What is the Best Memory Foam Pillow?
We’ve analyzed 918 reviews of memory foam pillows pillows (read about our accurate unbiased method), and compared pillows side-by-side, scored them according to a range of factors including comfort, pain relief potential, durability, initial odor and heat retention ability.
Below, you will find top rated pillows (click on the product name to read the full review).
Top Rated Memory Foam Pillows
|Product Name||Elite Rest Ultra Slim||Sleep Innovations Pillow||Classic Brands Pillow|
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|Owner Satisfaction||Durability||Neck Pain Relief||Moldable||Scrunchable||Easy To Use||No Noise||No Odor||Not Hot||Allergy Friendly|
What Is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is a material that is made from polyurethane and is extremely sensitive to pressure, touch and temperature. Memory foam is most commonly used in mattresses, and mattress made from this dense material are exceptionally comfortable as they contour and hug the sleeper’s body.
Aside from mattresses though, memory foam pillows have also become increasingly popular over the last few decades. This is in part due to the fact that items made from this resilient material are very durable and greatly supportive. There are two main types of memory foam: original memory foam and gel memory foam.
Original memory foam: This type of memory foam was first crafted by NASA as an effort to make their aircraft cushions safer and more comfortable. After manufacturers saw how comforting and beneficial this material could be, they began using it to make mattresses, pillows and other items. Traditional memory foam was designed to hug the body which helps blood circulation, release and reduce pressure on joints, and offer maximum support.
Gel memory foam: This type of memory foam is infused with teeny tiny gel beads which assist with facilitating airflow. This helps to keep the sleeper cool all night long. Gel memory foam also has a reputation for being super strong and very supportive, perhaps even more durable than traditional memory foam. As with a traditional memory foam items, motion transfer is little to none and it helps reduce pains from poor posture.
Types Of Memory Foam Pillows
A contour memory foam pillow is a block of foam with a dipping groove in the middle. The groove makes two ridges on either side. This type of pillow is known to be a very popular choice for people who struggle with neck problems, as well as for people who sleep mostly on their back. This is because the groove is where the head rests, allowing the ridges to support the neck whilst the sleeper lies on their back.
Shredded memory foam pillows are filled with very very tiny pieces of shredded foam which amount into a soft and comfortable place to rest your head. The technology and reasoning behind combining hundreds of little foam pieces is that it creates a surface that is exceptionally breathable and allows air to flow around rather than become trapped. This results in a nice, cool and comfortable sleep.
These type of pillows are often oblong in shape and are a great height – they aren’t too tall and they aren’t too thin, so they are ideal if you are a sleeper than changes positions a lot throughout the night. They are also very durable and offer a good amount of support.
Have you ever had to fluff, plump or even hit your pillow in order to get it to regain its proper shape? With a shredded memory foam pillow you will probably almost never have to do this. This is because it has strong resilience to bounce back into shape.
A wedge memory foam pillow literally is what it says it is – a ‘wedge’ or triangle shaped pillow. This type of pillow can come in a variety of different sizes, angles and slants. A wedge pillows main purpose is to prop you up and to comfort your neck and back. What’s great about these pillows is that they conform to the users head, making it very comfortable.
Wedge pillows can be used to sleep on, and are especially good for several medical issues including difficulty breathing due to respiratory problems, acid reflux or even sinus issues. And when you are suffering with a cold, a wedge pillow is a great way to help you sleep without further blocking your nose.
Furthermore, if you’ve ever suffered with lower back or body pain whilst you sleep, placing a wedge pillow under your knees helps to lift up your back and reduce any pressure that is building there and causing uncomfortable pain.
They are also commonly used as one of the best pregnancy pillows. Why? When pregnant women lie on a wedge pillow just underneath their back and below their baby bump, it helps to reduce pressure on the back. AND they are often used as reading pillows or simply to lean back on when you aren’t going to sleep.
There are actually two types of traditional memory foam pillows. Both types are rectangular in shape and are one whole piece of memory foam that is cut to its specific size. These pillows are both slightly angled towards the outer edges, as you would see in any other traditional pillow.
One type of traditional pillow is one piece of foam covered by one piece of material that is sewn together by one single seam. It’s elegant and sophisticated. The second type is actually known as a gusset pillow.
A gusset pillow is also one piece of foam but its cover features a double edged seam. The difference is that the second type of pillow offers slightly more lift. The higher loft of a gusset pillow gives an extra boost of comfort and support to the users neck and shoulders. Gusset pillows come highly recommended for this reason and are commonly used around the world.
Neckroll memory foam pillows are long cylinder shaped pillows that help to position and support your neck. They are a great addition to your bed when watching TV, reading or relaxing and want a higher or more upright position.
They are also a great addition to any long journey whether it be car, plane or train etc. Neckroll pillows are fantastic for helping to reduce neck and back pain. They are multi-functional and can also be used under your knees to help diminish lower back pain whilst sleeping or even underneath ankles.
V-shaped memory foam pillows are just that, a pillow shaped as a V. They offer excellent support to your neck, back, spine and shoulders and are also very comfortable. By helping to support these areas, pains and pressures can be significantly reduced.
V-shaped pillows are great for any sleeping positions, however they are great for people who tend to sleep face down on their stomachs. It’s shape cradles the head and neck which helps to get rid of any pressure or tension in the neck which may build up from sleeping in such a position.
The Good and Bad about Memory Foam Pillows
Good for Pain Relief
Memory foam is a very comforting material due to the fact that it contours to head and neck. Its supportive material is in fact more supportive than an average pillow because it cradles your head whilst allowing for your weight to be more equally distributed across its surface. This results in excellent pressure relief and excellent support to help reduce many aches and pains.
Help to Align Your Spine
Memory foam pillows are often great for helping with natural spinal alignment due to their contouring properties and excess support. This is especially good for sleepers who generally sleep on their side.
Why? Because when you sleep on your side, your spine is left in a curved position for an excessive amount of time. A memory foam pillow can help correct this due to its ability to support your neck and upper vertebrae.
Memory foam pillows are generally a lot easier to care for as they are resistant to allergens and most have antimicrobial properties making them ideal for allergy sufferers. Due to their design which helps facilitate airflow, they are also able to consistently waft out any dirt that comes their way.
Pillows made from memory foam are super hygienic because dust mites, bacteria and fungus can not live or grow in the foams open cell structure.
Have a Good Firmness
Unlike many normal pillows, memory foam pillows tend to retain their firmness for many years. They are bouncy, resilient and provide a good amount of firmness that will contour to your head yet bounce back to shape when your head is removed.
Offer Great Support
The firmness we spoke about above results in a comfortable sleep with great neck, shoulder and back support. Memory foam pillows are known to ease pressure and relieve stress that can build up in specific pressure points.
Consistent Shape Over Time
As with memory foam mattresses, memory foam pillows are extremely durable and they hold their shape over a longer period of time. Other type of pillows can often show signs of wear with sinkage and loss of shape but memory foam pillows bounce back to their original shape relatively fast and very consistently.
Pillows made from memory foam tend to make no noise when you move. Normal pillows can often give off a rustling sound when you move your head or change positions during the night. With a memory foam pillow, you and your partner can sleep undisturbed all night.
As we discussed earlier, traditional memory foam pillows are one large piece of foam. This design can often make them retain some heat. Shredded memory foam pillows are less likely to retain heat due to their unique design which helps to circulate the flow of air.
Generally most memory foam pillows tend to be above average compared to the weight of a normal pillow.
Gives Off Odor
Many reviews have shown that memory foam pillows can give off a chemical smell known as off-gassing. Off-gassing is the smell that is a result of the manufacturing process and packaging they come in. Most customers say that their pillow’s odor was gone after just a few days, however severe off-gassing odor can lead to headaches and sometimes difficulty sleeping.
Most memory foam pillows do come with a fairly expensive price tag. And remember, do you research because higher in price doesn’t always mean higher in quality.
Can Be Too Firm
Although we mentioned firmness as a positive above, some customers have reported that their memory foam pillow was in fact a little too firm. The firmness does support your neck, but can be uncomfortable if you prefer a softer cushion to rest your head on.
Not for Stomach Sleepers
If you tend to sleep face down and on your stomach, then some memory foam pillows may not be the best choice for you. This is because most of these pillows will have a loft that is too high which would make it uncomfortable for your neck.
However, v-shaped memory foam pillows would be a good solution for a stomach sleeper due to their unique shape and ability to support your downward facing position.
The density of a memory foam pillow can have a big impact in how well it can support you, as well as their durability:
Low Density – Although a low density pillow will provide more comfort, it will also give slightly less support than that of a high-density pillow.
High Density – Higher density pillows are firmer and harder, which contour more to your head and therefore provide more support to your neck. Although they may appear very firm at first, they do often soften up after several uses. Due to their firmness, higher density pillows will last longer.
As discussed as one of the cons of a memory foam pillow, they can sometimes give off a bit of an odor due off-gassing. This is because memory foam is made from petrochemicals which you can often smell when you open your new pillow from its packaging.
The best way to rid your pillow of off-gassing is to allow it to breathe in an open aired space before you use it straight away. It normally takes a few days for the smell to completely diminish.
If you do want or need to use your pillow as soon as it arrives, don’t panic, there is no signs that the off-gassing should harm your health in anyway, although there has been some reports of people experiencing light headaches or trouble sleeping.
Safety and Health Risks
According to the research emissions of memory foam caused various combinations of upper-airway irritation (i.e., sensory irritation), lower-airways irritation (pulmonary irritation), and decreases in mid-expiratory airflow velocity in mice.
This doesn’t mean that these pillows are toxic or dangerous and bad for your health, but we don’t recommend using them for babies.
Which Memory Pillow is Best?
Coop Home Good Homes – Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
This shredded pillow is made from a blend of premium materials luxurious memory foam and microfiber blend which makes it super comforting and incredibly smooth to touch. It comes with a removable bamboo derived rayon cooling cover. It is dust-mite resistant and comes overstuffed which allows you to customize your pillow to your desired height and firmness.
Nakital Contour Memory Foam Pillow
This contouring pillow is a great product if you are someone who sleeps on their back and who suffers with neck problems or pains. It will also work well for side sleepers. With a wave-like groove in the middle, it is 10 cm tall at its highest and 7 cm at its lowest. It is great for contouring to your head and supporting your next to reduce pressure and ease pain.
Xtreme Comforts Kool-Flow Hypoallergenic Pillow
This pillow is designed to cater to back, side and stomach sleepers and it contours perfectly to your head shape. This means that you will experience a calm, comfortable and supportive sleep all night long.
Good Life Essentials Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
The Good Life Essentials Shredded memory foam pillow has been praised for its durability and overall supporting ability. Due to its shredded pieces, this pillow has great air circulation allowing you to enjoy a cool night’s sleep without overheating. It comes vacuum packaged but expands fairly fast upon unpacking and has a pure-natural bamboo case which is really soft and smooth.
Classic Brands Conforma Cushion Memory Pillow
This Conforma Cushion Memory Pillow from Classic Brands has a medium to firm feel and sits at 5” thick. This height makes it great for sleepers who tend to sleep on their side or back.
Malouf Z Zoned Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow features a pin-core design which results in zoned support – meaning larger holes in middle and smaller holes towards the outside which results in greater support. There is no need for fluffing or plumping as it retains consistent shape. Its Dough formula makes the pillow super soft and more doughy than other memory foam pillows. This pillow comes with a bamboo velour cover which is smooth, soft and comforting.
Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
The memory foam pillow from Iso-Cool embraces a gusset design which offers a good amount of lift and some extra comfort and support to your neck and back. It’s excellent for side sleepers and contours well to your weight.
Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow
Although many critics would say this 2.3 inch pillow is too thin, it is actually perfect for both back and stomach sleepers. Why? Because when sleeping in such positions your head and neck must never be too high (or too low) because this would result in the top of your spine curving which could cause neck and back problems further down the line. This ultra thin sleeper pillow is an excellent solution, as it also provides great support for those precious areas.
LinenSpa Shredded Memory Foam Pillow with Gel Memory Foam
This shredded memory foam pillow features a gel memory foam encasement surrounding the shredded foam. The gel encasement not only keeps the pillow smooth and soft, but it also has tiny gel beads which promote good airflow circulation, breathability and a cool and soothing sleep.
SensorPEDIC Luxury Molded Memory Foam Pillow
This memory foam pillow features a special design which allows for zoned ventilation, meaning you will experience a cool and comforting nights sleep.
So there you have it, these are our best picks for memory foam pillows that offer fantastic support, comfortable contouring and a truly restful nights sleep. But of course we have to pick a favorite! Although these pillows all have excellent ratings, the winner in our eyes has to be the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. It’s our winner because of it’s shredded foam design that comes overstuffed allowing you to truly customize the loft height and thickness to your desired requirements. It’s made from luxury materials, is super comfy, is very supportive and allows you to sleep cool. It is good for all sleeping positions but recommended mainly for side sleepers.