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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 main types of memory foam pillows – shredded (consisting of many small, separate pieces of memory foam) and one-piece (consisting of a single, large piece of memory foam) – rate against the average pillow based on consumer experiences.
|Affordable||D||C+||Prices are often $30-$90. Shredded averages about $57 and 1-piece about $50. Paying higher price does not necessarily result in higher 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.|
|Minimizes pressure||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 has less stable contents which may shift somewhat during the night.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Stomach sleep friendly||C+||D+||Loft is often too high to be ideal for stomach sleepers, especially sleepers of small size.|
|Not a heat trap||B-||D+||About 5% of owners (1 in 20) of the shredded type report excessive and bothersome heat retention vs about 11% of owners (1 in 9) for the one-piece type.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||D+||d+||7%+ of owners (1 in 14) report significant off gassing – a chemical-like odor occurring due to manufacturing & packaging. It often ends after a few days but can persist longer. Headaches, nausea, eye / throat irritation, sweating, insomnia & asthma from off gassing occur for about 2% of owners.|
|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, especially the one-piece type, weigh at least 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.
|Snuggle- Pedic||Coop Home Goods||Italian 6-inch||Classic Brands conforma||Malouf Z Zoned|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample)|
|88% (6714)||87% (11,793)||87% (648)
||83% (2193)||83% (657)|
|shredded||shredded||1 piece||1 piece||1 piece|
|med||med to firm|| med-firm
||med-firm||med or firm|
|6" (high)||2-6" (low to high)||6" (high)
||5" (med-high)||low loft (4")
mid loft (5")
high loft (6")
|Person Size Best Suited For|
|avg, large||small, 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, perhaps stomach||side, back, stomach||side, back
||side, back||low loft: back, stomach
mid loft: side, back
high loft: side
|3.5 lbs||3.5 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|
|56% polyester / 43% bamboo (est)||60% polyester / 40% bamboo||rayon from bamboo||cotton blend
||75% polyester, 25% rayon from bamboo|
|Distinguishing Advantage Or Trait|
|90-day return policy. Above avg customer service.||Can add or remove foam to suit personal preference.||Above-avg durability / longevity.||Low price.||Model variety.|
* See the pillow loft guide and loft calculators.
Ratings are based on 22,000+ memory foam bed pillow owner reviews and experiences that were collected using an accurate research methodology..
– 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 7% 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.
– About 5% of owners of the shredded type report excessive and bothersome heat retention vs about 11% of owners for the one-piece type.
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