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Pillow Reviews > Memory Foam Pillows
Based on 17,538 Consumer Experiences
THE GOOD: Often soft yet supportive • conforms well to head (and neck) • no noise.
THE BAD: Initial off gassing odor possible • can be pricey • firmness excessive for some • above average weight.
THE PILLOWS: Memory foam is made from polyurethane with additional chemicals added to increase density. The pillows come in different varieties including shredded and one-piece.
The following shows how the two basic types of memory foam pillows – shredded (consisting of many separate pieces of memory foam) and one-piece (consisting of one large piece of memory foam) – rate compared to the average pillow based on consumer experiences.
|Price / affordable||D||C+||Prices often range $30-$80. Shredded averages about $55 and 1-piece about $50. Higher price does not necessarily result in higher owner satisfaction.|
|Durability / longevity||B-||c||Shredded tends to last longer given its ability to be fluffed. Both types will lose memory and support over time. Expect on average a 3-4 year lifespan.|
|Less (neck) pain||B||b-||18% of owners say their pillow results in less (neck) pain. About 8%, however, report increased pain, often due to excessive firmness or lack of support.|
|Supportive||B||b-||Most owners say their memory foam pillow provides adequate or better support and holds its shape.|
|Conforms||A||A-||Memory foam contours to the head / neck better than other pillows resulting in more equal weight distribution and above average pressure relief.|
|Moldable||B||d||"Moldable" means the pillow can be easily altered or scrunched to increase comfort / support. Shredded, unlike 1-piece, offers at least some moldability.|
|Cuddly||B+||C||A "cuddly" pillow is soft and huggable – not hard, rigid, stiff or oddly shaped.|
|Contents won't shift / clump||C+||A||A strength of one-piece memory foam pillows. Shredded, by contrast, has less stable contents.|
|Back sleep friendly||b+||C+||Loft usually cannot be made significantly lower or higher (by flattening or scrunching) so some back sleepers may be dissatisfied.|
|Stomach sleep friendly||C+||D+||Loft is often too high to be ideal for stomach sleepers, especially sleepers of small size.|
|Side sleep friendly||B+||B||Loft usually cannot be made significantly lower or higher (by flattening or scrunching) so some side sleepers may be dissatisfied.|
|Not a heat trap||B-||D+||Overall, 7% of owners say their memory foam pillow is too warm, which is slightly higher than the rate for the average pillow. The shredded type often sleeps cooler than the one-piece, solid type.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||D+||d+||6%+ of owners report significant off gassing – a chemical-like odor occurring due to the manufacturing and packaging. It often ends after a few days but can persist longer. Reports of headaches, nausea, eye / throat irritation, sweating, sleeplessness and asthma from off gassing occur in about 2% of owner experiences.|
|Short break in||B-||C||Break-in time is similar to that of the average pillow.|
|Easy to lift, move||C||D+||Memory foam pillows overall weigh above average, usually 3 to 5 lbs.|
|No noise||B+||b+||Some covers may make a rustling sound when compressed. The pillows themselves are silent.|
|Fewer allergies||B+||b-||The foam is antimicrobial and resistant to allergens. Dust mites reportedly do not eat the foam but still may live inside to feed on shedded skin cells.|
|Easy to maintain||C||A||Shredded memory foam pillows may require occasional fluffing. One-piece types do not.|
|Easy to clean||B+||C||The one-piece type should be spot cleaned. The shredded type can usually be machine washed.|
The table below evaluates memory foam pillows with 83% or better owner satisfaction based on 300+ owner experiences. Important: Information regarding firmness, loft and sleep position shows what tends to be true for owners. Your personal evaluation may differ.
|Coop Home Goods||Snuggle- Pedic||Italian 6-inch||Classic Brands conforma||Malouf Z Zoned|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|89% (9901)||88% (4314)||87% (633)
||83% (2079)||83% (611)|
|shredded||shredded||1 piece||1 piece||1 piece|
|med to firm||med|| med-firm
||med-firm||med or firm|
|2-6" (low to high)||6" (high)||6" (high)
||5" (med-high)||low loft (4")
mid loft (5")
high loft (6")
|Person Size Best Suited For|
|small, avg, large||avg, large||avg, large
||avg, large||low loft : small, avg
mid loft: small, avg, large
high loft: avg, large
|Sleep Positions Best Suited For|
|side, back, stomach||side, back, perhaps stomach||side, back
||side, back||low loft: back, stomach
mid loft: side, back
high loft: side
|3.5 lbs||3.2 lbs||4.3 lbs (est)||4.3 lbs||2-4 lbs|
|standard, queen, king||standard, queen, king||queen||queen, king||standard, queen, king|
|Pillow Machine Washable|
|60% polyester / 40% bamboo||56% polyester / 43% bamboo (est)||rayon from bamboo||cotton blend
||75% polyester, 25% rayon from bamboo|
|Distinguishing Advantage Or Trait|
|Can add or remove foam to suit personal preference.||90-day return policy. Above avg customer service.||2 sides of cover have different texture.||Low price.||Model variety.|
* See the pillow loft guide and loft calculators.
Ratings are based on 17,000+ memory foam bed pillow owner reviews and experiences that were collected using an accurate research methodology.
Sleep Like The Dead receives NO compensation of any kind from any company, organization or individual to affect in any way or degree the content of our bed pillow research findings.
– Memory foam pillows overall perform better than average on the issue of pain relief. 18% of owners report a pain-relief benefit, including reduced neck pain.
– Memory foam contours to the head and neck better than other pillows resulting in more equal weight distribution and above average pressure relief.
– At least 6% of memory foam pillow owners report substantial off gassing. Off gassing is the release of a chemical-like smell that occurs when the pillow is new.
– Off gassing usually stops after a few days but can persist for weeks or even months in some cases. Whether a memory foam pillow will off gas and to what degree appears to be largely random.
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