When it's time to tuck in at night, it's hard to beat a memory foam pillow. Whether you have neck problems or you're just a regular comfort-seeker, this magical material provides extra softness for your slumber. The best memory foam pillows usually have several things in common.
First, they're breathable. Although it's nice to have plenty of foam, you don't want it to be too dense, otherwise your pillow will get hot. The foam should be aerated so it can provide ventilation and prevent you from overheating. If you tend to get hot when you sleep generally, you may want to look for additional temperature-regulating features such as special cooling gels.
Another important factor is the material of the cover. This is the part that approaches your face, so you want it to be soft and smooth. It's also great if the material is machine-washable and hypoallergenic, especially if you're someone with sensitive skin. Polyester and rayon tend to have the best combination of these features. While cotton isn't always hypoallergenic, it does offer more breathability.
Finally, the best pillows will offer just the right amount of firmness. You'd be surprised at how much variation can exist from pillow to pillow. Reading the reviews is a great way to gather more information here. Whether you prefer your pillow to be firmer or squishier, it should move with your body and be able to adapt to the contours of your neck. Depending on your preference, you may even want to opt for a shredded memory foam pillow that allows you to remove or add filling to your liking.
Given all of this, take a look at my list of the best memory foam pillows below and prepare for an amazing sleep.
1. The Best Overall
What's great about it: This ultra-soft memory foam pillow is an excellent option that factors in both price and quality. The 3-pound memory foam offers exceptional comfort, while the cervical contour in the middle cradles your neck, helping to prevent kinking and soreness. As for the cotton cover, it's completely removable, making it easy to wash. This pillow has more than 4,600 reviews on Amazon, many of which point to its special ability to mold to your neck as you move, for a much more comfortable sleep.
What fans say: "This pillow is heavenly! ... I suffer from chronic migraines, and so proper neck support and sleep comfort are extremely important to me. My new pillow arrived yesterday and last night I fell asleep so easily because it felt like my head was resting on a cloud. I generally do not like soft pillows, but this one gives me support in all the right places. I went back and ordered the queen and a travel version because I am so thrilled with this one."
- Available sizes: Standard, Queen, and Travel
2. The Best Shredded Foam Pillow
What's great about it: Available as a convenient two-pack, these shredded memory foam pillows are fluffier in the middle with a softer, more traditional shape compared to my previous pick. Filled with shredded foam that's lightweight and fully hypoallergenic, this option is the most customizable. When the pillows arrive, simply fluff them up and add or remove filling as needed to achieve the precise firmness you like. They have silky covers made from bamboo-derived rayon that feel soft against your cheeks and can be removed to put in the washing machine.
What fans say: "I'm so incredibly impressed by these pillows! They fluffed up within 15 minutes of unpacking, but just to give them extra fluff I decided to put them in the dryer for 45 minutes on the low setting. Right off the bat, I noticed the exceptional quality of the pillows... Buying these was the best decision I've made in 2018!"
- Available sizes: Queen and King
3. The Best Cooling Pillow
What's great about them: If you're a hot sleeper who tends to toss and turn a lot, this lightweight cooling pillow will feel like a dream come true. It features breathable, aerated fabric and an innovative cooling gel that regulates your temperature, preventing you from turning into a hot, sweaty mess at 3 a.m. The 4.3-star pillow — which boasts more than 1,300 reviews on Amazon — also has ventilated air pockets that further assist you in your cooling journey. Reviewers say the pillow feels soft against your neck, and its silky cover is fully machine-washable.
What fans say: "This thing changed the game! Love how firm it is, but it's soft, too. Cooling foam is great cause my face isn't hot all night like with most foam pillows. Worth the purchase!"
- Available sizes: Regular, Queen, and King
4. The Best Orthopedic Pillow
What's great about it: Specifically designed for people with neck pain, this comfortable orthopedic pillow features a dip in the middle that helps cradle your upper vertebrae and prevent any soreness. The fabric is constructed with a blend of polyester and rayon that's breathable and hypoallergenic (not to mention soft and comfy). Its therapeutic design is great if you're someone with chronic pain or simply someone who often wakes up sore from sleeping in weird positions (*raises hand*). It's a bit pricier than some of the other options but worth it if you want to vanquish your neck kinks for good.
What fans say: "This pillow is amazing. I’m able to sleep on my side comfortably... The first night I used it, I slept through the night for the first time in I don’t know how long and woke up with zero neck pain."
- Available sizes: Standard and Queen
5. The Most Budget-Friendly Pick
What's great about it: Perfect for folks on a budget, this affordable memory foam pillow is cheaper than most of its competitors, yet it still gets solid reviews on Amazon. It's built with soft, shredded memory foam you can add or remove based on your firmness preference. The viscoelastic construction allows the filling to mold to the contours of your neck while still holding its shape. It has an easy-glide zipper for effortless access to the filling, plus a machine-washable cover made from polyester and bamboo-derived rayon.
What fans say: "Pillow is comfortable and works perfectly as an insert for decoration or great just for sleeping. The sizing was spot on."
- Available sizes: Standard, Queen, and King
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