While some of us are fond of sleeping on a big cushy pillow, others might not feel the same way. When you wake up with an annoying pain either on your neck or your back, the urge to disown your pillow is too strong. If you've grown accustomed to sleeping with a pillow, you'll surely miss its familiar presence at bedtime. We understand the dilemma. Comfort is always the top priority.

Many say that sleeping without a pillow is better. Some say a pillow is important for proper support at night. Well, which is it? Both the facts are true in some or the way. But not every scenario fits every person. Allow us to assist you in understanding how sleeping with or without a pillow can impact both your rest and well-being.

Should You Sleep Without A Pillow?

Well it all comes down to what kind of sleeper you are and the posture you prefer at night comfortably. Let’s answer some burning questions on the subject.

Should You Sleep Without A Pillow?

Can You Improve Your Posture by Sleeping Without a Pillow?

Why do we get a pillow? So that it keeps our head and spine in a neutral position. The purpose of a pillow is to align your neck with the rest of your body, promoting a proper posture. All that we have read so far in articles, blogs, and case studies is to find the best pillow to maintain a proper posture. None of these have ever emphasized the effects of sleeping without a pillow. So if you are looking for proper support and improving your posture then sleeping without a pillow might not do that for you.

Interestingly, those who sleep on their stomach may find it beneficial to forego a pillow altogether. Yes, as sleeping on your tummy misaligns your spine out of its natural curve. And this is because almost all your body is in the middle. However, for many, using a pillow can create strain on the back and neck, forcing them into an unnatural curve. Sleeping without a pillow will keep your body flat and align your neck and spine evenly.

But this is not ideal for other sleepers. If you are a back or a side sleeper, sleeping without a pillow will do you more harm than good, so keep sleeping with your fluffy bedtime pal.

Can You Treat Your Neck Pain If You Sleep Without a Pillow?

Sleeping without a pillow might actually work for stomach sleeper in reducing neck pain. As we know that when we sleep on our stomach, our neck is twisted to either the left side or the right side, for a long time. There is an awkward position that is formed while you sleep, as a result you might wake up with a stiff neck or back soreness.

Sleeping with a pillow, especially a pillow that isn’t supportive, might be more harmful than you imagine. While in this position, using a pillow would only exacerbate the uncomfortable angle of your neck. However, opting to sleep without one can alleviate the unnatural position and alleviate strain on your spine.

Although there are not so many solid studies that support these claims. Most medical research we come across usually circles around the best pillow for pain. If you are waking up in pain more than often then you might want to see a doctor before it becomes chronic.

Can You Treat Your Neck Pain If You Sleep Without a Pillow?

Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Good For Your Hair?

Well, there are many assumptions and lots of talks around this subject. But there hasn’t been any proven study showing any links between using a pillow and your hair health.

The usual facts around this subject is that pillow material might have something to do with your hair. Apparently when you sleep on a cotton pillow, the fabric absorbs all the natural oils from your hair and leaves your scalp flaky and inflicts dandruff. Furthermore, using a satin pillowcase is said to reduce frizz in your hair compared to using a regular cotton pillowcase. Some claim that silk is even better for maintaining healthy hair. However, if you don't have access to a satin or silk pillow, using a regular pillow won't have a significant impact on your hair.

How is Sleeping Without A Pillow Not Good For You?

Like a coin this topic has two sides too, if sleeping without a pillow helps you then there it might also cause some discomfort as well, let’s discuss what they can be:

Poor Posture

Scrapping the pillow while you sleep on your stomach can be quite good for your spine alignment. It might not totally disrupt your natural spine curve but it will be quite hard for your back to be in a neutral posture since the weight of almost your entire body is in the center.

If you're aiming to enhance your posture, especially as a stomach sleeper, consider placing a pillow underneath your stomach and pelvis. This simple tip can both elevate the center of your body and alleviate strain on your spine, regardless of whether you use a pillow for your head.

How is Sleeping Without A Pillow Not Good For You?

Neck Pain

Contrary to popular belief, sleeping without a pillow while may not be as beneficial as one might assume. If you sleep on a thick mattress that has height 5 inch then ditching the pillow might work. For those who sleep on their stomach, ditching the pillow can actually help in keeping the neck in a more natural and comfortable position. But the need to keep your neck twisted to one side will not stop and it will strain your neck causing you pain anyway.
If you sleep on your side or back, cutting the use of a pillow while sleeping might be even more harmful than sleeping with it. Back and side sleeping overextends your neck, so, when you sleep with no pillow your neck will stay in that position for a long time.


Although sleeping without a pillow might also help tummy sleepers, solid research is almost absent. While it is commonly recommended to use a pillow when sleeping on your back or side, the key factor is finding a sleeping position that promotes comfort and alleviates any pain.

If you've got a neck or back ache, or when you have a spine situation like scoliosis, sleeping without a pillow may be harmful. Before deciding to ditch your pillow completely you might want to consult an expert.


Medical News Today: Sleeping without a pillow: Does it help?

Rise: Sleeping Without a Pillow? Here’s What a Sleep Doctor Thinks

Homes & Gardens: Is it good to sleep without a pillow?