When it comes to bedding choices, a good pillow tends to be lower on the priority list, right behind non-slip, soft sheets, a mattress with the perfect firmness, and a cozy duvet. But the right support for your head while you sleep can lead to everything from minimizing neck pain to waking up more rested. That’s where a great memory foam pillow comes in.
Marlow’s pillow is fully adjustable, allowing you to change thickness by simply loosening it … [+]
But what makes memory foam a great choice when it comes to pillows? “Memory foam allows pillows to conform to their own body structure, and this allows the pillow to conform to the body’s natural resting position,” says Dr. Rahul Shah, a New Jersey-based board-certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon with Premier Orthopedic Associates. “By conforming to the body, it doesn’t create excessive pressure points while allowing the body to assume any posture it deems appropriate.”
And don’t underestimate the impact these pillows can have on your neck and shoulder pain, says Dr. Gregory Gasbarro, an orthopedic surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. “The shape and content of the pillow play an important role in maintaining the curvature of the cervical spine for support to reduce neck fatigue and sometimes worsening shoulder pain,” he says.
Given the popularity of memory foam pillows, there are many options to wade through. When choosing the right pillow, consider things like your preferred sleeping position (some pillows are tailored for specific sleeper types), as well as features that can improve your sleep, like cooling fabrics and hypoallergenic materials.
To find the best versions out there, we first looked at the best-selling memory foam pillows, then narrowed things down with additional features to make your particular scenario as comfortable as possible. We’ve looked at a range of budgets too, so there’s something for everyone, whether you want a quality pillow at a great price or are willing to spend a little more. Here are the best memory foam pillows to take your sleeping experience to the next level.
Best memory foam pillow overall
A medium-sized support pillow that suits all sleep types
The Tempur-Pedic Tempur Cloud offers two different height options – high and low – so you can choose the height that’s right for you. The pillow is filled with medium support foam that hugs your head, neck and shoulders while you snooze. Worth noting: In true Tempur-Pedic fashion, this lather will not lose its shape over time or lump onto you. It also has a removable (and washable) cover with a cooling gel layer to keep night sweats at bay.
Best Cooling Memory Foam Pillow
A breathable memory foam pillow that’s great for hot sleepers
Waking up damp and sweaty isn’t the best way to start the day. But the Saatva Memory Foam Pillow can help. This pillow’s cover is enriched with mineral graphite to draw heat away from your body while you snooze. And it’s filled with breathable shredded memory foam to provide support and dissipate even more heat (since air circulates better around the shredded fill). The organic cotton cover is machine washable and you can choose between queen and king sizes.
Best memory foam pillow for side sleepers
A hybrid memory foam pillow with a comfortable quilted side
Developed by popular mattress company Leesa, this plush pillow is ideal for side sleepers. It’s adjustable and reversible: one side has a down-like quilted pattern, while the other is cooler and helps regulate temperature. There is also an additional removable insert that slides between layers to give you more or less height for perfect alignment. You can remove the gel insert for spot cleaning and toss the outer cover and inner insert in the wash. Choose between standard or queen sizes depending on personal preference.
Best memory foam pillow for neck pain
One designed to provide neck, head and shoulder support
This pillow from Epabo has an ergonomic design that is specially contoured to support your head, neck and shoulders while you sleep. The pillow is suitable for side, back and stomach sleepers, and its breathable memory foam helps keep night sweats at bay. Did you spill something on your pillow? Simply zip off the cover and put it in the wash. Choose between two different heights of standard and queen sizes for just the right fit.
Best memory foam pillow for people with allergies
A hypoallergenic memory foam pillow that is machine washable
Wonder Sleep Dream Rite Shredded Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow
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WonderSleep’s Dream Rite memory foam pillow is hypoallergenic, with a washable cover and pillow, making it ideal for allergy sufferers. The Dream Rite features a soft shredded memory foam lining and polyester fill blend to help you stay cool as you snooze. A nice perk: the filling is removable, so you can customize how fluffy (or not) you want your pillow to be. The pillowcase is also made from a bamboo blend for added hypoallergenic and cooling properties.
Best Memory Foam Pillow on Amazon
A soft, fluffy pillow with no-shift construction
Made from CertiPUR US-certified memory foam, this soft, fluffy foam pillow is designed to contour your neck and shoulders for a comfortable night’s sleep. While other memory pillows tend to trap heat, this pillow’s ventilated design promotes breathability, resulting in cooling effects. It also features a no-shift construction so you don’t have to rearrange your pillow in the middle of the night. Available in standard, queen and king sizes, you can easily find the version that best suits your needs.
Best budget memory foam pillow
An affordable option that stays cool all night
Finding quality pillows at a lower price can be a challenge, but this affordable option is surprisingly comfortable. It’s made of shredded memory foam that can be adjusted to fit your feel and height. The cover is made of micro-aerated polyester and bamboo viscose rayon for a soft, cooling feel throughout the night. Simply unzip the cover for easy machine washing when needed.
Best memory foam pillow for stomach sleepers
A memory foam pillow that is easily adjustable
This fully adjustable pillow allows you to change the thickness simply by unzipping the side zip. This means stomach sleepers can unzip one or both zippers to create a flatter pillow, or leave them closed for an extra supportive feel. Unlike thicker pillows that worsen spinal alignment when you use them to sleep on your stomach, this pillow’s cooling foam gently presses against your body to provide just enough buoyancy to reduce stress during sleep. It’s all encased in a convenient sleeve to keep you cozy all night long. And it’s only available in a standard or king size.
Best memory foam pillow for all sleeping positions
A memory foam pillow that is comfortable for everyone
This Sealy memory foam pillow is designed for all types of sleepers. A molded interior gives a little when you lay your head down, whether you sleep on your side, back or stomach, but not so much that you lose yourself in your pillow. A plush knit cover provides extra padding and in the event of a spill, it can be easily unzipped and tossed in the washing machine. The standard size pillow slips easily into a queen pillowcase.
How do I choose a memory foam pillow?
Memory foam is among the most popular bedding options out there, so it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly which one is best for you. All memory foam pillows are adaptable, but how you choose one depends on your sleep preferences. A solid block of foam is stronger and more robust, so it’s best for someone who stays in one position all night. Solid block memory foam can also be contoured or flat. A flat option is versatile for different types of sleepers, while contoured pillows hold the neck and head in specific positions, making them better suited for people who really stay in bed. Shredded foam, on the other hand, is softer and more responsive, which is ideal for sleepers who frequently change positions.
Is memory foam a good material for a pillow?
While there is no perfect pillow that fits everyone, memory foam pillows are a popular option. If your existing pillow sinks in during your sleep and you wake up with a shoulder, neck, or headache, a memory foam pillow may be a good choice for you as it’s firmer and will hold its shape overnight.
Are Memory Foam Pillows Good for Side Sleepers?
Yes! Memory foam pillows are suitable for most sleeping styles, including side sleepers, as they provide head and neck support. Since they adapt to the shape of your body, they are also ideal for people who change positions at night.
However, according to Andrea Spaeth, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Rutgers University, there isn’t much research to suggest that memory foam pillows are better for every type of sleeping position. However, she says, “People who sleep on their backs may find memory foam pillows more comfortable because they hold their shape.”
Whether a memory foam pillow is right for you ultimately comes down to personal preference, says Shah. If you like a really firm pillow, a memory foam pillow may not be for you, he says. But overall, Shah says there are “minimal” downsides to using a memory foam pillow.