Pillow Height: How High Should Your Pillow Be?

Have you been waking up in the mornings still longing to hit the snooze button several times, even after you went to bed at a reasonable hour? Or maybe you feel like your neck is constantly in a state of discomfort, causing you to twinge every time you turn your head—ouch.

If this sounds like you, the culprit might be your pillow. That’s right—your pillow, specifically the height of your pillow, can impact the quality of your sleep. 

Most people need a pillow height between 4 to 6 inches, depending on how they sleep.1 If your pillow isn’t the right height for your sleep style, you might wake up feeling tired and achy.

What Is the Correct Height for Your Pillow?

There isn’t one perfect pillow height that will provide universally comfortable sleep. Instead, the right pillow height for you depends on your sleep position. You want to choose a comfortable pillow that keeps your neck aligned in a neutral position. For example:2

  • Back sleepers – Do you like to sleep on your back? If so, you should choose a slightly thin pillow. The ideal pillow height for back-sleepers is between 4 to 5 inches. You don’t want a pillow that’s too high or you risk waking up with a sore neck.
  • Side sleepers – Those of you who sleep on your side will need a thicker pillow than those who sleep on their backs or stomachs. Side sleepers need a little extra lift to keep their neck in a neutral position so a 5 to 7-inch pillow is typically ideal. A firm pillow can also help keep your neck in line if you sleep on your side.
  • Stomach sleepers – Stomach sleepers need the least pillow height. In fact, as little as 4 inches of a soft pillow is ideal. You don’t want your neck pushed back while you sleep or you’ll certainly pay for it with pain and discomfort the next day.
  • Combination sleepers – Are you someone who wakes up in a different sleeping position every morning? Maybe you fall asleep on your back but wake up on your side. If you’re a combination sleeper, you should choose your pillow height based on the sleeping position you spend the most time in each night.

Along with your sleep style, body type and size can impact the pillow height you need. A smaller individual will likely want to choose a comfortable pillow on the lower end of the height range. Someone heavier may need to use a higher pillow to ensure proper neck and spinal alignment as well as prevent sleep apnea.

Is it Better to Have Your Pillow Too High or Too Low?

In truth, you don’t want a pillow that is either too high or too low. Both can cause you to wake up feeling tired, sore, and achy. You should always try to find the correct pillow height that properly supports your head and neck as you sleep. 

How Can Your Pillow Height Impact Your Sleep Quality?

As we mentioned, the height of your pillow can significantly impact how well you sleep. Using the right pillow that is either too high or too low can cause problems in both the short and long term. Some common problems associated with improper pillow height can include:

  • Sore or stiff neck – The wrong pillow height will cause you to spend between 7 to 9 hours with your neck bent too far forward or too far back. If that makes your neck ache just thinking about it, you’ve probably spent a night or two sleeping on a pillow that was the wrong height. 
  • Back pain – Your neck isn’t the only body part negatively impacted by improper pillow height. Your back can also pay the price. After a night spent on a pillow that isn’t the right size for you, you might wake up with a stiff back. Over time, if you consistently have a poor sleeping posture, you might begin to suffer from chronic back pain and stiffness.
  • Poor sleep quality – If you aren’t comfortable, you don’t sleep well. Even if you don’t realize it when you lie down to go to sleep, the wrong pillow height will eventually cause you to feel little aches and pains during the night. These can keep you tossing and turning all night long and prevent you from getting the rest your body needs.

Find Your Perfect PIllow Match with Coop Home Goods

The height of your pillow can be surprisingly important to the quality of your sleep. And it can be tricky to determine the perfect pillow height for you. You’ll need to consider your sleep style and perhaps you’ll have to try multiple pillows to find your ideal match. Getting familiar with how to use a body pillow can also help you choose the perfect pillow for you. One thing you should never skimp on when choosing a pillow is quality. Without a good adjustable pillow, you might not get the sleep you need to feel your best.

At Coop Home Goods, you can trust that you’re getting the high-quality pillow you deserve. Our products are durable and made from memory foam designed to give you the best night of sleep you’ve ever had. Check out our line-up of adjustable pillows today and get better rest every night.

Sources: 

  1. Spine Health. Pillow Support and Comfort. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/pillow-support-and-comfort
  2. Sleep Foundation. Pillow Sizes. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/pillow-sizes
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