Pillow Talk: Sleeping On Your Side Can Cause Facial and Chest Wrinkles

It took me a while to realize it, but now I get it. The pillow you sleep on each night is every bit as important as the mattress you sleep on. If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you may remember that last November I purchased a new mattress set. It had been a very long time since I last bought a new a mattress and I was long overdue for a new one.

Bed with new mattress


I’ve been very happy with the mattress I chose, it’s great! Unfortunately, about a week or two after I purchased the mattress I did something I really wish I had not done. I got rid of my old pillows. For some crazy reason I figured since I had a brand new mattress set, it was time for two new pillows, too. Big mistake!

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about decorative pillows, the pillows seen on the bed in this picture below. I’m talking about the pillow I sleep on each night.

Tips For Sewing a Full Bedskirt With a Long Drop


Back Sleeper

I’m a back sleeper, I’ve slept on my back for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure when that first started, but I know it’s been that way at least since high school. I’m glad I’ve always been a back sleeper because somewhere over the years I remember reading that sleeping on your side can actually lead to increased facial wrinkles.

This morning, as I was writing this article, I decided to google to see if that was really true or if it was something I had just imagined having read. I didn’t just imagine it, here’s what Web MD says:

Preventing Wrinkles

Source: Web MD: 23 Ways To Reduce Wrinkles


The Great Pillow Search

Since I tossed out my old pillows and have been sleeping on a new one, I’ve discovered some really bad things, things so negative I felt the need to create this post in case anyone else is having these problems.

A little background: I’ve always preferred a flat pillow, I can’t stand to sleep with my head tilted forward. When I travel and stay in nice hotels, I’m rarely happy with the pillows they offer. It seems they are either super fat and fluffy, thus tilting my neck and head drastically forward OR they are filled with down which means my head sinks waaaay down into the pillow and it curls up and around both sides of my face. Ugh.

After I got rid of my old pillows back in November, I went in search of new ones. I shopped all the local nearby stores (Bed, Bath and Beyond, HomeGoods, Marshalls) and finally chose two that looked higher than I wanted but were the flattest I could find.

How have they worked? Not good. Despite buying the flattest ones I could find, they are still too tall. I’ve purposely been sleeping on the same one each night, thinking that after a while it would start to flatten down. It has a little, but not near enough. It’s March now, 4-5 months is a long time to test drive a pillow and still not like it.

No More!

I have finally decided I have to do something about this issue because I’ve noticed two very disturbing things that I’m now doing, disturbing enough I’m dedicating a whole post to this pillow issue!

1. I’m randomly waking up 1-2 times each night. I’ve NEVER done that before. Usually when I go to sleep, I sleep the entire night (7-8 hours) without awakening even once. Waking up multiple times each night started after I purchased the new pillows.

2. I’ve noticed I’m waking up on my side. Sometime during the night I’m rolling over onto my side. When I awaken, the arm I’ve been laying on always hurts and when I’m brushing my teeth and looking at myself in the mirror, I always have deep creases on the side of my face and on my chest just below my neck, something I’ve never had before. Fortunately, they seem to go away after a couple of hours, but I have a feeling if I continue sleeping on my side, they will become permanent. And who wants wrinkles any sooner than we have to get them!

So, this has to stop…it’s time to fix this problem once and for all. I refuse to cheat myself out of a good nights sleep and to age myself prematurely due to sleeping on too tall, overly stuffed pillows! 

Last night I drove over to a local big box store to see if I could find a really flat pillow. Nope. All the ones I saw were very similar to the ones I had purchased that are too tall.

I noticed the “travel” pillows (which are tiny and are probably meant to be used in cars and on planes) were pretty flat. I purchased one to just see how it slept. Here’s what happened. I slept the entire night without awakening even once…a good 8 hours sleep! When I awoke this morning, I was still sleeping on my back. Yay! There really is something to this pillow thing!

Unfortunately, I awoke with my back hurting…you know, the way our back sometimes feels the first night of vacation when you’re sleeping in a hotel on a mattress you’re not used to. So what this basically tells me is I’m headed in the right direction, but the travel pillow probably isn’t quite it.

Thinking back to my old pillow and why it worked for me, I realize that because it was so old, it was kind of malleable. At night, I was always able to squish it around a little, pushing some of the stuffing inside to where it completely supported my neck, while letting my head kind of rest down into the center depression that naturally occurred from pushing the stuffing up under my neck.

So here’s what I’ve done so far: today I ordered two pillows on Amazon. The first one below supposedly conforms to your head and neck and is pretty flat. The second one sort of looks like the shape I think I was creating with my old, more malleable pillow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one of these works. I guess in the meantime, while I wait for these to arrive, I’ll keep sleeping on my teeny little travel pillow.


I’ll be sure to let you know how these work for me.  It’s hard to put a price on a good night’s sleep but it can totally make or break how you feel and function the following day.

Anyone else out there as pillow picky as I am? Anyone else need a flat pillow to sleep comfortably? If you do and you have one you adore, please share the name of it and where you bought it!

See the mattress I purchased and really like in this previous post: Create A Winter Retreat

New Mattress

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. Hi Susan! So funny you should bring this topic up because I have been reading about sleeping on my back to prevent wrinkles. I also purchased a silk pillowcase so I don’t wake up with bedhead. Last night was the first night I tried the pillowcase. It was fine except that I felt my head slipping off the pillow all night. I joked with my hubby about it this morning because it’s a trade off ~ smoother hair or not. I am a side sleeper. Not good. Face and chest wrinkles created this way. I am going to try it on my back. If I can stay on my back with my head still on the pillow I will have it made πŸ˜‰

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • I never knew that about silk pillow cases…that they help with bedhead. Too funny! Well, once you get used to sleeping on your back, you can’t sleep any other way. Let me know if you figure out the slipping thing.

  2. I had the same pillow problem and just bought a memory foam pillow as well (Kohl’s for 1/2 off) and it’s taken care of all my problems. I know you’ll be happy too!!!

    • Gosh, I hope I can say the same thing real soon! I’ve never tried one because they felt so firm…but I’m desperate now. lol I hope I love it, too!

  3. Well shoot, I am a long time side sleeper. Going to the mirror now to check out the wrinkles, heheh! I DO hope the new pillows do the trick for a good night’s sleep for you.

  4. Iam a side sleeper. The pillow I use is called MY PILLOW. Iam sure you may have seen them on commercials. They are not flat but can be conformed. And the best part is they are machine washable and dryer proof. I love to wash mine and hang them on clothesline on a nice day and get the aired out smell.
    Good luck with your pillow.

    • I haven’t seen the commercials but I do remember seeing one called that on Amazon, I think. I will go back and look for that one again. Thanks, Terri!

      • Teresa Halliday says

        Hi Susan…I, too, use My Pillow. They are fabulous pillows. I got mine on QVC. But I know you can get them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Good luck.

    • Tried these (and dozens others). They are ALMOST flat enough, but not quite. I too threw away my pillows that worked and somehow I have one left. I’m sure it’s 90% dust mites, but im keeping it. Can’t wait to hear what you find.

  5. Peggy Thal says

    I know exactly what you mean. I sleep with 3 pillows -a king regular one, a king down and a cheap twin one. One day I threw out my cheap twin and could not sleep comfortably that night. So, I went and got my pillow out of the garbage can and washed it . Sad but true. I am a happy sleeper once again! Sometimes you just have to do what you got to do.

  6. My Pillow is a great pillow. May solve your problem.

  7. Bonnie Bee says

    Have you tried MY PILLOW… yep, that’s the name and it is made in the USA…I ordered the first one for my husband because it promises to help with stopping the snoring… IT WORKED!!! although I had my doubts because MY PILLOW is very soft & squishie.. BUT that is why it works.. you can mold it under your neck & squish it to “custom fit” …so I ordered one because I have back & neck issues.. and now we both sleep through the night without tossing (or snorring!!)… Good luck with your treasure hunt for the perfect pillow!!!! love that you post such helpful blogs!! I can count on BNOTP for just about any subject!!!

    • Thanks, Bonnie! I hadn’t heard of that one but I will definitely check it out if one of the two I ordered doesn’t work.

      • We ordered the MY Pillows from QVC. I can not say we are sleeping better or there is less snoring πŸ™ Not worth the price but glad they are made in the USA!

  8. Susan, I think you’ll like the Core pillow better. Be sure to order at least one of their pillow cases as this size is hard to find. I love mine (I have two!) and have been using it for about two years. I have to sleep on my side, and this works so much better than a travel pillow. It really does keep your spine straight! It works beautifully for sleeping on your back.

  9. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    HATE, HATE, HATE (Have I mentioned I don’t like them much?) memory foam pillows, even though I adore my Tempur-Pedic mattress. I like to be able to fold, spindle, and mutilate my pillow and the memory foam ones are just not malleable.

  10. I know what you mean about pillows!
    I have issues with sleeping as it is. Over the years due to chronic fatigue, sleeping was NOT fun. I needed a pillow top mattress. I got one…aaaah. πŸ™‚

    In Sept.2012, after getting engaged, I realized that my KING bed would NOT fit in his bedroom. So I got a sleep number bed. It was ..eh. I needed it at a low number….I can’t do FIRM. I tried everything I could with that bed, in that 3 months til we got married( and I would be moving my bed to his house.) When I would roll over my elbow would hit the platform below me becuz I had so little air in the mattress! They gave me foam…2 layers. I added a foam topper. I was ok sleeping like that. But when we got married….and I would find myself in the MIDDLE of the bed (becuz I liked to “cuddle” with my new hubby! LOL) My back and hips would be KILLING me cuz there was “no air” in the middle, just a piece of cheap foam between the 2 chambers.

    And if any part of his body crossed over to MY side…it messed up my sleep number….it’s like when you squeeze a partially filled balloon…it puffs up. So his leg on my side in the middle of the night made my side too firm. UGH. BYE BYE went the sleep number bed after a year of suffering. Nice idea in THEORY, but for people who are extremely sensitive….it’s a no go.

    I have always had pillow issues. Once I found one I liked I stuck with it. Every few years I would replace it.

    But when I got this new bed…a hybrid….it was too flat.
    I had the issue with the too full pillow as well.
    I am a side sleeper. I did get a bamboo pillow that works.

    A hint on any mattress with memory foam on top. With heat you “melt” into it. So, in summer…it is hotter out, and your body gets a little warmer, and it is not the same as it was in the winter. Well, at least mine is not. I bought mine in winter and it was ok. Til summer. LOL

    AND when I was “test driving” it in the store…and it was ok….I did not realize that my “volcano man” husband would make himself AND ME “melt” into the memory foam. UGH. Sleeping next to him at times is truly like sleeping next to the sun! hahaha He lets off so much heat it is nuts. It doesn’t bother him one bit…I have to move over and throw off the covers. LOL

    So NEXT time we get a mattress I will be getting either a firmer memory foam mattress so that when VOLCANO MAN gets in and “melts” the thing it won’t have my back hurting…..

    OR…I will get a pillow top like before. They don’t make mattresses like that old one anymore. It was pillowtop EXTREME I tell ya…like sleepin on a cloud! πŸ™

    • Robin, the one I have now came in four different styles. It was something like pillow top firm or pillow top plush, no pillow top firm and no pillow top flush. I wonder if one of the pillow tops would work for you…maybe the pillow top plush one. I went with no pillow top, firm because I like a firm mattress. It’s amazing how much better you feel the next day with a good night’s rest…so I feel for you!

  11. I’ve struggled with pillows for years until I bought a water pillow! They have just the right amount of support and the right amount of give. You can find them online or at chiropractor’s offices. They aren’t cheap, but they are so worth it, and this coming from someone who is pretty frugal. Chiroflow is the maker. It may take a little playing with it to find just the right amount of water, but once you do you’ll sleep like a log (not sleep like a baby – they wake up and cry).

    • Rae, I saw something about the water pillow on Amazon. I didn’t know they made such a thing…so interesting! Thanks for sharing your experience with it!

  12. Susan, I have a question that isn’t related to pillows, but has to do with the dust ruffle on your bed. I can’t keep mine straight — every time I rotate the mattress (with a help of a friend), the dust ruffle scrunches up and I need more hands than I have to try and straighten it. Do you have a method of keeping the dust ruffle neatly on the box spring?

    • I haven’t had that problem but it may be because mine are so long and so heavy. They make these corkscrew looking pins that you can buy at places like Bed, Bath and Beyond…but you want to me careful when using them because they can tear the fabric if you pull too hard on the bedskirt. You may want to check those out, though…in case they help. Unfortunately, most of the new mattresses available today can’t be rotated…I used to rotate my old one though and the skirt was pretty good about staying in place.

    • @Maureen: Try what they call Upholstery T-Pins. They come in different lengths, are reasonably priced, come in a package, can be purchased at most places that carry sewing accessories, will not ruin your mattress/fabric and are easy to apply or remove. -Brenda-

  13. For all those side sleepers (me included), I always moisturize my dΓ©colletage
    at bedtime. It helps keep the sleep wrinkles away. I also hug a pillow to my chest which helps support my bust area and eliminates the creases. A lot to think about, but I have been a side sleeper most of my life and it is true… you will get more wrinkles sleeping on your side.

  14. Oh Goodie!!!! i thought I was going to have to stifle my thoughts!!!! Thaks to another Terri for mentioning MY PILLOW!!! ( and a few other girls)
    I feel so guilty for loving MY PILLOW. This crazy little squishy thing is the best pillow I have ever slept on. I cast aside a $120 pillow to try MY PILLOW.
    Last nite, my husband ask to try it. He took a shower and freshened himself…..and I let him sleep on it. He is positively hooked. He loved it and will order one for himself!
    I will proudly admit I bought mine on QVC. I got a good buy, I could have returned it within 30 days and I found it to be the best pillow I have ever slept on.
    Sorry to sound like a commercial!!!!!

    • I am going to have to try one of those since everyone likes them so much. The reviews are kind mixed at Amazon…folks complaining they don’t stay lofty enough, which prob means I would like it. lol

  15. I, too, have had terrible fat pillow problems. I finally found one that will let me squish it around. It is the Isotonic Indulgence Back Sleeper pillow.

    Back sleepers normally need soft/medium pillows not firm. This pillow is a down alternative that isn’t too fluffy. If neither of the ones you ordered work, you might try this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond.
    Good luck!

    • Yes, these Indulgence pillows from BB&B. I have been using them for years. They are in a plastic carrying case with a handle (for lack of a better word) and found usually in a bin in a center aisle at the store…at least in my BB&B, anyway.

  16. I could have written this post. I feel your pain! I’ve been sleeping on a pillow that is older than I am. I know! Super gross but it is the only pillow that I can sleep on. It is deteriorating and I don’t know what to do. Your supesions are right that your pillow was probably a block of foam and has fallen apart into pieces that you can mold around. That is why it can’t be duplicated. I have spent umpteen dollars on pillows and they never work. Sigh. I wish there was some way to try before we buy.

    • Cris, I know it’s scary when something you love it wearing out and you can’t find a good replacement. Check out all the comments on this post because they are awesome! I’m even interested in the wool pillow someone mentioned finding on Amazon. It’s kind of pricey but you can adjust the thickness because you can apparently remove some of the stuffing, I think. Folks are talking about them lasting for years and years. That really intrigues me since I love natural fabrics like wool and cotton.

      • This was the situation at our house. After purchasing 4 different kinds of pillows for my husband who figured this would solve his sleep problems I came up with this DIY. I took the one that seemed to have the most loose fill inside. (some had cores of different materials). I cut the end off the pillow’s case. I took about 1/3 of the stuffing out. and with loose stitches sewed it shut. DH tried it out one night. A little more stuffing was added back in and the case was sewed up tightly. I kept the stuffing in my craft room. When the complaints start…more stuffing is added and he has now had the same pillow for 5 years. Extra stuffing is all used up. A new pillow is now due…but at least we have an easy, custom solution!!

  17. i too like a flat pillow and found this pillow to be perfect. On occasion you may find them at TJMaxx or Homegoods but here is the amazon link. Read reviews and see what you think. Best pillow purchase ever!

  18. I sleep on a soft down pillow which is pretty flat. I like to fluff it and shape it to conform to my head and neck. It’s the only type of pillow I can sleep on comfortably. When I travel, I ask if down pillows are available cause I can’t sleep well without them. I’ve been a side sleeper most of my life except the time when I had rotator cuff surgery and had to sleep on my back. Besides the down pillow I sleep on, I had two pillows on either side of my head, plus a triangular pillow to keep my legs elevated so my back wouldn’t hurt. Once my shoulder healed I went back to sleeping on my side. At my age, I can’t do anything about avoiding wrinkles. It’s going to happen anyway no matter what I do.

  19. This post is so my life. My last 10 years in the Navy, I was on multiple ships. I had always been a back sleeper. But sleeping in a coffin rack (https://seachop.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/p10000971.jpg), I always slept on my side to block any light from coming though. Well now I sleep on my side. And as a result of that and my job I know have bursitis in my shoulder. And at night it can be painful. I sleep sometimes on a wedge so I can get some weight off of it at night.

  20. Girl, I hear ya! I’m 63 and still miss my pillow I took to college and kept until I was in my 30s. I still long for it. More than that, I’m missing the retail choices we used to have, products of American ingenuity and competition. Department stores used to carry thin, medium, and thick pillows. (Memories of John A Brown’s in OKC) Mine was also a thin pillow and worked perfectly with my car wreck injured neck. Somewhere around the time of the furniture industry trend of turning out large scale oversized Victorian influenced furniture, I noticed the pillow industry abandoned the thin pillows. Waaaaaaa!

  21. Oh, I feel your pain! The only thing worse than shopping for a bathing suit is shopping for a pillow!

  22. Ok, I’m going to check out that MY PILLOW right away! I am currently using a pitiful looking, old pillow because I can’t find a new one that works! Yes, I want it thin and squishable. I start the night on my back but usually end up on one side for a while, then the other – I take my pillow when I travel but it looks so awful (and yes, it’s been washed many times) that I hate for anyone to see it. But I hate waking up with a headache worse! I have tried removing some of the stuffing from a fluffy pillow, but no…so since MANY people recommended MY PILLOW, I will certainly check it out. Thank you for your post, I’ll be interested to see how the ones you’ve ordered work out, too.

  23. Lisa Smith says

    I am and always have been a side sleeper, but am having to sleep on my back while recovering from knee surgery last week and wearing this enormous brace. Thankfully, my two favorite pillows work for both side sleeping AND back sleeping. One is that same core pillow that you have just ordered. The other is “Target’s” version of a memory foam pillow. I alternate between the two as I can’t quite tell which is my favorite! I actually purchased the core pillow from a chiropractor! Be sure you give it several nights because it really does sleep differently depending on which side you use. You will see this once it arrives. The Target pillow has two different depth sides which you can choose which you prefer. I found that I liked the Target pillow just as much as the expensive Brookstone version. I am interested to hear what you decide. Good luck, Susan and sweet dreams!

  24. While reading your article, I thought, “Oh, you need the pillow I have.” It is actually the second one shown above. Our chiropractor sells them at his office. They are great for back and side sleeping. I’ve always slept on my side but have also read about the wrinkles (we are all so vain!). This pillow has made it easy and comfortable to train myself to sleep on my back. Good luck!

  25. How timely, Susan! I just got home 30 minutes ago from having a Fraxel laser treatment on my face for fine lines. I’m a long-time side sleeper. The doctor who did my laser told me to sleep on my back. I add my vote to MY PILLOW if your other choices don’t work out. It solved my chronic neck and shoulder pain. Love that it is American made, company owned by a military veteran, and the pillows have a 10 year warranty. Don’t pay full price…look for an online coupon! Off to look for a bag of frozen peas to put on my burning face!!!

    • I saw something about Fraxel Laser on TV recently. Roxanne, you’ll have to tell me how you like it. How long does it last? I’m going to visit a Bed, Bath and Beyond and see if they have a My Pillow so I can feel it/see it in person.

  26. Susan…
    I had same problems recently when decided old bed pillows should be replaced but did not want the big, fluffy ones which seem to be the only
    ones available. I start to sleep on my back but often turn on my side during
    the night. Those memory foam pillows seemed hot to me in summer and I did not like the odor often connected with them, especially in the beginning. What to do? Long story short: discovered in the Vermont Country Store Catalogue the perfect solution. What they sell is called the Slender Pillow, which is a medium firm pillow about half the thickness of a regular pillow. They are advertised as the perfect pillow for the stomach sleeper but I can honestly say they are also great for back or side sleepers. I bought three of them and find usually a stack of two is perfect for a good night’s sleep, although have also stacked all three. My husband ( who refused to allow me to toss his old sleep pillows; smart man) finds that one of the slender pillows with his old one on top is perfect for him. We both have found the slender pillows just what we were looking for to give us the night of sleep that leaves us refreshed in the morning. Give a look at their catalogue. The pillows are reasonably priced. The important thing I find
    is for your neck to be supported and kept in alignment with spine. Most
    pillows do neither. The Slender Pillow does both by allowing you to “control” the height with number of pillow used.

    Oh, and that catalogue also shows the satin pillow cases for reducing the “bed-head”
    look. I have used them and never found my head “slipping”. Perhaps
    it makes a difference in pillow size. No matter; the only way I have found
    to keep my hair perfect while sleeping is to sleep with my head out of the
    bed! Hair looks great in the morning but left with a stiff neck the whole of the next day! Not an improvement! Remember those awful hair nets we
    used to sleep in hoping to rise next day with every hair intact? Ugh! And
    those rollers? How did we ever get a night’s rest? Ah, vanity! Thy name is

  27. bobbi duncan says

    Susan, I’m in love with MY PILLOW–best pillow I’ve ever slept on. Hubby dittos that. Purchased them two years ago and they are still the same shape, even with many launderings (I have a thing about clean linens lol!). Hope you find a pillow you enjoy as much because poor sleep is awful on you the next day.

  28. Mary in AR says

    I totally understand the pillow issue. About 15 years ago, Martha Stewart made a buckwheat hull pillow and could not stop extolling the virtues of such pillow. I found one at either Linens & Things (remember them) or Walgreens. Best pillow ever! Small, scrunches up under your neck to support it, not too hot, just love it. After a few years, the buckwheat hulls had rubbed against each other so much, they were quite smooth and not as scrunchy, so I looked for a new one. Could not find one, so I bought a memory foam pillow–oh my word, was it hot! I started sweating almost immediately and could not cool down. So, out with that pillow. I’ve found the buckwheat hulls in bulk on the internet, so now every few years I just open the seam on my pillow, and refresh or replace the hulls. No trouble sleeping anymore. Love your blog and read it every time you post. Thank you.

  29. Pepermintpatty says

    I have always slept on my side, am 72 and have no face wrinkles. I use “MY PILLOW” in medium–it is great for good nights sleep. My Mom had no face wrinkles–we both use evoo on face after a shower–It really works. I don’t ever think I could sleep on my back–but will give it a try anyway. Thanks for your tips

  30. Judy Lincicum says

    Hi Susan, just had to send my 2 cents worth because I had the exact same problem. When I got my new mattress, it was so much firmer than my old one, that when I laid down, my head seemed to go downhill, it was so flat. I have sleep apnea and anytime I can get a good nights sleep, I’ll take it. My daughter came over one night to spend the night and brought her pillow. She was all excited because it was such a good find, as she has some of the same issues. During the night I snuck it over to my side and tried it out, and omg! It solved every pillow problem I had. It is definitely not malleable, so I wasn’t sure, but the reason it works so well, is because it molds flat and you sink you head down where it’s comfortable without the pillow coming up around your face. Another problems I was trying to solve, was the fact that I was waking up to and 3 times at night because I was sweating so bad around my head and neck. I also ordered it from Amazon and they have a mattress topper too. Here goes…..It’s called Iso-Cool and it really worked for me. It’s not inexpensive, comes in several sizes, but it’s not a cheapo pillow either. Alot of the girls are recommending the My Pillow and I’m impressed with the number of people who have tried it. If Iso-cool ever lets me down, I would definitely try one. I also noticed that the position I went to sleep in at night, is the same position I would wake up in. Just for your consideration……Judy

  31. This is all so wonderful to read! I thought I was the only “Princess and the Pea” person. I love our Tempur- pedic bed although my husband doesn’t!
    As for pillows, I have purchased more than 50 pillows and was miserable until I found one by accident at Sears outlet, called “Natures Sleep.” It can be washed and dried as well. I tried the My Pillow and hated it, so I returned it. I can tell after one night. I like a fluffy soft pillow. The Tempur-pedic pillow was great until I cut it apart to make it smaller…hasn’t worked right since… and I think they are upwards of $100.
    I sleep on both my back and side. I’m too old to worry about wrinkles.

  32. My Mom taught me this when I was little to always sleep on my back. She also taught me to moisturize with oil first and moisturizer before bed. .I use almond, avocado oils and lots of moisturizer. If we turn over on the pillow during the night our wrinkles get imbedded never to go away. My Mom was a back sleeper and she had unlined gorgeous skin even in her 80’s. So it works!

    I feel your pillow pain because I have a severe neck injury so sleeping is a big problem. I have a fabulous new mattress worth every penny (Heirlooms the best) but my pillows are a problem. I have to have a full support, opposite of you. In order that my neck stay lifted and protected. I have to have a very full very firm pillow that does not change shape or go down with use. I have just as much trouble finding firm full pillows as you do flat ones. JC Penny’s used to be reliable and I cannot abide the big box stores pillows. (made in China-never) . I found I just have to go to the better stores and pay the higher price, little bother for comfort I think. Happy sleeping.

  33. Diane Beasley says

    I was interested to read about your search for a new pillow. I recently ordered my husband and myself new pillows from QVC called My Pillow. They are also on info commercials. I ordered us firm pillows.
    Mine was never comfortable. I felt like my head was on a hard surface all night. I didn’t want to return them. I opened the end of the pillow and took out some of the “stuffing” and then sewed it back up. Since then it has been just right! Didn’t know if you could also open one of those pillows up that you are unhappy with and remove enough of the stuffing to make it as flat as you would like. I know that wouldn’t work on a memory foam. Good luck!

    • Diane, it’s funny you mention. I brought one into my office this morning to open it up to see if I could get some of the stuffing out. I think I’ll do that to use until the new ones come. πŸ™‚

  34. Susan, your blog always teaches us so much. I love how your fans/followers chime in to inform us as well. Anyway, I’m also chiming in to add a pillow suggestion. I like Charisma down alternative pillows. They are inexpensive, which would have made me think they weren’t good, but they seem fine to me. Like you, I can’t sleep on those loftier pillows we sometimes encounter. I am a side sleeper but use a silk pillowcase from Branche on mine. Hope you find just the perfect pillows. Makes me think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

    • Thanks, Daphne! lol Yup…Goidlocks but with pillows instead of beds! Thanks for the suggestion. I’m will keep Charisma in mind if these don’t work!

  35. Gosh
    Susan, if I could get 7-8 hours sleep, I would try it standing on my head!! πŸ™‚ I am a terrible sleeper, always have been and have tried so many pillows, it is ridiculous how many I have thrown away. I used to be a side sleeper until I injured my shoulder and mostly sleep on my back, but now I have neck and back problems….so…if one of the posters here has the same problems and a wonderful pillow tried and tested, I would like to read the follow up on ordering these.
    I watched a t.v. program where they said you should change your pillow every year…I may have reached that point!! πŸ™‚

  36. I like really flat pillows too, but I also will only use my pillows about 3 months and then in the trash they go. What I found that works for me are pillows I found at the Dollar General store. They are sold in packages of 2 for $6.00. They do not have to be “broken in” they are flat from the first night. And because of the low cost I don’t feel guilty when I throw them out.

  37. I’m a stomach sleeper – absolute worst for just about everything:) – *don’t care. But thank you SO much for the pillow research – I’ve tried all kinds of pillows also – it SHOULD be so easy (SO isn’t) . . .and I can’t have something that doesn’t breathe – I get so overheated. So not sure where that leaves me . . can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  38. I just found this on Amazon: ‘Wooliebees Soft Hypoallergenic Wool Bed Pillows’ – expensive ($147) but one woman said she’s had hers for five years and she can ‘scrunch it to any shape to conform to you’. I am a huge wool fan (cool in summer, warm in winter) and think I might take the plunge and order one when budget allows.

  39. Charlotte says

    Pillow recommendations galore here! I do not like flat pillows-let’s have a pillow fight! My medium-sized pillow will win, lol. Sounds like you to try My Pillow. (I love to go to sleep on my stomach, but always find myself awake on my back. And yes, my face suffers!) Let us know how you like your new pillow. Can’t wait!

  40. Wendy Johnson says

    Love sleeping on my side, now trying the back thing with a memory foam pillow. They feel hard as a rock till they adjust to your head then they are perfect. Also because I have back problems I need a pillow or two under my knees. Good luck.

  41. When I travel I purchase two cheap ($5-$6 each) pillows at Walmart. After a week or so of sleeping on, sitting on, using for a back support they are flatter than a pancake. When I get home I wash them. They then go to my daughter who loves a flat pillow. I do this about every six months.
    After my daughter is done with them they become dog beds. I just use old duvets that can be easily washed.

  42. Well, I was embarrassed to say it til I read the comment before mine but I buy CHEAP pillows from Walmart or K Mart for $5-$6 cause I need a flat pillow. I can not lay on my back, I get a terrible pain. So I sleep on my side mostly. I just may try the My Pillow after reading all these comments though. I am going to get my hubby the one someone recommended that stopped her husbands snoring! I have for the past few months ended up in the guest room almost every night because of his snoring:( NOT good:(

  43. Linda S. in NE says

    Susan, Is that a snippet of a Wysocki print that is showing up in today’s email from you? Love it! I have enjoyed reading your post, as well as all the comments from your fans. Pillows and bedding are quite the topic. When we think of it, what is more personal than our comfort when we are asleep? I’ll be interested to see which pillow you settle on. By the way, are pillows “returnable” to the place of purchase after we have slept on them? If they can be returned, just what do the stores do with them?….or don’t I want to know??!!

    • Yep, I just ordered that print and 7 of his greeting cards this evening. I love his work so much! The best place to buy the print is on eBay…found it for $27.99 with free shipping. http://www.ebay.com/itm/161627232321?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
      I’m going to hang the it here in the office on a narrow section of wall at the end of my bookshelves after I get it framed. It made me sad to read that he passed away in 2002 but thankfully his work is still available to purchase.
      About the pillow, I’m guessing since I’m ordering on Amazon, if I hate it, hopefully I can return it. I cancelled the order on the foam one a few minutes ago (it hadn’t shipped) because I’m afraid it will be too tall and firm. But the other is still ordered. I drove over to a Dollar General after reading Michele’s comment on this post and they had some pretty flat pillows so I purchased one…only $2.97. So I’ll sleep on that until the one from Amazon arrives. It will be funny if the Dollar General pillow sleeps better than the fancy one from Amazon.

  44. gray Matthews says

    Was reading all the pillow talk and it takes a little time to break a pillow in
    But you could buy several pillows and stuff and un- stuff til you get one just right…good luck

  45. JeanieWms says

    My husband and I both have the “My Pillow”! We love ours so much, we have gotten them for our sons and their spouses. We also have told many of our friends and they’ve gotten them,too. The little beads in them can be
    molded to your needs. Makes for a great night’s sleep! Hope you find one soon.

  46. crumpety cottage says

    Wow, popular subject! Susan, I have GIVEN UP on every finding a decent mattress OR pillow. I just can’t find them. I actually considered going into the business to design and manufacture good sleep aids. I can imagine a few hundreds years from now archaeologists digging up some old mattresses and pillows and exclaiming, “They slept on THAT!?” And wondering how we ever did it.

    I’m fascinated to hear that you sleep through the night. Is that uncommon? But I wonder if that has something to do with your boundless energy. I have always gotten up many times through the night, sometimes more than 20 times. I can’t even remember the last time I was able to sleep through the night. Not even one time. I surely wish I could. I think it would make a big difference in how I feel.

    I also like a flat pillow and am considering making my own. I hate these spongey type pillows that seem to be everywhere. I did try a buckwheat pillow, but they are very noisy. I remember as a kid having a flat pillow that I could form into the shape I wanted. And it always seemed to feel cool. What happened to those pillows? I have no idea how or from what they were made.

    I sure hope you find the answer and I wish you luck. Please do keep us posted.

    • Unless I drink a lot of water right before going to bed, I’ve always sleep through the night. I think I would be exhausted during the day if I didn’t sleep well. Pam. you may want to do what a friend of mine did recently. She went for one of the sleep studies at Emory University. They found out she was stopping breathing a gazillion times a night. Now she has a cpap and I think it’s helping a lot. Check with your doctor, I bet he can make a referral for you to have one done to find out why you’re not staying asleep. You may never be entering into REM sleep, which is so important for your health.

  47. Cyndi Raines says

    Thank you Susan for such an educational post. My husband has been pillow hunting since last fall and still isn’t happy. I will tell him about the My Pillow that many have suggested. Normally, I am a right sided sleeper but because I am starting to have some hip pain, I’ve been sleeping more on my back and have noticed I don’t have a crease in my face in the morning! Yea! I also have been sleeping with a small pillow between my knees or under my knees and that has helped as well. The things we have to do to as we get older to get a good nights rest! Hope you find the pillow that you need to sleep well. Thanks for all the good information.

  48. Susan: Thanks for the great informative post (and comments from your readers!) I, too, am a side sleeper, all my life, and even “sit up in bed” to make the turn! LOL Here I thought the “crevices” in my face and chest were all due to “maturity.” Now I’ve learned I should not sleep on my side…well, of course I am over the magic number of “83” so it is hard to determine what to blame. Always enjoy your posts…a long time follower.
    {{HUGS}} Joy

  49. Connie Stark says

    Hello, Susan. Greetings from Kansas City, MO (Nell Hills land :-). I hope you like your new memory foam pillow. Two years ago, I purchased a “Weightless Supreme” Tempur-Pedic mattress set and love it! The place I bought it from threw in a “Symphony” Tempur-Pedic memory foam pillow and I love it and can’t sleep on any other pillow. As a side note…I’ve heard that if you’ve used your ‘standard fill’ pillows for a long time, they contain a ton of dead skin and dust mites…Yuck! So…I think you did the right thing by throwing out your old ‘standard fill’ pillows. Thank you for a great web site. I have viewed it for the past couple of years and love it your work! Have a Blessed day! Connie

  50. Arlene Moran says

    Hi Susan,

    Why not buy the pillow protectors and some of the polyester fiber fill and create the size pillow you want? It is just a quick fix until you find the “perfect pillow” I have a pillow that I bought years ago in a discount store while in Williamsburg, VA and I bring it with me on all my trips! Call me crazy, but those hotel pillows just don’t work for me.

    God luck in your hunt!

  51. Well, yep, I did the same thing…we were actually “given free” 2 pillows when we bought our new mattress set last year. They were supposed to retail at some astronomical price (200 each??, I don’t really remember the amount, just more than I would ever spend on pillows) and, I happily made my bed – wit the new pillows… and In the middle of the night- I went and retrieved my old pillow from the linen closet (I did save them ” just in case” because the new ones felt so heavy) but, I thought – perhaps I was “doing it wrong” with my down pillows….
    The reason I am responding to your post is, because I have 3 pillows that I use every night – mostly I start with them in the “reading position” then they get shuffled and I end up with just one – depending on THEIR composition – but, since they are down, they get REALLY flat…and then I need 2 – then I need all three… then I wash them, dry them, and they are back to “too fluffy” but quickly flatten out.
    Nothing worse than not sleeping!
    Good Luck Susan…. like I say – maybe you could try a really soft down pillow (barring any allergies)

  52. I love the picture of the cats by Charles Wysocki- I have several of his puzzles and that is one I want to get- Love the kitties around the books. I so enjoy your posts- They are personal and informative and the pictures and colors are fantastic. Thank you for the great ideas and teaching me these wonderful ideas on how to improve myself and my home (that I am in the process of selling. My home not me!!!) Thanks again- Lea

  53. This whole line of convo cracks me up!!!! Have you noticed that those of us who own the My Pillow, rave about them????
    I did loan mine to my hubbs……..and he rolled it imto this wrinkled little ball. I mean a tiny ball. My pillow case looked like it has gone thru the war!!!!!
    Soon as I shook it and fluffed it……..ah……….they was my lovely pillow again. No more sharing. LOL.

    Have you girls been to IKEA and looked at their pillows?? Talk about flat!!!! You prolly would love them.

    I’ll keep My Pillow!!!!

  54. My goodness! I thought I was a lonely “Princess and the Pea” type when it came to pillows but obviously from all the comments to your post today – I’m not feeling so lonely anymore! I hate to think how much money I have spent on pillows over the years. I ordered the My Pillow from QVC last year and sent them back because they weren’t firm enough for me. I think there is one that is more firm now and I may try My Pillow again. The thing is – if I don’t sleep well the first night with a new pillow, I’m not likely to want to use it a second night. So, for me, pillows get one shot at helping me have a good night’s sleep. Right now I am using a PedicSolutions Ventilated Memory Foam Pillow that I purchased from QVC. It has many holes in it which keeps the heat from building up around your head and neck. At least this one works for me. I start out sleeping on my side but always wake up on my back. This pillow works for which ever position I sleep in. Thanks for this post – it was so interesting!

  55. SharonFromMichigan says

    You have a right to be picky about your pillow. I have been through the “princess and the pea” routine with mine. I finally found a good king size pillow that I can mash down to support my neck and not affect my head. I fall asleep on my back and wake up on my side. If my pillow is too fluffy under my head I wake up with a small headache and crabby. Pillows do make the world of difference!

  56. Kathy Rademacher says

    Oh, the dreaded pillow search. I have the same problem–it is so frustrating. I sleep on my back, also, for the same reasons you do. Well, after searching for weeks and purchasing several I thought would work, I decided to open one up and remove some of the stuffing. I had purchased one from IKEA and that was filled with tiny feathers that went everywhere but another one was fiber filled and I removed some of that and it is better. I may remove some more; still testing!

  57. Denise Davis says

    Love this topic. Who knew we all had such issues with finding the right pillow. We too ordered a new mattress and they threw in these wonderful tempur pedic pillows. We were so excited to try them– hopped in bed and hours later I was tossing and turning. Got rid of those. Next ordered two king size pillows from My Pillow. Used those for a month or so, but did not like them because of the lumpy stuffing. I have lost count of the number of pillows I have bought and then gotten rid of.
    Susan please let us know if you find the perfect pillow

  58. When you find the perfect pillow do let me know. I try one after another and am never satisfied.

  59. Renee Cook says

    I sure have enjoyed this whole conversation! I haven’t been sleeping my best because of my mattress and pillows either and found some good ideas today. Thank you, Susan, for creating a place to find such good, reliable information. One thing’s for sure… I’m stopping by Dollar General on the way home today! Sweet dreams, everyone.

  60. I am definitely going to recommend My Pillow to my daughter as for myself, you can stand me up in a corner and I can sleep ☺ but do admit I find most hotels over compensate when it comes to the size of their pillows.
    Hope you find one that suits you Susan. -Brenda-

  61. Susan, please let me know which, if either, pillow you eventually select. Preferring a firm pillow, mine actually has metal coils in the center (which you cannot feel) and I even have to replace those every 4-5 years. Keep us posted!

  62. I’m a side sleeper and since discovering that I have a herniated disc that probably won’t change. Doctor and therapist advised me not to. I love a big fat fluffy pillow but am willing to try a flatter one. Do I have wrinkles? Yepper! Not happy with them at all but at this point there’s not much I can do except keep a positive attitude, try a new pillow and count my blessings. Thanks for the info!

  63. I am exactly like you when it comes to pillows. I buy a very flat one made by Calvin Klein at Macy’s. Very easy to find. It is very flat and soft, almost like down, but not down. I use a satin pillowcase that I have made. My mother got me started on those pillow cases. You buy the white (wedding satin) at your local Joanne’s and you pay for someone or make the pillow yourself if you know how to sew. It is very easy to sew. I have made one myself. With Satin you have to make sure it has French seams so it doesn’t fray or unravel on you. I have had some made for friends for Xmas presents.
    My flat pillow and satin pillow case went with me on Sailing With The Scotts! Love it.

    • That’s good to know about the Calvin Klein pillows…thanks, Cathy! The ones on the ship were a bit too tall for me but that’s always the case whenever I travel. You were smart to take your own! I should have left some clothes home and brought mine from home. πŸ™‚

  64. Oh and by the way, you don’t need to worry so much about wrinkles. You are still very young. The number one cause of wrinkles is the sun! Always stay out of the sun and use sun block and your skin will be beautiful!

  65. So many pillow stories!!!
    I have a pile of pillows and use them as back support while doing my half hour of bedtime reading. Then toss them in a chair and sleep on my back without a pillow.

    I don’t want my back curving and my head tipping downward as I age. Seems like a pillow encourages that change in skeletal shape.

    But……I read just recently in a medical newsletter that sleeping on one’s back leads to spine problems later on. But it’s the most comfortable way for me now, so I’m stuck with it. No way I sleep will give me a straight 7-8 hours. That’s un-natural for me.

    Besides, I’ve already had a few years of back pain hell….. til i had surgery, so maybe that’s what let’s me sleep on my back?

    If I think about wrinkles i’ll just get depressed, so I smile a lot and the wrinkles sort of smudge out……or so i kid myself….maybe it’s my magic mirror? LOL ….whatever we do, looks like there are plenty of pillows to choose from…may yours be ever with you and may you have closet room for replacements.

  66. Thanks! Great article. I see it’s been a year since you were searching for the right pillow. Did you ever find the pillow that helps reduce wrinkles? I’m very interested. Thanks again for your help!

    • I don’t sleep on my side so wasn’t worried so much about reducing wrinkles from sleeping. I was just trying to find one that was really flat. It turned out the one a reader recommended from the Dollar General was perfect! They are nice and flat and pliable so I can squish it where it gives great neck support. I love it. It’s super inexpensive so I can replace it whenever needed but haven’t had to, yet.

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