The best memory foam pillow
A good night's rest is priceless, but with lumpy pillows, you might find yourself tossing or turning more than sleeping. To get back to catching Z's, consider switching to a memory foam pillow.
Regular pillows filled with feather or synthetic filling are notorious for requiring fluffing or repositioning. Memory foam pillows offer better shape integrity and overall support for your head and neck. In fact, memory pillows often aid in positioning your neck to achieve better alignment for the rest of your spine.
There are plenty of memory foam pillows on the market, so we've put together this buying guide to help you find the right one. Our favorite, the Coop Home Goods Eden Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, boasts exceptional breathability and softness from its bamboo-derived material blend.
Considerations when choosing memory foam pillows
Types of memory foam pillows
Traditional: Traditional memory foam pillows consist of a single piece of foam shaped into a more conventional pillow shape with pointed edges. They're typically available in low or medium lofts and are popular among those seeking more support for the neck and upper back.
Shredded: Shredded memory foam pillows have thousands of tiny gel and foam particles that make up the filling. Sleepers like these for their breathable design, as well as their traditional pillow feel. Many shredded pillows are also adjustable and have removable inserts so you can change the loft.
Contoured: Like traditional memory foam pillows, contoured pillows consist of a single piece of foam. Their design has a higher lip toward the neck, with a concave center to cradle your head. Contoured memory foam pillows are overwhelmingly popular with back and side sleepers.
Wedge: These triangular memory foam pillows are mostly used by those with health conditions. They're used to elevate sleep positioning if you're pregnant, experience lower lumbar pain, or have respiratory issues. As expected, they're less popular among people with more traditional sleeping positions.
If you're a front sleeper, you're probably better suited to sleep with a soft memory foam pillow, as it supports your spine. Medium and medium-firm pillows are well-liked by all sleepers and are the preferred firmness for back sleepers. For individuals who need superior support, especially back and side sleepers, firm memory foam pillows are best.
Most memory foam pillows are made from bamboo, cotton, or polyester blends. These aim to be soft and breathable, though bamboo and cotton are far softer than most polyester covers. Some memory foam pillows also have removable covers that are machine-washable.
Foam can hold onto heat, which is why many memory foam pillow manufacturers use cooling technology in their designs and materials. Memory foam is mixed with gel, which excels at temperature regulation and cooling. There are also memory foam pillows that are ventilated, as well as those with moisture-wicking covers.
Everyone's body is shaped differently, which is why loft is an important consideration when comparing memory foam pillows. Certain styles feature an adjustable loft, which consists of inserts that can be added or removed to achieve your preferred height.
You can find a basic memory foam pillow for $20 to $30, but it might not last as long as more expensive designs. Mid-range memory foam pillows run closer to $50 and include better material blends or adjustable lofts. If you want superior comfort and support, opt for memory foam pillows priced closer to $100.
Q. Are memory foam pillows available in more than one size?
A. Yes -- memory foam pillows are available in standard, queen, and king sizes. Their shapes might not be identical to those of traditional pillows, so you may have some extra space inside pillowcases.
Q. What does it mean if a memory foam pillow is CertiPUR-US certified?
A. This certification means the memory foam pillow has been made without ozone depleters, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals or allergens. If you're wondering if a memory foam pillow has this certification, you can refer to the CertiPUR-US website to see if the manufacturer is listed as a participating member.
Memory foam pillows we recommend
Best of the best: Coop Home Goods' Eden Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow
Our take: Soft, hotel-level comfort with rectangular edges for an even filling.
What we like: Stay-cool design with memory gel. Hypoallergenic design, chemical-free, and made in the USA.
What we dislike: Expensive choice, but often replaces two regular pillows.
Best bang for your buck: WonderSleep's Premium Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
Our take: Affordable option for a two-pack, and is available in 3 sizes.
What we like: Breathable bamboo cover. Removable filling for adjustable loft.
What we dislike: Must air out pillows prior to sleeping.
Our take: Cooling ventilated design is a popular choice for warmer climates.
What we like: Medium loft is comfortable for all sleeping positions. Modest firmness. Has a 3-year warranty.
What we dislike: Some sleepers used to thicker pillows might find the loft too low.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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