How to Prevent Pillows from Falling Behind the Bed: 15 Ideas

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On January 25th, 2024
How to Prevent Pillows from Falling Behind the Bed: 15 Ideas

Key Takeaways

  • Bed Frame and Furniture Adjustments: Making simple adjustments to your bed frame and furniture placement can effectively prevent your pillows from slipping down. Positioning your bed next to a wall or using furniture strategically can create a barrier that keeps pillows in place and eliminates the need for complex solutions.
  • Consider Specialized Solutions: For more persistent pillow-slipping issues, consider specialized solutions like installing guard rails or rail bumpers. These direct solutions act as guards to prevent items, including pillows, from sliding behind the headboard. Alternatively, an adjustable bed frame can provide customizable angles for optimal pillow placement.
  • Bedding Choices and Accessories: If moving furniture isn’t an option, explore bedding-related solutions. Using a body pillow, selecting the right pillow size for your neck and shoulder alignment, or sliding pillows under the bed sheet can all help keep pillows in place. Additionally, mattress toppers, weighted blankets, and DIY devices like pillow stops or bungee cords can be effective in maintaining pillow positioning and improving sleep quality.

Have you ever noticed your bed pillows falling and ending up in all sorts of places? They slip beneath the bed, play hide-and-seek with the headboard, and sometimes even perch on top of curtains.

It’s almost like they’re moving on their own, sliding and slipping around while you’re lost in sleep. No matter how hard you try to keep them under control, every morning you discover your bed pillows have fallen down.

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Whether it’s a flattened pillow or one plumped up with feathers, none of these pillows can escape the sliding and slipping game while you’re sleeping. But guess what? You’re fortunate! This doesn’t have to be an endless struggle.

There are many methods to ensure that these pillows don’t slide away from where they’re supposed to be—right on the mattress! So, if you’re interested in stopping your pillows from slipping, read on and learn some helpful tips and tricks.

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Look at Your Frame and Furniture

Sometimes, tweaking with your bed frame or furniture can be all that you need to do to keep your pillows in place.

Position Your Bed Next to a Wall

To stop your pillows from slipping down behind the bed, try positioning your bed next to a wall if you have enough room in your bedroom. The wall acts like a protective barrier, keeping your pillows in place.

Avoid tucking your bed into a corner, though, as this can make it hard to properly maneuver around the bed from both sides. Make sure to leave enough space between your bed and the wall so you can easily walk around it.

Position Furniture to Frame the Mattress

Position furniture like bedside tables, drawers, nightstands, and shelves around your bed to create a barrier. These pieces can prevent your pillows from sliding down. Choose furniture that fits well and doesn’t seem out of place.

For added comfort, consider adding some padding to the furniture edges, especially if your head is close to the headboard and the bedside table. Be cautious not to accidentally hit your head against the furniture.

By using your furniture cleverly, you can help keep your pillows right where they should be – on your bed.

Install Guard Rails & Rail Bumpers

Installing bed rails or rail bumpers is easy; just attach them to your bed frame’s sides. This simple and direct solution ensures your pillows stay on the bed and eliminates the need for complex steps.

Once attached, they function as guards, keeping everything in place and preventing items from ending up in the mysterious space behind the headboard. With this straightforward solution, searching for lost pillows becomes a thing of the past, making your bed tidier in no time. Complete the tidy look with a bed skirt to keep dust and other items from settling under the bed.

Think About an Adjustable Bed Frame

When the previous solutions don’t quite do the trick, think about getting yourself an adjustable bed frame. By tilting the head of your mattress to make an inclined bed, you can discover that ideal angle to keep your pillows in place throughout the night and prevent any issues with pillows missing.

The adjustable base offers more than just pillow stability. The benefits of an adjustable bed also include enhancing your overall comfort and providing better support for your posture.

Remember to readjust the adjustable bed frame when you’re not sleeping to ensure you’re in a comfortable position during the day and to avoid straining your neck or shoulders. So, if pillows going missing or mattress discomfort are a concern, an adjustable bed frame could be the answer.

Look at Your Bedding

If you can’t move or upgrade your frame and furniture, you can take a look at your bedding. Not just your pillows, but toppers and blankets, too.

Use a Body Pillow

A body pillow is a rectangular pillow that stretches along your body when you sleep. Placing it across you helps align your body and stops your pillows from sliding behind you.

Not only that, but body pillows can also give your back extra support, easing any discomfort. If you have ongoing neck pain or back pain, a body pillow might give you the added support to ease the ache.

Embracing a body pillow lets you sleep more cozily, waking up with less stiffness and soreness. So, if you’re searching for a bed gap filler and heavy pillow supporter, a body pillow is your answer.

Pick a Pillow That Matches Your Neck & Shoulder Size

The pillow you pick can greatly influence your comfort and the chances of your pillows moving around. Go for one that matches your neck and shoulders, preventing any strain or discomfort. If you have a regular sleeping position, a firm pillow offers targeted support.

However, if you shift positions frequently, opt for a softer, adaptable pillow to keep you comfortable throughout the night. So, when you’re tired of heavy pillows causing sleep disruptions, choosing the right pillow size can help you stop losing sleep.

Slide Your Pillow Beneath Your Bed Sheet

Here’s a simple trick that works well. Just slip your pillow under the bed sheet, and it’ll stay where you put it even if you move around during the night.

Keep in mind that if you’re using fitted sheets, they might not fit right with the pillow elsewhere on the bed. So, if you want to stop pillows from falling, using a flat sheet set is likely the best way to go. Make sure you also have cooling sheets, too, so it won’t get too hot underneath your head.

Try Clever Pillow Placement Techniques

Master the art of clever pillow placement with techniques tailored to your bed’s size and layout. For king size beds, especially, strategically position pillows to bridge the headboard gap, ensuring no uncomfortable gaps for your head close to the headboard.

These techniques for arranging pillows not only enhance the visual appeal of your bed but also make it more inviting and comfortable for relaxation and sleep.

Enhance Your Mattress Height with a Topper

When your pillows vanish due to a low mattress, consider using a cozy mattress topper. These can increase the mattress height by a few inches, narrowing the gap between the mattress and the headboard. This change decreases the likelihood of pillow slides and ensures a more comfortable sleeping experience.

If you’re tired of pillows disappearing, a mattress topper might be the perfect solution for your mattress foundation. Consider memory foam mattress toppers, which offer superior comfort and support, conforming to your body’s contours for a restful night’s sleep.

Look for options with a machine-washable cover, ensuring easy maintenance and hygiene. For an added touch of luxury, opt for toppers with a high thread count cover, providing durability and a soft, inviting surface to sink into at the end of a long day.

Use a Weighted Blanket

When stopping your pillows from moving around at night is challenging, think about trying a weighted blanket. These blankets are specially crafted to provide extra pressure and weight, easing stress and encouraging peaceful sleep.

If you tend to toss and turn at night, a weighted blanket might be the answer. The benefits of a weighted blanket can keep you more settled and drift off more easily. And, as a bonus, stop those pesky pillows from shifting. Keep an eye on weighted blanket brands and their latest posts to know more about the benefits they offer.

Use Speciality or DIY Devices

For a budget bedroom makeover, consider some of the inexpensive products, some of which you can even make at home, that can help you keep your pillows in place.

Employ a Pillow Stop

To prevent those pesky pillows from slipping down behind the bed, consider using a pillow stop. These handy wedge-shaped foam pieces can be placed beneath your pillows, keeping them in place.

You can buy pre-made pillow stops online or at stores, or you can make your own by cutting foam to match your pillow’s size. Though it might take a bit of effort to adjust them when you move around, it beats having to crawl under your bed to fetch your runaway pillows.

Incorporate a Mattress Wedge Pillow or Half Moon Bolster

To stop your pillow from falling into the gap behind your bed, consider using a mattress wedge pillow or a half-moon bolster. These are cushions made from foam that you can place over the gap and fasten to your mattress. These special pillows are designed to fill the space between your installed headboard and mattress, preventing your pillow from slipping away.

You may also put in a pillow wedge if your pillows tend to slip into the space between your headboard and mattress. This will stop your pillows from dropping down the gap. And it’s not just your pillow that will stay put – your phone, book, glasses, and other stuff will stay on the bed too. It’s even a good hack to turn two twin beds into a king bed.

Block pillows are another good choice to keep everything in place.

Attach Pillow Straps

Prevent your pillows from falling and slipping by attaching pillow straps. These are great for the pillows you rest your head on. But if you’re worried about any pillows slipping behind the bed, you can also buy special clips or ties to hold them down. With these easy and inexpensive devices, your pillows will stay exactly where you put them.

Secure with Bungee Cords

You can use bungee cords for extra support in keeping your pillows where they belong. Just take the cord, loop it around the back of your pillow, and then around the bed frame or headboard. The cord will do a great job of holding your pillow in place and stopping it from sliding down behind the bed.

Remember, though, don’t pull the cords too tight. Doing this could potentially damage or weaken your bed frame. It’s also smart to have some spare cords nearby in case you need to make adjustments or switch out any of your existing ones for additional support.

Create a Barrier with a Door Snake

A door snake isn’t just for stopping drafts under doors; it can also keep your pillows where they belong. All you need to do is shape this draft stopper into a U and position it beneath your bedsheet, creating a barrier that keeps your pillows from slipping away. As a bonus, making a door snake is a great way to upcycle old sheets.

If one isn’t long enough to do the job, no worries! You can simply grab two of them and sew them together end-to-end. With this clever use of a door snake, you’ll have a reliable way to prevent pillow escapes and keep your bed looking tidy.

Place Anti-Slip Mats

You might find it surprising, and some people may not immediately warm up to the idea, but placing anti-slip mats under your pillows can make a big difference. Don’t fret! A touch of friction between your pillow and the bedsheet can put an end to those missing pillows and keep them in the same position night after night.

And here’s the exciting part – you don’t have to settle for a dull, black anti-slip mat. There’s a wide variety of “anti-slip fabrics” available, allowing you to customize your solution and add a stylish touch to your bed setup. It’s also a common trick to keep other sleep accessories in place, such as a mattress topper from sliding.

Why Pillows Matter for Maintaining a Healthy Sleep Posture

Good sleep posture involves more than just how you lie down. This section delves into the important role of pillows in ensuring a restful night’s sleep by keeping your body aligned in every sleep position.

Pillows are essential for proper sleep posture, aligning your neck and head, preventing neck pain, and reducing snoring. If your pillows are always slipping, it’s time to take action and try these solutions to keep them in place.

Pillow Tips for Back Sleepers

For back sleepers, lying on your back is a common and cozy position that naturally aligns your spine and reduces tension in your head and shoulders, especially with the right mattress for back sleeping. If you’re a back sleeper, you might find that regular pillows fall out of place during the night, disrupting your sleep.

To address this, strategically placing pillows for back sleeping under your head, lower back, and knees can lead to a more comfortable and restful night’s sleep.

Pillow Tips for Side Sleepers

For those who prefer sleeping on their side, you can enhance your sleep experience by positioning a pillow between your legs. This simple action aids in maintaining your spine’s natural alignment and alleviating strain on your neck and shoulders.

Furthermore, ensuring proper support for your head with a well-placed pillow for side sleeping is crucial to avoid uncomfortable angles. As a side sleeper, you may even find greater comfort using multiple pillows for added support.

Pillow Tips for Stomach Sleepers

For those who choose to sleep on their stomachs, it’s important to know that this position isn’t ideal for good sleep posture since it might lead to neck and back discomfort. However, if you’re a stomach sleeper, you can make it a bit better by placing a slim pillow under your pelvis. This little adjustment can help reduce pressure on your lower back.

Remember Pillow Protectors and Creative Covers

Pillow protectors and creative covers are more than just an extra layer – they’re guardians for your pillows. Unlike a simple pillowcase, a protector easily unzips for added convenience and protection. These covers not only prevent stains and spills but also provide an effective barrier against allergens and dust mites.

With an array of stylish designs, these protectors and covers offer both practicality and aesthetics, ensuring your pillows stay fresh and your bed looks fantastic.


How do I keep pillows from falling between my mattress and headboard?

One effective approach is to use pillow stoppers or holders, or you can use a body pillow or other cushion like a draft stopper against the headboard to create a barrier that prevents pillows from slipping down. Regularly adjusting and fluffing your pillows as part of making your bed in the morning can also help maintain their position.

If you’ve been using slippery satin pillowcases or bed shams, consider making the switch to organic cotton options with a higher thread count. These casings provide more surface texture and fewer sliding movements from slippery fabric than satin pillowcases. If needed, choose pillows with a larger size, such as king size pillows.

How do I keep pillows from falling off an adjustable bed?

First, you can use pillow holders, clips or straps specifically designed for adjustable beds to secure your pillows in place. These pillow straps typically attach to the bed frame and keep pillows from shifting. Consider also placing a non-slip mat or gripper fabric beneath your pillows to prevent slipping.

To stop pillows from falling off an adjustable bed, you can try a few strategies. Choose heavier pillows, as they’re less likely to move around, or use pillow shams with more fabric. Lastly, adjusting the angle of your adjustable bed to a slight incline can also help in stopping pillows from falling off.

Why do pillows break down?

Pillows break down over time due to constant pressure and use. As you rest your head on them night after night, the materials inside the pillow start to flatten and lose their original shape. Sweat, body oils, and dust mites can also contribute to the deterioration of the pillow’s structure.

This is why pillows need to be replaced periodically to ensure optimal comfort and support for a good night’s sleep.

How do you know if your pillow is bad?

If your pillow feels lumpy, uneven, or loses its shape, it’s a sign of wear. Neck pain or discomfort upon waking could also suggest a worn-out pillow that no longer provides proper support. Generally, if your pillow is over a couple of years old and showing visible signs of wear, it’s likely a good idea to consider getting a new one for better sleep quality.

One quick test of your pillow’s condition is to fold your pillow, it should naturally regain its original shape when you release it or lift your head. However, if it remains folded on its own, this indicates that your pillow has become too worn out. Your pillow should never be so flat that it stays folded in half, as this suggests it’s no longer providing the support you need for a good night’s sleep.


By applying these techniques to arranging pillows, you can successfully stop your pillows from slipping off and disappearing behind your bed. These solutions not only enhance your sleep experience but also maintain a tidier bedroom.

Embrace these methods and say farewell to the hassle of retrieving misplaced pillows each morning, ensuring a restful night’s sleep.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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