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Is It Better to Sleep Without a Pillow? Understanding Your Sleep Needs
Is It Better to Sleep Without a Pillow? Understanding Your Sleep Needs

Listen to an audio transcription of this post

Key takeaways:

  • Stomach sleepers may sometimes benefit from no pillow; back/side sleepers should always use one.

  • Pillows support spine alignment and reduce pain.

  • Silk pillowcases regulate temperature, further enhancing sleep quality.

  • High-quality Blissy silk pillowcases provide a better sleep experience.


Do you have trouble getting comfortable when you're trying to fall asleep? Or do you wake up without feeling refreshed and ready to go? One thing you should maybe wonder....is your pillow the problem? Should you try sleeping without a pillow?

Getting rid of your pillow might seem like an easy way to get more restful sleep if it's causing you grief. But is it better or "more natural" to sleep without a pillow? Before you try it, let's take a look at the pros and cons of sleeping without a pillow, according to experts.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Sleeping Without a Pillow

What does science have to say about going to sleep without a pillow under your head? Why does having a pillow (or not) even matter? A lot of it has to do with your posture while you sleep.

The way your body lines up while you're sleeping can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Keep in mind that there aren't many studies specifically focusing on pillow vs. non-pillow use.

But studies have been done on the connection between sleeping position and sleep quality. Whether or not you use a pillow can affect your sleep posture and sleep quality. Let's go over what researchers and sleep experts have to say about this.

Pros of sleeping without a pillow

stomach sleepers may experience less neck pain sleeping without a pillow

What kinds of benefits does sleeping without a pillow offer? Not many, if you sleep on your back or side like most people. The only time it may be beneficial to sleep without a pillow is if your sleep style is stomach sleeping.

People who tend to be stomach sleepers might find it more comfortable to ditch their pillows. Stomach sleeping without a pillow can be less awkward. And medical experts may even recommend full body pillows for this for better posture during sleep.

The University of Rochester Medical Center explains that stomach sleeping with a pillow can interfere with proper spinal alignment. Your head is propped up more with a pillow, while the rest of your spine is flat. This unnatural position can end up putting more strain on the back and neck.

Sleeping without a pillow while lying on your stomach helps your neck muscles keep your spine in its natural position. This may help ease neck pain and back pain, while also helping you get a restful night's sleep.

Cons of sleeping without a pillow

sleeping without a pillow may increase neck pain for back sleepers and side sleeepers

Not a stomach sleeper? Then it's important to know that sleeping without a pillow isn't recommended for back and side sleepers. People with these sleeping positions always benefit from using a pillow.

Pillow-free sleep can lead to more discomfort for side and back sleepers. Again, this has to do with your posture. A 2014 study found that maintaining proper spinal alignment with a pillow was linked to better sleep. This study explored the importance of the cervical curve, or the curve of your spine, during sleep.

Sleeping without a pillow in a back or side sleep position puts too much stress on your spine. Your head is flat against your bed in these two sleep positions, which interferes with the natural curve of your spine.

Pillow vs. No Pillow: Health and Comfort Impact

side sleeper using a thinner pillow

Whether you use a pillow or not can affect how comfortable you are while you sleep. Being uncomfortable can lead to tossing and turning, resulting in poor sleep. This, in turn, can have negative effects on your health and well-being.

Sleeping without a pillow, especially for the side sleeper and back sleeper, can increase the risk of neck and back pain. You might wake up with an achy neck or a sore back without a pillow.

Stomach sleepers should also be cautious about sleeping without a pillow altogether. Even though you might feel more comfortable, your spinal alignment isn't quite as natural as it could be. The Mayo Clinic recommends that stomach sleepers place a pillow under the lower abdomen and hips to help support the spine.

Here's the Verdict: Stick to Sleeping With a Pillow

Now that we've explored the pros and cons of sleeping without a pillow, the choice is clear. Sleeping with a pillow is better, no matter what sleep position you tend to use. Even stomach sleepers benefit from using a pillow, even if it's not directly under their head. Your spine needs the right kind of support during sleep. And that's what a good pillow will provide.

Neck and spine support

bed pillow is necessary for proper spinal alignment

A pillow helps take the strain off your back as you sleep. The Mayo Clinic recommends using a pillow to help ease back pain, while also sleeping on your back or side rather than your stomach. Pillows help your spine stay in a neutral position for more natural alignment.

What about neck pain? A pillow helps support the upper part of your spine during sleep. Without one, you might find yourself waking up with a sore neck. Harvard Medical School recommends sleeping on your back or side with a pillow to help reduce neck pain.

Just make sure that you use the right kind of pillow for neck and spine support. A very thin pillow might not be enough. Alternatively, a pillow that's too thick or firm may not be the right pillow for you either. The Cleveland Clinic recommends using a pillow that's thick enough to support your neck and head.

Better sleep quality for all sleeping positions

side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers

Sleeping with a pillow can help improve sleep quality compared to sleeping without a pillow. This goes for stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and side sleepers.

Ideally, sleeping on your side with a pillow works best. A 2022 study found that sleeping on your right side is linked to better sleep. But even if you sleep in another position, using a pillow can help you get better sleep overall.

Quality sleep means feeling your best. You'll wake up feeling refreshed instead of waking up achy and tired.

Why Choose High-Quality Silk Pillowcases?

sleep comfortably with a silk pillowcase

Just as the kind of pillow you have matters, so does the kind of pillowcase you use. The right pillowcase can help boost sleep quality even more. That's what you'll get with high-quality Blissy Silk Pillowcases.

These pillowcases are made of 100% mulberry silk, a natural material that's soft, smooth, and luxurious. Other pillowcases, like cotton pillowcases, don't offer the kind of comfort you need for your most restful night's sleep.

Combining a supportive pillow with a silk pillowcase from Blissy helps elevate your sleep experience. This sleep setup helps you maintain proper spinal alignment while enjoying blissful slumber. The result is improved sleep quality and a lower risk of neck and back pain.

Blissy Silk Pillowcase

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The Unique Benefits of Blissy Silk Pillowcases

What makes Blissy Silk Pillowcases such a good buy for your bedroom? These pillowcases offer notable benefits that boost sleep quality, including all of the following.


woman with a pillow nearby for extra comfort

Did you know that silk helps regulate your body temperature? Why is this important? Being too hot or too cold can make it hard for you to get the sleep you need. You might toss and turn, trying to get cooler or warmer.

Silk helps your body temperature stay right where it needs to be for better sleep. Instead of trying to get comfortable, you can count on getting a great night's sleep.

Don't take our word for it. Our customer Jeanette loves her Blissy Silk Pillowcase for helping her "wake up in the morning feeling refreshed from having a great night's sleep."


blissy pillowcase in mint

Silk has hypoallergenic properties, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin or allergies. If you struggle with skin rashes, itching, or other skin problems with other pillowcase materials, give silk a try.

If you're allergic to dust or other allergens, a silk pillowcase won't bug you. Silk doesn't trap all kinds of allergens as cotton and other materials do. That helps you avoid spending the night sneezing and sniffling. Instead, you can sleep peacefully.

Cooling effect

woman sleeping without a pillow

Tired of sweating while sleeping? Cotton pillowcases and similar materials are often the culprit. With a silk pillowcase, you can stay sweat-free.

Silk has a cooling effect that helps you feel comfortable, setting you up for a good night's sleep. This effect helps prevent you from wasting precious time trying to get comfortable instead of getting the sleep you need.

Blissy customer Barbara S. appreciates this natural cooling effect. She recommends it for menopausal women. As Barbara says, "It truly stays cool and my sleep is much improved."

Enhance Your Sleep with Blissy Silk Pillowcases

So, now that you know how important your pillow is for your sleep, make it even better with a Blissy Silk Pillowcase. Choose from a wide range of colors and styles to spruce up your bedding.

Browse our whole collection of silk pillowcases to find the design you want and the size you need. Make Blissy pillowcases part of a healthy sleep routine, and you'll enjoy better sleep in no time!

View Sources

  • Good sleeping posture helps your back - Health Encyclopedia - University of Rochester Medical Center. (n.d.). https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4460
  • Jeon, M. Y., Jeong, H., Lee, S., Choi, W., Park, J., Tak, S. J., Choi, D. Y., & Yim, J. (2014). Improving the Quality of Sleep with an Optimal Pillow: A Randomized, Comparative Study. Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine233(3), 183–188. https://doi.org/10.1620/tjem.233.183
  • Sleeping positions that reduce back pain. (2024, January 19). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/in-depth/sleeping-positions/art-20546852
  • Harvard Health. (2022, February 2). Say “good night” to neck pain. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/say-good-night-to-neck-pain
  • Zhang, Y., Xiao, A., Zheng, T., Xiao, H., & Huang, R. (2022). The Relationship between Sleeping Position and Sleep Quality: A Flexible Sensor-Based Study. Sensors22(16), 6220. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22166220
  • Clinic, C. (2023, December 13). Best sleeping positions for pain. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/best-sleeping-positions-for-pain

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