Do humans really need pillows?

Defined in the broadest sense -- as an object that raises and supports the head during sleep -- human beings are using pillows for centuries. The earliest cushions on the historic record appear to be blocks of stone used in ancient Mesopotamia, 9,000 decades back. The ancient Egyptians are also said to have rested their heads on stone in order to stop bugs from crawling in their mouths, ears and noses. The early Chinese used ceramic, stone or wood cushions, and I've read that Japanese geishas slept with their heads on rock cushions to keep their hair tidy. Greeks and Romans used pillows made from fabric and filled with feathers, reeds, or straw, which seem much more comfortable than stone, ceramics or wood. At the morning, King Henry VIII is said to have banned the use of pillows by anyone except pregnant women (and perhaps himself); at those days most guys are said to have viewed pillow usage for a sign of weakness.

While most of the early pillows sound quite embarrassing, they do indicate that historically, humans have sought to elevate their heads for sleeping relaxation. Today, pillows are considered so important that some resorts offer you a choice of different kinds, and according to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 64% of respondents used one to two pillows, while 27% employed at least three.

Now you Can find cushions designed for your individual sleeping fashion:

Thinner pillows if you sleep on the back; the object here is to prevent your head from being thrown too far forward with a thick one.

Firm, thick cushions if you sleep on your side; the pillow should fill the distance between your ear and shoulder.

A thin, flat pillow if you sleep on your stomach; although you might not need a pillow to hold up your head, you might want to put one under your tummy to prevent lower back pain.

You could even find cervical pillows to support your neck,"trendy" pillows to help fight hot flashes, as well as anti-snore cushions, all with questionable gains.


Whether you need pillows, it all depends on how you sleep.

For the following sleepers, they need pillows, as there will be problems without a pillow

  1. The problems with side sleepers:

The kinked neck is one thing that comes easy when we are sleeping without a pillow in a non-supine position. In this case, the neck is unsupported, and the muscles remain stretched while we sleep. Results? A painful realization of the sore neck as soon as we wake up. The better idea is to use a pillow if you are a side sleeper.

2. Acid reflux issues:

They become worse when we sleep without a pillow. As the head rests at the same level as the gastrointestinal system, the content in the stomach finds no reason to not come up to your throat.

However, the problem is less severe with a pillow under head. As the level of the head is raised, acid reflux becomes less of a problem. In order to avoid acid reflux, remember not to forget that too high a pillow will cause unrest to spine. Keep the height of your pillow moderate.

3. A hard come habit:

If you love that comfort of sleeping on that soft pillow, as you switch to sleeping without a pillow, you may not love the idea. Taking pillow off is a hard come habit.

We couldn't say human should sleep with a pillow, even the Egyptians over 3,000 years ago used pillows and now, there are still many people tend to sleep without a pillow. However, some people, for example, the sufferers of acid reflux, need to have pillows under the head, whereas back pain might be relieved once pillows are removed.

As for the side or back sleepers, they may use a shredded memory foam bed pillow like langria shredded memory foam pillow for neck and head support.


It completely depends on your personal comfort and preference.

The only thing you have to keep in mind is that while sleeping, you are in an absolutely comfortable posture. You should not be waking up with body aches as a result of bad posture.

So, the general trend would be to not use a pillow at all or use a very thing on if one is used to sleeping on their back. The aim is to keep the spine straight. So, the thickness of the pillow should depend on that.

If you are in a habit of sleeping side ways, then a thick pillow is required to keep your head in the same line as your spine. Otherwise it would prop to one side and you'll wake up with a neck ache.

So, pillows are generally used to find comfortable positions for prolonged periods.


I just Googled pictures of sleeping chimpanzees. In almost every one, they were sleeping on their sides with their heads resting on their curled up lower arms, or on their upper arms.

Presumably that's what humans did before they started using other objects on which to rest the head.

If you sleep on your back, you don't need anything. On your side, you could use your own arm - but a pillow is more comfortable.


Because most people will hyperextend their necks when laying on their back for extended period of time. The natural curvature of the cervical spine demands that our head not tilt back so much during rest, which might be a third of your life if you sleep 8 hours a day.


I'm on a mission to help YOU find an amazing side sleeper pillow. It's vital you choose a pillow that provides the right type of support for your sleeping position.

While you might change positions occasionally, most people have one position that they prefer – side, stomach or back. The best side sleeper pillows provide enough support to maintain neutral neck alignment. This prevents neck pain and provides a restful night's sleep.


Basically, it depends upon the individual's preference for comfort and way of sleeping as well. We can easily get to know about the persons feeling comfortable without a pillow but it's another aspect that they may face issues like back pain or muscle sprain.

When it comes to me, I can't be able to sleep without a pillow and prefers only a pillow with extreme comfort, therefore, Hungarian goose down pillow has always been my preference. If a person is in the habit of side-sleeping then not using a pillow might cause dangerous issues for their physical health.


I do. I have sleep apnea and need to sleep with a mask over my face. Without a pillow, when I turn my head to the side, the mask is dislodged and it starts to make weird squeaky noises that wake me up. The whole point of the mask is to get a good night's sleep. ; )


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