Pillow Scientist

After a few drinks and a tiny amount of ridicule about the number of pillows I have on my bed last winter, I donned a new cap as a pillow strategist. See, the ridicule I had been enduring (for all of about 5 seconds) was misinformed. My friends were discussing how crazy and haphazard my sleeping habits must be with the number of pillows on my bed. I quickly informed them that they were wrong to assume that the placement of my pillows was in any way random, not knowing that I have been thinking about these things for years as I have struggled putting my racing mind to sleep. And thus began an hour long discussion of pillow strategy in the bar, followed by demonstrations and critiques after arriving by at my apartment. Below are some of the notes of what was discussed, but I will probably save some details for my self help book with the working title of "Pillow Preacher".

Dual Layer Primary Pillows

The biggest and most amateur mistake I see almost everyone make is only sleeping with a single pillow under their head. As someone who sleeps in the proper stomach twister position, I know that proper sleep can only be attained with two pillows under your head. Why would you need two pillows under your head you ask. Well my friend it is all about pressure points. If your asshole self decides to cross its arms overnight you can wake up sore or with some dead arms and nobody wants that. Start with a relatively thin (3 inches or so) base layer body pillow, stick your bottom most arm under that. Then add another relatively thin regular sized pillow on top of that and place your upper forearm under that and above the base layer. With your arms separated from each other and your face you will feel magnificent, and they will stay nice and cozy tucked under your pillows.

Alternatively, you can wrap your upper arm around a cuddler rather than placing it under the second layer. If you like this strategy, bump up the thickness of your base layer body pillow by an inch or two for proper support.


A slapper is a pillow placed above the primary pillow at an angle adjacent to the bed resting in the gap of the mattress and the headboard. Slappers serve numerous purposes. First and foremost, slappers protect your hands from your asshole unconscious self in case of any rowdy midnight punches you may throw upward towards that hardwood headboard or spackled wall. Secondarily, a slapper keeps your hands warm and cozy like the rest of your body all night long, as well as preventing them from drooping over the edge and allowing them to fall asleep.


Cuddlers are pretty straight forward, you spoon the shit out of them with either an elbow and upper leg if you employ the dual layer primary system, or your entire upper arm and upper leg if you find that more comfortable. What size you ask? These should be as big as a human adults torso which is equivalent to a nice and thick king size pillow. What’s that? You’ve never heard of a KING SIZED PILLOW. Look it up and send me a dollar for saving your life and get spooning. Best practice is to have two cuddlers available, just in case you need to roll over for some cool comfort in the middle of the night.

*Note, it is completely appropriate to replace a cuddler with a significant other if you happen to have one and they don’t mind being the little spoon.


Insulators again are very obvious. Place them around you in the winter to hold in the heat. Retired base layer pillows will do. Keep them on the sides of the bed, at your feet, and between walls if you are a one sider.

Mark Vaske