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Pillow Reviews > Memory Foam Pillows
Based on 5,600+ Consumer Experiences
THE GOOD: Often soft to the touch yet supportive • above average pain-relief potential • little or no clumping, shifting or developing hollow areas • often no fluffing / shaking required.
THE BAD: Initial odor possible • loft and support may not suit individual needs • firmness excessive for some • heat-trap potential.
THE PILLOWS: Memory foam pillows come in many varieties including shredded, one-piece, contoured (shaped for head and neck) and traditional shape. Learn about the basic characteristics of memory foam.
The ratings below show how memory foam pillows overall are evaluated by owners. For ratings on specific brands / models, see the following section.
|Owner satisfaction||B||Memory foam pillows overall have 82% owner satisfaction which is higher than the rate for all pillows overall (79%). Satisfaction, however, can differ significantly among memory foam pillow brands / models.
|Durability / longevity||c||The pillows overall have about average durability / longevity. They will lose their memory and support over time. They likely have on average a 2-4 year lifespan with regular use.|
|Price||D+||The price range is $20-$70. Owners on average pay $52, above that of the average pillow ($45).|
|Less pain||b||17% of owners say their pillow results in less pain, especially neck pain. About 8% of owners, however, say that their pillow causes pain, usually due to excessive firmness or lack of support. The contoured variety has a higher potential to both relieve and cause pain compared to the traditional-shaped variety.|
|Supportive||b||Most owners say their memory foam pillow provides adequate or better support and holds its shape during the night.|
|Contouring||A-||Memory foam contours itself to the head and neck better than other pillow types resulting in more equal weight distribution and above average pressure relief.|
|Moldable||d+||A "moldable" pillow is one whose shape can be easily altered or scrunched to increase comfort and support. Other pillow types often perform better than memory foam on this issue. However, shredded memory foam pillows – as opposed to the one-piece variety – often offer at least some moldability.|
|Cuddly||c+||A "cuddly" pillow is soft and huggable, not hard, rigid, stiff or oddly shaped. Cuddliness is generally not a clear strength of the pillows. Nevertheless, shredded or traditional-shaped memory foam pillows are likely more cuddly than one-piece or contoured varieties.|
|Firmness options||D||Firmness options are generally limited to medium and medium firm. People seeking a highly soft or firm pillow may be disappointed.|
|Contents won't shift / clump||B+||A strength of one-piece memory foam pillows. Shredded varieties, by contrast, have less stable contents.|
|Back sleep friendly||B||Loft usually cannot be made significantly lower or higher (by flattening or scrunching) so some back sleepers may be dissatisfied.|
|Stomach sleep friendly||D+||Loft is often too high to be ideal for stomach sleepers.|
|Side sleep friendly||c+||Loft usually cannot be made significantly lower or higher (by flattening or scrunching) so some side sleepers may be dissatisfied.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||d-||Off gassing is the release of a chemical-like smell that occurs due to the manufacturing and packaging. It is the main owner complaint as at least 15% of owners report a significant problem. Off gassing often ends after a few days but can last longer. Some owners return the pillow because of odor persistence. Reports of headaches, nausea, eye / throat irritation, sweating, sleeplessness and asthma from off gassing occur in about 2% of memory foam pillow owner experiences.|
|Short break in||C||Break-in time is similar to that of the average pillow.|
|Easy to lift, move, handle||c-||Memory foam pillows weigh somewhat above average, usually 2-5 lbs.|
|Not hot||c-||5% of owners say their memory foam pillow is too warm, which is slightly higher than the rate for most other pillow types. The shredded type tends to sleep somewhat cooler than the one-piece, solid type.|
|No noise||b||Some covers may make a rustling sound when compressed. The pillows themselves are silent.|
|Fewer allergies||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.|
|No need to fluff / shake||B||Shredded memory foam pillows may require occasional fluffing. Non-shredded, solid types do not.|
|Ease of cleaning||B||The one-piece, solid type should be spot cleaned, not machine washed. The shredded type can usually be machine washed.|
The table below evaluates memory foam pillows with 84% or better owner satisfaction based on 300+ owner experiences. Important: Information below regarding firmness, loft and sleep position shows only what tends to be true for owners. Your personal evaluation may differ.
|Snuggle- Pedic||Coop Home Goods||Bodipedic Molded||Bodipedic Standard Contour||Italian 6-inch||Classic Brands Gel||Classic Brands conforma|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|92% (383)||91% (2305)||91% (323)||89% (420)||88% (569)
||88% (220)||84% (1402)|
|shredded memory foam||shredded memory foam||1 piece memory foam||1 piece memory foam||1 piece memory foam||1 piece memory foam||1 piece memory foam|
|6" (high)||4-6" (med-high)||2.5" (low) to 4.5" (med-low) depen- ding on size||4" (med-low)||6" (high)
||6" (high)||5" (med-high)|
|Person Size Best Suited For|
|avg, large||avg, large||small, avg||small, avg||avg, large
||avg, large||avg, large|
|Sleeping Positions Best Suited For|
|side, back, perhaps stomach||side, back, perhaps stomach||side, back, stomach||back, perhaps stomach||side, back
||side, back||side, back|
|3.5 lbs||3.2 lbs||2 lbs (est)||2 lbs (est)||5 lbs (est)||4.5 lbs||4.5 lbs|
|queen, king||queen, king||standard, queen, king||standard||queen||standard, queen, king||queen, king|
|56% polyester / 43% bamboo||60% polyester / 40% bamboo||80% cotton, 20% polyester||100% cotton||rayon from bamboo||moisture wicking material||cotton blend
(% of owners)
|too thick (9%), heavy (4%), lumpy (3%)||lumpy (8%), too thick (6%), odor (6%), too firm (5%), goes flat (4%)||too firm (5%), odor (5%), too thin (4%)||too thin and small (5%), goes flat and lacks support (3%)||too thick (7%), too firm (5%), lacks support (3%)||odor (31%), little or no cooling benefit (18%)||odor (9%), too thick (7%), too firm (6%), lacks support (4%)|
|Distin- guishing Advantage Or Trait|
|Above avg customer service. 90-day return policy.||Fairly easy to shape and scrunch.||Low price.||Contours to support neck.||2 sides of cover have different texture.||Gel foam. Gusseted sides allow high loft without bulging.||--|
Ratings are based on 5,600+ 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. About 17% of owners report a pain-relief benefit, including reduced neck pain.
– At least 15% 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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