Updated at: 16-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Big, fluffy pillows are a favorite of some people, while others find them to be a nuisance. If you frequently wake up with pain in your neck or back, sleeping without a pillow may be an option for you.

Without a pillow, you might reap certain advantages in your sleep. However, these benefits aren’t universally applicable. If you sleep in a certain position, going without a pillow may be beneficial.

Read on to discover the benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a pillow, as well as how to do it.

Sleeping without a pillow has its advantages.

Can sleep without a pillow help posture?

To keep your spine in a neutral position, you need a pillow. As a result, your neck is better aligned with the rest of your body, promoting proper posture.

Because of this, studies have only looked at the best types of pillows for posture thus far.. Scientists haven’t looked at the effects on the spine of sleeping without a pillow.

Sleeping without a pillow: Benefits and risks

Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, may find it easier to do without a pillow.

The spine is forced into an uncomfortable posture when you sleep on your stomach, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Your weight is concentrated in the centre of your body. Stress on your back and neck makes it difficult for your spine to maintain its normal curvature as a result.

Sleeping without a pillow can help keep your head in a flat position. This may help to alleviate some of the strain on your neck and improve your posture.

Other sleeping postures, however, don’t fall under this category. If you sleep on your back or side, a lack of a pillow could actually be harmful. Using a pillow will help keep your spine in a neutral position.

Can sleep without a pillow alleviate neck pain?

It is possible to minimize neck pain by sleeping without a pillow if you sleep on your stomach.

On your stomach, the head is rotated slightly to the side. In addition, your neck is bent backward. As a result, it’s at an uncomfortable angle and can be painful.

Using a pillow in this position will just worsen your neck’s unnatural angle. For those who don’t want to sleep in an abnormal position, it is possible to sleep without one.

Research is scarce, despite this potential advantage. For the most part, research on pillows and neck pain focuses solely on which kind of cushion is better. If you wake up in the morning with a sore neck, see a doctor before ditching the pillow.

Is sleeping without a pillow good for your hair?

There is no evidence that using a pillow affects one’s hair health. As a result, no studies have been done on the effects of sleeping without a pillow on the hair.

The substance of your sleeping surface, however, may have an effect on your hair, according to certain reports. A cotton pillowcase absorbs your natural oils, which can lead to frizzy hair. Hair experts claim that silk is excellent for your locks.

Otherwise, it’s unlikely that using a pillow will have an impact on your hair.

disadvantages of not using a pillow when you sleep

Poor posture

Scratching the pillow can help correct your spine if you sleep on your stomach. However, the awkward position will not be fully eliminated. Since your center of gravity is in the middle of your body, neutralizing your spine will be challenging.

Put a pillow under your stomach and pelvis as you sleep on your stomach to keep your spine in an upright position. Your spine will be relieved of stress, no matter if you use a cushion or no pillow at all.

Sleeping without a pillow isn’t optimal in some postures. Puts strain on your joints and muscles because of the awkward posture. Sleeping on your back or side requires a pillow.

Neck pain

Similar cautions apply to the claim that sleeping without a pillow causes neck pain.

While sleeping on your stomach, it’s a good idea to get rid of any pillows to keep your neck in a natural position. It does not, however, diminish the necessity of doing so. This can put undue stress on the joints and muscles of your neck, resulting in discomfort.

If you sleep in a position where you don’t have to use a pillow, you could end up with neck ache as a result. This is due to the fact that sleeping on your back or side causes your neck to become overextended. Your neck will remain in this posture throughout the night if you don’t use a cushion.

Because of this, the strain on your neck muscles will be unevenly distributed if you do not utilize a pillow while sleeping. Neck discomfort, stiffness, and headaches are all more likely to occur as a result of using this supplement.

Getting used to sleeping without a pillow: some pointers

  • Reduce your head support gradually. Begin by placing a folded blanket or towel over your head before removing your pillow. Once you’re comfortable sleeping without a towel, stop using it.
  • Pillows can help to support the rest of your body. To keep your spine in a neutral position when you sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your stomach and pelvis. If you’re lying on your back, place a pillow beneath your knees; if you’re on your side, place a pillow between your knees.
  • Make sure you get a good mattress. Having a mattress that provides adequate support is much more critical without a pillow. Back pain can be caused by a mattress that is overly soft, as it will allow your spine to slump.


Even though stomach sleepers may benefit from not using a pillow, further research is needed. If you like to sleep on your side or back, a pillow is a must-have. However, the most crucial thing is that you’re able to sleep soundly.

Sleeping without a cushion may be dangerous if you suffer from neck or back pain or a disease of the spine like scoliosis. Before ripping out your pillow, make an appointment with your doctor.

Potential Benefits of Sleeping Without a Pillow

Anecdotal evidence suggests that sleeping without a pillow helps alleviate some sleepers’ neck and back problems. Pillowless sleeping is excellent for stomach sleepers because of the lower neck angle that promotes better spinal alignment.

People who sleep without a pillow believe that their skin and hair are better off, but further research is needed to verify these claims.

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Effects on Posture

A pillow isn’t necessary for every sleeping position because each one has its own effect on posture.

Because stomach sleepers are forced to shift their heads to one side, their necks are put under additional strain. Many stomach sleepers do not feel the need for a cushion because of the risk of increasing the angle of the neck when using one.

A pillow is typically needed by those who sleep on their sides or backs to keep their spines in the correct position as they sleep. When you sleep on your side, the distance between your head and the pillow is the greatest. In order to keep the head, neck, and spine in proper alignment, a greater loft cushion is typically needed in this posture.

There is a small amount of space between your neck and mattress when you sleep on your back, which might cause neck pain. When sleeping on your back, a medium loft pillow is usually sufficient.

Effects on Neck and Back Pain

The back and neck might become strained if you sleep in the same posture for lengthy periods of time. Pillows are made to relieve pressure on the neck and spine by providing a comfortable place for the head to rest while you sleep.

However, a pillow might have the opposite effect in other situations. Stomach sleeping can alleviate neck and back pain for many people because the mattress provides an even surface that helps maintain spinal alignment while lying face-down.

For back sleepers who prefer a plusher mattress, they may find that their head and neck are already elevated above their weight-bearing core, allowing for a more pleasant night’s sleep. It’s possible that adding a cushion can put unnecessary strain on the neck and upper back by tilting the head upwards too far.

Effects on Skin and Hair

Several studies have found a link between sleeping on pillows and getting wrinkles, but further research is needed. Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t adjust to your body may generate more skin impressions than laying on a pillow that does. Obviously, sleeping on your back is the best approach to avoid wrinkles because your face has less contact with a pillow or mattress. If you sleep on a pillow, washing the pillowcase frequently may help decrease breakouts.

Pillows have also been linked to hair damage, according to certain beliefs. Some people believe that cotton pillowcases, in particular, increase friction and absorb oils required to preserve hair, which is why they support these views. People who sleep a lot might find this more relevant.

Pillows and hair health have not been linked in any studies to date. If you have dry, frizzy hair or knots in your hair and you believe your pillow is to blame, switching to a silk pillowcase may help reduce these symptoms without requiring you to alter your sleeping habits.

Potential Drawbacks of Sleeping Without a Pillow

Sleeping without a pillow hasn’t been studied clinically, but there may be some risks to consider before getting rid of your cushion altogether. People who suffer from heartburn or obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from the use of pillows. As a result, many sleepers benefit from a better night’s rest and a reduction in back and neck pain.

Negative Effects on Posture

For the vast majority of people, a lack of a pillow is likely to have a negative impact on their sleep posture. A downward tilt of the head and neck can occur when a back sleeper is flat on his or her back on a flat surface. It is nearly impossible to maintain a neutral spine posture for a side sleeper who does not use a pillow.

A thin pillow or no pillow at all can assist stomach sleepers to level their head and neck with the rest of their spine, reducing pain and stress.

Negative Effects on Neck and Back Pain

The lumbar and cervical spines of side and back sleepers, respectively, may get stiff or sore if they don’t have a cushion to support their heads. Tension headaches may be exacerbated by neck pain caused by not utilizing a cushion.

It’s possible to avoid neck aches even when stomach sleepers don’t utilize pillows. With or without a pillow, turning your head to the side might cause muscle stiffness.

How to Start Sleeping Without a Pillow

Even if the idea of sleeping without a pillow initially scares you, there are a few things you can do to ease the transition:

  • Allow your body time to adjust by beginning with a small pillow or folded blanket.
  • The Best Mattress for Your Body Type and Sleeping Style Should Be Your Priority When Choosing a Mattress Sleeping without a pillow can be more pleasant and last longer if you have a supportive mattress. An excellent pillow cannot make up for an uncomfortable mattress.
  • Body Pillows: People who sleep on their stomachs can benefit from a thin pillow placed under their hips. Using a pillow that raises the lower abdomen helps to maintain a straight spine.

Choosing the Right Pillow

If you’re waking up stiff and painful in the morning and feel your pillow is to blame, check to see if it’s the proper model for your sleeping style. It’s possible that a different type of pillow is a better option than none at all for you. You may be able to get the support you need from a fresh pillow if yours is older.

Sleepers on their sides

Pillows that can be folded in half for a greater loft are preferred by some side sleepers. Shredded memory foam or buckwheat pillows, which allow sleepers to adjust the amount of fill to their preferred height, are also ideal.

Those who prefer to sleep on their backs

Placing a thin pillow behind their knees or lower back can assist relieve strain on the lumbar spine for some people who sleep on their backs.

Sleepers who like to sleep on their stomachs

A contoured pillow with higher and lower regions for side and back resting may be a good choice for those who like a pillow that accommodates both ways of sleeping.

Sleeping without a pillow: Does it help?

Not everyone should sleep without a pillow, although it may be beneficial for some.

A person’s ability to get a good night’s rest may be impacted by the pillow they use. Sleep deprivation and bodily discomfort, such as back or neck pain, can result from using the improper one.

Using this post, we’ll examine the importance of using a pillow while you sleep and weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Choosing the correct pillow and getting a better night’s sleep are also topics covered in this guide.

Sleeping without a pillow has its advantages.

In the morning, aches and pains can result from a person’s poor posture while they sleep. When the person wakes up, they may feel pain in their neck or back.

Sleeping on a pillow ensures a proper alignment of the head, neck, and spine. A person who has their neck or spine out of alignment when sleeping is more likely to wake up frequently, which can lead to sleep deprivation.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping the head in a neutral position while you sleep. Keeping it centered on the shoulders, it is neither too far back nor too forward.

Neck and back pain

Some people may benefit from sleeping without a pillow, such as those who sleep on their stomachs, but it is not recommended for everyone.

Those who prefer to sleep on their stomachs may find that a pillow can strain their lower backs. This is possible if it causes the spine to arch by pushing the head back too much.

Sleeping without a pillow can help alleviate back or neck pain during the day by aligning the spine as you sleep. If that doesn’t work, you could try a very thin pillow.

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People who sleep on their stomach or on their side are more likely to experience skin compression as a result of pillows. Sleep wrinkles and other aging symptoms may result as a result of this over time.

When you don’t have a pillow in your bed, you won’t wake up with a scrunched-up face. For those who sleep on their back or their side, this might also cause spinal difficulties.

There are a number of other ways to decrease wrinkles, such as

  • limiting your time in the sun
  • if it’s relevant, quitting smoking
  • consuming a nutritious diet
  • hydrating one’s skin on a regular basis.


Sleeping without a pillow does not improve acne, according to scientific data. As a result, washing all bedding on a regular basis is recommended to prevent the spread of bacteria and the worsening of the condition.


Sleeping without a pillow has never been shown to be beneficial to one’s hair.


Some people who sleep on their stomachs can benefit from sleeping without a pillow, but it isn’t the best choice for everyone.

People who sleep on their side or back are more likely to experience neck pain if they don’t use a pillow. If you do this, you may end up with neck and back pain as a result.


How to get a better night’s rest

Stomach sleepers

It is possible for stomach sleepers to alleviate some of the pressure on their neck by utilizing a very thin pillow. In order to keep a tiny amount of pressure on the stomach, they could also try sleeping on their side while holding a large body pillow.

Back sleepers

For back sleepers, a thinner pillow is preferable since it prevents the head from being thrust forward.

If you’re looking to keep your neck in a more natural position while you sleep, a memory foam pillow or one with a thicker bottom and a thinner center is ideal.

An additional pillow placed beneath the knees as you sleep can alleviate pressure on the lower back.

Side sleepers

You should choose a firm pillow with extra depth to help support your head and help bridge the gap between your ear and shoulder.

The spine might also be better aligned if you sleep with a pillow between your knees.

Here, you can learn more about side sleeping.”

Tips for better sleep include:

  • consistently going to bed and rising up at the same time each day.
  • the practice of a sleep-inducing routine, such as a warm bath or a book
  • trying to stay away from daytime naps
  • regular physical activity
  • ensuring that the bedroom is well-ventilated, quiet, and dark.
  • utilizing a cozy bed frame
  • Avoiding alcoholic beverages and smokes
  • limiting the amount of calories consumed in the hours leading up to bedtime

Getting a good night’s sleep is easier than you think.


Some persons who prefer to sleep on their back may benefit from doing so without the use of a pillow. It can ease neck and back pain by ensuring the spine and neck are in proper alignment as you sleep.

However, it is not recommended for everyone. People who sleep on their back or side may get neck or back pain if they don’t utilize a pillow while they sleep.

However, there is no evidence to suggest that sleeping without a pillow can help with acne or improve a person’s hair.