Do you sleep with one, two, or even three pillows? Understanding how many pillows are right for resting your head is made simple with this ultimate guide. Just what IS the best amount of pillows to sleep on?

After reading it you will be able to:

  • Realise what type of sleeper you are
  • Appreciate the various types of pillow fillings
  • Select the most appropriate pillows for allergy sufferers
  • Know which type of pillow support is best for your head / neck
  • Identify how many pillows should be used for your sleeping habits
  • Confidently choose between down, polyester, wool, latex, and memory foam pillows 

Pillow Problems Amounting To A Pain In The Neck?

Throughout the day you stretch your neck from side to side, hoping the discomfort will go away. Rubbing it, you pray for an emergency masseuse or chiropractor to walk through the door and relieve the pressure. But your hero never shows up, and the pain continues to make the working day just that little bit harder. 

Knowing the best amount of pillows you should be resting your head on during sleep seems to be the key to improving neck pain. Are you using too many? Or should you be using more? Perhaps you’ve tried both, to no avail? 

Sure, having two pillows prop you up while sitting in bed makes reading or watching TV a comfier experience, but should you be ditching one of them when the lights go out?

What Is The Best Amount Of Pillows To Sleep On?

You may have already given consideration to the importance of an exceptional mattress in providing a supportive and peaceful night’s sleep, but the role of a good quality pillow can often be overlooked. Understanding the type of pillow you need is crucial in determining the number of pillows you should be sleeping on. 

While many people opt to sleep on two pillows, research actually suggests that it may be more beneficial to rest your head on only one. This is because the head and neck should be in alignment during sleep, helped by a slightly raised pillow.   

By choosing a well-designed one suitable for each individual’s body shape and sleeping habits, for most people, a single pillow is all that should be under the head and neck during sleep. So the best amount of pillows to sleep on is generally one.


Just like with a mattress, each person will have different needs and requirements with a pillow, so if you are looking for a comfortable night’s rest it is essential to pick the correct one for you. Sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t match up to your needs can negatively impact the quality of your sleep and overall health. 

How Do I Choose The Right Pillow?

Whatever amount of pillows you think is best to sleep on, there are a number of different factors which will help to determine what the most suitable pillow for you will be. Although there are many nuances to consider in choosing a pillow, the primary factors are: 

  • Filling material 
  • Size 
  • Your preferred sleeping position 

What Are The Best Pillow Fillings?

When it comes to pillow fillings, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that can satisfy everyone. There are a wide variety of fillings available for different types of pillow, all offering their own unique benefits. 

Down Pillow Fillings

Made from feathers, down pillows are generally known for being very light. If you prefer a softer surface for sleeping on, a down pillow may be the right choice for you. Because down pillows are made from a natural material, they are anti-allergenic, making them an ideal option for those who suffer from allergies. Top-tier pillows, down tend to be one of the most expensive pillow fillings available. 

Synthetic & Polyester Pillow Fillings

This type of pillow is a somewhat cheaper alternative to traditional down, but also provides anti-allergenic characteristics. The main difference between the traditional down pillow and the synthetic/polyester filled pillows is that they tend to be slightly firmer to sleep on. Although synthetic pillows are comfortable, they tend to flatten over time which requires them to be replaced more often.  

Wool Pillow Fillings

Similar to the previously mentioned ones, wool pillows are naturally hypoallergenic, making them resistant to mold and dust mites. A major benefit of wool pillows is that they guide moisture and sweat away from the head and neck during sleep, an effective tool in regulating your temperature at night. Although wool pillows are often on the firmer side, those who prefer a lighter feel can opt for the softer alpaca wool.

Latex Pillows

Latex pillows contour to the head and neck providing a cradling type of support. Although firmer than their down counterparts, Latex pillows are famously comfortable and are exceptionally good at maintaining their shape. Resistant to mold and dust mites, they make for an extremely hygienic material to sleep on. 

Memory Foam Pillows

One of the most popular pillow types, memory foam’s appeal has escalated over recent years. Its positive following is likely due to the fact it adapts and responds so well to sleepers’ body weight and changing positions to provide amazing shoulder, neck, and head support. 

Memory foam may not be ideal for people that get too hot in bed, however. Due to its ability to retain heat much more efficiently than other materials, some sleepers can find themselves getting sweaty. This is becoming less of an issue as the technology develops and memory foam pillows become more ventilated. 

Does Pillow Size Matter?

Although pillows generally come in the standard 50cm x 66cm format, there are actually a variety of sizes available. Many brands have their own unique sizes for square, large and extra-large pillows, which can make selecting one confusing. 

With a pillow that’s too big, you can sink in a little further than necessary while the sides wrap around your head and create a claustrophobic atmosphere. Unless you find this appealing (which some people do), or plan on sidling up to hug one, it is recommended you stick with the standard size. 

What Type Of Sleeper Are You?

How you sleep is a major factor in finding the most suitable pillows to support you.

According to chiropractors, when you’re lying in bed the ideal alignment of your spine should be straight all the way from your neck to your tailbone. Not everyone adheres to this recommended position, however. Most sleepers fall into one of three categories: 

  • Side Sleepers
  • Back Sleepers
  • Front Sleepers

What Amount Of Pillows Should A Side Sleeper Use?

Side sleeping is the most popular choice of position in the UK. The best amount of pillows for a side sleeper is two. Not both of these should be used for the neck and head, however. A thicker pillow should be placed under the head, while a second, ideally firmer pillow, should rest between the knees. This will help keep the spine well-aligned. 

Those sleeping on their side often place one leg on top of the other, which puts stress on the spine and hips. Using a good-quality pillow between the legs helps alleviate this pressure, allowing for a more enjoyable, restful night. 

What Amount Of Pillows Should A Back Sleeper Use?

Do you tend to catch those Zzz’s on your back? If so, you are most probably looking after your spine better than those who sleep in other positions. Although it is not the most popular position, sleeping on your back is the most recommended for a healthy posture. 

The best amount of pillows for back sleepers are either one or two medium to high lofted pillows to help avoid any shoulder pain. As a back sleeper, using a pillow any thinner could cause the shoulders to rotate forward or backward.

What Amount Of Pillows Should A Front Sleeper Use?

There’s a good reason why sleeping on your front has such a bad reputation. Laying flat on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on the spine, pulling it out of its natural position. If you insist on sleeping this way, then it is recommended a medium pillow be placed under the pelvic area to help align the spine.  

Under your head should be a low lofted, softer pillow that prevents the spine from overreaching and developing a curvature. 

For even more advice on choosing a pillow, check out our Ultimate Guide To Picking The Best Pillow.

Experiencing back pain? Then take a look at our top recommended pillows for a bad back.  

Beyond pillows, you may need a headboard to help relieve the neck pain. Read How To Find The Best Headboard to discover more about them.

Start your journey to finding the best pillows for your sleeping habits by checking out the great selection at Land of Beds. 

Need Help Choosing The Best Pillows?

Deciding on the right pillows for your needs is dependent on many factors.

What type of sleeper are you?

What amount of pillows is best for you?

What filling materials support you best?

There is no need to lose sleep over trying to choose the best amount of pillows for your needs. Our bed experts at Land of Beds pride themselves on their specialist knowledge and ability to guide you to the pillows that are just right for you.

Our customer-first policy means we listen and give good, independent advice based on the needs of the individual. By pairing consumers up with ethically sourced, affordable, quality products, we provide as many people as possible with a great night’s sleep. 

If you would like help being connected with the best pillows for your needs, whatever amount that might be, feel free to get in touch with us on 01928 242829