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Pillow Reviews > Memory Foam Pillows
Based on 3,800+ Consumer Experiences
THE GOOD: Soft yet supportive • above average pain-relief potential • Won't clump, shift or develop hollow areas • no fluffing / shaking required.
THE BAD: Initial off gassing odor possible • loft and support may not suit individual needs • firmness excessive for some • above average heat-trap potential.
THE PILLOWS: Memory foam pillows come in many varieties including contoured (shaped to follow contour of head and neck) and traditional shape. Memory foam consists of millions of spherical open cells made from polyurethane with additional chemicals to increase density.
The ratings below show how memory foam pillows overall as a group are evaluated by owners. For information on specific brands, see the section following this one.
|Owner satisfaction||c-||Memory foam pillows overall as a group have 76% owner satisfaction. ( ) which is slightly below average compared to all pillows overall. Unlike most other pillow types, satisfaction can differ significantly by memory foam pillow brand and model.
Overall, traditional-shaped memory foam pillows rate somewhat higher in owner satisfaction than the contoured variety.
|Durability / longevity||c||Owner experience data suggests that the pillows overall have about average durability / longevity. They will lose their memory and supportiveness over time. They have on average a 2.5 year useful lifespan.|
|Price||c+||The price range is $12-$160. Owners on average paid $44.|
|Less pain||b||The pillows overall perform well on this issue. 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 that their memory foam pillow provides at least adequate support and holds its shape during the night. Being at least somewhat temperature sensitive, memory foam contours itself to the head and neck.|
|Moldable||d+||A "moldable" pillow is one whose shape can be easily altered or "scrunched" to increase comfort and support. Other pillow types, such as down, perform better than memory foam on this issue.|
|Cuddly||c+||A "cuddly" pillow is one that is soft and huggable, as opposed to hard, rigid, stiff and or heavy. Cuddliness is generally not a clear strength of the pillows. Nevertheless, traditional-shaped memory foam pillows are likely more cuddly than the contoured variety.|
|Contents won't shift / clump||a||A strength of the pillows.|
|Back sleep friendly||B-||Loft may not suit some back sleepers.|
|Stomach sleep friendly||c||Loft may be too high for some stomach sleepers.|
|Side sleep friendly||c||Loft usually cannot be made lower or higher (by scrunching) so some side sleepers may be dissatisfied.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||d-||Off gassing is the main owner complaint. At least 15% of owners report a significant problem. Off gassing is the release of a chemical-like smell that occurs due to the manufacturing and / or packaging process. Off gassing usually stops after a few days but can last much longer in some cases. Whether the product will have odor is largely random. Some owners report returning the pillow because of the persistence and strength of the odor. Reports of headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, sweating, sleeplessness and asthma resulting from off gassing occur in about 2% of memory foam pillow owner experiences.|
|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.|
|No noise||b||Some covers may make a rustling sound when compressed.|
|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||a||No fluffing or shaking is needed.|
|Ease of cleaning||C||The covers can usually be machined washed and dried. The pillow itself should be spot cleaned.|
|Lightweight||c-||As a group, memory foam pillows weigh somewhat above average, usually between 2-4 lbs.|
The table below evaluates only memory foam pillows that rate highest in owner satisfaction (75% and above) based on a significant sample size. (Links below go to Amazon.com.)
Important: Information below regarding firmness, loft and sleeping position shows only what tends to be true for most owners. Your personal evaluation may differ.
|Owner Satisfaction / Sample Size||Price||Retailer||Shape||Sizes Available||Firmness||Loft||Sleeping Position(s) Best Suited For||Main Complaints (% of owners)||Return Policy|
|Bodipedic Standard Contour||88% / 385||$25||overstock
|back, perhaps stomach||too thin and small (5%), goes flat and lacks support (3%)||30 days|
|Classic Memory Foam Pillow||87% / 77||$15||Wal-Mart, walmart
|traditional||standard||med||med||back, side||small size (24%)||90 days|
|Italian 6-inch||87% / 507||$59||overstock
|side, perhaps back||too high / thick (7%), too firm (5%), lacks support (3%)||30 days|
|Sleep Innovations 2-in-1
(poly-fill & memory foam)
|82% / 346||$30-$35||amazon
|back, side||too flat (6%), short lifespan (3%)||amazon: 30 days|
|Z by Malouf||78% / 460||$45-$58||amazon
|traditional||queen, king||variety offered||variety offered||all||odor (15%), too firm (12%), too thick (11%), lacks support (8%)||30 days|
|Sleep Innovations Contour
||78% / 642||$22-$77||amazon
.com, Wal-Mart / walmart
|contour||standard, queen||med||med||back, side||odor (20%), lacks support (10%), causes pain (9%), too soft or too firm (8%)||30-90 days|
|Sleep Better Iso-Cool
||76% / 1390||$30-
|traditional||standard||med||variety offered||all||odor (14%), not cool as advertised (13%), goes flat / lacks support (9%)||amazon: 30 days|
|Mainstays Contour||76% / 242||$12||Wal-Mart / walmart
|med||back, perhaps side, stomach||odor (15%), lacks support (9%), too firm (8%), too small (8%)||90 days|
Ratings are based on 3,800+ memory foam bed pillow owner reviews and experiences that were collected using an accurate research methodology.
We receive 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 percent of owners report a pain-relief benefit, including reduced neck pain.
– At least 15 percent 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 the degree to which it does appears to be largely random.
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