If there’s one type that has the most positive feedback from its owners it’s the memory foam pillow. Surveys and owner reviews generally ooze praise from all those who own a set. Although they’re not cheap like feather or microfiber, they’re not quite as expensive as others such as down feather or latex pillows. So, in terms of price to satisfaction ratio these are without doubt simply the top rated pillows.
Choosing the best can easily become an expensive, hit and miss, trial and error type affair. This is the last thing you could hope for. However, based on memory foam pillow reviews like our own we plan to make the buying process less stressful and more productive considering it can get rather confusing to say the least, especially if this is going to be your first time buying one, or if it’s your first exposure to this uniquely amazing filling.
If you’re almost ready to buy but not quite sure what to expect, it’s advisable you read the below pillow buying guide and reviews, because these are possibly the only type that have the most variation in terms of shape and styles; choice is abundant but choosing the right one for your needs is most important.
Quick Comparison Table
Please see our at-a-glance comparison table. Publishing every single review would be too resource intensive so we have picked the 5 best memory foam pillow reviews and chosen to share them below. Please note, to make it a fair and comparable, the models referred to below are all Queen size, so the stats may differ for Standard and King Size.
- Type: Shredded
- Cover: 60% Polyester 40% Bamboo
- Height: 3"
- Type: Traditional
- Cover: Cotton Blend
- Height: 5"
- Type: Contour
- Cover: 75% Cotton 25% Polyester
- Height: 5"
- Type: Gusseted
- Cover: 100% Cotton
- Height: 4"
- Type: Wedge
- Cover: Unknown
- Height: 12"
- Type: Shredded
- Cover: Bamboo derived rayon cover
- Height: 3"
- Type: Traditional (Gel)
- Cover: Bamboo
- Height: 5.5"
- Type: Contour
- Cover: Bamboo with aloe vera
- Height: 4"
- Type: Advanced Contour
- Cover: Bamboo rayon
- Height: 6"
- Type: Contour
- Cover: 100% cotton terry velour
- Height: 4.8"
What Is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is a special type of material which reacts to pressure and temperature causing it to mold and conform to shape accordingly. Therefore when it comes to sleeping on bed pillows, the foam creates a mold around the shape of your head, neck, shoulders, ears and any other body part which it comes into contact with. The traditional and most common type of foam is polyurethane, also known as viscoelastic foam. There is also another variant which includes a portion of gel, which is similar to the aforementioned, but this type has thousands of small gel beads in its mix. The gel memory foam pillow is slightly more expensive, newer on the scene, and has its benefits over its peers in that there is less heat retention thus allowing a cooler sleep surface.
Types Of Memory Foam Pillows
Unlike other designs and types of pillows such as buckwheat or down, memory foam pillows come in various different styles and shapes. Ultimately, they are all for laying your head down for a good nights sleep, but which one you’ll choose depends on more specific needs, as each one serves a slightly different purpose. Read below to learn about all the available kinds and what they’re best recommended for:
A contour memory foam pillow is literally a slab of viscoelastic foam which has a subtle groove and two ridges running horizontally from one side to another. This groove is where the head is cradled, and with the ridges supporting the neck it provides maximum stability for the head too. Due to the contoured shape combined with the supportive nature of viscoelastic foam, the memory foam contour pillow is a very popular choice for those with neck problems and is similarly also considered one of the best pillows for back sleepers too.
A shredded memory foam pillow is quite different to the contour style mentioned above. In terms of shape they are usually oblong, similar to that of the traditional types. Regarding size they are available in the usual categories such as Standard, Queen and King, though the actual measurements can differ slightly between brands. The loft (height) is relatively average, not too high and not too low, making these a good all rounder for different sleeping positions. They are referred to as shredded because the interior consists of hundreds or sometimes thousands of tiny shreds of foam pieces compacted together to form the filling. The benefits of having this shredded nature is that it allows the foam to be more breathable thus making it sleep cooler and not creating a heat trap. Additionally, although there is no real need to fluff, a shredded memory foam pillow can have its loft adjusted, or be scrunched and molded to shape a little if required unlike a contour pillow.
A wedge pillow goes by many different names and has more uses than the traditional oblong shaped types. In context, a memory foam wedge pillow is shaped like a giant triangle, slanted with a gradual slope, and is commonly used to prop the body up for different purposes. Typically, the size and angle of the slope greatly determines it’s usage and whether it’s for adults or babies. Due to the conforming and heat retaining nature of this material it can be an extremely comfortable and warm surface to lay back on. Recommended extensively for medical reasons such as respiratory problems, acid reflux or sinus issues, wedge pillows aren’t just used for sleeping. Also known as a bed wedge, they are a popularly used as a reading pillow whilst sat upright and leaned against. Alternatively they can also be used to elevate the lower body by placing underneath the back of the knees which helps reduce the load on the lower back. Additionally, they are also perhaps regarded as the best pillows for pregnancy considering they can be placed under a baby bump to reduce stress on the lower back.
When we refer to the term “traditional” really it’s the relatively low loft rectangular shaped ones which you’re most likely to be familiar with. When it comes to foam pillows, there are two very similar variations in particular which are most popular. Both are literally one-piece and cut to size. The first is truly traditional in that it’s tailored by a single seam around all four edges, and has slightly sloped or angled edges which are common in a majority of bed pillows. The second is also similar in shape and size to the former but instead has a double seamed edge which allows for a consistent and higher loft especially around the edge. These are known as a gusset pillow, and due to the high loft and increased support for the neck and shoulder area they are widely accepted as all-round top rated pillows.
Memory Foam Pillow Pros and Cons
After all, if you’re about to spend money on something which you plan to own for the next few years at least, it’s a good idea to weigh up the good and bad in order to make an informed decision. Given that there are numerous shapes, variations and usages, we discuss the below as a whole and not based on any particular type:
Pain relief: Due to the pressure point relieving nature of the foam, it relieves neck, shoulder and back pain by allowing muscles to fully relax and sink in but also allowing for support at the same time.
Spinal alignment: By allowing gravity and pressure sensitivity to cause it to mold and conform, the spine stays perfectly aligned, especially when sleeping on your back or side.
Hypoallergenic: They are considered as hypoallergenic pillows (anti allergy) due to the unique properties within the foam which hugely reduce the chance of mildew and house dust mites, so, asthma attacks or other allergic and respiratory reactions would be less frequent and severe.
Hygienic: The shredded memory foam pillow is usually machine washable but be sure to check the manufacturers care instructions first. The contoured ones however should not go in the washing machine but instead the zip cover can be removed and washed.
Firmness: Some people love firm pillows, and for those who do, these are definitely for you. Unlike numerous other kinds which may be soft and plush, the average density tends to be medium-firm.
Support: In general viscoelastic foam is a very supportive filling, especially when used in the contoured types (also often referred to as a back sleeper pillow). They do a great job keeping the upper body supported throughout the night.
Heat retention: Generally, heat retention is considered a negative as opposed to positive in this case. A pillow that sleeps hot is most likely to cause discomfort throughout the night especially in hotter climates. Viscoelastic foam is known to get slightly warm at times, but this is nowadays being countered by ventilated designs, gel foam, or high quality breathable shreds.
Weight: These are somewhat heavier than other types of pillows due to the nature of foam. Even so, when we say heavier it’s not not kilograms we’re referring to; the average weight is anything between 2 to 5 lbs. (Don’t get this confused with the density, which is also measured in lbs).
Odor: The infamous memory foam smell is something that cannot be avoided, whether it’s a mattress or pillow, there will always be a fresh odor from new which is known as off-gassing. This odor is likely to dissipate within a few days, so a top tip is to unpack and leave unused in a spare room until the odor slowly disappears. Alternatively if you have bought washable pillows, they can be be washed and dried to speed up the process.
Price: Though not the most expensive compared to others, they are quite high in price and can range cost a large chunk of change just for a single unit. Pairs are obviously more expensive but most commonly they are sold in singular units; for good deals on cheap pillows its better to buy online.
Memory Foam Pillow Reviews
Sleep Better – Iso-Cool Gusseted Side Sleeper
From the minute way laid eyes upon this beauty we were sold. Not only is this a gorgeous looking product, it aptly lives up to its name and does the job well in comparison to others in this price range.
The gusseted style has the perfect edge at 4″ which is optimal for cradling the head and supporting the neck. It’s pretty rare to find one similar to this with a 100% cotton cover too; it’s a machine washable 300 thread count zipped cotton cover which is also naturally hypoallergenic just like the gel foam itself. In reality it’s a perfect all rounder, it ticks all the boxes in terms of comfort, firmness, and much more. Not bad for the money.
Coop Home Goods – Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
One of the best rated at the moment is the machine washable queen size shredded foam pillow from Coop Home Goods. Not only is it relatively cheap, as an all round performer it never ceases to amaze.
The hypoallergenic filling which is wrapped in a 60% polyester 40% bamboo cover comes with a 5 year warranty that it will not go flat. The natural bamboo element is key because it helps keep cool at night. The shreds of foam are the perfect amount; plenty of support and shapeability in order to fluff, scrunch and adjust to the desired height and support to accommodate for various sleeping positions.
As far as bamboo memory foam pillows go, for something which suits everyone out of the box, we consider this in our opinion the best of its kind.
Sleep Innovations – Contour
Cheap pillows are abundant online, but that makes it all the more harder to shortlist when its time to buy. However, mark our words for sure, this memory foam contour pillow is almost perfect without any concern about the low price tag.
Also considered to be good for spinal alignment, the anti allergy 3 lbs density foam filling produces a medium-firm surface which provides ample support. Combine it with the differing dual height design makes it arguably the best pillow for back sleepers, as it also accommodates those who would like either a high or low loft. The SureTemp open cell technology isn’t as expensive as gel foam, but still allows it to sleep cool without creating the heat trap like others we have seen.
The removable cover is machine washable, it comes with a 5 year warranty, and it’s made in the USA. In our opinion, this one reigns alongside others at the top for all the valid reasons.
InteVision Bed Wedge Pillow
InteVision are well versed in research, design and production of this kind of wedge. They have an extensive range which spans many sizes and styles, with a large number being extremely popular for different medical reasons including acid reflux, breathing problems, poor blood circulation, and back or neck problems.
Their latest memory foam wedge pillow is continually scoring top marks all round not only with us but with verified owners too. The 1″ layer of soft visco foam over a firm base provides a perfect combination of comfort and support no matter what you’ll be using it for.
Even after prolonged hours of use there is no change to the comfortable and supportive nature. The pillow itself isn’t machine washable due to size and shape, but the removable cover is. Overall, for what this is and in comparison to its peers we rated it 5 out of 5.
Classic Brands – Conforma
The traditional slab type ventilated Conforma is a well respected entry level product. At 5 inches thick it’s the perfect height for the side or back sleeper, not overly high or ridiculously low.
For increased airflow in order to avoid heat retention there are multiple vents which hide under the super soft removable and washable cotton blend cover. Some people may consider it rather firm, it definitely isn’t soft or plush, but more a good balance of in-between. The responsive foam provides good neck support and reacts without hesitation; as its name may suggest, the foam conforms perfectly to any shape it encounters throughout the night.
This well-priced pillow will satisfyingly aid sound sleep throughout the night and leave you pain-free in the morning.
Deciding on the best memory foam pillow overall is virtually impossible because of the different purposes each one serves. For example, a contour pillow will rate differently to a wedge. However what we are certain of is that each of the documented reviews exist on this page because they were top of the pick in their category.
Choosing the right pillow is not so complicated once you know what you’re after. Based on your criteria such as usage, shape, height, price and preferred sleep positions, hopefully our comparison and buying guide can help you along in finding the perfect pillow for a good nights sleep.