If you are looking for a comfortable, good night’s sleep, it’s common to go for the best mattress or mattress topper in the market. But what you might forget is that there’s something else on our bed that is almost as important in helping us achieve quality sleep – the pillow. If you’ve ever woken up with a painful crick in the neck or pain in your upper back, then you might not know that you’re experiencing pillow-related issues. So, what kind of pillow should you get? May be a cooling pillow? Aren’t they basically all the same? Just like beds, there are various types of pillows available in the market, the most popular of which is the memory foam pillow.
Just like the mattress, this type of pillow is great at conforming to your head and neck, providing support, keeping your spine aligned, and still feel very comfortable. Now, before you go out and buy the first one you see, you should note that just like memory foam mattresses, there are also quite a number of memory foam pillows to choose from, not all of which would provide you with the support and comfort you need.
If you’re in the market for the best memory foam pillows and you don’t have the time to go over each and everyone that’s available, don’t you worry. We’ve slept our way through more than our fair share of these pillows to give you the down-low on the best ones are. This way, you’ll only need to look over 10. And before you know it, you’ll be sleeping like a log.
Top 10 Memory Foam Pillows Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam Pillow On The Market
The rave reviews aren’t lying. The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow really is uber-comfortable. Comfort isn’t the only thing that’s got people talking about this pillow. Plenty of sleepers find that this pillow strikes the perfect balance of orthopedic support and fluffy comfort, allowing them to sleep easily at night and not feel any pain in the morning. The pillow is made out of a proprietary mix of hypoallergenic and extremely low V.O.C. Biogreen® memory foam and CertiPUR-US® certified foam that have been shredded to feel soft, fluffy, and light but still provide the conforming ability of memory foam.
The combination of these two types of foam strikes that balance between bounce, comfort, and support so that your head and neck remains in their natural alignment while adjusting to your sleeping position. And in case you you’re still worried about how well this pillow will suit you, you can actually customize the fill by removing or getting additional foam from the manufacturer at no extra charge. The Ultra-Luxurious Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Viscose of Bamboo Cover is soft, breathable, and removable. Should your Snuggle-Pedic pillow get dirty, it’s completely machine-washable and can be dried in the dryer.
- Hypoallergenic materials
- 20-year warranty and 90-day money back guarantee
- Can be customized
- Slight off-gassing
- Needs a bit of “refluffing” from time to time
2. Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam Pillow For Side Sleepers
The Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow is actually quite similar to the Snuggle-Pedic. It features its own proprietary mix of shredded visco elastic memory foam that can be adjusted to suit your needs by adding or removing foam. The foam is also CertiPUR-US Certified, hypoallergenic, and dust mite resistant. It is also machine washable so you never have to worry about how to clean it. The bamboo derived viscose rayon cover is soft and breathable which helps in reducing heat retention. The pillow is great whether you’re sleeping on your back or stomach. It feels cool and provides you with the support and comfort you’re looking for.
One difference between this one and the Snuggle-Pedic is the warranty. The Coop Home Goods pillow only has a 5-year warranty and a 30-day trial. Admittedly, it doesn’t really take 30 days for you to judge whether a pillow is good for you or not and the 5-year warranty isn’t bad either. Also, a lot of the complaints about this pillow seem to come from side sleepers who have a hard time finding the right amount of fluff their pillow needs to give them the proper support. Just like the Snuggle-Pedic, you may need to re-fluff the pillow quite a bit. Another drawback to this pillow is the off-gassing which, according to some, take a number of days to really dissipate.
- Sleeps cool
- Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- Off-gassing can take days to go away
- Requires a lot of re-fluffing
- Slightly expensive
3. InteVision Foam Wedge Bed PillowMemory Foam Pillow For Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from acid reflux, breathing problems, or sleep apnea, then you’ll need a pillow that keeps your head and upper body elevated while you sleep. The best wedge pillow that you’ll find in the market today is the InteVision Ortho Bed Wedge. It has two layers – 1.5 inches of memory foam on top with a base foam at the bottom for support. Built-in channels can be found on both layers to help improve airflow. The cover is machine-washable so no need to worry your head with how to clean it.
Now, as for performance, the pillow really is very comfortable, especially since the top layer conforms itself to your head and upper body. The pillow is quite multifunctional as it can be used to elevate legs for those who need it or for reading in bed or watching TV. However, it must be noted that the pillow is a bit high – 12 inches – and can only be used by back sleepers. Also, temperature regulation isn’t all that great. Some people feel they sleep hot while others don’t. Moreover, some do feel that the pillow is too firm but this may just be a matter of preference.
- Provides comfort and support
- Initial odor takes a couple of days to go away
- Not for stomach or side sleepers
- May be too high for some users
4. Conforma Cushion Firm Memory Foam Pillow
The Conforma Aerated Memory Foam pillow is a medium firm pillow that features premium memory foam with an open cell structure as well as ventilated holes to increase airflow. Like most memory foam, this pillow is able to provide pressure relief and support for your head, neck, and shoulders. The Velour knit cover works with the memory foam to contour around the natural curve and shape of your head and neck while promoting airflow.
Take note that your head and neck will not really sink that much with this pillow which makes it perfect for side sleepers and back sleepers, ensuring that their head stays aligned with the neck and spine. Stomach sleepers, however, will not like how firm this mattress is. What we love about this mattress is that it’s nice and thick (5 inches); it doesn’t go flat or need “re-fluffing” while you shift sleeping positions. The warranty is for 3 years, lesser than what our top picks offered. And based on some reviews, you may need to buy a new one by that time.
- Excellent support for neck and head (side and back sleepers)
- Machine-washable cover
- Sleeps cool
- Initial odor
- Not for stomach sleepers
- May take time to break in
5. Sleep Innovations Cool Memory Foam Contour PillowMemory Foam Contour Pillow
Unlike our previous choices, this memory foam pillow comes in a unique shape. The open cell memory foam features a contour design. Yes, memory foam already has contouring properties but to provide your head, neck, and shoulders with enhanced support, the ergonomic “cradling” design of the pillow was added. This ensures that pressure points do not form and proper spinal alignment is maintained. The contour design has a high loft and low loft which allows you to use the pillow when sleeping on your side or you back.
This pillow also features SuperTemp foam which is improves airflow and keeps the temperature regulated. The cover is made out of 75% cotton and 25% polyester, and it’s machine washable. It comes with a 5-year warranty and is sold at a much lower price than most of our picks. There are some flaws to take note. Heavy heads tend to “squish” the pillow and not get the right amount of support. Also, the cooling technology is a bit lacking because a lot of people sleep hot on this.
- Nice contoured shape
- Great support for side and back sleepers
- Less expensive than other memory foam pillows
- Not for heavy heads
- Sleeps hot
- Initial odor lasts for days
6. Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic PillowMemory Foam Pillow For Neck And Shoulder Pain
This hypoallergenic pillow from Xtreme Comforts features shredded CertiPUR-US Certified memory foam inside a micro-vented kool-flow technology bamboo cover. Because the memory foam is shredded, it’s easy to customize the thickness of your pillow based on your sleeping position and preference. The pillow comes to you overstuffed so you won’t ever have to worry about not having enough foam. The pillow is mold resistant and dust mite resistant. The cover is soft and breathable.
The pillow itself is soft and firm at the same time so you get the comfort you’re looking for while providing your head and neck the support it requires to stay in alignment with the rest of your spine. While it does require a bit of refluffing from time to time (read that every night), it does retain its shape throughout the night. And it’s really great for back and side sleepers. For stomach sleepers who sleep half on their stomach and half on their side or those who like sleeping with their arms cuddled under their upper body, this pillow is moldable enough to suit them too.
- Does not lose shape throughout the night
- Great support
- Sleeps cool
- Requires refluffing every night before use
- More expensive than other pillows on this list
- Initial odor lasts a while
7. Malouf Z Zoned Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam Pillow For Back Sleepers
This pillow is quite unique in more ways than one.
First, it makes use of a softer, doughier memory foam. Different from the usual memory foam, this foam allows you to sink into the pillow but still get the support you need. Strange but true.
Second, the pincore design of the pillow features different sized holes strategically located in zones. Small holes are located along the edge to make it firmer and provide your neck with support while maintaining proper alignment. Larger holes can be found around the head area which makes the foam softer in that zone, allowing your head to sink and, again, maintain proper alignment.
Third, the open cell technology of the foam ensures that the pillow has improved airflow.
Fourth, the cover is made out of rayon from bamboo velour and feels luxuriously soft as promised.
And fifth, this pillow comes in different sizes and firmness ratings from high loft, firm to low loft, plush. This means that you’ll definitely be able to find one that suits your preferences just fine. All good things, definitely. But are there any bad? Well, like all memory foam pillows, this one does have that initial chemical smell that takes a couple of days to go away. Also, the price is almost double of what the other pillows are going for.
- Softer than regular memory foam
- Excellent support and pressure point relief
- Offered in different sizes and thickness
- Chemical smell does last for days
- Very expensive
- No “guide” to help buyers choose which “height” and firmness should they get
8. Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
Not everyone likes a fluffy pillow. For those who sleep on their backs or stomachs, a pillow that wasn’t too high or firm can be the best option for maintaining their spine’s natural alignment and preventing the formation of pressure points. Lightweight individuals, in particular, may need a slim pillow that allows them to sleep without their head tilting too far forward or backward which causes a strain on your neck and upper back. Well, the Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper may be the pillow you’ve been dreaming of.
This 2.5-inch pillow is ideal for stomach and back sleepers who prefer a thin pillow. The half-pillow design means that you get a flat side and a slightly puffy side on the other which gives it that thin profile. Now, the pillow’s size is a little smaller than what you’d normally find at 16×24 inches but it seems to fit fine if you only prefer to sleep on your back or your stomach.
The foam itself has contouring properties, molding itself around your head to provide support for your head and neck. The cover is 100% breathable cotton for a cool night’s sleep which is essential since the “flatness” of the pillow makes it less breathable than most memory foam pillows. It definitely has that chemical smell like all the others but it does go away after awhile. Also, heavier individuals may like this for stomach sleeping but some back sleepers may feel the lack of height. Moreover, side sleepers who have wide shoulders should definitely skip this.
- Thin but soft and supportive
- Doesn’t bottom out
- Perfect for stomach sleeping
- May feel too firm for some sleepers
- Heavier individuals may find this too thin
- Slight off-gassing
9. Xtreme Comforts Slim Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
If the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is too “fluffy” for you, then you might be interested in the Slim option. Just like its “sibling,” the slim has shredded CertiPUR-US Certified foam. It also features the micro-vented kool-flow technology bamboo cover which is both soft and breathable. Unlike the traditional pillow, it is only 5 inches in height.
This is perfect for those who feel that the regular thickness is too much. It’s also very fluffy or plush compared to the traditional size. However, some stomach sleepers still feel that the slimness of this pillow is too thick. This pillow cannot be adjusted so you won’t have the option of making it even slimmer. Small to average-sized side sleepers, on the other hand, may find that this “slim” pillow has the perfect amount of thickness.
- Slim enough for some stomach sleepers and side sleepers
- Sleeps cool
- 30-day money back guarantee and 6-year warranty
- Some find the “slim” profile still too thick for stomach sleeping
- Initial odor sticks around for a couple of days
- Can get “lumpy” over time
10. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel PillowMemory Foam Travel Pillow
Travel pillows are handy things allowing you to sleep comfortably while, er, traveling. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow is the first ever of its kind that provides 360 degree support for your head and neck while you sleep. You don’t need to worry about your head leaning to the left, right, or falling forward because the soft, raised side supports and the flattened rear cushion will help keep your head in place. The cover is made out of high quality soft velour and is removable and washable. And while the pillow looks a bit bigger than your regular travel pillow, it does flatten to 1/4 its size and comes with small attachable travel bag.
Adjustable drawstrings keep the pillow in place. The pillow comes with memory foam earplugs to help drown out any noise. The pillow is expensive and only comes in one size. And like with all pillows, comfort is really subjective. Some have found the memory foam too stiff while others found the pillow makes them feel claustrophobic. If you end up not loving this product, you’ll be happy to know that the manufacturer offers a 30-day return policy. Good thing too because this is a pretty pricey travel pillow.
- Raised side supports
- 30-day return policy
- Flattens to ¼ its size for storage and travel
- Can sleep hot
- Some feel claustrophobic when using it
Memory Foam Pillow Buying Guide
Shopping for a memory foam pillow is just as easy as shopping for a bed or a pregnancy pillow. And we all know how well that goes, right? Now, it’s easy enough to know what we want in a pillow – comfort, support, and breathability. We want something that feels just right – soft and firm at the same time.
You don’t want to sleep on something too hard and yet you don’t want your head sinking into the pillow and waking up with a crick in your neck, headaches, and/or back pain. Since we’re talking about memory foam pillows, you definitely don’t want one that will keep you awake because your head’s hot enough to cook bacon and you have the oil on your face to prove it. But before we look at the features, let’s take a look at the types of these pillows available:
Solid Core Memory Foam Pillow
This type is a single piece of memory foam shaped like a pillow such as the Conforma Cushion Firm Pillow and the Malouf Z Zoned Pillow. These pillows typically have an open cell structure and holes or air channels for improved breathability.
Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Like the solid core memory foam pillow, this one is also shaped like the traditional pillow. However, instead of a single piece of foam, it is made out of shredded memory foam, making it feel a lot similar to down pillows. This type of pillow is often adjustable such as the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Pillow to better fit the needs of the sleeper. Also, shredded pillows are often cooler, cuddlier, and moldable than the solid piece.
Contour Memory Foam Pillow
Like the solid core pillow, this is typically made out of a single piece of foam though some are made out of two pieces of foam glued together. However, it is the design that makes this pillow stand out. This pillow usually features an ergonomic design that has one high loft and one low loft. This allows you to get the support you need whether you sleep on your side or on your back while keeping your spine in its natural alignment. The Sleep Innovations Cool Memory Foam Contour Pillow is one good example of this pillow. Keep in mind that this type generally sleeps hotter than the other two we’ve previously mentioned. Also, this cannot be adjusted or molded and tends to be firmer than a shredded memory foam pillow.
Wedge Memory Foam Pillow
Individuals who suffer from sleep apnea or acid reflux will need a pillow that keeps their head and upper torso elevated while they sleep. A wedge pillow such as the InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow gives you that support while still making sure you feel comfortable. This kind of pillow is often multifunctional, enabling people to lie down on it while reading in bed or watching TV. Also, keep in mind that for some sleepers, they seem to inevitably always find themselves sliding down the pillow as the night progresses and waking up at the bottom end of the pillow.
What type of pillow suits you?
We already know that comfort is pretty subjective so whether something is too firm or too plush/soft will be entirely up to you. However, there are certain things that you may want to keep in mind when choosing a pillow. The most important of all is how well it will support you based on your sleeping position.
If you tend to sleep on your side, which is the most common position for sleeping, then you’ll need a firm pillow that will support your head and neck, keeping it aligned with your spine. On average, a side sleeper will require a pillow that has a high enough loft to keep support the head and neck while keeping neutral spine alignment. A back sleeper, on the other hand, will require a medium firm pillow that cradles your head and ensures that the natural curve of your neck is followed, just like a travel pillow.
Stomach sleepers will need a thin pillow that will also maintain their neck’s natural curve. Now, if you’re a multi-position sleeper or simply don’t know what preference you have, you can opt for the most comfortable height according to a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (2015) – 10 centimeters. Based on their findings, a pillow with this height produced the least amount of muscle activity and the was chosen as the most comfortable.
Aside from your sleeping position, several other factors will affect your choice of the pillow’s height. The height of your pillow will also depend on your head size, body size, shoulder width, and the firmness of your mattress because all of those will affect how much space between your shoulder and neck needs to be “filled” by the pillow to provide sufficient support.
If you have a heavy head, then you will need a high enough loft so that when the pillow is compressed because of the weight of your head, it still has significant height to keep your spine in its natural alignment. A lighter head, on the other hand, will require a slimmer profile because their head won’t be “flattening” the pillow at all. A pillow that’s thick will only cause their head and neck to remain in an unnatural position and cause muscle pain.
The same thing goes for your body size and mattress. How much you weigh and how much you sink into the mattress will affect how high your pillow should be. If you sink into the bed to a significant degree, you’ll need a slim pillow because the bed is too close to your head. If you sleep higher on the mattress (like a lightweight individual), then you’ll need a loftier pillow to keep your neck’s natural S curve.
Shoulder width or the broadness of your shoulder will help you determine the recommended height of your pillow only if you sleep on your side. Narrow shoulders will mean that your head is closer to the mattress so you’ll need a thinner pillow. Broad shoulders, on the other hand, need more height to fill in that space between the shoulder and neck.
All of the other considerations we’ve already discussed are incredibly important to ensure that your pillow of choice never gives you a night of pain. But there are a few things we’d like to point out that might tip the scales for one particular pillow from a plethora of choices.
Cooling properties are incredibly important since we’re talking about memory foam here. We all know how this type of material is a heat sink. It’s going to be absorbing heat from your body like there’s no tomorrow. So you should definitely make sure that whatever pillow you buy, it will have a good cooling system – aerated foam, ventilation holes, shredded foam, etc.
Maintenance is also another good feature to check. How easy would it be to clean your pillow? Is the cover removable and machine washable or can you only do spot cleaning? Memory foam is also well-known for the initial chemical odor it gives off when new. How long before the smell dissipates?
How about the return policy? Does the manufacturer offer a trial? Just like a bed, some memory foam pillows require a bit of time to break them in before they start feeling extremely comfortable. The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, for example, has a 90-day money back guarantee.
When it comes to memory foam pillows, the quest to find the perfect one is extremely personal. There is no one-size-fits all pillow. There are customizable ones but more often than not, what fits you won’t fit the next guy or vice versa. So take the time to make sure that you can test the pillow, even if it’s in a store, before you part with your hard-earned money. Because the wrong choice will make you lose sleep in more ways than one.