Memory foam pillows have become an increasingly popular option for sleepers looking for comfort, support, and pain relief. With their ability to conform closely to the contours of the head and neck, memory foam pillows can provide custom cradling and needed alignment of the spine.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about memory foam pillows - from types of fills to benefits for different sleeping positions to care recommendations. Read on for tips to find the best memory foam pillow for your needs and get your best night’s sleep.
Memory foam pillows utilize the contouring properties of memory foam to offer personalized comfort and support for the head and neck during sleep. This custom cradling aligns the spine and relieves pressure points to minimize tossing, turning and discomfort.
At Mattress To Door, we provide a wide selection of high-quality memory foam pillows to meet every sleeper's needs. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of these innovative pillows and how to choose the best option for you.
What is a Memory Foam Pillow?
Memory foam was first developed by NASA in the 1960s to improve crash protection and cushioning for airline pilots and passengers. Since then, it has become a popular material in mattresses, pillows, and other bedding products due to its ability to respond to pressure and heat and "remember" the contours of the body resting on it.
Memory foam pillows utilize the benefits of viscoelastic memory foam fill to provide personalized comfort and support for the head, neck and shoulders during sleep. Traditional pillow fills like down and polyester fibers are soft but provide minimal contouring.
In contrast, memory foam pillows are designed with materials that conform to the exact shape of the head and neck. This contouring aligns the spine and relieves pressure points that can cause tossing, turning and discomfort during the night.
The open-cell structure of quality memory foam also promotes airflow to help keep the pillow cool. Let's explore the different types of memory foam pillow fills:
A. Shredded Memory Foam
Shredded memory foam pillows contain small pieces of chopped up memory foam fill. This allows you to remove or add fill to customize the thickness and firmness of the pillow.
Shredding the foam increases breathability and flexibility. The fill molds closely to provide customized contouring support.
B. Molded Memory Foam
Molded memory foam pillows feature a solid slab of memory foam shaped into the basic contours of the head and neck. While not as customizable as shredded foam, these solid foam pillows provide firmer, highly supportive cushioning.
The molded shape is designed to cradle the head/neck in proper spinal alignment. Different lofts cater to side or back sleepers' needs.
C. Gel-Infused Memory Foam
Gel memory foam has cooling gels or beads infused into the foam. This pulls heat away from the head and neck to prevent overheating, which can be an issue with solid memory foam. The gel adds refreshing cooling comfort.
Gel memory foam pillows provide the close contouring of memory foam but allow for a cooler night's sleep. Great for those who "sleep hot".
D. Adjustable Memory Foam
Adjustable memory foam pillows contain multiple, removable inserts of various lofts, firmnesses, and contours. This allows you to fully personalize the height and feel of the pillow.
Inserts can be added or removed to provide the right support whether you are a side, back or stomach sleeper. Great for those with changing comfort needs.
Now that we've reviewed the main types of memory foam pillow fills, let's go over what to consider when selecting the best option for your needs.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Memory Foam Pillow
With so many memory foam pillow options on the market, it can be tricky to choose the right one for your sleep style and comfort preferences. Here are key factors to keep in mind:
A. Firmness Level
This is one of the most important considerations for a memory foam pillow. In general, side sleepers need a softer pillow to allow the head to sink in deeply. This keeps the spine aligned.
Back sleepers need a firmer, thicker pillow to keep the neck elevated. Stomach sleepers may prefer a softer, thinner pillow or none at all.
Look for adjustability so you can modify the firmness as needed. Test out various loft levels when trying a pillow in a store.
Loft refers to a pillow's overall height or thickness. This impacts how much the head sinks into the pillow and how the neck is supported.
Lower-loft pillows allow the head to sink in more deeply while higher-loft pillows provide greater lift for the head and neck. This helps determine proper spinal alignment based on your sleeping position.
Standard pillow sizes include standard, queen and king. Make sure to choose a pillow size that fits well in your pillowcase and provides ample surface area for your head and neck.
If you share a pillow with a partner, a king size may be needed. If taking a memory foam pillow while traveling, consider a compact size.
D. Special Features
Many newer memory foam pillows offer special features like cooling gels, ergonomic shaping, antibacterial properties and more. Think about which features would benefit you and enhance your comfort.
For instance, cooling gels or an inner layer of cooling foam can help regulate temperature for those who tend to sleep hot. This adds to the comfort of memory foam.
An ergonomic contour shape provides optimal spinal support and pain relief. Antimicrobial covers protect the pillow from bacteria, mold and dust mites.
E. Quality of Materials
Be sure to look at the density rating and composition of any memory foam pillow you are considering. Higher density foam (5+ lbs) will be more durable and resistant to flattening over time.
Quality, pure memory foam will contour better than cheaper mixes containing polyurethane and other foams. The best memory foam pillows contain CertiPUR-US certified foam.
F. Mattress To Door's Selection
At Mattress To Door, we carry a wide variety of memory foam pillows to suit different needs. Our selection includes options with cooling gel, adjustable loft, ergonomic shapes and more. All our pillows feature best-in-class materials.
Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the ideal memory foam pillow based on your sleep position, health conditions and individual preferences. We welcome you to come try our pillows in person.
Considering these factors will help you select the perfect memory foam pillow tailored to your needs and preferences. Next, let's review the many great benefits this type of pillow provides.
Memory Foam Pillow Benefits
What makes memory foam pillows stand out when compared to other pillow types like down or poly-fill? Here are some of the key benefits offered by quality memory foam:
A. Pain Relief
Thanks to their ability to fully cradle and contour to the head and neck, memory foam pillows excel at relieving pressure points that cause tossing, turning and pain. This can help manage conditions like:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
By keeping the head and neck properly aligned with the rest of the spine, memory foam pillows provide superior comfort and support that eases common types of pain.
B. Spinal Alignment and Neck Support
When you lay your head on a quality memory foam pillow, the foam fills in the space around your head and neck. This creates a perfectly customized resting place, keeping your spine in proper alignment.
Proper spinal alignment relieves pressure and reduces pain caused by strains, pinched nerves and poor posture during sleep. Memory foam provides much better alignment and orthopedic neck support than flatter, less contouring pillows.
C. Pressure Point Relief
In addition to keeping the spine aligned, memory foam pillows also cushion the shoulders, ears and other pressure points.
This minimizes discomfort caused by concentration of your body weight against these areas pressing into a harder mattress or regular pillow. With memory foam, there are no high-pressure zones.
D. Motion Isolation
The conforming nature of memory foam also prevents motion transfer. So when you or your sleeping partner move in bed, the movement doesn't transfer through the pillow.
This isolates motion to give an undisturbed night's rest. Memory foam absorbs movement better than pillows filled with polyester or feathers.
Top quality memory foam pillows retain their shape and performance for years longer than standard polyester or feather pillows.
The resilient foam bounces back to its original form over and over, while down becomes flattened and lumpy after extended use. Memory foam holds up better, maintains loft and continues providing comfortable support.
Unlike pillows filled with down or feathers, memory foam is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. This makes memory foam pillows ideal for those with asthma or allergies.
The dense foam deters buildup of allergens within the pillow. For those sensitive to chemicals, look for plant-based memory foam.
Clearly, memory foam pillows deliver exceptional comfort and support in ways other pillow types can't match. But there are some potential drawbacks to consider as well.
Memory Foam Pillow Drawbacks
While memory foam pillows have many advantages, there are a few potential cons to keep in mind:
A. Heat Retention
One of the most common complaints with memory foam is that it retains body heat. As you sleep, the pillow absorbs and traps heat from your head. This can cause some people to feel excessively warm and sweaty.
Using a gel memory foam pillow with cooling gels or airflow channels can help dissipate heat. Covering the pillow with a cool-to-the-touch protector is another good solution.
B. Off-Gassing Odors
When new, some memory foam pillows release an odor caused by a process called "off-gassing". This results from the breakdown of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) used in production.
The smell is usually not harmful, but can be unpleasant. Letting your new pillow air out for a few hours before use can help minimize odors. Look for plant-based memory foam for less off-gassing.
While they have come down in price over the years, memory foam pillows still tend to cost more than basic polyester or feather pillows. However, their durability and performance often justify the additional investment.
Focus on value over the lowest price when purchasing. At Mattress To Door, we offer very affordable memory foam pillows without sacrificing comfort.
D. Adjustment Period
It can take some time to adjust to the feel of a memory foam pillow, especially if you are used to a flatter, less contouring pillow. Give yourself a week or two to get used to the customized support.
Try adding/removing foam or using a different insert level if needed. The adjustment period is worth it for most people.
E. Mattress To Door's Tips
Here at Mattress To Door, we recommend trying a gel memory foam or plant-based memory foam pillow if heat retention is an issue. Adding a removable, washable cover can also help dissipate heat and moisture.
Give your body time to adjust to the customized contouring. Contact our sleep experts for guidance on selecting the right product and care for your needs.
While these drawbacks should be noted, memory foam pillows remain an excellent option for most sleepers. Proper care also helps minimize issues like heat retention.
Caring for Your Memory Foam Pillow
To keep your memory foam pillow in top condition and prevent issues like odors and impressions, follow these care tips:
A. Removable, Washable Covers
Use a removable, washable pillow case to protect the pillow itself. Wash the case regularly using cold water and non-abrasive detergent.
B. Spot Cleaning
Spot clean stains on the pillow cover with mild soap and cold water. Don't soak or machine wash the memory foam itself.
C. Maintain Shape
To maintain the pillow's shape and performance, fluff and reshape it in the morning. Rotating it periodically also helps.
D. Mattress To Door's Tips
Here at Mattress To Door, we recommend airing out any new memory foam pillow for 24-48 hours before use to minimize odors.
Store in a breathable cover in a cool, dry place. Do not fold or tightly bunch the pillow. Contact us for any care questions!
Proper care retains the comfort, support and shape of your memory foam pillow. Now let's look at some top-rated options on the market.
Mattress To Door's Selection
At Mattress To Door, we carry a wide selection of top-rated memory foam pillows so you can find your perfect fit. Our sleep experts are also happy to provide personalized recommendations.
One of our top pillows is the Premium Swiss Memory Pillow. It offers advanced cooling gel technology and adjustable memory foam inserts for personalized comfort and support.
Made from quality materials like bamboo, polyester, and CertiPUR-US certified foam, you can trust Mattress To Door for an exceptional memory foam pillow to meet your unique needs. Come try our selection in any showroom today.
Now let's compare memory foam pillows to other common pillow materials.
Memory Foam vs. Other Pillow Materials
How do memory foam pillows stack up against other popular pillow fill types? Here are some key comparisons:
A. Memory Foam vs. Down
While revered for soft comfort, down lacks the contouring support of memory foam. Down also needs more fluffing to maintain loft. Memory foam has better shape resilience. Down can aggravate allergies.
B. Memory Foam vs. Polyester
Polyester pillows are affordable but flatten more rapidly. They offer little contouring. Shredded memory foam has superior longevity, breathability and customization. However, polyester is easily washed.
C. Memory Foam vs. Latex
Like memory foam, latex gently conforms to the head and neck. It relieves pressure but provides less targeted spinal support. Latex also sleeps cooler. But quality latex is very expensive.
Ultimately, memory foam pillows have distinct advantages for proper spinal alignment and pain relief for most sleepers. But personal preference also comes into play when selecting the ideal material and pillow.
We hope this guide has helped demonstrate why memory foam pillows are one of the best options for comfortable, supportive sleep. Their conformity and custom cradling of the head/neck can’t be matched by other pillow types.
While they have an adjustment period, most find the personalized comfort worth acclimating to. With proper care, memory foam pillows provide many years of restful sleep.
The right memory foam pillow minimizes pain and disruptive tossing/turning by keeping your spine aligned all night. Finding options with the ideal loft, density and firmness for you is key, as your needs vary by sleep position.
At Mattress To Door, our extensive selection allows you to find your perfect memory foam pillow match. Our products are made from superior quality materials for durability and performance.
We offer memory foam pillows starting at very affordable prices. All come with free shipping and free returns during the 90-day trial period.
Our knowledgeable staff is ready to guide you to your ideal choice for blissful sleep. To explore Mattress To Door’s wide selection of memory foam pillows or get personalized recommendations, visit any showroom or call (647)-530-9100 today.