Sleeping Without A Pillow | Benefits and Effects

Are your nights restless? Do you wake up in the morning with tension on your neck? Or do you suffer from back or headaches that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep?

This can, of course, be down to the quality of your mattress, but this is certainly not always the case. Poor kissing can also cause sleep disturbances, physical pain, and sometimes even torticollis

Sleeping without a pillow can help you relax your neck and back muscles more.

This allows you to ensure a good night’s sleep yourself!

We have investigated for whom it is good to sleep without a pillow and for those who do not!

Do you want to know what the best option for you is? Read our findings below

  • overview
  • Sleep with or without a pillow?
  • Sleeping without a pillow: depending on your sleeping position
  • conclusion


Sleeping without a pillow: how do I make a choice?


We are often asked: what is better, sleeping with or without a pillow?

The choice of your mattress, pillow, or possibly sleeping without a pillow depends on your personal needs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my sleeping positions?
  • Where am I physically strong, and where I weak?
  • Where do I need additional support?

You can try out what’s most comfortable for you at home. For example, are you lying on your side or your back? Do you stretch completely, or do you prefer to lie in the fetal position?

The answers to these questions are important to determine whether sleeping without a pillow suits you.

In this complete guide, we give all the information you need!


We’re used to kissing.

For thousands of years, people have slept without pillows. However, sleeping with pillows and under a blanket is a relatively modern phenomenon.

Sleeping on a pillow can have absolute benefits for some people. But, on the other hand, we use the pillow mainly because we are used to it.

Many people can’t imagine sleeping without kissing. This is mainly because we have never done anything else since childhood.

Due to habituation, a pillow seems almost indispensable when sleeping. Crazy, actually, when you consider that our bodies can do just fine without a pillow.

So the emergence of convenient and comfortable sleep aids has changed our sleep behavior.

Are you thinking about sleeping without a pillow? But do you feel like you’re going to miss the pillow? Don’t worry; this, too, is purely a form of habituation.


Is kissing a bad habit?

A good pillow is basically not unhealthy. But there are also bad pillows that cause your body to lie wrong on the mattress. This can lead to physical pain during and through sleep.

So it is important to know how your head, shoulders, back, and hips are on the bed.


Belly sleepers: sleep without a pillow!

As a belly sleeper, it’s best to sleep without a pillow! However, two things are important when you sleep on your stomach:

  • You need to be able to breathe freely.
  • You need to be able to relax the neck as much as possible

As a belly sleeper, you are forced to turn your head to breathe. A pillow is more of an obstacle than a help. The neck is loaded all night because it lies sideways on an elevated pillow.

Thus, a pillow rarely provides relief when sleeping on the abdomen. In addition, pressing the face into the pillow can eventually cause impure skin and neck pain.

Belly sleepers are, therefore, the best sleepless without a pillow.

Belly sleepers should also pay close attention to buying the right mattress. Mattresses with different degrees of hardness and high elasticity are the best options. These support the pelvis so that the spine can relax.

Cold foam mattresses are particularly suitable in this case. Please read our review of the best cold foam mattresses here.


Side sleepers: sleeping with kisses!

Side sleepers are the only ones who don’t put their heads directly on the mattress. Because you’re on your shoulder and hip, your head’s hanging freely in the air. It is therefore important to provide your head with enough support.

Choosing the right pillow is extremely important to ensure comfort and avoid complaints.

Nowadays, there is a wide range of ergonomic cushions on the market, such as the Hypnia Ergonomic Bamboo Cushion*. These offer fantastic support and save you many sessions with the osteopath!


Especially thicker cushions work well to relieve pressure points in your neck. In addition, they ensure good alignment of the spine.

Some side sleepers use their arms to support the head at night. In principle, the effect is similar to that of a pillow. The unusual posture of your arm, on the other hand, can cause unwanted tension, pain, and stiffness.


Back sleepers: use a flat pillow

Are you a back sleeper? Then you balance your head between your shoulders every night. In this way, your body tries to give your spine and muscles some relaxation.

It is best to let your head stick out slightly above your shoulders. The use of a flat cushion can help with this. A pillow that is too thick can secure the neck. This blocks the blood supply, causing tension in the neck.

An excellent example of a flat pillow is the Emma Pillow. The thickness is individually adjustable with this cushion by removing one (or more) of the three layers.

In addition, it is important to pay attention to the hardness of your mattress. The harder your mattress, the more important it is to use a flat headrest.

This way, you ensure that your spine is perfectly supported. And with that, you prevent back and neck complaints.

Are you a back sleeper, and do you think sleeping without a pillow is better for you? Then a medium-firm latex mattress is the best option for you. On the other hand, do you prefer a harder mattress? Then at least use a flat, high-quality pillow.


Sleeping without a pillow: depending on your sleeping position

sleeping position

Sleeping with or without a pillow is therefore highly dependent on your sleeping position.

Are you a back or side sleeper? Then provide a high-quality pillow. For the side sleeper, a thick pillow is better. For the back sleeper, a flat pillow.

Do you change your sleeping position a lot during the night? Then a medium pillow, both in terms of hardness and thickness, can offer you the most sleeping comfort.

What’s the best pillow for me?

Your choice of a pillow is based on your own needs. Make sure you know what your sleeping and lying positions are. Also, think carefully about which hardness you find most comfortable.

Then you can decide which pillow suits you best. We have listed for you which types of pillows are available on the market:

  • Neck cushion
  • Memory foam pillow
  • Down pillow
  • Latex pillow
  • Heated cushion
  • Cooling cushion
  • Side sleeping pillow
  • Travel pillow

Each pillow has its own advantages and properties. See our blog about the best pillows for a comprehensive overview of the different types of pillows.


What is the best pillow for back problems?

Back problems are common in people who sleep on their side.

Ideally, the spine lies in its natural S position night. However, a bad mattress or the lack of a pillow can prevent the spine from relaxing. This sometimes leads to bottlenecks in the intervertebral discs, which causes unpleasant back pain.

The best way to combat this is to use a so-called “side sleeping pillow.” This type of pillow is ideal for sleeping on the side in terms of shape and length.

In our article about cushions for side sleepers, you will find all the information you need.


What’s the best pillow for neck pain?

A bad pillow can cause neck pain.

It is advisable to sleep with a neck pillow. This will give you extra support and allow you to enjoy a good night’s sleep. In addition, it ensures the correct alignment of the spine.

Are you a back sleeper? Then this type of pillow is particularly suitable for you.

In this case, we recommend the Tempur Cushions. All Tempur cushions are of high quality and offer ergonomically responsible support for both the neck and head.


Conclusion: sleeping without a pillow, good or bad idea?

What’s better? Sleep with or without a pillow? In short, this mainly depends on your sleeping position.

Especially for belly sleepers, sleeping without kissing is a good option.

For back and side sleepers, it is important to sleep on a high-quality pillow.

It is also important to pay attention to the signals you receive from your own body. For example, do you often wake up with back or neck problems? Then it’s time to change something.

On our website, we discuss many questions about sleep. In addition, we explain, test, and compare different products.

Do you want to sleep better? Or are you just looking for a new mattress or pillow? Then, we have all the information you need!

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