Sleeping Without or With a Pillow, the Benefits and Risks

Did you know that sleeping without a pillow can actually be better than sleeping with one? Most people believe that large fluffy pillows are more comfortable to sleep with, though this is not the case. In fact, if you must sleep with one, it is best to use a neck support pillow that will keep you from suffering all sorts of pains.

Let’s look at some of the things that sleeping with a pillow (or with the wrong one) can cause you trouble.

Back Pain

Pillows that are too large don’t support your spine’s natural curve, which can result in severe back pain, especially over more extended periods. Multiple pillows can make it worse, and often their support doesn’t last long either.

Neck Pain

Similar to how they cause back pain, the wrong kind of pillow can also cause neck pains by ruining your sleeping posture. When you lie down without a pillow, your head is in its natural position, which prevents nerve damage and strain on your muscles. Pillows that are too fluffy will bend your neck, causing pain. And those that are too soft will disrupt blood flow, which can also cause pain.


Have you ever woken up with a headache? Your pillow might be the culprit! When soft pillows disrupt blood flow, this can result in your oxygen supply going to your head to run short, which could cause headaches when you wake up from sleep.


The wrong pillows can cause you discomfort, making you toss and turn through the night while trying to find a suitable position. Disturbances in sleep can increase the stress that can lead to other health issues. By replacing the wrong pillow with the correct one, you can experience better sleep. It will also help your body reduce the number of stress hormones that it produces, making you feel fresh, energized, and rested the next day.

Should You Sleep Without A Pillow?

While sleeping with a pillow does raise some concerns, sleeping without one entirely may not be the solution either. Depending on your sleeping position, using a pillow may or may not be suitable for you.

If you sleep on your side, you need a pillow to support your neck and keep your spine straight. Make sure the pillow isn’t too fat or too soft!

Back sleepers should also use a pillow, but it should be a thin one that just fills the space between their neck and mattress. Neck support pillows are the best options for back sleepers since it does just that!

Stomach sleepers are best off not using a pillow because it can cause your spine to fall out of alignment. However, you should note that sleeping on your stomach is generally not a healthy position. It causes you to twist your neck to stay comfortable. So if you can avoid it, you should.

Now that you know what issues you can run into from using the wrong kind of pillow, you can adjust your pillow type and see if you get better sleep!

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

What are you looking for?