam or down-alternative. Sleeping with a pillow could ease insomnia, help keep your skin clear, and help you sleep better as there is no strain being put on your neck. As long as you are waking up pain-free and refreshed every morning, a pillow is your personal choice depending on your preference and sleep style.  

What is the Healthiest Sleeping Position?

The healthiest sleeping position is on your left side as this eases acid reflux, heartburn, snoring, and is comfortable. Whether you are a back sleeper, side, stomach sleeper, or combo sleeper, a pressure-relieving mattress is essential to nighttime comfort. A foam or down alternative pillow under your head will keep your spine aligned and airways open.  

Is it Better to Sleep With or Without a Pillow?

That depends on your sleeping position. Stomach sleepers typically sleep without a pillow but if you are a stomach sleeper and notice morning neck pain, a thin pillow could help. Back, side, and combo sleepers all benefit from foam or down alternative pillows under their head at night. Keeping your airways open and spine aligned to avoid morning pain.   

What is the Benefits of Sleeping Without a Pillow?

Sleeping without a pillow may be beneficial for stomach sleepers but some people find sleeping without a pillow to be comfortable for them. Some people sleep on the floor without a mattress! It depends on your personal preference and what you find comfortable. As long as you sleep well and are not straining your spine or muscles, sleep on!