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What Are the Effects of Pillows That Are Too High or Too Low?

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With the world offering tons of pillows in so many different varieties, one can become lost and overwhelmed. Unique features of the pillow distract customers from what really matters: the height of the pillow. Finding the right height for a pillow might sound confusing, but I assure you, pillows that are too high or too low can have detrimental effects on your sleep health.

It may seem like I’m adding to your stress by discussing yet another factor about pillows. But don’t worry, finding the perfect pillow height for yourself will be a walk in the park after reading this blog.

Why do Pillows Have a Height?

The main reason that pillows have a height is to provide support. The height helps align your head to your neck. This alignment is essential as it prevents any muscle pain or worse conditions in the future from prolonged incorrect postures.

Effects of Pillows That Are Too High.

If the height of a pillow is too high, no matter how you sleep, your neck will bend abnormally. Your back will lean downwards, while your neck will go upwards to support your head. If you sleep on your side, the same thing will happen but towards the side of your neck. Such misalignment causes immense stress and strain on your neck muscles. But the strain doesn’t just stop there. As your neck struggles to support your head and body, the pressure transfers onto your shoulders and back. This is one reason why you have back and shoulder pain when you wake up in the morning.

Sleeping on any pillow that is too high for even one night will result in extreme soreness in the neck the following day. This could also result in the narrowing of the air pipe, which causes obstructed breathing and snoring, which may hinder your sleep.

Effects of Pillows That Are Too Low.

The effects on your body from pillows that are too low are similar to those that come from pillows that are too high. With low pillows, your head dips too far down, resulting in an imbalanced alignment of your body. All of the pressure is diverted to your neck, shoulders, and back.

This pressure, like before, results in straining and soreness. Extreme stress is caused because your body is not aligned, so the pressure is forcefully applied in the wrong areas of your body. If you sleep on a pillow that is too low, you will notice a tense feeling in your neck initially. If you sleep on your side, a low pillow will hurt or cause strain to your shoulder.  

Regardless of how you sleep, what mattress you have, or the shape of your pillow, there will be consequences if the height of your pillow is too low. If you continue to sleep in an incorrect position induced by a low-height pillow, you may end up with muscle damage or permanent health issues in your spine.

How to Identify Whether a Pillow is Too High or Too Low.

Luckily, it’s fairly easy to find out whether a pillow is too high or low for you. Below, I’ve compiled five do-it-yourself methods you can perform to check the height suitability of your pillow at home:

  1. You might feel a slight pull in the neck as soon as you rest your head on your pillow.
  2. Measure the pillow to check if it goes beyond the recommended height boundary of 4 – 6 inches. 
  3. When you lie on your back, ask someone to look at you from afar and check whether your head is aligned to your shoulders.
  4. You have frequent pain in your neck, muscles, or back every morning.
  5. You find yourself waking up in the morning without your pillow under your head. Due to discomfort, your body may subconsciously toss the pillow from under your head at night. Notice if this happens regularly. 

If you feel as if your pillow or your sleeping experience qualifies into any one of the criteria above, it’s time you get a new pillow.

How to Pick the Perfect Pillow?

You already know what not to do in terms of pillow height so, what should you do instead? Here is a list to simplify your search:

  1. The height of the pillow should be 4 to 6 inches. According to Gordon SJ, one of the authors of Pillow use: the behavior of cervical stiffness, headache and scapular/arm pain, pillows with a height of 4 inches offer the best spinal alignment. This may vary depending on the body type so try the alignment test by laying down and asking someone to check from afar. If your head, neck, and shoulders conform to the pillow’s shape, the pillow’s height is ideal. 
  2. Make sure the pillow supports your natural curvature.
  3. Identify your sleeping position to pick the perfect shape. For instance, side sleepers will want a pillow that is slightly higher than a back sleeper’s pillow. 

How Can Mobius Help?

If you are confused about what pillows to pick out, try Mobius’s huge range. I have tried out multiple pillows, and they’ve never let me down. Here are some of my favorites that have the perfect height:

Gel Infused Memory Foam Pillow 

This is a great all-around pillow with the perfect firmness and a height of 5 inches. It is perfect for everybody who wants a good pillow. If you’re not a fan of gel-infused pillows, feel free to try out our Classic Memory Foam Pillow

Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

If you are really not sure what height pillow is suitable for you, and you don’t have time to go to the store to try it yourself. At this time, a shredded foam pillow is your best choice for online shopping. Because you can adjust the filling of the pillow to change the height of the pillow according to your needs. Customize to your own height. Now, not only do you have certain choices, you have unlimited choices.


The height of your pillow plays a massive part in your sleep and the health of your neck, shoulders, and back. Always make sure to pick a pillow that isn’t too high or too low so that you can avoid all of the consequences that occur from making this mistake.

It is pretty simple to find a pillow with the right height; all you need to do is keep your sleeping posture in mind while buying a pillow. Once that is out of the way, you’ll have the best sleep of your life every day.

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