How and Why You Might Want to Flatten Your Pillow

Some may compain that pillows tend to go flat very easily, which can reduces the comfort level for them. However, washing or air drying a pillow can also get it to become too fluffy for your taste. Some pillows are also extremely thick when you buy them. This is not only uncomfortable while sleeping, but it can also cause muscle ache and neck pain when you wake up in the morning. In this article, we cover the best tips on how to flatten a pillow to make your sleeping experience more comfortable – so you can finally get a good night’s rest. 

Pillow-Flattening Option 1: Sleeping

While this might seem like an obvious option, and it might take a relatively longer time, it’s the best option to ensure that your pillow is at its most comfortable shape. Just using your pillow like you usually would to sleep at night will eventually flatten it out. 

A disadvantage of this option is the time it will take to get the pillow to its most optimal shape. In the first week or so of using it, you might experience some discomfort and even neck pain in more extreme cases. 

However, the main advantage of this method is that your pillow will be suited exactly to the shape of your head and neck. Flattening your pillow using just the weight of your head over a longer time will personalize your pillow. 

how to flatten a pillow

Pillow-Flattening Option 2: Compressing

If your pillow is just too thick and you don’t want to wait a few weeks to get it in the right shape, you can flatten it by compressing it throughout the day. This method is easy and intuitive, and you can expect a flatter and more comfortable pillow in just a few days’ time. 

Once you get out of bed in the morning, you can put some heavy objects on your pillow and leave them throughout the day to get a flatter pillow. An easy way to do this is to fill up a bag or a box with books and leave them in the center of the pillow. If you’re looking for the entire pillow to be flat and not just the area where you rest your head, you can use a bigger bag or box. 

You can also use heavier items like a large suitcase full of clothes to flatten your pillow over a larger area. While this method has the advantage of making your pillow flat within just a few days, you might not get the personalized comfort that the first method would provide. 

Pillow-Flattening Option 3: Removal

The options mentioned above work with the assumption that there’s a lot of free space between the stuffing in your pillow in the form of air pockets. However, you might find some pillows that are very tightly stuffed. 

Using the sleeping and compressing methods might not work as well as they would with soft pillows. And even if they do work, you might find yourself with a hard pillow that will cause both short term and long term problems for your neck and muscles. 

In such cases, the best option is to remove some stuffing from your pillow. Please note that this method is not as convenient as the first two, as it will involve ripping the seam of the pillow and stitching it back together. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Find the seam of the pillow and remove it along the line. Try not to use scissors, as you might end up ripping the cloth. 
  • If your pillow is new, remove just enough material to still keep it slightly thicker than your perfect thickness. This is because the pillow will get flatter over time. 
  • You will need a needle and a thread to stitch the seam back together, but you can also use a sewing machine. 
  • Make sure that you move the remaining stuffing around evenly before you re-sew the seam. You might find it difficult to do properly after stitching it back together. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Sleeping on a Thick Pillow?

how to flatten a pillow

While thick, fluffy pillows can feel luxurious and comfortable, sleeping with them for long periods of time can actually harm you. This is because a thick pillow can make your neck bend away from its natural position. 

Being in this position for more than 6 hours every day can cause discomfort and pain. If you’re a side sleeper, your neck extends sideways away from the pillow at an angle. 

Similarly, if you’re used to sleeping on your back, your neck is extended forward in an unnatural position. This can not only cause neck pain, but might also ruin your posture. 

Another problem you might face is interference with CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) in sleep apnea patients. Sleep deprivation also comes with health issues like insufficient tissue repair and risk of obesity and heart disease. 

Bottom Line

Sleeping with a thick or hard pillow can cause several problems in your posture and be harmful to your health. For this reason, you need to know how to flatten a pillow for the most comfortable sleeping position. 

You can flatten your pillow by sleeping on it, adding weights to compress it, or removing some stuffing to get the right thickness. 

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