Best Pillow Reviews
A mattress is the most important object when it comes to a constant back support during sleep. However, for those struggling with neck and shoulder strains, a high-quality pillow is an essential investment. Pillows come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and it’s crucial to choose the exact right type for your needs. Our guide will help you get a general idea about the most popular choice regarding pillows nowadays – memory foam pillows. Memory foam is a synthetic or plant-based product, which is famous for its ability to recreate and mold itself to the body’s, or, in this case, neck and head’s contours, while still providing enough support for the aching joints.
On the market, you’ll find lots of other pillow fillings – from the classic feather pillow and microfiber to the more expensive, such as memory foam, latex or a down pillow. Memory foam is one of the most popular choices because it offers a great price/quality balance – they are much sturdier and more comfortable than feather or microfiber, which are the cheapest alternatives, and very similar in properties to high-end pillows, such as latex-based ones.
If you decided that memory foam pillows are something you need to buy for yourself, here are our top recommendations you can find online. These products will offer you the greatest quality/price balance and are guaranteed to improve your nightly sleep.
Top Rated Pillows in 2017
1. Sleep Better – Iso-Cool Gusseted Side Sleeper
A classic and recommended choice for side sleepers and those who toss and turn a lot in their sleep, the Sleep Better – Iso-Cool Gusseted Side Sleeper is definitely worth the money. The Sleep Better series includes a lot of shapes, including standard, gusseted and contour, so you ca also choose a contour if you’re more of a back sleeper.
The gusseted memory foam pillow measures 16 x 22 x 4 inches, having the perfect high edged shape for those who struggle with neck or shoulder pain. The raised edges ensure proper support for those areas all throughout the night. The pillow is made of viscoelastic foam infused with tiny PCM gel beads, which create a pleasant sensation of coolness under your head. Grace to this, you won’t struggle with a too hot pillow anytime soon.
The Sleep Better Iso-Cool Gusseted pillow has a 100% cotton cover as well, which is removable and machine washable. This way, you won’t have to worry about bacteria or dust mites forming anytime soon.
Nonetheless, this pillow is very sturdy by most people’s standards, and will probably not be the best choice for those who are used to sleeping on a lower surface, or who like their pillows soft. For reference, the Iso Cool Gusseted is shown to withstand the pressure of 5 hardcover books with no “sinking” whatsoever. However, the great thing is that you can still get the Sleep Better quality in a Standard shape.
2. Coop Home Goods – Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
If you’re looking for a soft, comfortable pillow, that can be adjusted to your liking; the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is probably a good choice for you. This pillow is filled with just the right amount of memory foam shreds, which can be fluffed up, scrunched under your neck or distributed evenly for different sleeping positions. This pillow is excellent for those who toss and turn in their sleep, making their slumber extremely comfortable and pain-free.
The pillow comes with a zippered cover, which can be taken off and laundered. The cover is made of 60% polyester and 40% bamboo fiber, which makes it antibacterial, odor-free and helps keep the pillow cool. Besides that, the pillow itself opens with a zipper, so you can even adjust the number of foam shreds inside it to suit your needs. If you want a softer pillow, all you have to do is take a handful of shreds out, and you’ll be good to go.
The pillow comes in two sizes – King and Queen and is filled with a premium blend of different types of foam – from viscoelastic to plant-based. The product is very customizable, being a great choice for those who prefer to have a very versatile and not too firm pillow. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
3. Sleep Innovations – Contour
If you’re an all-time back sleeper, and you struggle a lot with neck muscle strain or aching shoulder, a contour pillow is the choice for you. The Sleep Innovations Contour offers a great quality/price balance that is worth checking out.
The pillow is made from a rather dense, 3lb memory foam (do not confuse density with weight, which is also indicated in lbs), creating a medium-to-firm surface for your head and neck. Even if it’s made of viscoelastic foam, it features a technology called Sure Temp, which ensures proper ventilation and air circulation inside the pillow, sparing you from having to deal with a hot pillow under your head. This, plus the removable and machine washable cotton cover will create an antibacterial and cooling surface of the pillow.
The Sleep Innovations Contour is available in Standard and Queen sizes and has a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty to it. The only issue you might have with this product is the smell, as viscoelastic memory foam is known to produce this strong, “new” odor when it is first exposed to air. However, the manufacturer claims that it should dissipate in 72 hours, yet you should think twice about this purchase if you’re very sensitive to smells.
4. InteVision Bed Wedge Pillow
If you prefer reading in bed, struggle with lower back pain, are pregnant or prefer sleeping on a very slight slope, a wedge pillow is a right choice for you. TheIntevision Bed Wedge Pillow is a unique model, consisting of a 1” layer of viscoelastic memory foam on a sturdy base. This is ideal for people who struggle with neck or shoulder pain, and also for those who suffer from acid reflux, snoring, allergies, or other respiratory system issues.
The pillow comes with a 400-thread cotton cover, which is fully removable and machine washable. This ensures the pillow will be kept as neat and sterilized as possible.
The InteVision Bed Wedge Pillow will probably not be the best option for those who prefer having a super high pillow under their heads, such as a guessable model. However, if you struggle with any of the issues mentioned above, a wedge is worth trying out. People have reported it being an excellent help for fighting snoring.
5. Classic Brands – Conforma
Another gusseted style, the Classic Brands Conforma is perfect for those who want sturdy and firm support for their head and neck. This pillow is even higher than the Sleep Better Iso-Cool series, measuring 5” in height. This is an excellent height for not putting any pressure on the neck and shoulders, but might be a bit troublesome to sleep on if you prefer a softer pillow.
The pillow is available in both King and Queen sizes and has a soft velour cover which is removable and machine washable. The pillow is made from one big piece of viscoelastic memory foam, which has tiny punctures all over its surface, to ensure that the pillow stays cool all throughout the night, and doesn’t retain excessive heat. The material is also CertiPUR-US certified as being free of any dangerous chemicals, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant.
You want to think twice about your purchase if you are very sensitive to odors, or prefer a lower pillow. Due to the viscoelastic foam, this pillow might give off the traditional smell, and it might be too high if you’re used to feathers or microfiber.
If you’re a bit confused by all the slang, you might need to know what memory foam is and how it works in the first place. Memory foam is a type of petroleum- or plant-based foam material, which leans more towards the solid and firm end of the spectrum, and is very sensitive to temperature and pressure. What it does is becoming very soft when exposed to body temperature, creating that infamous “molding to the body” effect. It’s very elastic when coming in contact with heat at first, but after a while, it starts to go back to its original shape, thus providing a sturdy support during the night. Grace to this, memory foam pillows do not form a gap in the place where you usually rest your head, going back in shape immediately after you get up. Besides that, memory foam has become so popular because it doesn’t transfer motion – you can have someone toss and turn a few inches away from you, and you won’t feel a thing. There are several types of memory foam available on the market: the most common one is viscoelastic, also known as polyurethane or standard (memory foam), but there is also gel-infused foam, as well as plant-based foam. The last two types have been patented to solve some of the issues of the original material – the chemical, “new” smell, also known as out-gassing, and the excessive heat retention. Gel-infused foam keeps the pillow from getting excessively hot during the night, and a plant-based foam will not have an unpleasant chemical smell, while also providing you with a cool surface to sleep on. There are also a variety of pillows for travelling that allow for easier sleep while flying.
Besides the type of material you choose, you’ll also have to opt for a particular kind of shape. It depends on your specific needs, sleep position, and preferences. There are three main types of memory foam pillows:
Contour memory foam pillows consist of a ridged piece of firm foam that has a groove in the middle and two slightly edged margins. The groove is where the head is meant to rest, while the raised edges provide the proper support for one’s neck and shoulders.
This type of pillow is the equivalent of an orthopedic mattress, being perfect for those who struggle with pain or strain the neck and shoulder muscles. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, work in an office or do any activity that puts a lot of pressure on your neck, a contour pillow would be an excellent choice for you. It’s also a hit with back sleepers.
A disadvantage of this shape might be excessive heat retention – because it’s made from one block of foam, it might have some trouble with releasing heat over time.
Shredded memory foam pillows get their name from the filling inside it, which consist of shredded pieces of memory foam. This makes the pillow more breathable, so that heat retention is not a problem anymore. It is also less likely to promote bacteria growth, grace to the improved air circulation.
They usually come in an oblong shape, and in all the most popular pillow sizes, such as Queen and King. Concerning height, these are usually low to medium height, providing the most comfortable support for the majority of people. They are perfect for people who toss and turn a lot in their sleep, or for those who prefer sleeping on the side or stomach. Unlike the contour pillows, these tend to be softer and less rigid, so if you prefer your pillows like that, shredded memory foam should be your choice.
Wedge pillows have many uses besides the standard pillow one, but many prefer to invest in them to have more versatility in use. They are perfect for providing lower back support if placed under the back of the knees or leaned on for a comfortable reading position. They are also considered the best pillows for pregnancy, as they can be placed under the baby bump to remove some of the stress on the lower back. They also work well for babies.
The wedge memory foam pillows are triangularly-shaped and slanted with a gradual slope, which makes them perfect for elevating different parts of the body gradually. If you prefer to sleep without a pillow at all, or with a very low one, the wedges will be a great choice for you. Stomach sleepers will also appreciate these a lot.
This is the basic kind of memory foam pillows, which have the classic rectangular shape and come in the most common size varieties. They consist of a single piece of memory foam that is cut and shaped individually. There are two main sub-types of traditional memory foam pillows: single-seam and double-seam. The single-seam ones will be the most comfortable for the majority of people, as they are enforced by a single seam around all four edges, and have those standard sloped margins that are the most common in pillows. This kind is usually low to medium in height, while the double seams are higher and sturdier than normal. They have a double seamed edge, which raises the whole surface of the pillow to about the same height, providing better support for the neck area.
There are several aspects you should consider when buying a new memory foam pillow. They have a lot of advantages compared to other fillings, such as:
1.Firmness. Memory foam is a denser and firmer material than feathers or microfiber, making them firmer to the touch than average. If you prefer your pillows more of the firm side, memory foam is an excellent choice for you.
2. Elasticity. Elasticity and firmness might contradict each other at first, but memory foam is a material that manages to combine these two attributes. If you’re looking for a pillow that is soft enough to feel that your head and neck is sinking in it, foam pillows are ideal for you. Every time you will turn or change the position of your head, the foam will mold itself to it, giving the impression of extreme softness. However, after a while, it will return to its original form.
3. Support and pain relief. Memory foam works by the pressure point pain relief technology, allowing aching joints and muscles to sink in at first, and then rest against a sturdy surface. If you struggle with neck, shoulder, or upper back pain, or even have headaches from the continuous muscles stress, memory foam pillows are worth investing in.
4. Spinal alignment. The spine is the core of all supporting organs in our body; that’s why it’s important to keep it perfectly aligned during those long hours we spend in bed. Memory foam is a great filling for spinal alignment, as its ability to mold and push back ensure the spine remains in a correct position.
5. Hygienic and allergy-free. Grace to its high density, memory foam does not promote the growth and multiplication of bacteria. It can also be laundered most of the cases, but make sure to check the tag for any counter indications. Dust mites allergy and other bacterial triggers will not be a problem anymore. Besides that, memory foam is not known as a common allergy trigger itself, as compared to latex, for instance. If you’re allergic to latex compounds, memory foam is worth giving a try.
However, much like any other product, memory foam has its drawbacks. Here are several of them:
1.The Smell. As mentioned before, memory foam is famous for giving off a chemical smell in the first couple of weeks of usage. It is known as out-gassing or off-gassing, and it goes away after 3 to 4 weeks. It might bother some people, and some may not notice it at all, but it’s still a disadvantage when compared to natural-based fillings.
2. The weight. Memory foam can be heavier than other materials, mostly because of its high density. If plan to move often or take you favorite pillow with you on vacation, memory foam might be a tad bit too heavy for that hand luggage.
3. The heat retention issue. Viscoelastic memory foam has this problem, where it comes in contact with body heat and, while the material regains its original shape after a while, the heat is trapped inside the material, making it uncomfortably hot. This might be a drawback for those living in hot, humid climates, but may work well for those whose rooms are cooler by nature. In any case, excessive heat retention is a notorious issue of memory foam so you might want to think twice if you prefer to have a cool pillow under your head.
4. Price. Memory foam pillows are somewhere in the mid-price range if compared to all the other different fillings on the market. However, you still might find out that these are over the budget you expected to spend on your new pillows. A good quality unit will cost you between $30 and $50.
As you could see, there is a lot of diversity on the memory foam pillow market. What you opt for depends on your particular needs and preferences – for instance, if you are a back sleeper, a contour pillow is the best option, while for toss-and-turners, a shredded filling is a better choice. We cannot possibly rate the best memory foam pillow from this top, as they differ a lot in shape, size, and purpose. In conclusion, all you need to do is think about your personal needs: do you snore a lot? Do you struggle with neck and shoulder pain? Do you change positions a lot at night? Do I need a cooling surface under my head? Do I have any preferences regarding the odor? Gather the answers to all of these and go through our top-5 list once more time – and you’re sure to find the best choice for yourself.