Should you sleep without a pillow

By March 5, 2021

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We all know that the type of pillow can affect your sleep quality. Using the wrong pillow can lead to neck and back pain. So should you sleep without a pillow? That depends. In this essay, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of sleeping without a pillow, and what you can do to improve your sleep quality. Let’s start.


Neck and back pain

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Pillows play an important role in keeping your head aligned with the neck and the backbone during sleep. If your spine or neck is not in a neutral position, you may end up waking up during the night or feeling a headache after getting up. For stomach sleepers, using a pillow will push the head too far back, leading to arching of the spine. So these people would better give up the pillow, or just use a very thin pillow.

To have a better position while sleeping, you can also put a pillow under your stomach and pelvis. This will further reduce the pressure on your spine, even if you don’t use a pillow for your head.


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Studies have found that pillows will compress the skin during sleep, especially for those who sleep on the stomach or side. Over time, the compressed skin may develop wrinkles and even has visible signs of aging. So if you are a stomach sleeper, sleeping without a pillow will help a lot in fighting sleep wrinkles.

Acne and hair

There is no evidence to show that sleeping without a pillow can improve acne and the health of hair. Though bacteria may worsen the skin condition, and the cotton surface may absorb oils and thus make your hair drier.


Stomach sleepers will find it helpful to sleep without a pillow, but for those who sleep on their back or side, that will put greater pressure on their back and neck. As a result, they will end up experiencing severe neck and back pain.

How to improve sleep

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Stomach sleepers

Stomach sleepers can use a very thin pillow and then use no pillow at all to ease the stress on their neck.

Back sleepers

It is best for back sleepers to sleep on a memory foam pillow or the one with a thick bottom and a thinner middle. Another pillow can also be kept under the knees to ease any pressure on the back.

Side sleepers

A firm pillow with extra depth is better for side sleepers because it can support the head and bridge the distance between the ear and the shoulder.



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