Do you know that pillows appeared in ancient times, about a few thousand years BC?

Have you ever wondered how people used to sleep before that?

Obviously, they’ve been sleeping without a pillow and feeling fine about it. Don’t you think there must be something to it?

I do! So, let me share some benefits that no-pillow sleep can offer to you, and maybe you’ll find something in it for yourself.

Benefits of Sleeping Without a Pillow

#1 It Reduces Back Pain

An incorrect posture is a problem for many people today. While sleeping on a properly chosen pillow is supposed to eliminate the pressure put on your spine and neck during the day, very few people manage to choose the right pillow. If it’s too thick or too thin, your body’s alignment isn’t natural, and you will wake up with pain in your back.

However, when sleeping without a pillow, you will keep your body’s natural curvature, so chances of waking up with back pain here are much less.

#2 It Prevents Neck Pain

If your old pillow is too soft or too firm, it won’t give you the right support, keeping your neck curved unnaturally. This strains neck muscles instead of helping them relax. In the worst case, improper neck alignment will result in reduced blood flow, causing numbness. It can also be a reason of feeling dizzy in the morning, as blood carries insufficient amount of oxygen to your head.

When you refuse using a pillow, you allow your neck to remain in a natural position, reducing a chance of neck pain.

“Pillows made from quality materials are not cheap. But they still can’t serve you forever, which means you will have to buy much more than one pillow throughout your life. Unless you decide to sleep without one. If you do, you may save quite a lot of money.”

Also Read: Best Pillows For Neck Pain – Our choices and Buying Guide

#3 It Helps Your Body Rest Better

When you use an improper pillow, your organism has to use your muscles to make up for the lack of support. That’s how back and neck pain appear and that’s why you wake up feeling tired, stiff, and sleepy.

Pillowless sleep rids you off of the unstable support and additional straining. You just rest in a natural position and let your body find the best way to relax.

#4 It Prevents Outer Ear Ache and Headache

Have you ever woken up with a sore ear or a headache?Headache Your pillow might have been causing that!

Constant compression to the pillow’s surface at night might result in a reduced blood flow in the areas that have a direct contact with the pillow. It can be the back of your head or your ear. The latter might suffer more, given the fact ears are reflexology points.

Thus, you wake up feeling kind of pressure in those areas, which goes away later in the day but still causes discomfort. Actually, it’s not only uncomfortable and painful but also harmful. Reduced blood circulation won’t benefit your overall health for sure.

“Just one night is enough to understand whether it’s your pillow what causes you pain and discomfort. So, don’t hurry to throw your old one away. Give yourself one night to test out sleeping pillowless and see how you’ll feel in the morning.”

#5 It Doesn’t Cause Acne

Poorly made pillows tend to collect dead skin, oils, sweat, saliva, dust, and pieces of dirt, and it’s hard to clean them completely, especially if the product is not machine washable. Actually, even high-quality pillows may become home to harmful particles if you don’t take proper care.

And here’s the deal:

Acne is caused by those tiny particles getting into your pores and clogging them.

So, when your face is pressed into your pillow during sleep, your skin gets clogged and inflamed. Actually, this may cause not only acne but also other skin problems. So, your skin will appreciate it a lot if you start sleeping without a pillow.

#6 It Reduces Wrinkles

Although the primary cause of wrinkles is sun exposure, there are other things that add to that too. One of them is a constant contact with a pillow. It affects your aging in two ways:

  • Reduced airflow. By pressing your face against the pillow, you block the airflow, which doesn’t allow your skin to breath properly. Insufficient oxygen on a regular basis (after all, you’re spending a third of your life sleeping) results in faster aging.
  • Physical folds and creases. You don’t always lie nice and flat on your pillow. Sometimes, a comfortable pose results in your cheek being kind of squashed or your nose being curved. Spending much time lying like that will lead to wrinkles in the long run.

If you remove a pillow, nothing will prevent your skin from breathing and nothing will distort it physically.

A recent survey has shown that over 30% of young women (under 35 years old) regularly use skin products with an anti-aging effect. This shows how disturbing such problem as wrinkles is today.”

#7 It Prevents Allergies

It is already known that allergies are caused in people mostly because of dust. Well, actually, not the dust itself but the mites that it attracts and serves as home to.

So, again, because your sleeping surface gathers lots of debris and dust, it gets rather quickly inhabited by populations of dust mites. And it’s really hard to get rid of them unless you wash your pillow every day.Allergy

You might think that getting a pillow with a hypoallergenic cover can help. You’re right, but the truth is not every pillow advertised as hypoallergenic really is so. You should do your research to find one. And even those that require proper care to keep performing their protective function after prolonged usage.

So, it makes sense to try to sleep with no pillow first and see how it feels before buying an expensive hypoallergenic pillow.

Is Sleeping Without a Pillow Universally Beneficial?

Actually, no.

The health and comfort you get from switching to a pillowless sleep depend on the position you sleep in most often. There are basically three groups of people divided by sleep position — side, back, and stomach sleepers. And the latter can benefit from sleeping without a pillow the most.

Let me explain.

Stomach sleeping is the least healthy position, as it almost always keeps your body out of its natural alignment. Only a very supportive and at the same time very contouring mattress can eliminate the harm caused by sleeping on a stomach.

Still, if you pair the right mattress with the wrong pillow, you will ruin the whole effect from the former. Too much thickness will result in your head being bent too much backwards. That’s why experts recommend using a very thin head pillow for stomach sleepers or no pillow at all.

If you’re one of those stomach sleepers who need to hug something at night and that’s the main reason you sleep with a pillow, just turn your head pillow into a body pillow by putting it aside of you and hugging it with one arm.

Now, back sleepers might be okay with no-pillow sleep, too.

But how comfortable it will be and how it will affect your spinal alignment depends entirely on your mattress. Basically, if it does offer great support, you should be able to enjoy all the benefits of sleeping without a pillow.

“If you choose to give it a try, start with sleeping on a very thin, flat pillow, or a folded piece of cloth. Let the thickness you’re used to degrade gradually.”

And speaking about side sleepers, pillowless sleep is not for them. However, we came up with the list of best pillows for side sleepers for you.

No matter how supportive and hugging your mattress is, you won’t sink in deep enough to compensate for that gap between your head and the sleeping surface. Thus, your head will always be tilted to one side, which will result in neck pain, headaches, and bad posture.

If you think that putting your arm under your head will solve that problem, you might be right. But the thing is, it will cause another problem — it will put pressure on the vessels in your arm and even lead to numbness.


To sum up, the no-pillow sleep does offer a number of benefits for your face, body’s alignment, and overall wellbeing. But there’s one major drawback — it’s not for everyone. Side sleepers definitely shouldn’t sleep without a pillow, back sleepers might try and see if it would feel comfortable enough, and stomach sleepers have high chances of enhancing their sleep quality if they refuse using pillows.

So, are you a stomach, back, or side sleeper? Do you think pillowless sleep can improve your health or not? Share your opinion in the comments!

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