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Nowadays, many people find that memory foam pillows are so much more comfortable than regular pillows - and for a good reason. The best memory foam pillows effectively contour to your body, keep your spine aligned, and make sure you get a luxurious comfort and drift to sleep faster. When memory foam is exposed to body heat, it becomes soft enough to conform closely; however, when it’s not in use, it cools down and resumes its original shape. In addition, some memory foam pillows are specifically designed to raise the neck and provide further support for people suffering from chronic pain in their neck and/or shoulders.
Can memory foam pillows actually prevent snoring? Yes, they really can! The trick is to find the best memory foam pillow for this particular purpose and the perfect one for you! While there are a ton of products on the market, claiming they can reduce or eliminate snoring, the truth is that memory foam pillows are among the best anti-snore aids. They help the sleeper avoid blocked airways by separating the palate from the throat and providing the neck with additional support.
Your ideal memory foam pillow type, however, will largely depend on your sleeping position. Memory foam pillows designed for side sleepers specifically support the neck and head, so they are both in the correct position. Plus, they’re firm enough to support the area between your head and shoulder. If you sleep on your stomach, you will want a softer, yet thinner memory foam pillow that will properly align your head and neck. The ideal memory foam pillow for people who sleep on their back would be thinner for the best alignment while providing the needed support to the neck from the base of the pillow.
The Best Memory Foam Pillows
Table of Contents
The Best Memory Foam Pillows Comparison Table
- Emits no foul-smelling or chemical odor
- Slim Design with Dual-Sided Shaping
- Washable Bamboo Fabric Cover
- Better breathability of shredded memory foam
- Adjustable design for additional comfort
- Hypoallergenic & dust mite resistant
- Easily customizable and highly breathable
- Healthiest urethane foam
- Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and dust-mite resistant
- Curved design works for people who toss and turn in their sleep
- Comfortable in any sleeping position
- Gentle therapeutic support
- Increased air circulation
- Ergonomic design for support
- Luxurious premium loft cover
- Removable and washable cover
- CentiPUR-US certification
- Contour wave shape eliminates neck, shoulder and back pain
The Best Memory Foam Pillows Reviews
Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim: The Best For Stomach & Back Sleepers
Stomach and back sleepers need a comfortable thin pillow that provides the proper spinal support when sleeping in these positions.
However, thin pillows can be hard to find unless you do some serious online research. Many people don’t take the time to do so, and just buy whatever they can easily pick up at a local retail store, assuming that it will be “good enough.” However, you cannot expect to get the best memory foam pillow for your body and sleep position when shopping like this. Choosing the right pillow is nearly as important as choosing the right mattress if you hope to get a good night’s sleep.
When you can’t get comfortable with your pillow, there is no way you can consistently get a good rest. Sleep deprivation puts undue stress on your body and may have long-term ramifications on your overall health and wellbeing.
The Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim pillow has a very slim 2.5” loft, which makes it one of the thinnest pillows in the industry. However, due to the memory foam, this pillow can still compress even further without going completely flat. This is why we consider the Ultra Slim by Bluewave Bedding one of the best memory foam pillows available today for stomach and back sleepers.
What’s especially nice about this product is that it comes in multiple lofts to specifically meet the needs of people of all body types, sizes, and shapes. The additional lofts offer sufficient support to back sleepers who feel the standard 2.5” loft is too low for their comfort. So, this Ultra Slim pillow also comes in a 3.25” loft as well as a 4” loft. These may be more comfortable for some back and even side/combo sleepers. The added height offers more support for proper head and neck positioning.
People who sleep on their stomachs need the thinnest pillow possible and often end up laying their head right on the mattress. Doing this can cause many pressure points upon the head. Stomach sleepers definitely should sleep with a pillow, not only for additional comfort but also for proper neck support.
This pillow has a unique dual-sized shaping that offers more than one option for comfort. One side is curved with gently rounded edges, and the other is flat, which offers both stability and a second comfort choice.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam
Memory foam is designed to allow for weight contouring while still offering sufficient support. First launched in the 1980s, it is now very popular material for use in multiple products because of this unique quality. Without foam, a pillow this thin could not offer any real support because it would go flat in no time.
The Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim pillow will contour perfectly to your head without making you feel as if you have a deep sink, likely because of its overall thinness. As thin as it is, it does offer pressure point reduction while staying firm enough to give you the slight uplifting support your head needs above the mattress.
Multiple Comfort Options
The Ultra Slim by Bluewave Bedding is a firm plush pillow that is soft to the touch but has a supportive bottom. If the pillow feels too soft or too firm, you can choose alternatives based on your comfort level. It comes in both extra plush and extra-firm options as well.
A firmer option may work better for back sleepers because it won’t likely contour as easily or compress as much. The softer surface would likely work best for stomach sleepers since it would provide a deeper contour. However, we did find that the firm plush actually compressed quite well, leaving approximately ½” of the pillow between the mattress and the head.
The gel infusion of the memory foam effectively combats the heat retention that is common among other foam products. Foam has a compressive nature on its own, and this closed-off structure can prevent good airflow and cause body heat to be retained within the foam itself. This doesn’t happen with the Ultra Slim pillow, however, which is why it’s one of the best memory foam pillows you could possibly find.
The gel in the material draws heat out due to natural heat conduction. With regard to gel-infused memory foam pillows like the Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim, when your warm skin touches the pillow, you will likely feel a cooling sensation as it creates an equilibrium between your face and the surface of the pillow. The intention is not meant to make the pillow cool to the touch, but to help regulate temperature and avoid an excessive heat buildup.
Washable Bamboo Fabric Cover
A solid memory foam pillow cannot be washed due to its construction, but you can certainly wash the thick bamboo fabric cover. Bamboo is the perfect fiber choice for a pillow cover because it’s breathable and cooling. Bamboo fabric also wicks moisture off your skin, which also helps you to sleep cooler. This naturally hypoallergenic fabric is resistant to allergens and odors and can be safely tossed in the washing machine without losing its unique properties.
What’s also great about this pillow cover is that the zipper is sewn in so that it won’t scratch or snag on anything and the seams are double stitched for durability. The foam within the pillow is encased in a thin 100% cotton breathable cover that cannot be removed, although it can be spot cleaned. You need to be very careful removing the outer cover as it is a very snug fit.
Spot Clean Only
Memory foam is made of synthetic materials that should not be exposed to moisture or liquids. If you spill liquid on the foam, it should be blotted up immediately. To clean the inner cover, use a gentle fabric spot cleaner only. If the memory foam is exposed long term to moisture, it can breakdown and over time, lose some of its firmness and support.
Limited 3-Year Warranty
The Bluewave Bedding Company provides customers with a limited 3-year warranty on every product they sell, including their Ultra Slim memory foam pillow. The warranty covers material and structural defects for a full three years, but not normal wear and tear. If you should have a problem with your pillow, they will replace, provide a refund or repair your pillow at their discretion.
The company’s associate sellers will often provide a 30-day refund as well so ff you are not comfortable sleeping with this pillow. You can return it within 30 days hassle-free and ship it free of charge.
If you have been looking for a really comfortable and supportive thin pillow, you should definitely consider the Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim pillow. We sincerely believe it to be one of the best memory foam pillows for stomach and back sleepers on the market today. Due to the gel-infused memory foam technology and thin design, this pillow offers amazing support without making you hot during the night. The multiple loft choices and the dual-sided shaping offer several options for personal comfort you need for a good night’s sleep.
Coop Home Goods: The Best For Side Sleepers
If you have trouble sleeping, you really should consider purchasing a memory foam pillow from Coop Home Goods. In our opinion, this is by far the best memory foam pillow for all types of sleepers because it easily conforms to the shape and size of your body.
The Coop Home Goods pillow is made from high-quality materials, yet it is available for a reasonable price. The shredded stuffing is made out of visco-elastic memory foam, and due to its unique construction, it provides greater airflow than a standard solid memory foam pillow.
What may be the best feature of this product is that you can adjust the amount of filling to get the perfect loft for you (by removing it or adding it back in). At first, you may find the loft too high for your liking, so the idea is to keep removing pieces of shredded foam until you’re perfectly comfortable.
Outer Cover & Inner Case
The Coop Home Goods pillow comes with a high-quality removable viscose rayon outer cover. This cover is specifically designed to keep you cool during sleep. It’s made of a proprietary blend of 60% polyester and 40% bamboo, formulated to regulate body temperature. This plush feeling outer cover is machine washable (a big plus) and quite attractive with an embossed triangle pattern.
The inner case that surrounds the foam filling is made out of a tight-knit Interlock fabric with a nice smooth feel to it. It is plain white and much thinner compared to the plush outer cover.
Comfort & Support
The Coop Home Goods pillow is soft while offering the perfect amount of support. It immediately contours to your head, but allows you to change sleeping positions throughout the night. What’s nice is that you can’t even feel the shredded pieces inside it. The entire pillow feels like one piece, but the foam pieces allow for the adjustability and additional comfort.
Primary Benefits of the Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow
A zippered inner case gives you full access to the shredded foam filling so you can adjust it to create your preferred loft (by removing the excess filling and replacing it if needed).
The shredded memory foam offers benefits of the improved breathability and cooling when compared to solid memory foam pillows.
This pillow is resistant to dust mites and other allergens. Furthermore, the filling has received the CertiPUR-US certification, which authenticates that the Coop Home Goods product have been made without the use of ozone-depleting substances including formaldehyde, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals, etc.
Care & Maintenance
If your Coop Home Goods pillow starts going a little flat, the manufacturer recommends that you place it in the dryer and let it spin for about 10 minutes. Doing this will fluff the filling up once again. In fact, it is recommended that you do this once every month to maximize performance.
- May have a slight odor for the first few days
- Machine washable
- Comes in 2 sizes: Queen and King
- Hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites
- You can enjoy a 30-day trial period
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Proudly made in the USA
To appreciate all this pillow has to offer, you need to be already familiar with and like the feel of memory foam products in general. The shredded memory foam in this pillow still has the standard memory foam contour, and snug feel to it. You may like the way this feels or not. Before ordering, please make sure you are comfortable on memory foam. Even the best memory foam pillow won’t work for you if you simply do not like this type of material.
Adjustable Pillow of Health: The Safest Memory Foam Pillow
Customizable for Comfort
You can easily customize the Pillow of Health according to your desired firmness and sleep preferences. All you have to do is unzip the patented opening and remove or add the foam and fiberfill to make the pillow perfectly comfortable for you.
- Medical-grade lining
- Polyester cluster fiberfill
- Highly resilient and healthy urethane foam
The Pillow of Health is known for being among the healthiest memory foam pillows you could ever use because it incorporates a number of features that are very beneficial to your health, as follows:
Healthiest Fiber Filling & Foam
The Pillow of Health is filled with medical-grade, premium-quality cluster fiberfill, and urethane foam. An independent laboratory has verified that these materials contain no toxic chemicals, which makes this pillow much better for your health. This is not only one of the best memory foam pillows on the market today, but one of the safest!
Hypoallergenic, Antimicrobial & Dust-Mite Resistant
The medical-grade materials incorporated into the Pillow of Health help to breathe so you can sleep more soundly. The highly resilient urethane foam is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and contains no toxic chemicals. The foam’s high-density structure is naturally resistant to fungi, dust mites and mildew. The pillow can be tossed in the washer and dryer at high heat, which makes it easy to keep clean.
The breathability of this pillow makes it cool to the touch, reducing sweating, odor, irritation, and overall discomfort. This will keep you from tossing and turning at night while trying to sleep.
The fabric cover on the Pillow of Health has moisture-wicking properties that also keep you cooler and dryer. The cover itself keeps you 40x cooler and provides 40x more breathability than other pillows available on the market!
You can easily keep the Pillow of Health clean and fresh at all times because it’s completely machine washable and dryer safe.
Celliant Sleep Universal: The Best Orthopedic Choice
You can adjust this ergonomically designed pillow to your linking and sleep comfortably in any position. The softly curved shape therapeutically supports the neck of back sleepers and the shoulders of side sleepers. For stomach sleepers, it offers low comfortable profile, too.
This orthopedic pillow is the best memory foam pillow for people who toss and turn at night, helping them get a deeper, more peaceful sleep.
The foam inside the pillow is made of visco-elastic material, which is why it molds so easily to any body shape and prevents muscle tension. This is why it supports the head, neck, and shoulders evenly, so there is no undue pressure disrupting your sleep. Any spinal or joint pain you’ve experienced in the past with other pillows is totally eliminated with this orthopedically designed pillow.
The Celliant Sleep Universal pillow is made of high-quality bamboo charcoal material, making it highly breathable with outstanding ventilation and thermoregulation all year long. It also naturally controls the moisture by adapting to the weather, prevents bacteria from growing and relieves bodily pressures when you sleep.
The cloth pillow cover can be easily removed for washing. All you need to do is unzip it and toss it in the washer. The highly durable, breathable fabric protects against dust mites, bedbugs, moths, and other pests. It has been infused with over 200 therapeutic compounds, and it is environmentally friendly too. In Asia, this material is often used as a sleep remedy.
As an added bonus, buyers are given a travel towel, which is a handy thing to have for those on the go.
Urban Bloom Domus Pillow: The Best Cooling Memory Foam Pillow
Urban Bloom sells more Domus pillows than any other pillow in their line. And for a good reason! Its unique ergonomic design works perfectly well for any sleep position. Urban Bloom’s engineers developed the memory foam used in this pillow, and it’s absolutely fascinating. The product has some subtle features that give it an ultra-modern luxury look and feel. It’s covered in a beautiful grey hypoallergenic cover that features leather accents for the healthiest sleep possible. Urban Bloom offers a 10-year warranty plus a free 90-day satisfaction guarantee. This demonstrates how confident Urban Bloom is that consumers would love the Domus Pillow. And we agree, this has to be one of the best memory foam pillows available today!
The pillow itself is made of solid foam, so there is nothing messy to fear, which can be an advantage. A non-adjustable well-made memory foam pillow can be much more preferable as long as it’s comfortable. And it’s certainly more stress-free.
Even though the Domus Pillow is not customizable and only comes in one size, we believe it’s perfect the way it is. It’s neither too large, too thick, too thin or too small. It’s 28” long x 20” wide x 4” thick. A standard sized pillowcase measures 26” x 20,” and a Queen-sized pillowcase is 30” x 20” so this pillow should fit your pillowcases just fine.
The way the Domus Pillow is designed, it should keep you nice and cool during the night, but not freezing cold. It regulates the temperature in several ways. The foam core distributes the pressure evenly to provide pressure point relief. The memory foam’s density is quite fascinating. It really cannot be explained; you simply have to touch it.
Aside from the pillow’s density, Urban Bloom made the pillow breathable by drilling holes through the foam. You can literally stick a finger from one end of the pillow through the other. The holes are spread around the entire pillow, demonstrating the idea of breathability pretty literally. When squeezing the pillow, you can even hear the air whooshing through the holes.
Another factor that helps you stay cool at night is the unusually wide mesh gusset in the pillow cover. This creates another airway channel, enhancing the heat dispersion. The gusset also helps side sleepers because it effectively bridges the space between the ear and shoulder.
Care & Maintenance
The Domus Pillow can be cleaned inside and out. The pillow cover can be tossed in the washing machine, but don’t forget to check the instructions first. The memory foam pillow itself can be run through water. The company recommends running cold water over the memory foam until the water runs clear. To keep it clean, do this at least once a month.
Comfort & Relax: The Best For Treating Neck And Shoulder Pain
The Comfort & Relax is a contoured memory foam pillow designed primarily for side sleepers to eliminate neck, shoulder, and back pain. The pillow is made up of ventilated gel-infused memory foam with a washable cover.
- Unique contour design helps muscles relax to eliminate neck, shoulder, and back pain, which side-sleepers often complain of.
- Highest quality gel memory foam is extremely responsive to your movements during sleep.
- The memory foam is replete with ventilation holes to enable airflow for a cool and comfortable night’s sleep. Memory foam pillows that lack ventilation holes can easily overheat.
- Soft cover can be easily removed and machine-washed. It’s 65% polyester and 35% Tencel.
- Gel memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified, which verifies that it contains no toxic chemicals or other harmful ingredients like methane chloride, PBDE, or formaldehyde.
- A protective hypoallergenic cover combats bacteria, dust mites, and mold.
Contour Wave Design
This is the best memory foam pillow for side sleepers, people with chronic neck, shoulder and back pain, those prone to allergies, and people who get hot and sweaty at night. The contoured wave design aligns the spine and neck and secures the body, which adds to the comfort of side sleepers as well as back sleepers.
Pillow loft levels will vary from person to person due to sleep positions, weight and size of the head, body weight and size, width of shoulders, pillow placement and firmness of the mattress, etc.
The Comfort & Relax memory foam pillow has ventilation holes to keep you cool while the gel pad itself is designed to regulate temperature and effectively disperse body heat. This is especially helpful for people who get overheated at night.
Furthermore, the CertiPUR-US certification makes buying this pillow a no-brainer. Consumers are now more health-conscious than ever as no one wants themselves or the environment to be exposed to harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To be safe for human use and the environment a pillow should be made of eco-friendly, non-toxic materials that can also combat dust mites, allergens, and other harmful bacteria.
The Comfort & Relax pillow is a nicely designed contour pillow that works especially well for side sleepers. There may be a lot of other pillow brands that boast all the different ways they offer the most comfort and support, but the Comfort & Relax pillow does the job without a lot of fanfare.
Caution: If you are getting up every morning in pain, talk to your doctor about how firm your pillow should be.
A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing The Best Memory Foam Pillow
What Is Memory Foam?
Also called “visco-elastic foam,” this is exactly what memory foam is: foamed polyurethane with added compounds to increase its viscosity and density. There are ‘bubbles’ throughout the foam, which help airflow. The bubbles move around when you move your head and change the pressure on the pillow.
Memory foam was originally discovered by NASA as it was developing new materials to increase impact cushioning during their space missions. The foam’s key characteristic is that it responds to body heat at high densities. This allows memory foam pillows to mold or conform to the shape of your head as you sleep.
What is so great about a memory foam pillow? Why should anyone change the pillow they’ve always used and try some new ‘sleep-tech’?
No matter what position you sleep in, a memory foam pillow will mold itself to your head and neck, providing you with perfect support and amazing comfort. It will feel like it’s been customized to fit your body perfectly. The right pillow can reduce the amount of pressure you normally feel on your head and neck. It will give you the support you need while still being soft enough to be perfectly comfortable.
One essential we need in a pillow is to support the curvature of our neck (one of the most delicate body parts). With the right pillow shape, size, and texture, your neck, shoulder, and back muscles can fully relax and recover from the stresses of the day. This helps you sleep better and wake up more rested for the following day.
The best memory foam pillows are also hypoallergenic and antibacterial. It makes them great for people suffering from asthma and/or allergies. Generally speaking, memory foam pillows are more hygienic than feather pillows.
If you have sleep apnea or tend to snore at night, a memory foam pillow will support your neck so that your head is raised up enough to clear your airways, helping you breathe more easily and hopefully reducing your snoring.
Traditional pillows are basically one-size-fits-all, whereas today’s memory foam pillows can be stiffened, softened, and shaped to perfectly fit the contours of your body. Some of them will have temperature-regulating features and/or covers designed to keep you nice and cool while sleeping.
What’s also nice is that you don’t have to fluff your pillows to make them look nice. Memory foam requires very little maintenance and will always return to its natural shape on its own!
Types Of Memory Foam Pillows
If you’re looking for the best memory foam pillow, read the following on the basic types to see which style might work well for you:
Most of us grew up sleeping on traditional pillows and still do. Just the thought of making a switch can be stressful. However, there is a traditional memory foam pillow that looks very much like the standard pillow you’ve been using, except that it’s filled with memory foam. Unlike other memory foam styles, the traditional type offers better airflow. So, if you tend to get warm and sweaty at night, it would help you stay cool. Most traditional types of pillows are filled with shredded memory foam.
The wedge pillow is another very popular choice. It’s shaped just as the name suggests, like a wedge. If you’re the type of sleeper who needs two or more pillows to elevate your head and support your body, this may be your best choice. Doctors and therapists often recommend the wedge pillow to patients who snore, have leg pains, suffer from heartburn, acid reflux, and more. So, if you’re dealing with any of these issues, you might want to try the wedge pillow.
The contour pillow is almost as popular as the traditional memory foam pillow. What distinguishes this type from all the other choices is its solid and contoured shape. It dips in the center, which is where your head is supposed to rest for maximum neck support. The contour pillow is often used to alleviate snoring and is known to improve the spine’s alignment and increase blood circulation as well.
The Egg Crate Pillow
The egg crate pillow is contoured in shape with a bumpy surface for added texture and quite a bit of additional support. Generally speaking, memory foam does tend to retain heat, but these surface bumps act as a cooling mechanism because they provide better airflow.
The reason why the V-shaped pillow is growing in popularity nowadays is that it only takes one pillow to make you totally comfortable when you sleep. Most of us sleep with one or two pillows under our head and have another one to hug through the night. Stomach and side sleepers claim they couldn’t live without their V-shaped pillow because it gives them the perfect neck support the cushion they need through the night.
Neck Roll Pillow
The neck roll pillow is just that – a circular pillow shaped like a roll. It’s recommended for people who suffer from neck and lower back pain. Although many people use it at home, the neck roll pillow is more often used while traveling because it’s compact and can easily be brought along with you wherever you go. In making your choice, this kind of pillow may not be the best memory foam pillow for every night use.
Materials Of Memory Foam Pillows
Traditional Memory Foam
If the label says, “traditional memory foam,” it means that the pillow is made of one solid piece of foam. If you like the feeling of a slow deep sink into the surface, this style might be the best memory foam pillow choice for you. Traditional memory foam conforms perfectly to pressure, molding to the shape of your body. You can’t really fold or fluff it up because it’s just a solid piece of foam. It also tends to trap more heat; however, some people don’t notice this or really mind.
The traditional pillow is considered to be the “classic” style for memory foam pillows and should work great for people who sleep on their back and don’t need to fold the pillow throughout the night. This foam style is adaptable, durable, and relieves pressure in all the right places as well.
Shredded Memory Foam
More often than not, manufacturers use shredded memory foam rather than a solid piece. The foam could be shaped like shreds, strands, chunks, or even noodles. The idea is to break the material into pieces so that the pillow is more flexible. This allows sleepers to adjust the pillow into any shape they want.
Additionally, the shreds create better airflow throughout the pillow, so it doesn’t hold in as much heat. Shredded memory foam responds to pressure more quickly than a solid piece but still offers that distinct sink into the pillow. This foam style works well for mixed sleepers because it offers a balance between plush and firm.
Blended Memory Foam
Some people want certain features of memory foam but need something extra in the filling to create the right feel and amount of support. This is why blended memory foam was developed. By combining memory foam with other materials, you can enhance the body-conforming and supportive properties of foam with the features of other types of materials. This option lets consumers pick and choose the qualities they want in their pillow.
If you really like how memory foam reacts to pressure, but want a pillow you can fluff up, you might find this feature by combining shredded memory foam with microfiber and/or kapok plant fiber. In fact, there are many different material combinations you could use in a pillow. All you have to do is determine which blend would create the perfect pillow for you!
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Memory Foam Pillows
There are advantages and disadvantages that come with every pillow type. Memory foam pillows, whether filled with a solid piece of foam or shredded foam, are different than regular pillows. Let’s take a look at the basic pros and cons of each:
Maintains its Shape
The primary material in memory foam pillows is polyurethane, which is quite durable and able to maintain its shape over time. Thus, such a pillow will last longer and show less sagging or any other damage. Once you lift your head off the pillow, the foam will return to its original shape. This also adds to its longevity, whereas regular pillows need to be replaced every 2 or 3 years.
Excellent Neck & Head Support
Memory foam is going to be firmer than a feather filled pillow. It will adjust to the shape and contours of your head, neck, and shoulders to offer excellent support.
Pain & Pressure Relief
One of the best things about memory foam is that it provides pressure relief. Adjusting to body temperature enables it to relieve pressure points effectively. For example, if you feel pain in your neck, it will differ in temperature from the rest of your body (it’s likely inflamed and thus warmer). Memory foam pillows naturally adjust to this temperature and apply less pressure where necessary.
Motion Transfer Resistance
The most recognized benefit of memory foam is its motion transfer resistance. This quality was first noticed in memory foam mattresses, which is why the technology was tried in pillows, allowing them to mold to the shape of the head and neck for maximum support no matter how much the sleeper moves around. This feature also helps reduce snoring because it keeps the neck aligned so the air passages can stay open.
Makes No Noise
Memory foam pillows make no noise when compressed, which makes them great for light sleepers (and their partners) who wake up at the slightest noise.
Easy to Maintain
A memory foam pillow is a very low maintenance. It usually comes with a hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant cover that can be regularly tossed in the washing machine and dryer.
In most cases, you will pay more for a memory foam pillow than you normally would for a regular pillow. In fact, the price can be as much as 3 to 5 times the cost of a standard pillow.
One of the most common complaints about memory foam is this chemical smell can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. The odor comes from the foam “off-gassing” the chemicals it was made of. All you have to do is air it out each day and show a little patience. The smell does go away.
Polyurethane, which is what memory foam is made of, tends to retain heat all night long. People have been complaining about sleeping hot since memory foam pillows were developed, and this has led to a number of design changes that aid in the cooling properties.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Memory Foam Pillow
Do you suffer from aches and pains when you wake up?
Nobody enjoys waking up in pain each morning. If this sounds familiar, you would likely benefit from a contour memory foam pillow that will hold your head at the proper level and give your neck the right amount of support. A good quality memory foam pillow will not flatten out during the night, so you should wake up in a lot less pain.
Do you tend to get warm when you’re sleeping?
As discussed earlier, memory foam is structured in a way that allows for very little airflow. However, there have been improvements in the technology so if you tend to get warm during the night, look for gel-infused, shredded or padded foams that offer better airflow and breathability.
What position do you generally sleep in?
You must take your sleep position into consideration if you want to find the best memory foam pillow for optimum cervical support. A pillow may look and feel as if it would be perfectly comfortable for you, but half-way through the night it could be a different story. You do not want to waste your money on a product that won’t meet your needs. Do plenty of research so that you make the right choice and enjoy a good rest every night.
The Best Memory Foam Pillows for Side, Stomach & Back Sleepers
Sleep experts say ‘the pillow makes the bed,’ and we agree - the type of pillow you sleep with determines your quality of sleep. You can have a great mattress that provides the perfect combination of support and comfort, but if you have the wrong pillow, you’ll get up in the morning feeling stiff and sore.
Your pillow plays a critical role when it comes to keeping your spine aligned throughout the night. And, your sleep position mainly determines which type of pillow will work the best for you.
These are the best memory foam pillows according to your sleep position:
The Best Pillow Choices for Side Sleepers
Approximately 74% of people sleep on their side, which makes this by far the most common sleep position. Side sleeping doesn’t necessarily cause poor spinal alignment; however, sleeping this way can put more pressure on your back and joints. This is why side sleepers should be very careful when choosing a pillow.
When you sleep on your side, your head is a lot higher than your mattress. So it’s important to have a pillow with sufficient loft to ensure that your neck is properly aligned with your upper back. Make sure to choose a firmer memory foam pillow with a higher loft if you typically sleep on your side.
The best memory foam pillows for side sleepers
Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
When you buy a shredded memory foam pillow, it will be over-stuffed so that you can remove some of the shredded foam to find the right loft. Since you sleep on your side, you will probably only need to take out a small amount, if any. Ideally, you would want to lay down on your side without bending your neck. You also don’t want your shoulder jamming too hard into your mattress.
High-Loft Latex Foam Pillows
Latex foam is more responsive and breathable than memory foam, so people who are not comfortable with sinking into a memory foam can try a latex pillow. Latex foam offers support and contouring while responding to every movement more quickly. Many side sleepers toss and turn all night long, so if this sounds like you, a high-loft latex foam pillow might be perfect.
Firmer Memory Foam Pillows
A memory foam pillow is an excellent choice for people who need more support for their neck and shoulders. Because memory foam naturally molds to the body, it does a great job of keeping the neck and spine aligned. For side sleepers, firmer memory foam is the recommended pillow choice. This provides the additional loft needed to prevent your head from dropping down to your shoulder.
The Best Pillow Choices for Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers comprise around 16% of the population, so this isn’t as uncommon as back sleeping, but almost. Spinal alignment is important when you’re sleeping, but if you sleep on your stomach, it’s nearly impossible to achieve without the right support.
The problem is that when you’re sleeping on your stomach, your neck and the upper body are forced into an unnatural curve unless your body is propped up with a large body pillow to keep you from excessive twisting. Unless you have the right pillow, by sleeping on your stomach, you could be putting extreme pressure on your face, neck, jawline, and shoulders.
The best memory foam pillows for stomach sleepers are:
Shredded Memory Foam
Stomach sleepers could do well with a shredded foam pillow if they remove a large portion of its stuffing. A high-end shredded foam pillow will come overstuffed, so if you take out half or even more of it, you’ll still have plenty left. Ideally, stomach sleepers should sleep with their head just 1” to 2” off the mattress, unless their body type requires more. This can easily be accomplished with a shredded memory foam pillow because it is totally customizable.
Low-Loft Latex Foam
Latex foam has more airflow than memory foam, so it will keep you cooler. It also reacts immediately to your every move. These two qualities help a low-loft latex foam pillow create the perfect space between stomach sleepers and their mattress, and keep their spine properly aligned.
The Best Pillow Choices for Back Sleepers
Approximately 10% of the population sleeps on their back, which makes this position the least common. Having said that, if you want great spinal alignment and good health, it might be worth trying. In fact, this sleeping position is recommended by doctors for patients suffering from neck pain and/or poor circulation.
To avoid the misalignment of their neck during the night, back sleepers need a pillow that will offer the head and neck the proper support. Ideally, you should have a higher loft pillow with sufficient firmness.
The best memory foam pillows for back sleepers
Medium Memory Foam Pillows
This level of firmness will gently mold to the contours of your head and neck while giving them the needed support for proper spinal alignment. Since memory foam pillows tend to hold heat, if you get warm and sweaty at night, select one with a cooling gel infusion to maintain an ideal temperature.
Medium-Firm Latex Foam Pillows
If you prefer the contouring support that memory foam offers but would like extra help sleeping cool, you might want to try a latex foam pillow instead. They are very similar in the contouring ability, but naturally have more airflow, breathability and quicker reactivity to movement.
Customizable Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
Shredded memory foam pillows are routinely over-stuffed so that buyers can adjust them to their liking. This is why they are so popular among all types of sleepers. Back sleepers can adjust them to meet their sleeping needs perfectly, too.
Whatever your sleep position, it’s important that you sleep on the right mattress and use the most beneficial pillow. If you’re confident that you’ve chosen the right pillow but continue to have a sore neck and back in the morning, your mattress may be at fault.
Memory Foam Pillow FAQs
Who benefits the most from using a memory foam pillow?
- Anyone who sleeps on their side, because this position needs added support for spinal alignment plus pressure relief.
- Back-sleepers can be more comfortable sleeping with a shredded memory foam pillow because it can be customized to mold to their head, neck, and shoulders completely.
- Anyone who prefers a high-loft pillow and/or a medium to a firm pillow.
- People who use a second pillow placed between their knees to minimize their leg pain.
How to sleep cooler with a memory foam pillow?
This does seem to be one of the main gripes about memory foam, whether it’s in a mattress or a pillow. Yes, it does tend to retain heat, and this affects the sleeper.
Polyurethane foam, which is what memory foam is made of, does absorb and hold heat and make the surface warm. This doesn’t happen right away; you need to be sleeping in your bed for a while before it starts warming up.
To address this problem, manufacturers have developed a variety of techniques to keep sleepers with memory foam mattresses and/or pillows cool, as follows:
- Plant-based foams
- Gel-infused layers or pads
- Phase change materials (PCMs)
- Ventilated foam
- Shredded foam
Can a memory foam pillow help with snoring?
Yes, it actually can. Memory foam pillows are often recommended for people who want to stop snoring because they support the neck in such a way that the airways remain open. With the neck properly positioned the palate and throat can be kept apart, allowing for easier breathing and diminished snoring. Most of the best memory foam pillows work well for side sleeping, a position that tends to decrease snoring as well.
Do I have to worry about my memory foam pillow going flat?
Not for a very long time. This doesn’t happen quickly or easily, but it will largely depend on what type of memory foam pillow you have. Certain types can go flat over time.
How should I take good care of my memory foam pillow?
Memory foam pillows do not require a lot of care to keep them in good shape. Solid foam pillows should be spot cleaned periodically, but there is no need to send them to the dry cleaners. Shredded foam pillows can easily be fluffed up to maintain their shape.
You would never throw your memory foam pillow in the washing machine, but the vast majority of them will come with a removable, machine-washable cover that can and should be kept clean.
Does density matter?
The density of the memory foam does make a difference, but it matters a lot more when you’re buying a mattress than if you’re shopping for a pillow.
Studies show that the higher the density, the following is true:
- It gets more expensive. More materials are required to make a higher density foam, therefore the higher price.
- It becomes more durable and more likely to last longer.
- The higher the density, the more support it can provide because it molds to your body better. If you suffer from back pain, a higher density memory foam pillow should help.
Do I need a contour memory foam pillow?
Contour memory foam pillows make sleeping more comfortable by giving the right support to the neck and easing muscle tension. This makes them an ideal choice for side sleepers since they conform perfectly to the head and neck. When the neck muscles get the right support, they don’t have to exert themselves so much supporting the head. People who often suffer from neck pain can really benefit from a contour memory foam pillow.
How affordable are memory foam pillows?
Getting a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis is so important to your health and wellbeing that cost shouldn’t be your main consideration. A memory foam pillow is usually more expensive than a regular pillow, but the benefits make the added cost worth it. They are quite flexible but just firm enough. Plus, they don’t go flat like most other pillows. Think of this purchase as an important investment in the quality of your sleep.
Should the smell concern me?
When you first unbox your memory foam pillow, you may notice an odor. When the pillow comes off the production line, the smells simply get trapped inside the package. All you need to do is air it out until the smell dissipates before sleeping on it. If you’re concerned about any chemicals in the product, make sure you’ve purchased a CertiPUR-US certified pillow. This certification assures that it’s made without harmful substances such as heavy metals, certain flame retardants or formaldehyde.
It's nearly impossible to recommend one solution to suit them all. We’re all different, and we all sleep differently. We also tend to change our sleeping habits over time. The truth is that certain memory foam pillows will be great for some people and not so great for others. Everyone needs to do their research when it comes to something this personal. Gather all the information and then decide whether or not a memory foam pillow is going to meet your particular needs.