With the introduction of memory foam, the once overlooked pillow is becoming a bedtime game changer. Memory foam is pliable enough to cradle your head and neck, contouring around you for custom support that lasts.
It's also dense enough to support your spine, promote joint health, and outlive typical pillow fills. Gaining better sleep and less pain can also affect your daily mood and overall health!
If you're feeling eager, there are things to consider before purchasing a pillow. Your sleep positions will determine foam density, shape, and type. Each of these can considerably change the restfulness you gain, so be picky!
Top 5: Memory Foam Pillows Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
This adjustable pillow from Coop Home Goods is made from Certi-PUR US foam and bamboo byproducts. Shredded, gel-infused memory foam and siliconized poly-fil fiber provide support, all-over coolness, and adaptability without bunching. The foam fill is contained inside a breathable liner then encased in a removable, washable cover.
Pillows come in queen and king sizes and are the most expensive product on the list. Despite pricing, this one is well-received by side sleepers.
The downside to having a pillow with less density is that you must fluff the fill on tumble dry to reach maximum expansion. You may also find the amount of fill to be insufficient if you need more support. However, while it doesn't come with extra fill, the foam is accessible if you find that you'd prefer a lower loft.
This EPABO’s pre-contoured pillow is more for support than comfort as it offers quite the opposite of Coop. Available in a standard and queen with slight differences in thickness, this product is essentially built around the natural curvature of the head, neck, and shoulders when level.
It offers a foam that’s soft to touch with firm support. Love the density but not the loft? The foam is accessible through its inner liner and comes with a .8"-thick removable strip in the middle. Even after adjusting the loft, it may not be suitable if you prefer a soft fill or very low loft.
With a 70% success rate and a 4.3-star rating, this product is encased in a removable, washable rayon and polyester cover that helps you keep cool. It's designed to suit all sleepers at any position with total support.
As mentioned in its title, this Milemont Memory Foam Pillow uses Certi-PUR US foam fill inside of an inner liner and a removable, washable cover. The great thing here is that this is essentially 2 pillows in one as it offers a high end for side sleepers and a low end for back sleepers.
Though the back sleeping option appears to be too much of an incline for proper spinal alignment, 97% of Milemont customers approve this product. It comes in 1 size: standard. If you think 4 inches of loft is too high, you may not desire this option for your back sleeping needs.
Supportive, high density foam tends to retain heat that causes discomfort. Milemont aerates this pillow to allow airflow so you can enjoy maximum support without getting sweaty. If you prefer a solid foam block, this is your best budget option.
This SORMAG's queen-sized pillow consists of Certi-PUR US foam that is shredded for your convenience. Adjust the shape as you like, and access the fill through the inner liner to modify loftiness. A customizable pillow with a removable, washable rayon and polyester cover provides airflow and support for all sleeping positions.
This product comes with an excess amount of fill that many find to be a convenient overkill. You can take out as much as you'd like and hold onto the rest for later when the pillow begins to go flat years later. Just remember that removing fill doesn't change how dense it is, just how much loft is between you and the mattress.
This memory foam may be great for you if you want high density but less resistance.
Last but not east is Sleep Innovations's pre-contoured pillow. It comes in standard, queen, and travel size.. You can enjoy a comfortable night's sleep no matter where you go by obtaining the travel size that no one else offers!
This one is quite similar to that of Milemont in design. It's contoured to your natural curves with a high and low end for side and back sleeping. Being a single foam block, this product is not adjustable in shape or loftiness. It is, however, made of a low density foam for ultimate contour and softness.
It has the opposite effect of the EPABO pillow which is all support. This here is all comfort as it comes inside of a cotton case and is so soft that you're absorbed into the pillow.
Choosing the right memory foam pillow can be tough. On the one hand, you've got shredded poly-fil which allows you to shape the pillow as you please. You can also add or subtract as much as you'd like to adjust the loftiness and density. Adjustable fill, however, may move and disperse as you move during sleep.
If this happens, you could lose support and alignment through the night. This will place you right back where you began with neck, back, and shoulder pain. One suggestion if you still prefer an adjustable fill is to seek out a higher density to avoid any loss of support.
On the other hand, you've got the foam slab which is pre-contoured and measured to the shape and density you need. It doesn't shift or adjust because your neck needs constant comfort and support. Sleeping on a pre-contoured pillow does tend to restrict your ability to leave custom impressions.
There is nothing keeping adjustable foam from truly contouring to your body because it isn't pre-shaped. That can make a world of difference to someone with shorter or longer than average measurements.
best memory foam pillow
Our top choice is SORMAG's Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. It's basically the more affordable version of Coop Home Goods's pillow. It isn't pre-cut or limited to form like numbers 2, 3, and 5. Rather, it's fully adjustable in every way and high density so it maintains support no matter how much is taken out or added in.
High density foam is more likely to resist flattening in time and keeps your head in position all night, so it's ultimately more effective than having a softer fill. It does have a slightly lower rating than Milemont, but it's more suitable if you want to manipulate your pillow or if you sleep on your stomach at times.
SORMAG is also the cheapest option and the second most successful product on our list! It suits any position and loft preference, and it's the perfect size. Being that you need higher density (firmness) if you have spinal pains, the foam in this pillow compared to, say, Sleep Innovations is best if you want your problem to be solved.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is memory foam?
Memory foam is a special material used in pillows and mattresses, amongst other items. It is made of polyurethane and other materials that allow it to conform to the shape of your body and deliver support where you need it.
Memory foam has both viscosity and elasticity. Elasticity refers to its ability to change shape and then return to its original shape once pressure or weight is removed from it. Viscosity refers to its ability to move slowly when pressure is applied. These two features allow memory foam to perfectly adapt and conform to the shape of your body.
Is a memory foam pillow good?
There are many benefits you can enjoy if you choose to use a memory foam pillow. Since a memory foam pillow can conform to the shape of your head and neck, it can do a better job keeping your spine aligned than a traditional pillow, which can cause your head to be at an incline when you sleep.
A properly aligned spine can help reduce your chances of experiencing back or neck pain. Your body will also be more balanced, and your brain and nervous system may even be able to communicate more efficiently.
When your head is more inclined, as it is with a traditional pillow, you may also snore more. Since memory foam pillows keep your head aligned, many people find that they can help reduce or eliminate their snoring.
In many cases, memory foam pillows can provide relief from pain. When you sleep on a traditional pillow, your weight is not even distributed over the surface of the pillow. This creates different pressure points, which can cause pain and discomfort, both as you sleep as when you are up the next day.
With a memory foam pillow, your weight is evenly distributed over the pillow's surface. This helps eliminate pressure points and can provide relief to the pain you've been experiencing.
Memory foam pillows are also designed with numerous air chambers that make them very breathable. The pillow will allow more air to flow, which can keep you cool and comfortable as you sleep.
However, each individual is different and has different preferences for sleeping. You may love sleeping on a memory foam pillow, or you may decide that it is not right for you.
You may want to give one a try to see if the way it conforms to your head and neck makes you sleep more comfortably, or is not something you prefer. Try to give it a few nights or even a week to let your body adjust to the change before determining it isn't right for you.
Who should use a memory foam pillow?
There is no real reason anyone can't try a memory foam pillow, but they can be especially beneficial for different groups of people. If you find yourself waking up with a stiff neck every morning, it could be because your current pillow is not keeping your spine in alignment.
Memory foam pillows may also help people who have headaches throughout the day, as these may also be attributed to poor spinal alignment. Other people may find themselves tossing and turning throughout the night since they can't seem to get comfortable on their current pillow. In these cases, a memory foam pillow may deliver the comfort you need to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Are memory foam pillows firm?
The foam in a memory foam pillow is quite stiff. If it wasn't stiff, it wouldn't be able to conform to the shape of your head and neck.
A memory foam pillow will also feel harder when you first lay down on it. This is because they soften up as they warm up. So, as you have been laying on the pillow for longer and transferring some of your body heat to it, it will become softer.
If you are new to using a memory foam pillow, it will likely feel hard to you. This is because you are used to using a softer pillow stuffed with down or cotton. It may take you a few nights or even a week of sleeping on your memory foam pillow to get used to the difference.
If, after trying out your memory foam pillow for a week or longer, you still think it is too hard and you can't stay comfortable, there are a few different ways you can try to soften it up a bit. Since memory foam is designed to return to its original shape, you will need to perform each of these tasks each evening before laying on your pillow.
Since memory foam gets softer when it is warm, you can use a heat pack or hot water bottle to warm up the pillow. Place the heat on the pillow for about 15 minutes before you plan to lay down.
You can also try placing your pillow in the dryer for about 15 minutes right before you plan on heading to bed. The heat from the dryer can help warm the pillow up and make it feel softer.
Giving your pillow a good squeeze or two before laying down on it can also help make it softer. After you lay down, the pillow will expand and conform to the shape of your head.
Is a memory foam pillow good for a side sleeper?
Yes, memory foam pillows are good for side sleepers. They are supportive and designed to conform to a person's head and neck. This can help keep a side sleeper's spine in alignment and reduce pressure on various areas of their head and neck.
Is a memory foam pillow good for a back sleeper?
A memory foam pillow can be a good choice if you sleep on your back. With traditional pillows, back sleepers often sleep at a bit of an incline, which isn't good for their neck and spine. Since memory foam pillows are designed to comfort to your body, they can help ensure you're sleeping at a good angle and that your neck and spine stay in alignment.
How often should you replace a memory foam pillow?
Replacing your pillows regularly is important for a variety of reasons. Over time, they become damaged and lose their effectiveness. Sweat, dead skin, body oil, and other particles can also build-up on your pillow over time.
Additionally, dust, dust mites, and other allergens can also start to build-up on your pillow. These can pose a health risk and can also cause a pillow to become less supportive.
Memory foam pillows typically have a lifespan of between 18 and 36 months. After that time, you will want to start looking for a new memory foam pillow.
Can memory foam pillows be washed in the washing machine?
Unless the memory foam's care directions specifically state that it can be cleaned in a washing machine, you will not want to wash a memory foam pillow in a machine. Since memory foam is dense, if it is washed in a washing machine it will absorb water like a sponge. This will cause it to become waterlogged and to not dry out properly.
If your pillow is in need of cleaning, you will want to use soft cloths to do a spot cleaning instead of trying to put it in the washing machine.
Which is better, a memory foam pillow of a down pillow?
There are pros and cons to consider when deciding between a down pillow and a memory foam pillow. Much of the decision will likely come down to your personal preferences.
Memory foam pillows are more supportive than down pillows. They will help keep your neck and spine in alignment while you sleep by conforming to the shape of your body. This can help alleviate neck and back pain along with a variety of other issues.
When you sleep on a down pillow all night, the pillow often becomes flatter and too compressed to keep you comfortable. This is not the case with a memory foam pillow, so you may find that you're able to sleep more soundly through the night.
Down pillows have their own benefits you'll want to consider as well. They are softer than memory foam, which many people prefer. Down pillows can be less expensive than memory foam pillows, though the prices will vary.
Some people find that memory foam pillows have an unpleasant odor when they are new. This is not the case with a down pillow. If you like to sleep on your stomach, you will likely find that a memory foam pillow is too firm for you.
No matter what you prefer, keep in mind that you need something supportive. Whether you like soft or firm pillows, high or low loftiness, you should opt for a pillow that will cradle your pressure points and keep everything level no matter how you sleep.