Best Memory Foam Pillows in 2021
If you need a new pillow, consider one of the best memory foam pillows.
The average person spends approximately one-third of their life sleeping. But for some, most of that sleep time is spent tossing and turning.
We spend a lot of time in bed, and ideally, that time is well used and comfortably spent. To help you sleep better, one of the best mattresses and some of the best pillows are essential.
While feathered pillows may be more traditional, memory foam pillows offer many benefits and are becoming more popular.
See the best memory foam pillows and how to find the one that is right for you.
Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Comprised of shredded memory foam, this pillow is adjustable, malleable, and sleeps cool thanks to shredded memory foam and a breathable rayon bamboo cover. Features include:
- 20-year warranty
- Free shipping
- Sleep trial period
Tempur-Pedic Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
The Tempur-Pedic Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow is our top choice for people who sleep hot. Both sides of the pillow are lined with a layer of Tempur-Breeze gel, which is designed to keep you cool throughout the night. Features include:
- 5-year warranty
- Breathable cover
- Cooling gel
Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
Made of shredded memory foam, this pillow is adjustable and malleable. It features a removable outer cover so that you can unzip it and add or remove filling to perfect your comfort level. This pillow sleeps cool too. Features include:
- 20-year warranty
- Adjustable foam
- Malleable pillow
The Purple Pillow
The Purple pillow was designed by aerospace engineers and offers three layers: a top layer providing reinforced neck support, a middle Smart Comfort Grid™, and a cooling cover. This pillows sleeps cool and helps alleviate joint pain. Features include:
- 100-night trial
- Adjustable firmness
- Sleeps cool
Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow
The Brooklyn Bedding memory foam pillow is perfect for both side and stomach sleepers. Stuffed with shredded memory foam, it features a side zipper so you can remove or add foam and adjust the pillow to your preferred height. Features include:
- Hypoallergenic materials
- Low price point
- Ventilation design
Editors' Choice: Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
The Coop Home Goods pillow is perfect for all sleepers, whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper, or stomach sleeper.
Thanks to the shredded memory foam, this pillow is malleable and more breathable than traditional memory foam pillows.
The breathability is also bolstered by the cover, which is 60% polyester and 40% rayon derived from hypoallergenic bamboo.
This is also one of the best adjustable pillows. If it’s too thick, you can pull out some of the shredded foam until it’s the ideal thickness for your sleeping comfort.
Coop Home Goods Pros
- Adjustable stuffing: You can add or remove filling to increase or decrease the height.
- Hypoallergenic materials: This pillow is perfect for those who suffer from allergies. The materials are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
- Malleable design: You can mold the pillow to your preferences.
- Return policy: The company offers a 100-night trial. If you don’t like it, you can return the pillow.
- Warranty period: The pillow has a five-year warranty.
Coop Home Goods Cons
- Foam smell: Memory foam has an initial smell. It tends to dissipate within two weeks, but some people can’t use the pillow until the smell goes away.
- Hot design: Some people report the pillow sleeps too hot.
Best Value: Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Pillow
The Snuggle-Pedic memory foam pillow is not only one of our favorites, but it’s one of the most affordable as well.
The shredded memory foam is adjustable and malleable. Older models had to be shipped back to the manufacturer to adjust filling, but new models such as this one feature a removable outer cover. You can unzip it and add or remove filling to perfect your comfort level.
- Adjustable foam: You can easily add or remove shredded memory foam yourself
- Free shipping: This pillow ships free to all 50 states.
- Long Warranty: The 20-year warranty is one of the longest we’ve come across.
- Malleable design: The pillow is easily molded, thanks to the shredded foam
- Return policy: Not sure you’ll like this pillow? The pillow comes with a 120-night sleep trial so that you can try it out for a while.
- Cleaning difficulty: This pillow is harder to clean.
Best for Side Sleepers: Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow
Brooklyn Bedding is a mattress manufacturer that entered the memory foam pillow space not too long ago.
The company prides itself on offering a pillow with “cloud-like comfort with contoured support.” It’s perfect for both side and stomach sleepers.
The pillow is stuffed with shredded memory foam and features a side zipper so you can remove or add foam if you need to.
- Breathable design: The ventilation design promotes air circulation for a cooler night’s sleep.
- Cooling features: This pillow contains a cooling gel foam to draw heat out and away from the head and neck.
- Hypoallergenic materials: The materials are antimicrobial and resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria, and dust mites.
- Low price: The price makes this pillow affordable for most people.
- Return policy: The 120-night trial period helps you know if this pillow is the right one for you.
- Warranty period: Your pillow will have protection for three years.
- Not for back sleepers: Customers say this pillow does not offer enough support for back sleepers.
- Odor problems: This pillow has an initial chemical smell. It goes away after a few weeks.
Best for Neck Pain: The Purple Pillow
Purple mattress is a memory foam mattress an aerospace engineer designed. The mattress helps alleviates joint and shoulder pain.
Thankfully, the company now offers pillows that provide the same pressure relief and joint-pain combatting benefits.
The purple pillow offers three layers: a top layer providing reinforced neck support, a middle Smart Comfort Grid™, and a cooling cover.
The Smart Comfort Grid™ provides optimal neck support while comfortably cradling your head. It promotes airflow to help you sleep cooler.
Overall, this pillow is our favorite option for people with bad backs and neck pain.
Purple Pillow Pros
- Adjustable firmness: This pillow offers easily-adjustable firmness options.
- Free shipping: If you live in the contiguous U.S., the pillow will ship for free.
- Return policy: This pillow has a 100-night trial.
- Sleeps cool: The Smart Comfort Grid™ allows for optimal airflow to keep you from getting too hot while you sleep.
Purple Pillow Cons
- Short warranty: The warranty is only one year, which is much lower than other memory foam pillows.
Best Cooling: Tempur-Pedic Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
If you sleep hot, you may not like most memory foam pillows because they generally sleep hotter than cotton or down-filled pillows. But if you love memory foam pillows, companies like Tempur-Pedic have come up with a few solutions.
The Tempur-Pedic TCloud Breeze pillow is our top choice for people who sleep hot. It has cooling gel and a breathable cover to keep you comfortable.
Both sides of the pillow have a layer of Tempur-Breeze gel, which is designed to keep you cool throughout the night. The pillow has a soft, breathable quilted cotton cover.
Tempur-Pedic Cloud Breeze Pros
- Breathable cover: The pillow is also encased in a soft, breathable quilted cotton cover to help keep you cool.
- Cooling gel: Both sides are lined with a layer of Tempur-Breeze gel to help keep you cool throughout the night.
- Warranty period: Your pillow is under warranty for five years.
Tempur-Pedic Cloud Breeze Cons
- High price: These pillows are more expensive than competitors’ options
- Return policy: This pillow does not have a trial period.
What Memory Foam Is
Memory foam is technically known as Viscoelastic polyurethane foam. NASA invented it in 1966 as a means of keeping astronauts comfortable and safe during space launches.
In the early 1980s, NASA shared memory foam with the public, and in 1991, the first memory foam mattress hit the market: the Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress.
Memory foam is dense yet elastic. It softens when you lie on it and forms to your body and bounces back to its original shape when you stand back up.
The material is also cooling. Thus, it’s great for people with joint pain, bad backs, or those who sleep hot.
Memory Foam Pros
- Eliminates motion transfer: If you sleep with a partner who tosses and turns, memory foam can help. While this is more beneficial for mattresses, it’s worth noting for pillows as well. Because memory foam is so dense, you sink in, and the memory foam absorbs movement instead of transferring it.
- Forms to your exact shape: Memory foam uses your body heat and body pressure to form to your build. Your body heat softens the foam and makes it more viscous, allowing you to sink further into it. This creates a natural curve, which provides excellent lumbar support and helps your spine.
- Reduces allergies: If you have allergies, check out a memory foam mattress and memory foam pillow. Because memory foam is so dense, it reduces the number of allergens such as dust and mold that can build up over time.
- Relieves pressure: Memory foam relieves pressure, and as a result, can help reduce joint pain.
Memory Foam Cons
- Difficult to clean: Because memory foam is not waterproof, it can be challenging to clean.
- Heavy materials: Memory foam is heavy — much heavier than cotton or down-filled pillows or mattresses. While this can be a problem with mattresses, it’s typically not an issue with pillows.
- Higher price: Memory foam is typically more expensive than cotton or down or other materials.
- Hot materials: Memory foam doesn’t allow airflow like other materials do and can retain body heat. As such, it can get hot. If you sleep hot, a memory foam pillow may not be the best option for you.
- Initial smell: Memory foam tends to smell like chemicals when it’s new. Typically, the smell will go away after a few days, but sensitive noses may have a problem with the smell for weeks.
- Not waterproof: If you like to drink coffee (or wine) in bed, you shouldn’t if you have a memory foam pillow or mattresses. If memory foam gets wet, it will retain the moisture, which can not only lead to a foul odor but also degenerate the foam. Tend to drool a lot in your sleep? You may want to avoid memory foam pillows too.
In our opinion, the pros of memory foam outweigh the cons.
Types of Memory Foam Pillows
Contrary to what you may have thought, there’s more than one type of memory foam pillow.
There are typically two types of memory foam pillows: one-piece (or traditional memory foam pillows) and shredded.
If you’re in the market for a new pillow, learn the differences between the types so that you can decide which you’d prefer.
Traditional memory foam pillows have one large piece of memory foam.
The shapes of traditional memory foam pillows can vary. The most common are flat, contoured, and wedge:
- Flat: Flat memory foam pillows are rectangular and resemble traditional pillows. These are the most basic form of memory foam pillows and perfect for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and those without joint problems or other ailments.
- Contoured: Contoured memory foam pillows create a more supportive shape and surface for the neck, head, and shoulder. These are the best memory foam pillow for side sleepers.
- Wedge: Wedge-shaped pillows are the best pillows for people who have joint problems, are pregnant, have gastrointestinal ailments, snoring issues, or other esophageal problems. The foam wedge allows users to rest their heads (or shoulders, legs, or knees) in an elevated position to promote blood flow and alleviate pressure. This can also help reduce snoring caused by sleep apnea or acid reflux.
Traditional memory foam pillows work great for people who don’t need to adjust their pillows.
Adjustable shredded memory foam pillows have shredded memory foam. An outer shell (typically cotton or polyester) has tiny chunks of torn memory foam.
These pieces can move around and allow you to mold and sculpt your pillow much like you would a down pillow.
If you’re a non-committal sleeper – sometimes you like a flat pillow, sometimes you want a mounded pillow, sometimes you like a lumpy pillow – the shredded open may be the best option pillow for you.
The other benefit of shredded memory foam is that it’s more breathable than traditional memory foam. This feature makes the material cooler.
Memory Foam Pillow Buyer’s Guide
Because they aren’t the same, you should get familiar with different memory foam features to help you decide what pillow will be best for your needs.
Here are the most important things to consider when you buy one.
If a memory foam pillow isn’t waterproof, how do you clean it?
The covers are machine washable, but you have to clean the pillows differently.
For starters, you should vacuum it every time you change your sheets. You may want to spot clean the pillow every two weeks to remove dirt and sweat buildup that may have broken through the case.
When the time does come to wash it, here are the steps to follow:
- Fill a bathtub with warm water and a small amount of gentle detergent or soap.
- Submerge your memory foam pillow in the soapy water slowly, squeezing it to allow the water to penetrate it. Repeat two times.
- Remove the pillow from soapy water. Dump the water and fill the tub with clean water. Submerge the pillow in clean water, squeezing several times.
- Air dry the memory foam in direct sunlight.
Pillows should be comfortable.
Size and thickness are two factors of comfort. If you can, test a few memory foam pillows in person before purchasing to decide which is the most comfortable option.
If you choose to buy online, check the return policy. Some offer trial periods so that you can test the pillow for a few nights before making your final decision.
While memory foam is comfortable and helps alleviate joint pain, it does have one major downfall: it’s not breathable and thus can get hot.
Thankfully, some memory foam pillows come with cooling properties.
Copper-infused covers and bamboo covers are some of the ways memory foam pillows can keep you cool.
Another is cooling gel. Some memory foam pillows have layers of cooling gel built into their sides, which can prevent you from overheating at night. A gel pillow can also be more comfortable.
Other have mesh panels on their sides.
If you tend to sleep hot, we recommend looking for a memory foam pillow that promotes cooling.
Memory foam pillows are not machine washable, but most come with removable, machine washable covers.
Check the cover materials before you buy. Many include additional comfort features.
Common cover materials include:
- Copper-infused covers to promote cooling and prevent you from overheating in your sleep
- Polyester blend covers that are easy to wash
- Bamboo covers to increase airflow and keep you cool
- Quilted cotton covers that are easy to wash
If you’re purchasing a memory foam pillow online, you can’t test the pillow before you buy it. If you are buying in-store, you can test it out to an extent. But you still won’t know for sure if you like it until you try sleeping on it.
Thankfully, most memory foam pillows come with generous return policies.
Good return policies can range from 30 days to 120 days or more. We recommend finding a return policy that’s at least 30 days because it can take a month to adjust to a new pillow.
Size and Thickness
Memory foam pillows are similar to regular pillows in size and come in the following sizes:
- Standard: Standard is the most common pillow size. It’s typically the cheapest option. It’s the shortest and uses a regular-sized pillowcase.
- Queen: Queen pillows are about four inches longer than standard pillows. This size is perfect for those who tend to toss and turn.
- King: King pillows are six inches larger than standard pillows. They’re excellent for people who toss and turn and people who like to sit in bed to read, watch tv, or drink coffee.
- Body: Body pillows are long and wide. They’re great for pregnant women or those who like to cuddle with pillows while they sleep.
In terms of thickness, memory foam pillows vary. Some are thin, while others can be five inches or more.
If you like a consistent thickness, you’ll want to go with a traditional memory foam pillow. If you prefer to customize the thickness, try a shredded memory foam pillow.
We like companies that believe in their products, which is why we like good warranties.
Memory foam pillow warranties vary. We found some that only offered one year and others that were five years or more.
One of the best memory foam pillows can help you sleep better at night. Use our buying guide and our top picks to help you make your decision.Read More