Why do you want the best memory foam pillow?
The stress of work, especially computer-based work, means a lot of hunching over keyboards with stressful positions. Other work may be repetitive or require a lot of heavy lifting. In all of these cases, you may come home from a day of work with sore backs, necks, and aching muscles.
If you cannot get a good night of sleep to help your body heal from the stresses of the day, then it becomes even more difficult to complete this work the next day, and it can complicate the pain and the problem. This is why memory foam mattresses and toppers have become popular. However, not everyone needs a full mattress, and a mattress cannot help the upper back and neck area as much as a quality pillow.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Some people look for them because they have neck or back issues that no other pillow type can touch. Others search for them to help battle an ongoing war with insomnia. Others still work hard and spend that money carefully, looking for long-lasting, quality items. The discovery of memory foam has made it even easier to find a pillow that is long lasting to fall in love with.
The Tempurpedic craze has brought about a number of different memory foam versions that all offer different features- adjustability, temperature control, air flow, and green certification to name a few. Some of these pillows are great for back sleepers, others for side or stomach sleepers. Whatever category you fall into, here are ten of the best memory foam pillows that money can buy to discover for yourself.
Read on, and get ready for the best sleep of your life!
All Types of Memory Pillows
- Open-cell: This is molded foam where the holes are open to help air go through. It is quicker to expand again and fluff back to its shape and cooler in a hot environment.
- Closed Cell: The air in these is in chambers where it compresses and expands. This is a firmer pillow but it is less likely to break down over time as well. These are also called “gel” pillows. To add breathability, some pillows layer open cell material outside of a closed cell core.
- Shredded: This is a pillow that is full of shredded memory foam material instead of a solid block. This makes it lighter and more breathable while offering many of the shaping advantages of memory foam.
- Contoured: These pillows are shaped to give you better spinal alignment.
There are also a number of different materials that each of these pillow types can be made from:
If you decide ahead of time what you want, you can save a lot of time looking through pillow options.
- Certi-PUR foam: This is a green-certified foam that is free from many of the formaldehydes, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals.
- Memory Foam from fossil-fuel-based materials: This is the most common kind of foam on the market. There are higher standards for being chemical-free if the foam is made in the USA.
- Latex: This is a plant-based foam that is as green as memory foam can get.
Memory Foam Neck Pillow
Do you need a pillow for your head? Or is it really your neck?
Neck pillows are designed to go beneath your neck for posture while you sleep with your head on the mattress. This keeps the head straighter when you sleep on your back.
Some neck pillows for side sleepers will place your head at the position where it is straight, instead of even with your shoulder. The head is lifted only slightly and the neck is supported. Others still are shaped like a wedge to create good positioning for your neck while your head is suspended. This is a classic pillow strategy that has worked in Asia for millennia.
Can it work for you, too?
Memory Foam Pillow Set of 2
Memory foam pillows are often sold in pairs. While it is nice to have a matching set of 2 on a large bed, buying two slightly different models allows you to test both and see which gives you the most comfortable and restful night of sleep.
As many of these brands offer no-questions-asked guarantees, you have a month to decide to switch one out for your preferred model type or get a refund. Two times the memory foam means two good nights of sleep.
Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow Queen Size
This popular pillow can be found in major stores.
Are they worth it?
This is the non-cooling version of pillow number 10 on our list. If you like the contoured pillow but you want a lighter version without cooling foam, this is a great choice that is easy to find at most major retailers like Target. See for yourself why this easy-to-find pillow represents an amazing night of sleep.
Memory Foam Pillow with Cooling Gel
The cooling gel is a closed-cell foam that has a high ability to absorb heat. If you are constantly sweating at night, this is a great way to feel like your pillow isn’t quite so hot.
Cooling gels are typically heavier than other pillows, which can be an advantage for those who move around a lot and tend to wiggle their pillow out of place. They are often wrapped with a more breathable material to help promote air flow while the core absorbs heat. Technology meets comfort with this beautiful cooling gel.
Memory Foam Pillow King Size
Sleep like a king with king-sized pillows. A great choice for those with larger, king-sized beds!
King-size pillows are typically larger than standard and queen-size pillows. They are designed to be placed on a king-sized bed and are long enough that two of them can stretch across the bed without a lot of extra space.
King-size pillows need larger pillowcases, which come standard with most king-size sheets. These long pillows are sometimes used as body pillows as they can be the length of some torsos. What a versatile choice!
Memory Foam Pillow Benefits
- Great ability to expand and contract to better support the different weights and curves of your head and neck
- Durable and long-lasting
- Can be useful in multiple sizes, making it easy to find a travel pillow with similar support
- Available in green-certified, low-VOC options
- Can hold body heat on cold nights and absorb it away on hot nights to reduce sweating
Z Zoned Dough Lavender-Infused Memory Foam Pillow
What? Can you also infuse scents?
One of the coolest things that memory foam can do is hold scent. Infused essential oils that are proven to enhance the quality of sleep, like lavender, can be added to these high-quality products.
New technologies for those who want something different. The smell itself is light and pleasurable so it definitely won’t ruin your sleep. We think this pillow is worth trying.
A beautiful scent and a deep night of sleep, wow!
Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
Many memory foam pillows offer a bamboo/polyester outer cover. This is designed to be durable, washable, and breathable. Bamboo makes it soft and antibacterial, as it allows airflow, while polyester keeps it dust-mite resistant.
The perfect combination of natural and synthetic.
Cleaning and Maintenance
As a general rule, memory foam pillows are not washable. Some can be fluffed in the dryer; however, some cannot take the heat of the dryer and must be air-fluffed only. The best way to clean most memory foam is to gently wipe it down with a damp cloth.
In some cases, the pillow cover can be removed and washed separately. Typically, these covers have a zipper and are obvious. Stitched covers should not be removed for washing or any other purpose as they can damage the integrity of the pillow. Clean it up in a few seconds, flat!
Types and Smell of Materials
Yeah! What about that memory foam smell with a new pillow?
When you first get a memory foam item, you will often find that it is compressed way down and has a chemical smell. The air pockets in this foam are full of the smell of the manufacturing compounds, which will dissipate when they are exposed to air. When you first get your pillow, let it expand and take a sniff.
If it smells funny, put it in a place with good air circulation, and compress it a few times to push the scent out of the air pockets and bring in good air. Let it re-expand and do it again. After a day to a week period, the smell should be gone. Some memory foam materials, like latex, are less likely to have a smell as they come from plant-based sources and not oil-based processing.
Choose a product that is Certi-PUR certified if you want to lower your chance of having a lot of the smell. These have a smaller amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that cause the stinky off-gassing that happens as fossil-fuel products naturally break down.
It’s temporary and can be avoided in some cases!
Not bad for something that will last between 5 and 20 years!
- High or low-quality brand names
- The quality of the foam
- The innovation of the design
- Green materials
- How and where it was made
- How long it is expected to last
Sleeping in any direction can be a breeze if you get a pillow designed for your positions!
- Side Sleepers: The most common position. Side sleepers as they age need a pillow that will allow them to sleep with a straight neck. This can be done with a very firm pillow or one that contours to cradle the neck.
- Back Sleepers: Also a common position, back sleepers often like to have a lower-profile pillow that doesn’t tip their head way up. These pillows can flatten easily, so resilient memory foam is a bonus.
- Front or Stomach Sleepers: This is the least common (and least recommended) way to sleep. Stomach sleepers need a pillow with adequate air flow because their breath can add temperature to a pillow to make it hot. They are the most likely group to need air circulation to have adequate breathing abilities, too.
Here’s what to watch for:
The warranty will depend on the pillow you get. Many of the pillow companies will allow you a no-hassle trial period. They may also allow you to switch between different versions of their pillows to find the right one for your neck and head.
It is important to read the fine print on the warranty to see if it covers only some features (flatness, the cover) or if it covers anything for any reason. You may need o register your pillow to gain the benefits of the warranty later. As a bonus, you will get recall notices if you are registered.
Returns can be a snap if you know what your protections are!
A good pillow will last between 5 and 20 years without going flat. Many of these pillows have warranties of similar lengths.
If you like light pillows that can be scrunched and change shape, try a version with shredded memory foam. Heavier, molded pillows are great for those who toss and turn. They are especially great, however, for anyone who tends to awaken with a crick in their neck.
You are welcome to mix and match memory foam pillows, toppers, and beds in the way that is most comfortable for you. There is no advantage or disadvantage to having everything be memory foam or just owning one pillow.
The biggest issue with memory foam is ventilation. Air and heat can get trapped. In some cases, this may create a good environment for bacterial overgrowth. Pillow manufacturers ventilate by adding air holes, shredding the materials, and adding covers in materials, like bamboo, that allow air flow. Bamboo also has an antibacterial ability, which makes it doubly effective.
Molded memory foam pillows are available in a number of sizes to try and match the alignment of your neck. This is especially true with side sleepers. If you can lay sideways and have a straight neck and head in proportion to your body, then you have the correct pillow for you.
While standard sizes will fit many bodies, there are large and petite versions designed to help those who have a different size.
Certi-PUR means that the pillow is low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that off-gas and can cause respiratory distress for some. It is also free of fire retardant chemicals, heavy metals, carcinogenic processing chemicals like formaldehyde, and more.
Most warranties cover the level of support that the pillow provides. They are typical “never flat” warranties that offer a replacement if the pillow loses more than a certain amount of loft (like one or two inches). This means that the pillow should support spinal alignment throughout the lifetime of the product.
So What's the Best Memory Foam Pillow for Me?
We based our favorite pillow on a number of different factors, including:
- Will it help me sleep better?
- Is it certified by someone who knows about backs (a chiropractor or orthopedic professional?)
- Is it green certified?
- Are the materials quality?
- Does the company stand by its product?
- What kind of warranty and return policy exists for the product?
On almost all counts, the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Combination with Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Covering fits the bill. It offers a 20-year warranty about not going flat, offers 90 no-question days to love the pillow or get a full refund, and is fully green certified.
Discover for yourself why this is such a great choice, and find the ease that comes with finally getting some ZZZs.