Last Updated On January 25th, 2019

Do you experience neck, shoulder, or back pain after a night of rest? Sadly, many people do. This could be caused by several different things. The way you sleep could be causing the discomfort. This is something particularly common with people who sleep on their stomach. A mattress that is either too firm or too soft could be contributing to a sore and stiff morning. Or, your pillow could be the root of your problem. This is because your head needs to be at a very precise angle with enough support to create healthy spinal alignment all night long. The best memory foam pillow could be the solution.

Before you buy a new mattress or try switching your sleep position, which is not impossible but difficult and time-consuming, try the easy and often very effective option first: get a new pillow with lots of support just where you need it. Often a simple change like this can make all the difference.

Memory foam pillows are very popular for people looking to eliminate upper body pain in the morning because they offer pressure point relief, extra support, and conformity. If it sounds like you could be one of these people, or you are simply looking for a new and innovative pillow, keep reading to learn about our top 7 picks to help you decide which one is right for you!

Our Top 7 Best Memory Foam Pillows

You’re in luck, we sorted through lots of available products to find the best memory foam pillows available today, so you don’t have to! Take a look at our memory foam pillow reviews to determine what suits you.

1. Coop Home Goods’ The Original (Editor’s Choice)

Coop Home Goods’ The Original

Our editor’s choice is awarded to Coop Home Goods’ the Original. The Original is made from a blend of firm shredded memory foam and microfiber. It is American made and CertiPUR-US certified. This mixture of materials allows the pillow to be firm, soft, and bouncy all at the same time. It has an outer casing and an inner lining for the fill, making this pillow easily adjustable and washable.

Best sleep position

It can adapt and support you regardless of how you sleep. You can easily add or remove filling to get the exact level of firmness, softness, and/or height you desire. It is possible for you to buy extra filling and it comes in varying firmness.

Heat retention

This pillow does an excellent job at regulating temperature. The outer casing is derived from sustainable bamboo which is soft and breathable. The shredded memory foam also promotes airflow throughout the entire pillow, unlike a solid piece of foam would. The microfiber used in the core mixture does not retain heat either. All of these things combined ensure It retains minimal heat and sleeps cool all night long.

Keeping it clean

The outer casing on the pillow is completely removable and can easily be washed and dried at home in your personal machine. The zipper closure tucks away neatly once sealed so the hard metal clasp will not bother you while you sleep. The inner casing and filling can also be washed and dried at home. To prevent mold, make sure all parts of the pillow are completely dry before you use them again.

The basics

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • In-home sleep trial: 100 nights
  • Thickness: Adjustable
  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Available sizes: Queen (20”x30”), King (20”x36”)
What we like
  • Adjustable loft suits sleeping in any position
  • A washable cover keeps it clean and fresh
  • Sleeps cooler because of breathable construction
  • Has more of a down pillow feel, unlike other memory foam options
  • Mixture of firmness, softness, and bounce
What we didn’t like
  • Requires regular re-fluffing
  • Off-gassing period last for a few days
  • Shredded memory foam is less durable
  • Less affordable than some other options
  • The memory foam becomes firmer when exposed to cooler temperatures, below 50 degrees Fahrenheit it may feel solid
For more information check out Coop Home Goods’ The Original.

2. Snuggle-pedic’s Ultra-Luxury Bamboo (Best Shredded)

Snuggle-pedic’s Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded

The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo is a close competitor of The Original. They share many of the same traits making them similar. However, this has some key differences. For starters, it is more affordable and has a longer warranty and in-home trial period.

Its filling is a blend of high-end, low V.O.C. foam. It is American made with Biogreen and CertiPUR-US certified memory foam. This blend gives the pillow more of a soft down feel, unlike other firm memory foam pillows.

Best sleep position

It is fully adjustable so it can accommodate you in any sleep position. You simply add or subtract filling from the inner lining to get the exact level of height and firmness you require, regardless of what position you sleep in. They offer additional foam with a customizable blend option if you determine you need more.

Heat retention

The patented Kool-Flow cover is made from a mix of bamboo, polyester, and lycra. It is designed to be soft, and breathable. The shredded foam interior also promotes airflow throughout to properly regulate temperature while you sleep. It retains minimal heat and allows you to sleep cool all night.

Keeping it clean

The outer casing is easily removable with a hidden zipper. Both the exterior and the interior can be washed with your personal washer and dryer at home. This is an added benefit that helps prolong the life of the pillow overall. After washing, make sure the entire pillow is completely dry before you use it again to prevent the growth of bacteria.

The basics

  • Warranty: 20 years
  • In-home sleep trial: 120 nights
  • Thickness: Adjustable
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Available sizes: Standard, Queen, and King
What we like
  • Adjustable loft makes it suitable for sleeping in any position
  • Sleeps cooler than most memory foam pillows
  • Great value and more affordable
  • Washable cover keeps it clean and fresh
  • Lengthy 20-year warranty
What we didn’t like
  • Slight off-gassing period initially
  • Requires regular re-fluffing
  • Shredded memory foam is less durable
  • Loft diminishes too quickly for some
  • Too firm for some sleepers
For more information check out Snuggle-pedic’s Ultra-Luxury Bamboo.

3. Sleep Innovation’s Contour (Best Contouring)

Sleep Innovation’s Contour is our pick for best contouring pillow. It is comprised of one solid piece of memory foam shaped to ergonomically contour your head. The specialized shape is designed to reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain caused by sleeping on a pillow without enough support. All of the pillows are American made and CertiPUR certified.

Best sleep position

This pillow is best for back and side sleepers. They offer the pillow in varying sizes, all which come in two contour options, high or low. The emphasis on the curves gives you an additional choice which will enable maximum comfort based on your individual body type. Larger people and side sleepers will most likely prefer the high contour option. Smaller individuals or back sleepers usually prefer the low contour option.

If you sleep on your stomach, it is most likely to thick for neck comfort, even if you get the low contour option. The shape is designed to complement the natural curve of your head, neck, and shoulders when you lie on your side or back, another reason it is not a good option for stomach sleepers.

Heat retention

This contour pillow does not do much to minimize heat retention. This is one of the main complaints people have concerning the pillow overall. Its solid construction with one piece of memory foam does not breathe much, especially when the pillow compresses under the weight of your head. They do offer a newer version that incorporates SuperTemp foam. This type of foam helps reduce heat retention by increasing airflow. If you generally sleep hot, this should definitely be considered as a better option.

Keeping it clean

Like many other memory foam pillows, this pillow cannot be machine washed. If you have an accident like a spill and washing becomes a necessity, you can spot clean the area. Make sure it is completely dry before you use it again or the moisture inside could start to form bacteria.

The basics

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • In-home sleep trial: None, but you can return if you are not satisfied and purchased it on Amazon
  • Thickness: 8” available in higher or lower contour option
  • Firmness: Medium soft
  • Available sizes: Standard, Queen, King, and Travel
What we like
  • Extra support if you sleep on your back or side
  • More affordable than other memory foam options
  • Available in a high or low contour option for customized support.
  • Contoured shape for ergonomic support
  • Not as heavy as other memory foam pillows
What we didn’t like
  • Initial off-gassing period lasts for several days
  • Retains heat
  • Quality has diminished compared to previous models from past years
  • Travel pillow is smaller than the industry standard
  • No in-home trial period
For more information check out Sleep Innovation’s Contour.

4. Elite Rest’s Ultra-Slim Sleeper (Best Firm)

Elite Rest’s Ultra-Slim Sleeper

Elite Rest’s Ultra-Slim Sleeper is our pick for best firm pillow option. This was designed specifically with stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and people who may even prefer to sleep without a pillow at all. Its thin structure will provide support while promoting healthy spinal alignment while you sleep. It is two-sided with the ability to change without issue. One is flat, the other is slightly rounded and bulbous like a typical pillow.

Best sleep position

This pillow is best for the above-mentioned sleepers. It is very thin and as a result, does not provide enough support or height if you choose to sleep on your side. However, for a stomach sleeper, the height is ideal. It offers a layer of comfort and support without forcing your neck to bend awkwardly in an uncomfortable position. These sleepers often experience neck, back, and shoulder pain because their neck is bent to the right or the left all night long. This pillow will help promote a better way to sleep which in turn minimizes discomfort in the morning.

Heat retention

The cover on this pillow is made from 100% breathable cotton to promote temperature regulation. Paired with its thin profile, this pillow does an excellent job of mitigating heat retention and making sure you stay cool all night long.

Keeping it clean

The cotton cover easily comes off and can be washed and dried in your personal machines at home. However, the memory foam core cannot be machine washed. If absolutely necessary, you can spot clean it but try not to get it very wet. When memory foam gets wet, its structure starts to deteriorate, shortening the life of the product. It also takes considerable time to dry and if it stays wet for too long it will develop bacteria and mold.

The basics

  • Warranty: No available warranty information on their site
  • In-home sleep trial: 30 days
  • Thickness: 5”
  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Available sizes: 16”x24”
What we like
  • Great height if you sleep on your stomach or back
  • Doesn’t allow your head to sink entirely through to the bottom of the pillow even though it is extra thin
  • A mixture of softness and support while still being thin
  • Only weighs 1.9 lbs.
  • Promotes healthy spinal alignment
What we didn’t like
  • Slight off-gassing period
  • Only available in one size, Standard
  • No manufacturer information
  • Short in-home trial period and no warranty
  • Not thick enough if you sleep on your side or are a heavier individual
For more information check out Elite Rest’s Ultra-Slim Sleeper.

5. Malouf’s Z Gel Infused DOUGH (Best Gel)

Malouf’s Z Gel Infused DOUGH

Malouf Z Gel Infused DOUGH is our pick for best gel infused option. The pillow is made from a unique type of foam called Gel DOUGH. It is designed to be squishier, softer, more contouring, and cooler than traditional memory foam. It provides you with the support you need while still providing a soft sinking sensation. This pillow is molded and not cut which helps facilitate its extra conforming nature while also giving it the aesthetic look of a traditional down pillow. The foam is CertiPUR certified and all of their pillows ship from warehouses within the United States of America.

Best sleep position

It works best if you sleeping on your side or back. It comes in two loft height options so you can further customize your level of comfort. The trick is to have enough height that it will support your neck, but not so much that it forces it to bend unnaturally overnight. If you sleep on your side or are larger, you will probably enjoy the 7” loft best. If you are smaller or prefer to sleep on your back, chances are you will prefer the 6” loft option.

Heat retention

The gel infused DOUGH memory foam is designed to sleep cooler than a traditional foam pillow. It has open cell technology that increases and promotes ample airflow throughout the entire pillow as well as the gel infusion which lowers the temperature overall by dispersing heat. The cover is breathable and made from a mix of fabrics that aid in keeping you cool like bamboo, Tencel, and rayon. Tencel fabric also wicks sweat away from your head when necessary.

Keeping it clean

The cover of the pillow is easily removable and can be machine washed and dried at home on delicate and low-heat cycles. Like other memory foam pillows, the core can only be spot cleaned and this should only be done when absolutely necessary so you do not contribute to its early deterioration.

The basics

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • In-home sleep trial: None, but can be returned if you are not satisfied and purchased on Amazon
  • Thickness: 6”, or 7”
  • Firmness: medium
  • Available sizes: Standard, Queen, and King
What we like
  • Great height if you sleep on your side, also suitable if you sleep on your back
  • Gel infusion helps it sleep cool
  • Removable cover keeps it clean and fresh
  • Available in various heights
  • Excellent mixture of softness and firmness
What we didn’t like
  • Some people find it too firm for their taste
  • It may be too heavy to travel with comfortably
  • Off-gassing period lasts for several days
  • It may be too thick if you sleep on your stomach, even with the thinnest option
  • May not be affordable if you are on a budget
For more information check out Malouf’s Z Gel Infused DOUGH.

6. The Layla (Best Soft)

The Layla

The Layla is our pick for soft memory foam option. The filling is comprised of a mixture of shredded memory foam and kapok fibers. The kapok fibers are very soft, airy, and provide loft to the pillow overall. One unique feature of this pillow is its copper infused cover. The copper facilitates a cool, antibacterial, antifungal, and ion rich surface for you to sleep on, all of which promote healthier, better sleep. It is American made and CertiPUR certified.

Best sleep position

This is recommended for side and back sleepers, but mostly side sleepers. Its construction allows it to be malleable, but it is often still too thick if you prefer sleeping on your stomach.

Heat retention

Three things contribute to this pillows effective temperature regulation. First, the shredded memory foam promotes circulation throughout the entire structure. Second, the kapok fibers are very breathable and do not retain heat like traditional memory foam. Third, the copper-infused polyester blend cover is also breathable and the copper infusion works to dissipate any heat emitted by your body.

Keeping it clean

The major downfall to this pillow is its difficulty in keeping it clean. Like most of its competitors, you should only spot clean this pillow when absolutely necessary. Excessive moisture will only break down the material within and shorten the life of the product.

The basics

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • In-home sleep trial: 120 nights
  • Thickness: 4”
  • Firmness: Medium soft
  • Available sizes: Standard and King
What we like
  • All natural and hypoallergenic
  • Sleeps cool
  • Copper infusion is antibacterial and antiviral
  • Great height if you sleep on your side or stomach
  • Easily moldable if you prefer a down feel that is soft
What we didn’t like
  • It may be too heavy to travel with comfortably
  • Too soft if you have a heavy head
  • Some find it is too thick if they sleep on their back
  • Not suitable if you sleep on your stomach
  • Less affordable than some other options
For more information check out The Layla.

7. Tempur-pedic’s Tempur-Neck (Best for Neck Pain)

TEMPUR-Neck Pillow

Tempur-pedic’s Tempur-Neck is our pick for best foam pillow for neck pain. The pillow is comprised of one solid piece of specialized memory foam, called TEMPUR, which is more durable than generic memory foam. It is shaped to contour your head, neck, and shoulders. The orthopedic shape promotes healthy spinal alignment through firm support and gives it its pain relieving properties. The shape also gives it superior pressure point relief and durability. These products are American made with CertiPUR certified materials.

Best sleep position

It comes in three varying heights: 3”, 4”, and 4.5”. This makes it suitable for people who sleep in any position. The 3” is best if you sleep on your stomach. The 3” or 4” is best if you sleep on your back. The 4.5” is best if you sleep on your side. Of course, these are just general guidelines and the true determining factor relies on your body type and your personal sleep preferences.

Heat retention

This pillow has been known to retain heat. Its smaller size does help a little but no extra precautions are taken to prevent heat retention. The thinner models retain less heat than the thicker options because they are less dense. However, the added pressure from your head makes it hard for air to circulate while you sleep.

Keeping it clean

Like other solid foam pillows, it is not machine washable. It can be spot cleaned if necessary. Their website recommends letting it air out and breathe occasionally by taking it out of any case you put on it, and rolling the material up and releasing it several times in both directions. This same technique can be used on other foam pillows to achieve the same results.

The basics

  • Warranty: 5 years
  • In-home sleep trial: None, but can be returned or tried out before buy in many retail locations
  • Thickness: 3”, 4”, or 4.5”
  • Firmness: Extra firm
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Travel
What we like
  • Ergonomic shape relieves neck pain
  • Pressure point relief
  • Extremely durable and long lasting
  • Multiple loft options for maximum comfort
  • Great if you sleep on your side or back
What we didn’t like
  • Even with the thinnest option, its shape may be uncomfortable if you sleep on your stomach
  • Pillows are smaller than many people expect
  • Off-gassing period lasts for several days
  • Too firm if you prefer a softer pillow
  • If you have a large stature, it may be too thin for you if you sleep on your side
For more information check out Tempur-pedic’s Tempur-Neck.

What To Look For In A New Memory Foam Pillow

You have probably heard great things about memory foam, but before you decide it is the material you want your pillow made out of you should know the basics. This guide should give you all the information you need and assist you in making the right decision.

What is memory foam?

Memory foam was invented in 1966 by NASA to act as a soft, energy-absorbing cushion in aircraft seats. It was first used in a mattress in 1991 after its production and use became more affordable. Memory foam responds to heat and pressure from your body when you lie down allowing it to evenly distribute your weight across the surface of the mattress. When the pressure is relieved, the foam slowly retakes its original shape.

What should you consider when buying a new memory foam pillow?

What else should you take into consideration when buying a new pillow?  There are three main characteristics we like to look for, all of which are outlined in the reviews for each pillow above, but let’s take a closer look at what makes them so important.

man using a memory pillow while sleeping on his back

Sleep position

How you sleep has everything to do with what type of pillow you should use. You want your head to be supported in a neutral position. If your head is forced to tilt in any direction for an extended period of time it will certainly cause discomfort. Your spine needs time to decompress and realign while you sleep and your pillow is a key tool in aiding this recovery.

Memory foam pillows are typically best if you sleep on your side or sleep on your back. However, some new options are becoming available that cater to stomach sleepers as well.

Heat retention

Staying cool is the main motivator for most people concerning sleep products, pillows are no exception to this. It is important that your head, and entire body, does not overheat while you sleep. If it does, you can sweat or be woken up by the temperature change. This leads to unrestful sleep and in some cases sleep deprivation.

Memory foam products have not always been the best at regulating temperature overnight but new designs, gel infusions, and things like shredded foam are changing that. If you tend to sleep hot, you should definitely consider a shredded foam or gel-infused option, as they tend to sleep the coolest.

Keeping it clean

The air you breathe all night long circulates over and through your pillow while you sleep. This makes keeping your pillow clean important to promote healthy respiratory function.

Solid memory foam pillows can be spot cleaned but are not machine washable, but some brands offer removable covers that can be easily washed and dried. Most shredded foam pillows boast the entire thing is washable. Putting them in the dryer is often recommended as a way to fluff them and help them regain their shape.

What else can you expect from a foam pillow?

happy mother and daughter hugging pillows

Are memory foam pillows good? There are a lot of variables that should be considered, but according to reviews from most people, the answer is yes. Aside from the three main things listed above, what else should you know about before you make a decision?

Memory foam pillows often emit a smell when they are initially unpackaged. This is called off-gassing. This can last anywhere from a couple hours up to a month. Most products lose their smell after a couple days. Some people find the smell produced is not bad, others find it unbearable. It is advised the check if your memory foam pillow is CertiPUR-US certified.

Memory foam pillows also offer superior pressure point relief. This alleviates a lot of stiffness or soreness experienced from sleeping. Its conforming abilities offer the exact right amount of support, in the exact right places. Many people find their pain dissipates when sleeping with memory foam pillows and mattresses. 

What sizes and shapes of memory foam pillows are available?

Memory foam pillows come in all of the normal sizes: Standard, Queen, King, and Travel. However, depending on the manufacturer these sizes are not always in line with industry standards. Some people find they wind up with a small memory foam pillow, even if they ordered a king size memory foam pillow. To avoid this, it is important you always check each individual company’s size chart so you get exactly what you want.

Because of the foam composition, these pillows can come in unique shapes. Some are rounded and rectangular like a traditional pillow, as many of the newer models are. Others are flat or shaped in an s-like formation to orthopedically compliment your head, neck, and shoulders.
You should consider shape as well as size when shopping for a new foam pillow.

And The Winner Is….

While there are many determining factors that depend on your individual sleep position, body size, body weight, sleep temperature, and overall sleep preferences, the Coop Home Goods’ The Original is our editor’s choice for overall best memory foam pillow. It excels in all of the main categories established in this article which determine what makes a good foam pillow. Let’s review.

Coop Home Goods pillows in the bedroom

Sleep position

The Original has an adjustable filling core. You can easily add or remove filling to achieve the desired height and firmness you desire based on what position you like to sleep in, and what body type you have. Additional filling in various firmness is available for you to buy if needed.

Heat retention

The combination of shredded memory foam and microfiber in it works to regulate temperature and ensure you do not heat overnight. The bamboo casing is also breathable allowing maximum airflow.

Keeping it clean

The entire pillow can be washed and dried at home! The cover can be removed for a quick wash, and the core can be washed and dried to clean and re-fluff as well. This helps to lengthen the lifespan of your pillow while also providing you with a clean, healthy surface to sleep on.

It may be our editor’s choice, but that doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you personally. Consider your own needs and preferences in relation to this information to make sure you get optimal performance from your future pillow.

With all of your new found knowledge concerning memory foam pillows, we hope you will be able to search for the right one that suits your individual needs will be easier and more fun. Enjoy!

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