Everything You Should Know About Memory Foam Pillows

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Science has revealed the importance of a good night’s sleep time and time again. From improving your life expectancy to making you a happier person, getting a decent amount of sleep is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health, both mentally and physically.

You may be wondering how you can go about improving your sleep by a measurable degree. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that your bed and pillows are up to the task. Sleeping on a bed which is uncomfortable will only make it harder for you to get a good deal of sleep.

While we understand that bedding is not the most affordable of products, you may wish to start saving up so you can ensure that your sleep is as peaceful as possible. Good pillows and a proper mattress are both highly relevant if you want to make sure that you can get as much sleep as possible.

Today, we are going to be taking a look at memory foam pillows. We are going to look at everything about them, from how they are made and the different varieties of these pillows, to the benefits that they offer to improve your sleep. Before we get into details, let’s take a look at some of the basics.

In This Article You Will Learn About Memory Foam PillowsWhat Is Memory Foam?What Is A Memory Foam Pillow?Brief HistoryMemory Foam MaterialMemory Foam Pillow vs. Regular PillowTypes Of Memory Foam PillowsShredder Memory Foam PillowContoured Memory Foam PillowWedge Memory Foam PillowTraditional Style Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam Neck PillowMemory Foam Travel PillowMemory Foam Body PillowHealth Benefits Of Memory Foam PillowsPain ReliefSpinal AlignmentHypoallergenicHygienicFirmnessSupportAccessoriesPillow CoversMemory Foam Pillow Cleaning And MaintenanceHow To Clean Memory Foam PillowHow To Repair Memory FoamConclusion

What Is Memory Foam?

You may be wondering what exactly memory foam is. Before we move on in this article, it is important for us to make sure that all of our readers are following along. While we are confident that the vast majority of our readers have heard of memory foam, it is possible that some are not as well-acquainted with it as others.

What is Memory Foam

Memory foam is a type of treated polyurethane, which may not sound very comfortable, but it tends to offer superior comfort when compared to typical bedding materials. The reason for memory foam being so comfortable is because it becomes easy to mold when it is exposed to heat.

Memory foam does not need to be exposed to a large amount of heat to change its shape. For example, the heat which is radiated from your body is enough to ensure that it changes shape with little difficulty. This is one of the main reasons that memory foam makes for such a comfortable bedding material.

What Is A Memory Foam Pillow?

You may be wondering what exactly goes into making a memory foam pillow, now that you know what memory foam is. You will find that a memory foam pillow is exactly what it sounds like; these pillows use memory foam as a primary building material to improve their comfort and quality.

Memory Foam Pillows

Since they are made out of memory foam, you will find that these pillows have many benefits, both concerning health and enjoyment for the user. There are few reasons why you would not wish to opt for a memory foam pillow instead of a pillow which is made out of a more traditional material.

Brief History

Memory foam was created back in the 1960s by NASA engineers, to create cushions for both spacecraft and aircraft. These engineers were looking to create pillows that were comfortable but could still offer adequate protection in the event of a crash or an accident, and they ended up creating memory foam.

Nasa Memory Foam History

While it took some time for memory foam to become an attractive option for those who would prefer a more comfortable alternative to standard pillows, you will find that their popularity has grown.

As memory foam pillows become more and more affordable, you will find that their popularity will keep expanding.

Pillows made out of memory foam used to be rather expensive when compared to your typical pillow varieties, but as manufacturing techniques have improved, so has their cost. You can now find memory foam pillows for the same price as reasonably comfortable traditional pillow types.

Memory Foam Material

As we stated earlier, memory foam is a type of polyurethane, which is a synthetic compound. Unlike the down that fills some other pillows, animals do not have to be harmed to produce memory foam pillows, so they are more friendly towards nature and the birds from which down is harvested.

Keep in mind that memory foam does have a few disadvantages when compared to other materials, but they are usually only applicable in rare circumstances. Some users may have an adverse reaction to memory foam pillows and may end up developing a rash when coming into contact with them.

While a type of allergic reaction to memory foam is highly uncommon, you should simply keep in mind that it is not outside of the realm of possibility. You may wish to try a single pillow before investing in an entire set and finding out that you can’t use memory foam because you react badly to it.

Memory Foam Pillow Vs. Regular Pillow

There are many advantages to memory foam pillows when they are compared to regular pillows. Some of the more crucial advantages concern the health benefits that are offered by these pillows. We will take a closer look at these health benefits later on in this article.

Comfotable Sleep with a memory foam pillow

You will find that memory foam pillows are also much more comfortable than regular pillows since they conform to the shape of your head and shoulders. Unlike regular pillows, they do not push your head upwards while you are sleeping. Instead, memory foam pillows accommodate your sleeping style.

If you are not impressed with the comfort of your current pillow, or you have a medical condition which makes it so you can’t sleep on them anymore, memory foam pillows are the best option available. While they may be slightly more pricey, memory foam pillows are not as expensive as they once were.

Types Of Memory Foam Pillows

Shredder Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam pillows of the shredded variety are the most similar ones to traditional pillows as they share a common design. Imagine a regular pillow which is filled with down but then replace all of the small bits of down in the pillow with shredded up bits of memory foam (hence the term “shredded”).

Shreded Memory Foam Type

These memory foam pillows have the advantage of less integrity, which some would consider as being more comfortable. If you are looking for a middle ground in between regular pillows and memory foam pillows, you will not find a better option than the shredded variety of memory foam pillows.

Contoured Memory Foam Pillow

This is one of the more standard types of memory foam pillow that people tend to jump to when they think about pillows that are made out of this material. They are made out of one piece of memory foam that is cut out in the size of a regular pillow, with the usual sizing (double, king, queen, etc.)

They are known as contoured memory foam pillows because they feature two ridges on the upper and lower part of the pillow, which leaves a shallow crease in the middle of the pillow for your head. The lower part of the ridge supports your neck which ensures that it remains in line with the rest of your head.

Wedge Memory Foam Pillow

Wedge pillows are used for more than a head rest, unlike the other types of pillows. You will find that these pillows are very versatile. They are known as wedge memory foam pillows because they are quite literally shaped like a wedge. You can sleep on these pillows as if they were regularly shaped, but they have more applications.

Wedge Pillow

For example, you can lie down on these pillows to keep your back propped up so you can read with greater ease. You can also prop up a particular part of your body to aid with injury recovery. There are few better memory foam pillows for medical applications than wedge pillows thanks to this level of versatility.

Traditional Style Memory Foam Pillow

This is the most common type of memory foam pillow as well as the oldest variety. These memory foam pillows are simply a block of memory foam pillow that is cut in the shape of a regular pillow. This type of pillow has largely been superseded by newer varieties because it tends to retain an uncomfortable amount of heat.

These pillows are essentially contoured memory foam pillows without the contours. Since contoured pillows are largely superior, you will find that they have mostly taken the place of traditional memory foam pillows. However, conventional memory foam pillows are more affordable since they are more simply built.

Memory Foam Neck Pillow

As you may have guessed from the name, memory foam neck pillows are designed to support your neck while you sleep. These pillows can feature many different designs and still be considered neck pillows. For example, some memory foam neck pillows are in the form of contoured pillows, and some are available in a wedge shape.

Memory Foam Neck Pillow

Memory foam neck pillows are the best option if you would like to reduce neck pain after sleeping or if you have recently suffered a neck injury from which you are still recovering. These pillows are often more affordable than other types of memory foam pillows as they can be smaller.

Memory Foam Travel Pillow

You have very likely seen a memory foam travel pillow if you have ever been in an airport or ridden on a plane. They are those pillows that tend to be shaped like donuts and are meant to fit around your neck. These pillows are often confused with memory foam neck pillows due to this.

Travel Pillow Made out of Memory Foam

While memory foam neck pillows are meant to be used in bed to provide better spinal support for your neck, you will find that memory foam travel pillows are intended to provide better comfort in a seat. This makes them ideally suited for plane rides or long journeys by car since they are small enough to fit comfortably in your seat.

Memory Foam Body Pillow

These pillows are meant to support your body, so they can feature many shapes, depending on what part of your body they are made to work with. Most of the time, memory foam body pillows are meant to support a part of your back, so there is a bit of an overlap between these pillows and wedge pillows.

Memory Foam Full Size Body Pillow Dakimakura

Memory foam body pillows are often a better alternative to investing in a memory foam mattress, which ensures that you will not have to deal with the high price of an entirely new bed. While you can keep your old mattress, you can also enjoy the comfort and body support of memory foam with these pillows.

Health Benefits Of Memory Foam Pillows

Pain Relief

You will find that one of the primary benefits of using memory foam pillows is that they tend to reduce the amount of pain that you experience while you are lying in bed. This pain can be located in any part of your body, but the pain which is most often relieved by these pillows is neck and back pain.

Memory foam pillows help relieve pain because they are far softer than most other types of pillows and because there are pillows which are made specifically to offer support for injured users. Many other pillow types will not account for potential injury in the same way as memory foam pillows.

Spinal Alignment

One of the most important benefits that you get out of memory foam pillows is that they help keep your spine in alignment. When you sleep on regular pillows, your neck is often pushed upwards, which knocks your spine out of alignment and can end up injuring you in the long term or causing discomfort.

Spinal Alignment With Memory Foam

Since memory foam pillows mold themselves to your head, they allow you to sleep in a much more natural position. This natural sleeping position will allow you to sleep comfortably while keeping your neck in alignment with the rest of your spine, reducing your risk of sleeping pain and chronic aches.


Memory foam pillows are much more friendly to users with allergies than more traditional pillow types. You will find that most people will not suffer from respiratory allergies when they come into contact with memory foam pillows as they tend to retain less dust and because of the material they are made out of.

While down and other traditional pillow materials can end up causing you respiratory difficulties, there is only a small percentage of the population that has difficulty with memory foam. While shredded memory foam pillows may cause more issues than slab-type pillows, they are still relatively hypoallergenic.


You will also find that memory pillows are superior to regular pillow varieties in the domain of hygiene. These pillows tend to be much easier to clean than regular pillows as they are not enclosed. The longer you use a regular pillow, the more sweat and other dirt will end up seeping through the exterior and into the down.

Memory Foam Pillows Are Hygenic

Since the insides of most memory foam pillows tend to be exposed and washable, you will find that they are much easier to clean off than other pillow types. If you are hoping to ensure that your pillows are as clean as possible, few models do a better job of that than memory foam pillows.


Memory foam pillows are available in varying degrees of firmness, much like more traditional pillows. The difference between these two types of pillows when it comes to hardness is the amount of variety that is available. The firmness of regular pillows depends on their material composition.

While traditional pillows offer a relatively small range of firmness, you will find that memory foam pillows have a much larger range of firmness options. This is because the firmness of memory foam pillows can be changed by adjusting the density of the memory foam that they are composed of.

A softer pillow will conform to your head and neck better, and most memory foam pillows tend to be much softer than regular pillow types. For those of us who prefer firmer pillows, all hope is not lost, as there are firmer types of memory foam available for more substantial kinds of pillows.


Support is another aspect which is closely related to firmness. The level of support that you get out of a pillow is directly linked to the degree of firmness that it features, but there are a few other aspects on which support depends. For example, the firmest travel pillow will not offer a good deal of support.

Memory Foam Pillow Firmness

Wedge pillows tend to offer more support than other models simply because they are meant to support certain parts of your body. Body pillows, however, tend to provide the most support, since some of them are made to support the entirety of your body as you sleep (at least in the case of the larger types of body pillows).


Pillow Covers

You will find that some memory foam pillows will come with pillow covers. These are not meant to be confused with pillowcases, though they are broadly similar. Pillow covers are necessary with specific types of pillows. For example, a shredded memory foam pillow would simply be a loose pile of memory foam chunks without one.

On other memory foam pillows, particularly the slab varieties (contoured, traditional, etc.) you will find that pillow covers are more optional, but they help when it comes to the matter of hygiene. A pillow cover will stop your pillow from collecting dirt and dust since memory foam is a rather porous material that can attract and hold dirt with ease.

Different Types of Pillow Covers

Some pillow covers will be removable, such as the ones which are often used with slab pillows, but the ones which come included with shredded pillows will often be an integral part of the pillow. If you could remove the cover from a shredded pillow, it would be difficult to get all of the memory foam back inside of it.

Memory Foam Pillow Cleaning And Maintenance

How To Clean Memory Foam Pillow

There are many ways to clean your memory foam pillow. If you only need to spot clean your pillow, you can use a rag with detergent and warm water to clean off any parts of the pillow which are dirty. Once this is done, you can leave your pillow to air dry before using it once again.

If your pillow needs to be cleaned more deeply, you will have to submerge it in a bathtub which is filled with warm water and detergent and then use a washcloth to clean off the surface. This will allow you to get most of the embedded dirt out of with ease. Once this is done, squeeze the water out of your pillow and leave it to air dry.

Keep in mind that the density of your memory foam pillow will affect how long it takes for it to dry. You may have to give your pillow up to a full day to dry, so ensure that you have a backup pillow to sleep on during this time period. This may necessitate cleaning your pillows on different days.

How To Repair Memory Foam

Memory foam can be particularly vulnerable to damage due to its construction. This is one of the reasons why pillow covers are getting more and more common, as they make it easier to prevent tearing and other issues.

You will find that memory foam can be repaired many ways, but the most common way to fix memory foam pillows is by using a safe adhesive which is formulated for use with this material. All you have to do is hold the two ripped parts of the pillow together while you spray adhesive between them and then let it dry.


Now that you know everything there is to know about memory foam, you are in a better position to make your purchase. Feel free to move on to our buying guide, in which we will look at five of the best memory foam pillows which are currently available.