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Best Memory Foam Pillows, According to Physical Therapists and Sleep Experts

Best Memory Foam Pillows
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Updated January 8, 2024

Having a proper pillow is crucial to maintaining a good night’s sleep—there’s nothing worse than waking up with neck pain from a flat pillow. However, buying a pillow feels like an even bigger pain in the neck, because there are thousands of options to filter through, and they all start to look the same after a few scrolls. If you’re caught between wanting the softness of down pillows (or down alternative pillows) but with a bit more support, consider a memory foam pillow. These take other types of pillows up a notch as they are typically cloud-like, but nuanced with regard to their level of firmness. 

“Pillows, like mattresses and shoewear, are very personal, which means there is usually a required period of experimentation to determine which type of pillow works best for your body and any pain symptoms you might be experiencing,” says Dr. Tom Walters, DPT, OCS and author of Rehab Science: How to Overcome Pain and Heal from Injury. To find the best memory foam pillows on the market, we spoke to Dr. Walters, but also a few other experts: Dr. Craig Steineman, PT, DPT, CSCS, Orthopedic Physical Therapist at Corewell Health Physical Therapy, Katie Elks, design director at Brooklinen, and Byron Golub, vice president of product and merchandising at Saatva. Whether you’re wondering about the differences between solid and shredded fill, or want to know the coolest option, here’s everything you need to know about finding the best pillows for your needs. 

What to consider when choosing a memory foam pillow

Foam fill type 

Although all memory foam pillows are made with memory foam, a pillow’s specific construction may consist of one piece or multiple shredded pieces. According to Golub, people who sleep in one position are more likely to benefit from a one-piece pillow whereas people who frequently change positions are more apt to gravitate towards pillows with shredded fill. 

Pillow size 

Paying attention to a pillow’s size when shopping for a memory foam pillow is important, as a pillow’s size can have an impact on its comfortability and level of support. “Size should be selected based on body size,” explains Steineman. “A person with a larger frame will generally need a larger pillow because the space between one’s head/neck and the bed that needs to be filled to achieve a neutral spine will be larger.” 

Trial period 

Shopping for a pillow is a personalized experience since everyone sleeps differently and has different preferences and needs. Considering memory pillows from brands offering trail periods is important so you can see if the pillow works to provide you with the best possible sleep. “Several companies will allow you to use their pillow for a certain period of time (up to 100 days in some cases) and return it for a full refund if it isn't doesn't work for your situation,” explains Walters. “Because pillow choice and how it affects your body is so individual, it's a good idea to work with a company that allows you to test their product before making a long-term commitment.” 

Our top picks for the best memory foam pillows

Most comfortable memory foam pillow: The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow

This dual-sided pillow from The Company Store is a champion when it comes to comfort. And, that is in part to its dual-sided nature. One side contains a ventilated memory foam insert, while the other side contains synthetic and gel fibers. The breathable cotton cover is also designed to help keep you cool while extending the life of your pillow.

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Memory foam and gel fiber
  • Cover: Cotton
  • Firmness level: Medium
  • Sizes: Standard, king, and queen
  • Care: Spot clean (pillow); machine wash (cover) 
  • Certifications: Not listed 

What we like: 

  • Dual-sided
  • Ventilated
  • Removable zippered cover

What we don’t like: 

  • Cannot be machine washed

The bottom line: 

Constructed with ventilated memory foam on one side and cloud-like gel fibers on the other, this dual-sided pillow is supportive yet cooling. 

Most comfortable memory foam pillow
The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow

The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow

Best value memory foam pillow: Weekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow 

If you want to purchase a memory foam pillow without breaking the bank, the Gel Memory Foam Pillow from Weekender may be just what you’re looking for—and it’s on Amazon, one of the best places to buy pillows. It has a price tag of $32 for a standard-size pillow, and unlike some of the other picks on this list, it has a five-inch loft made from one larger piece of foam as opposed to multiple shredded ones. It’s also infused with gel, so it’ll keep you cool when catching those zzzs. 

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Gel-infused memory foam
  • Cover: Removable 
  • Firmness level: Soft
  • Sizes: Standard, queen, and king
  • Care: Machine wash (cover only)
  • Certifications: Not listed

What we like: 

  • Affordable
  • Has a cooling side designed to dissipate heat
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Can return in 30 days when purchased on Amazon 

What we don’t like: 

  • Only available in one color
  • Not machine washable 

The bottom line: 

For under $32, this cooling memory foam pillow is a great choice for those looking for quality on a budget. 

Best value memory foam pillow
WEEKENDER Gel Memory Foam Pillow – Ventilated Cooling Pillow – Removable, Machine Washable Cover - Standard, White

WEEKENDER Gel Memory Foam Pillow – Ventilated Cooling Pillow – Removable, Machine Washable Cover - Standard, White

Best memory foam pillow for neck pain: Groove The Original Groove Memory Foam Pillow 

Whether you have neck pain or are looking to reduce the likelihood you’ll develop it, The Original Groove Memory Foam Pillow should be on your radar. What makes this bamboo-charcoal-infused memory foam pillow stand out is its design, which features a dip that supports the neck and improves posture. Plus, Groove offers a 100-night trial so you can have some peace of mind when ordering that you’ll have the ability to ensure it’s what you’re looking for—although we’re certain it will be since Walters recommends it. 

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Bamboo charcoal-infused memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester knit
  • Firmness level: Medium 
  • Sizes: One size (but is adjustable) 
  • Care: Machine wash (cover only)
  • Certifications: REACH

What we like: 

  • 100-night trial
  • The dip in the middle
  • Improves posture

What we don’t like: 

  • Only available in one size
  • Not machine washable

The bottom line: 

This memory foam pillow is a solid pick for those who experience neck pain thanks to its supportive design. 

Best memory foam pillow for neck pain
Groove The Original Groove Memory Foam Pillow

Groove The Original Groove Memory Foam Pillow

Best memory foam pillow for side sleepers: Helix Glaciotex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

Designed for side sleepers, this pillow from Helix is made with a high, slightly more than 5-inch loft to keep one’s body aligned throughout the night. Additionally, its copper-infused memory foam contours one’s head and neck for optimal comfort regardless of the side one sleeps on. This pillow is made with a specialized fabric that has a cooling effect so you can focus on rest. Shopping tip: If you liked Helix’s memory foam pillow, check out the Helix Midnight mattress, which made our lists of the best memory foam mattresses and the best mattresses for back pain

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Copper-infused memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester and polyethylene Cool-to-the-touch GlacioTex fabric
  • Firmness level: Medium 
  • Sizes: Standard and king
  • Care: Machine wash on a gentle setting (cover only) 
  • Certifications: Not listed

What we like: 

  • Designed with a high loft for side sleepers
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Cooling fabric

What we don’t like: 

  • Expensive
  • Not machine washable

The bottom line: 

This is one of the best pillows for side sleepers as it is designed with a nearly 5-inch loft and copper-infused memory foam that contours the body.

Best memory foam pillow for side sleepers
Helix Glaciotex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

Helix Glaciotex Cooling Memory Foam Pillow

Best memory foam pillow for combination sleepers: QUTOOL Cooling Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Combination sleepers often require additional support when it comes to pillows, that’s why this one from Qutool is a solid pick. Since the memory foam is shredded, it can be adjusted if you plan on sleeping on your back, side, or stomach. The pillow also has cooling properties via its cooling side which is beneficial for those sleepers who experience frequent temperature changes.  

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Gel-infused shredded memory foam 
  • Cover: Bamboo and cotton 
  • Firmness level: Adjustable
  • Sizes: Standard, king, queen, and body
  • Care: Machine wash (cover)
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

What we like: 

  • Foam can be inserted and removed as needed
  • Available in several sizes
  • Affordable 

What we don’t like: 

  • May have an unpleasant odor when first opened
  • Not machine washable

The bottom line: 

A shredded memory foam fill can be adjusted to provide support where you need it.

Best memory foam pillow for combination sleepers
Shredded Memory Foam Pillows for Sleeping, King Size Pillow, Cooling Gel Pillows for Hot Sleepers Luxury Bed Pillow for Side and Back Sleeper, Soft yet Support Adjustable Pillow with Extra Fill

Shredded Memory Foam Pillows for Sleeping, King Size Pillow, Cooling Gel Pillows for Hot Sleepers Luxury Bed Pillow for Side and Back Sleeper, Soft yet Support Adjustable Pillow with Extra Fill

Best cooling memory foam pillow: Casper Snow Foam Pillow

If you run hot when sleeping, you could likely benefit from this memory foam cooling pillow. Although Casper is known for its memory foam beds, the brand also offers some memory foam pillows including the Casper Snow Foam Cooling Pillow. This pillow works by directing heat away from your head via four HeatDelete bands placed throughout. It’s also made with three breathable layers of foam that also work to keep your neck aligned. 

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Polyurethane foam 
  • Cover: Polyester and spandex
  • Firmness level: Medium 
  • Sizes: Standard and king
  • Care: Machine wash (cover only) and spot clean
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US 

What we like: 

  • Breathable 
  • Cooling technology
  • Its three layers of supportive foam help keep your neck aligned 

What we don’t like: 

  • Expensive
  • Not machine washable

The bottom line: 

Hot sleepers will appreciate this three-layer cooling pillow which moves heat away from the head area to keep the body cool. 

Best cooling memory foam pillow
Casper Snow Foam Pillow

Casper Snow Foam Pillow

Best adjustable memory foam pillow: Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow

The LAYR Customizable Pillow from Luxome can be used by essentially any sleeper, as you can adjust the height and the firmness by combining multiple inserts (soft, medium, and firm). You don’t have to worry about whether the combination you create during your first use is the one you’re stuck with—you can easily reconfigure the inserts at any time. Another great thing is its inserts can be machine washed in addition to its cover, making it a great pick in the comfort and cleanliness departments. 

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Gel-infused shredded memory foam 
  • Cover: Bamboo viscose 
  • Firmness level: Adjustable
  • Sizes: Standard and king
  • Care: Machine wash cover and inserts 
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

What we like: 

  • The pillow comes with three inserts
  • Can purchase as a two pack
  • Inserts can be machine washed

What we don’t like: 

  • The inserts may become confusing for some users

The bottom line: 

This is a customizable pillow with several inserts that can be arranged to accommodate any sleeping style. 

Best adjustable memory foam pillow
Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow

Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow

Best memory foam body pillow: Tempur-pedic BodyPillow 

Walters recommends this medium-firm 48-inch body pillow made with several micro cushions that change shape when you do. Made by Tempur-pedic, known for their high-tech approach to designing mattresses, you’ll appreciate the adjustability. This pillow is an especially great pick for those carrying a baby who may be looking for some extra comfort and support for their bump while sleeping. When it comes time to clean the pillow, its polyester knit cover can be washed with cold water in the washer and then dried using a cool setting—however, air-drying is recommended.  

Specifications:

  • Fill material: TEMPUR Material (Shapeable micro cushions)
  • Cover: Polyester knit 
  • Firmness level: Medium 
  • Sizes: Queen
  • Care: Machine wash cover with cold water before drying on cool or air-drying
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US 

What we like: 

  • Longer length
  • Micro cushions adjust to the shape of your body without losing support

What we don’t like: 

  • Unable to be returned 
  • Pillow is not machine washable

The bottom line: 

This 48-inch memory foam body pillow is a great option for those who prefer full-body support when sleeping, as its foam readjusts when you do. 

Best memory foam body pillow
Tempur-pedic BodyPillow

Best memory foam pillow for spinal alignment: Coop Sleep Goods The Original Loft Pillow 

Keeping your spine aligned when sleeping is essential to avoid aches and pains. With The Original Loft Pillow, you’ll experience a higher quality night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed as opposed to achy. If you find the pillow is no longer working with its current setup, you can replace the foam pieces to keep your head and neck resting at a pleasant position. 

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Cross-cut memory foam and microfiber 
  • Cover: Lulltra fabric (polyester and bamboo-derived viscose rayon) 
  • Firmness level: Adjustable
  • Sizes: Queen and king
  • Care: Place cover in cold water and tumble dry (outer pillow). Put a safety pin the zipper and wash (once a year) on a cold delicate cycle and then dry on a low setting (inner pillow) 
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold

What we like: 

  • Purchase comes with a half-pound bag of memory foam and microfiber fill
  • Can be machine washed
  • 100-day return policy

What we don’t like: 

  • May require too much labor to add the filling from the bag for some users

The bottom line: 

You’ll see positive changes when it comes to spinal alignment after using this pillow. 

Best memory foam pillow for spinal alignment
Coop Sleep Goods The Original Loft Pillow

Coop Sleep Goods The Original Loft Pillow

Best memory foam pillow for neck support: Marlow The Pillow

Whether you prefer a softer or more firm pillow, The Pillow from Marlow is easily able to be adjusted to one of its three loft profiles using zippers. And, it’s able to keep your neck cool throughout the night thanks to its ventilated zipper gussets. Some reviewers noted that they’ve observed improvement in their neck pain only after two weeks of using the pillow.

Specifications:

  • Fill material: Gel-infused memory foam (polyurethane foam) and polyester fiber
  • Cover: 100% cotton, 120 GSM sateen fabric
  • Firmness level: Adjustable 
  • Sizes: Standard and king
  • Care: Spot clean when needed
  • Certifications: Not listed

What we like: 

  • Made with cooling memory foam
  • Can adjust firmness via zippers
  • Antimicrobial

What we don’t like: 

  • Unable to be machine-washed 

The bottom line: 

With three loft profiles that can be easily accessed via two zippers, this pillow is a great option for those looking for a memory foam pillow with substantial neck support. 

Best memory foam pillow for neck support
Marlow The Pillow

How we select the best memory foam pillows

To compile our list of the best memory foam pillows, we spoke with sleep experts and physical therapists about the factors to consider when shopping for memory foam pillows, as well as their recommendations. Additionally, we conducted online research on a variety of brands to find their best memory foam pillows by examining product information and customer reviews. 

Who is best suited to use a memory foam pillow?

Although nearly any sleeper could use a memory foam pillow, “memory foam pillows are best for people who regularly experience neck/shoulder region discomfort when sleeping or people who simply have a hard time finding a pillow that feels like the right firmness,” explains Walters. “Because these pillows often can be customized in terms of density and firmness, they are a great option for people who find themselves in these scenarios.” 

Which memory foam pillow sizes are available? 

According to Walters, standard/queen and king are the typical memory foam pillow sizes.  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

How long does a memory foam pillow last?

Although the duration of a memory foam pillow varies by brand, “memory foam pillows will last from three to five years in most cases,” explains Walters. Though the question on how often should you replace pillows can lead to a number of different answers, you’ll know when it’s time for you to replace your current one with a new one when it begins to lose its shape. Furthermore,  "if your pillow has an unusual smell, causes sneezing, appears discolored and lumpy, lacks resilience, or causes neck pain regularly, these are signs that it's probably time to purchase a new one,” adds Golub. 

Are memory foam pillows adjustable? 

According to Elks, many memory foam pillows are adjustable by way of adding and removing filling to create a desired firmness. However, some can be adjusted using zippers. 

What are the disadvantages of a memory foam pillow? 

When it comes to memory foam pillows, the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages. Despite that, memory foam pillows tend to be more expensive than non-memory foam pillows. “They can range from $40-$199 depending on the brand,” says Walters. Additionally, it can be increasingly difficult to keep a memory foam pillow clean since memory foam can’t usually be machine washed. “Use a pillowcase and a pillow protector to help keep your pillow in tip-top shape,” Elks advises.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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