What is memory foam?
Memory foam is a material made from viscoelastic polyurethane foam.
Originally developed by NASA, memory foam was created to absorb g-shock in space seats...🚀
The material was so good at relieving pressure from the body, that in 1991, Tempur developed the first memory foam mattress.
Memory foam can conform and change shape when contact with the body is made.
When that contact is released, the material returns to its original shape.
Hence the reason we call it “memory foam”.
But not all memory foam feels the same…🤔
Are memory foam pillows good for neck pain?
A good quality memory foam pillow can make the world of difference for a restful night's sleep. 😴
If you’re waking up with neck pain, this might be because your pillow is bending your spine or neck too much during the night.
Likewise, pillows with no support will straighten out the spine or neck, which can also create tension. 😬
Memory foam doesn’t resist against the body like other pillow fillings.
Instead, it moulds itself around the head and shoulders, conforming to their shape.
This helps to support the natural shape of the neck and prevent aches and pains.
It’s important, however, to note that whilst memory foam can make a great support pillow, they aren’t a cure for injury or health problems.
Memory foam pillows can help take the strain off the spine or neck, but you should always seek medical advice for any underlying health conditions. 👨⚕️
How to choose a memory foam pillow
There are all kinds of things to consider when buying a pillow, including your budget, sleeping position, and whether you are a hot or cold sleeper.
You should weigh up every factor and consider what is most important to you when it comes to buying a pillow. ⚖️
Only buy what you can reasonably afford and check for discounts or alternative payment options if you’re looking to stretch the budget.
It's also important to look at reviews and ensure you know what you are buying before placing an order. 🤔
We considered the Silentnight Memory Foam pillow priced at £17.99 as a budget option for those who couldn't spend over £45 on a pillow.
However, after taking a detailed look at the product and customer reviews, we found the quality was below our expectations. 👎
Customers seemed to enjoy this pillow at first but after a few weeks it would quickly lose its structural integrity and become uncomfortable.
The Panda Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow, whilst more expensive (just below £45) is justified by the fantastic feedback from customers. 😍
The 10-year guarantee also means this pillow works out at just £4.50 a year - making it a more cost-effective option than the Silentnight Memory Foam Pillow.
And whilst reviews can be great, you should use your own judgement when deciding whether or not you should buy a product.
Consider these questions before buying a memory foam pillow:
- Is my current pillow uncomfortable?
- What's my budget for a memory foam pillow?
- Does the memory foam pillow come with a sleep trial?
- How long is the guarantee on the memory foam pillow?
- Are there cheaper but similar alternatives available?
- Is the memory foam pillow on sale?
- Do I need a soft or firm memory foam pillow?
- Is the memory foam pillow adaptable?
- Am I a hot sleeper - if so, is the memory foam pillow breathable?
- What memory foam pillow do I need for my sleeping position?
Memory foam pillow alternatives
Okay, so you've decided that perhaps a memory foam pillow is not for you.
Don't worry! 😅
There are a ton of fantastic alternatives available for you to try instead.
Latex feels similar to memory foam as it moulds around the body to instantly relieve pressure.
However, latex has a more responsive "bounce back" feeling.
Latex is a great sustainable choice that feels much cooler than memory foam. ❄️
We love the Relyon Superior Comfort latex pillows which come with a 5-year guarantee.
These breathable pillows are made with 100% natural latex. 🌱
The Relyon Superior Comfort pillows are available in a deep loft, ideal for side sleepers, or a slim loft which is great for back and stomach sleepers.
Hollowfibre pillows are one of the cheapest and most accessible pillows available. 💰
Made with polyester, most people have owned a hollowfibre pillow in their lifetime.
Hollowfibre pillows have a lightweight feel and the spaces between the fibres make these much more breathable than memory foam. 🌬️
The Kally Sleep Adjustable Pillow is our favourite hollowfibre pillow.
With 4 removable hollowfibre layers, this pillow is suitable for all positions.
The Kally Adjustable Pillow also comes with a removable 100% cotton cover, ideal for those who sweat during sleep.
Microfibre pillows are similar to hollowfibre pillows.
However, microfibre pillows are made with finely woven polyester.
These pillows feel as soft as down but at a fraction of the cost! 😱
The warm feel of microfibre pillows makes them ideal for those cold winter nights.
The Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow is a fantastic microfibre pillow. 😍
Made from high quality microfibre, this luxurious pillow is soft and cosy.
The Emma pillow is made of removable layers and is 100% machine-washable.
Feather and down pillows
Feather and down pillows have been around for centuries, and for good reason! 🦆
Just like memory foam, these traditional pillows conform to the shape of your head and neck.
However, these natural pillows have a much softer and lightweight feel. ☁️
Feather and down are a great option for those who like to sink into their pillow.
We're obsessed with the Littens 100% Pure Hungarian Goose Down pillows.
These luxury pillows are made from 100% soft Hungarian goose down and a 300-thread count cotton cover.
The pack-of-two pillows are dust-mite resistant and hypoallergenic and can be washed at 30℃.
Memory foam pillow sizes
Memory foam pillows come in all shapes and sizes.
Standard UK size memory foam pillows measure just under 50 x 75 cm (20" x 20".)
For these traditional types of pillows, you can use a regular pillowcase that requires around 1 inch of extra space on each side.
Other types of memory foam pillows require special needs.
Ergonomic and shaped pillows such as The Tempur Ombracio Pillow or Tempur Original Queen Pillow come in their own unique shape and size.
The Tempur Ombracio pillow measures 50 x 60 cm (19.6" x 23.6".)
The Tempur Original Queen measures 61 x 31 cm (24" x 12.2") and comes in 3 different depths.
For these pillows, you will need Tempur pillowcases designed specifically for these pillows.
Should I buy a memory foam pillow?
The perfect pillow means something different to everyone.
Whilst memory foam pillows are a great choice for many people, only you can decide if they are right for you! 😁
Consider your budget, lifestyle, and sleeping position before choosing a memory foam pillow. ⚖️
The Panda Bamboo Pillow is an ideal choice for those on a budget, looking for a good quality pillow that will last as long as possible.
If you are a hot sleeper, then the Simba Hybrid Pillow could be just what you need.
If you’re still unsure, check out our reviews of the best pillows.