Sleeping Without a Pillow: Is It Beneficial or Not?

Getting proper quality sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health. While some of you may love to sleep over big fluffy pillows, others may find these pillows uncomfortable. However, if by chance did you wake up in the morning with a neck ache? Wondering if sleeping without a pillow is good or bad? Before making a decision, have a quick read to know if it will suit you.

The article speaks of the role of pillows during sleep along with their advantages and disadvantages. While quitting a pillow may benefit a few of you, it is also necessary for many to maintain their physical health. Continue reading to find out if sleeping on a pillow suits you or not.

Which Is the Best Sleeping Position?

sleeping without pillow


Depending upon the posture you make while sleeping, there are three basic categories of the sleeper. These are as follows:

Back Sleepers:

Back sleepers are the people who sleep on their backs. If you are a person who sleeps at their back, you should try to keep the level of your neck with the rest of their spine. You can use a contouring pillow. This type of pillow will fill in space between your neck and mattress.

Hence, it aligns your body well. The best pillows for the back sleepers are rounded pillows that support the neck. You can also choose cervical pillows or pillows with built-in neck support that are all excellent options.

Stomach Sleepers:

Although sleeping on the stomach may cause you to snore more, many people find this posture comfortable. If you, too, are a stomach sleeper, here is your read.

Sleeping on the stomach is the most unhealthy sleep position. The posture causes you to twist your head and neck to one side, which finally causes your spine to be out of neutral alignment. If you still want to continue this sleeping habit, I highly recommend you avoid the use of sleeping without a pillow.

Side Sleepers:

It is the healthiest sleeping position. If you don’t sleep on your side, I recommend trying it once and enjoying the quality sleeping time. Check out different-sized pillows and pick the one that keeps the neck perfectly aligned to your body.

For all those who love to work on themselves and choose the best, try sleeping on the side. Though it is going to take some time for you to make it a habit, the results will be great.

Tips to Start Sleeping Without a Pillow

sleeping without pillow


If you are a stomach sleeper and thinking of sleeping without a pillow, here are the following tips for you.

Head Support:

Instead of immediately switching to sleeping without a pillow, you must gradually decrease your head support. You can start with a folded towel or a small blanket. Keep unfolding the towel over time until you are ready to sleep without a pillow.

Support Your Body with Pillows:

Though the idea may seem a bit vague but trust me, it works. You can choose to place the pillow between your knees.


If you are a stomach sleeper and thinking of giving up your pillow, you must ensure that the rest of your bedding is comfortable. If it is not so, it will make sleeping without a pillow even more difficult for you. Choose a mattress that supports you enough. A mattress that is too soft and sags when you sleep over it will cause back pain and other back issues in the long run.

Is It Better to Sleep Without a Pillow?

sleeping without pillow


To know the answer to the question “Is it good to sleep without a pillow?” You must get a notice of your sleeping posture. Take a decision depending upon the posture you make while sleeping. For example, if you are a stomach sleeper, you should start sleeping without a pillow. However, if you happen to be a back or side sleeper, you must stick to using a pillow. 

Sleeping on your back overextends your neck, and if you don’t use a pillow, it will throw off the alignment of the back, and your neck stays overextended all night. Hence, it is sure that it will cause your neck to ache in the morning.

Keep a pillow underneath your neck to bring your spine back to the neutral position. However, make sure that the pillow you choose should be comfortable. You can experiment with different types of pillows to find out which works best for your body.

Benefits of Sleeping Without a Pillow

sleeping without pillow


Not getting proper sleep often wakes up in the morning with a sore neck, a terrible headache, or experience rapid heartbeats and anxiety in the chest. You may be thinking of the culprit. Well! It can be your pillow! Here is a list of advantages that a stomach sleeper can lavish while giving up on your pillows.

Better Alignment of the Body:

As per the Rochester Medical Center, if you sleep on your stomach, your body is in an unnatural posture. The reason behind this is that the majority of your weight centers in the middle of your body.

Centering the bodyweight around the stomach adds stress on the back and the neck and makes it hard for your spine to balance its natural position. However, if you choose to sleep without a pillow, it promotes better alignment and reduces some stress on your neck.

Alleviate Neck Pain:

For all those stomach sleepers, ditching your pillow will be a blessing and will reduce your neck pain. When you sleep on the stomach, your head is turned on the side, and your neck is extended backward. This posture brings your body to an awkward angle and causes discomfort. In such a situation, using a pillow further spoils the curve of your neck. However, if you ditch your pillow, you potentially decrease the strain on the back.

Sleeping Without a Pillow Is Suitable for Your Hair:

Although there are not many links found between pillow and hair yet, there are talks that the cotton fabric of the pillow cover absorbs the natural oil of your hair. Lack of natural oils in your hair makes them frizzy and rough. However, you can choose to have pillow covers of silk as far as your hair is concerned.


Studies have shown that pillows can compress the skin during sleep for people who sleep on their stomachs or sides. Over time, this compression causes wrinkles and contributes to the early aging of the person. Sleeping without a pillow can prevent the face from scrunching.


There is no such evidence that sleeping without a pillow can reduce the problem of acne. However, bacteria make the skin condition worse, and you must regularly wash the bedding. It doesn’t matter whether it is a pillow cover or a bedsheet. Thoroughly clean any cloth that touches your face while sleeping.

Combats Headaches:

If you experience waking up in the morning with headaches, your pillow is to blame. Sleeping with soft pillows reduces blood flow to the head and reduces the oxygen supply to the head. It would be great if you gave it a try to sleep without a pillow.

Also Read: How to Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery?

Disadvantages of Sleeping Without a Pillow

sleeping without pillow


It is no surprise that the right mattress is compulsory to have a sound sleep but did you know that your pillows have to do a lot with your rest as well? If you don’t realize your pillow being too hard or soft on your neck, you may end up having neck strain. Here is a list of disadvantages for the backside sleepers and side sleepers if they decide to sleep without a pillow:

Increased Stress:

If you sleep in the wrong position because of your pillows, you may end up tossing and turning throughout the night. Insufficient sleep increases the level of stress in your body and hence causes stress. In comparison, if you can choose to sleep comfortably, you may feel increased energy the next day.

Poor Posture:

Pillows maintain the alignment of the body for back or side sleepers. Hence if you are a back or side sleeper, sleeping without the pillow creates a poor posture and is not ideal for you. Non- alignment between the back and neck of your body may cause various back issues.

Neck Strain:

Sleeping without a pillow while laying on your side or back strains your neck joints and muscles and causes pain. Also, if you don’t use a pillow, the pressure in your neck remains unevenly distributed, and you will experience neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.


While it is beneficial for some to sleep without a pillow, many need to stick to the pillows. All of this depends upon the type of posture you take in your sleep. The above article discusses all the advantages of sleeping without a pillow and speaks of when you should stick to one. Hopefully, after reading the article, you must have concluded to make the proper judgment.

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