Pillow Power: A Pillow Isn’t Just for Your Head.

Yes a good pillow is vital to support your head when sleeping. But, if you find yourself struggling to find a comfy sleep position, it may be time to think about changing the way you sleep. One sleeping position that many people say helps them find deep comfort is putting a pillow between their legs while sleeping on their side.

Putting a pillow between your legs keeps your pelvis neutral and prevents your spine from rotating during the night. Maintaining good alignment can relieve some of the stress from the tissues in your back which increases comfort and may potentially reduce pain caused by a herniated disc or sciatica.

Benefits of Sleeping with a Pillow Between Knees

Putting a pillow between your knees helps keep your knees on top of each other during the night. Without a pillow, your hips and back tend to twist, which can have several benefits:

1. Reduces Back and Hip Pain: It’s estimated that up to 23 percent of the world’s adult population lives with chronic back pain. Correcting your sleeping position is one easy way to reduce back pain caused by poor posture. Putting a pillow between your knees or thighs has the potential to help you maintain the natural alignment of your hips and pelvis while you sleep. This improved alignment may help take the strain off inflamed ligaments or muscles that are causing your discomfort.

2. Reduce Sciatica Pain: Sciatica is an impingement of your sciatic nerve that usually leads to pain in your buttocks and down the back of your leg. Sleeping in positions that cause twisting of your lower back and hips may make sciatica pain worse by further compressing the nerve. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees may help you reduce compression by keeping your spine aligned.

3. Reduce Herniated Disc Pain: If you’re dealing with a herniated disc, any excessive rotation of your spine may cause pain from pressure on your spinal nerves. Choosing a sleeping position that minimizes rotation of your spine, like sleeping with a pillow between your legs, may help relieve your discomfort.

4. Improve Posture: Research has found that sleeping in non-symmetrical postures can cause negative structural changes to your spine. Improving your sleep posture by putting a pillow between your legs may help you maintain your spinal health and overall posture.

Benefits of Sleeping with a Pillow Between Legs While Pregnant

Doctors usually recommend sleeping on your side while pregnant, with the left side often being considered the ideal position. Putting a pillow between your legs may make sleeping on your side more comfortable and reduce back pain by keeping your spine neutral. Pregnancy pillows, shaped like a U or C, are designed for this purpose, providing additional support and comfort.

Are There Benefits to Sleeping with a Pillow Under Your Knees?

Putting a pillow under your knees while sleeping on your back is another potential way to reduce back and hip pain. If you prefer sleeping on your back or have pain on both sides of your body, here are a few specific benefits:

1. Keeps Your Back Neutral: Putting a pillow under your knees helps keep your spine neutral and supports the curvature of your back. You may also find it helpful to put a small pillow or towel under your lower back for extra support.

2. Evenly Distributes Your Weight: Sleeping on your back keeps your weight evenly distributed against the widest part of your body. This can help take the stress off your spine compared to sleeping on your side, especially if you have issues on both sides.

3. Keeps You from Rolling Over: Putting a pillow beneath your knees can reduce the likelihood that you’ll roll over into a less ideal position in the middle of the night.

Can Sleeping with a Pillow Between Your Legs Be Bad for You?

Sleeping with a pillow between your legs is generally safe. However, if you find it hurts, you should avoid sleeping in this position. If you have hip or back pain on both sides, you may find it difficult to sleep on your side and may want to try sleeping in a different position, like on your back with a pillow under your legs.

How to Sleep with a Pillow Between Your Legs Properly

Here’s how you can optimally set up with a pillow between your knees:

  1. Lie down with your knees slightly bent toward your chest.
  2. Put a firm pillow between your knees so that your upper thigh is elevated enough to keep your hip neutral.
  3. If you’re using a thin pillow or if you like to sleep with your top leg slightly in front, you may want to use two pillows.


Putting a pillow between your knees helps keep your pelvis and spine neutral while you sleep. You may find that it helps reduce your back or hip pain. If you’re dealing with back pain on both sides, or if you prefer to sleep on your back, you can try sleeping on your back with a pillow beneath your knees. A good night’s sleep is crucial for overall well-being, and making simple adjustments like using a pillow can make a significant difference in how you feel when you wake up each morning. Consider investing in the right pillows and mattresses to enhance your sleep quality and support your back health. Your body will thank you for it!