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Known for its pressure-relieving and contouring capabilities, memory foam is one of the most popular materials used in bedding. Memory foam pillows, in particular, offer crave-worthy support while you doze. By relieving pressure throughout the neck, head, and shoulders, the material can accommodate any sleeping position, depending on how thick it is. But like other bedding basics, not all memory foam bed pillows are created equal. They come in various sizes, shapes, and thicknesses. Some are contoured and rigid to support spinal alignment, while others are shredded and lofty with adjustable firmness.
To ensure your pillow is safe to use, you may also want to look for a CertiPUR-US certification. "Knowing the foam is CertiPUR-US certified is an assurance that the foam meets our rigorous standards for content, emissions, and durability," explains Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA, who serves as the Communications Counsel for the CertiPUR-US program.
Below, the best memory foam pillows for every budget.
Best Overall: Coop Home Goods The Original Pillow
Entire pillow is machine-washable
GREENGUARD Gold certified
Reasonably priced compared to other luxury pillows
Not available in Standard size
Whether you're a side sleeper who likes an extra firm pillow or a stomach sleeper who needs something soft and thin, you'll appreciate The Original Pillow from Coop Home Goods. Made with the brand's signature blend of shredded memory foam and microfiber, this pillow is easy to adjust no matter what your preference is. Just take out some of the fill to make it softer, or add fill in to make it firmer.
Not only that, but the entire pillow is machine-washable for easy convenience, and the cover is made of a breathable material that hot sleepers will appreciate. It's more expensive than the most budget-friendly options, but nowhere near as costly as similar options. Just take note that it's slightly larger than a Standard-sized pillow.
Best Budget: Rest Haven Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow Set of 2
Sold as a set of two
Shredded memory foam
Available in 3 sizes
Quality not as good as more expensive options
On a budget? Check out the Rest Haven Memory Foam Pillow. You'll get a set of two bed pillows, each filled with CertiPUR-US certified shredded foam that effortlessly molds to the shape of your head, neck, and shoulders. While it's not adjustable, you can refluff it any time by tossing your pillow in the dryer for about 20 minutes. Take note that it might not last as long as more expensive pillows, but it's sure to get the job done.
Best for Side Sleepers: Nest Easy Breather Pillow
Entire pillow is machine-washable
Comes in a "side sleeper" shape
If you're a side sleeper, sleep hot, and value eco-friendly materials, the Nest Easy Breather Pillow is for you. This adjustable memory foam pillow has a shredded fill material, encouraging airflow while conforming to the shape of your head. Plus, the cover is made of an adaptive polyester-spandex blend that stays cool throughout the night, wicks away sweat, and helps disperse body heat while you snooze.
Unlike other pillows, this one comes in your standard sizes and an ergonomic shape that's made specifically for side sleepers. And even if you don't want a curved pillow, fear not, because the regular shape is just as good for side sleepers, thanks to the adjustable fill.
Best for Back Sleepers: Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
Firm yet comfortable
GREENGUARD Gold certified
Smaller than standard pillow
If you sleep on your back, Tuft & Needle's Original Foam Pillow has your name on it. Boasting a full 5 inches of the brand's proprietary adaptive foam, it maintains its shape while responding to the weight of your head. It's firm enough to support your shoulders and neck but not so dense that it feels uncomfortable or traps heat—in fact, it's infused with cooling gel beads and graphite, which is known for its effectiveness at dissipating heat.
Best for Stomach Sleepers: Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Choose between regular and gel-infused memory foam on Amazon
Shredded fill is messy to remove
Stomach sleepers should look for a pillow that's soft and flat, so their head and neck are supported without stretching uncomfortably. The Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is a great option—as its name suggests, it features shredded fill, which you can adjust to your liking. Stomach and combination sleepers can take out as much fill as they need to get comfortable, plus get extra comfort from the cooling bamboo cover.
If you order on Amazon, you get to choose between regular and gel-infused memory foam, which makes the pillow even more cooling. Plus, the entire pillow is machine-washable, and is backed by an almost unheard-of 20-year warranty.
Best Firm: Xtreme Comforts Loft Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
Entire pillow is machine-washable
No warranty listed
Shredded fill is messy to remove
If you're partial to firm pillows, you should consider this shredded memory foam option. It arrives firm to begin with, but each pillow comes with a bag of extra fill, which you can add as needed to make it all the more supportive. Those who prefer a firmer feel will get all the stuffing they need, and can adjust depending on their sleep position. Not only that, but the bamboo viscose cover is soft, breathable, and more eco-friendly than polyester.
Best Cooling: Layla Kapok Pillow
Shredded memory foam fill
Cover isn't removable
When it comes to memory foam pillows, Layla Sleep's Kapok Pillow is tough to beat. It's filled with Layla's unique blend of shredded memory foam and kapok fibers, which come from silk cotton trees and have high oil absorption capacity. The result? An endlessly fluffy yet brilliantly buoyant plushness that supports back, side, and stomach sleepers.
Finicky sleepers will also like that this pillow is adjustable. Just unzip the casing, then add or remove fill to your liking. No matter how lofty you like your pillow, you can count on the material to conform to the shape of your head and neck and support you for hours on end. What's more, copper fibers are woven into the polyester-viscose cover, which can help improve skin quality.
Best Body Pillow: Tempur-Pedic BodyPillow
Never loses shape
If you're in the market for a body pillow, you should turn to one of the most popular foam bedding brands on the market. Featuring Tempur-Pedic's responsive, adaptable foam and a semi-firm sleeve of malleable micro-cushions, you'll have ample support for your knees, hips, and shoulders. It supports your natural spinal alignment and will never lose its shape, making it a go-to for side sleepers and pregnant people alike.
Overall, we recommend the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow (view at Amazon), a completely adjustable pillow that works for all types of sleepers and is totally machine-washable. If you're on a budget, you can't go wrong with the Rest Haven Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillows (view at Walmart), which is sold as a set of two and is filled with CertiPUR-US certified shredded memory foam.
What to Look for in a Memory Foam Pillow
While most memory foam pillows are designed to accommodate various sleeping positions, you should still keep your preferred sleeping style in mind when shopping around. Firmer and contoured options that maintain their shape tend to be best for back sleepers and side sleepers—and back sleepers should choose a thinner pillow than side sleepers. On the other hand, those who doze on their stomachs will want to look for something a little less firm and a bit more squishy, like shredded memory foam.
When browsing memory foam bed pillows, you'll find shredded options as well as those featuring a single piece of foam. If you're looking for an adjustable pillow, go with the former. In most cases, the case will have a zipper opening, where you can add or remove the shredded fill to adjust the firmness. (Bear in mind, though, that not all shredded memory foam pillows are adjustable, so be sure to check the product description.)
You'll also want to consider the size and shape of the pillow. Memory foam pillows often come in Standard, Queen, and King sizes to accommodate regular pillowcases and shams. However, some are on the smaller side, contoured, or otherwise oddly shaped. With this in mind, lots of folks have a designated pillow for sleeping and a more decorative option for making the bed.
You'll also want to consider the care instructions. Some memory foam pillows have removable covers, which are typically machine-washable. With others, you can toss the entire pillow—fill, case, and all—into your washing machine and dry it in your dryer. Most importantly, the pillow should be easy to clean, as this will help it last longer.
As Sullivan explains, a CertiPUR-US certification tells you that the foam component of your pillow meets rigorous standards for emissions and durability. This means it's been independently tested to confirm the product is made "without formaldehyde, ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, or TCEP ('Tris') flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals." Additionally, Sullivan says that "certified foams [have] low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions for indoor air quality."
What are the most affordable memory foam pillows?
Memory foam pillows range in price and can cost almost $200 but there are also more affordable options available. Watch for sales on your pillow of choice but plenty of memory foam pillows can be had at regular price for under $50. These pillows are available in a variety of sizes from a variety of manufacturers and may be contoured, shredded, or shapeable.
What are the easiest memory foam pillows to travel with?
When you are traveling you don't always have a lot of space; compact items are ideal. Small memory foam pillows will be easy to pack and use in small places, such as airplanes. They can be squished into a book bag or carry-on luggage and easily retrieved to help you get some rest on your journey. Stay away from standard, queen, or oversized pillows while you are traveling unless you plan to have a suitcase just for your pillow.
How can I find the pillow that fits my body best?
Think about how you are most comfortable when you sleep. Are you primarily a side or back sleeper? Different pillows may be specifically designed for the sleeping position you prefer. Look for a pillow company that notes whether its product is for side sleepers or back sleepers. If you're looking for even more customization, choose a memory foam pillow that has removable shredded foam or extra foam sheets. This will allow you to shape and mold your pillow to your body as needed.
What is the most durable memory foam pillow?
Memory foam pillows should be replaced about every three years but to ensure their longevity, spot clean them instead of putting them in the washing machine. Many people state shredded memory foam pillows are more durable than solid pillows since they can be "fluffed," but make sure they also have a removable cover that can be washed. Once the memory foam starts to smell, retain stains, or doesn't offer the same level of sleeping support, it's time for a new one.
What are the benefits of a memory foam pillow?
Memory foam conforms to the shape of your head, neck, and upper shoulders. This relieves pressure on these areas and ultimately creates a more comfortable sleeping environment. Some people appreciate the soft plushness of memory foam pillows, while others believe they offer ergonomic benefits.
Depending on the shape, thickness, and specific contouring, some can help support your natural alignment. As such, memory foam pillows help prevent a stiff neck and sore muscles.
How do you clean a memory foam pillow?
The proper way to clean a memory foam pillow depends on whether it's solid or shredded, though you'll always want to check the care instructions. Shredded foam pillows can often be washed in a washing machine and dried in a dryer.
Solid memory foam pillows can be hand-washed in a large sink or tub. Fill the basin with lukewarm water, add a drizzle of gentle detergent, submerge the pillow, and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Next, thoroughly rinse the pillow and let it air-dry on a flat surface in a ventilated area.
How often should you change your memory foam pillow?
Generally speaking, you should replace your memory foam pillow every two or three years. There are various signs your pillow is on its last leg. This includes permanent stains from sweat and body oils, noticeable lumps throughout the fill material, or an overall flattened appearance that doesn't re-fluff. Additionally, if you wake up with a sore neck or shoulders, it might be a good time to update your pillow.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in home design, bedding essentials, and lifestyle. For this roundup, she interviewed a flexible polyurethane foam expert and researched the key features of memory foam pillows, including size, shape, firmness, and case fabric. She pored over user reviews, combed through product specs, checked material certifications, and considered the price, density, fill style, and contouring of dozens of options before landing on her final picks.
Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019, where she covers sleep products, furniture, and cleaning supplies. You can read more of her stories on Verywell, MyDomaine, and Byrdie.
Adrienne Kruzer has been an expert for The Spruce for several years and writes for The Spruce Pets and Treehugger.