We all have our own preferences when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. From perfecting your bedroom's climate to finding the best mattress for your preferences, the process behind sleep knows how to start a debate. However, nothing kicks off a conversation quite like the most provocative question of all: How many pillows should you sleep with?
The answer depends on your sleep position – with side sleepers making up the majority of the population (approximately 70%). But if you're a side sleeper with two (or more) pillows, you're making a mistake, according to those in the know.
Experts suggest that side sleepers should sleep with only one pillow – and as controversial as this bedroom idea is – it may just lead to a better night's sleep. Here's what you need to know.
Why you should sleep with one pillow – according to experts
'While many side sleepers use two pillows, they are actually better off finding one high-quality pillow that perfectly fills the gap between the shoulders and neck,' explains Dorothy Chambers at Sleep Junkie (opens in new tab).
Instead of using two pillows, the expert explains that you 'only need one good pillow' that offers healthy neck support. But what do the best pillows involve? Dorothy suggests picking up a 'contouring' pillow that is perfect for side sleepers who aren’t sure how thick their next pillow should be.
'These types of pillows have two slopes, each of different thicknesses, allowing you to try both sides to see which is most comfortable,' Dorothy says. And she isn't alone in her argument.
'Many people tend to believe the more the merrier when it comes to pillow support. However, it’s not about more support but proper support,' adds Vanessa Osorio, a Sleep Health Content Specialist at Sleepopolis (opens in new tab). 'Contrary to popular belief, one pillow should be the right amount when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.'
During sleep, your head, neck, and spine should remain in a neutral position, to prevent back pain, neck pain, and headaches that will impact your day and maybe make it harder to fall into a peaceful slumber. 'One good quality pillow should be the best route to a better night’s sleep,' Vanessa adds.
Should you ever use two pillows?
The experts suggest that one pillow is also often best for back and front sleepers, – you don't need to get rid of your extra pieces just yet. ' While we only need one pillow underneath our head, you can use pillows for additional support elsewhere,' Dorothy says.
Side sleepers with chronic back pain can place thin pillows beneath their knees or ribs to reinforce a healthier spinal alignment – while stomach sleepers can place a pillow under their stomach for extra support.
Will you rearrange your pillows this evening? It may just change your sleeping pattern for good.