A restful night’s sleep starts with the quality of your pillows, which must provide both support and comfort to get the job done. Memory foam, which is a popular material used in bedding and filling, can alleviate stress on joints and pressure points, contour to the body, and accommodate any sleeping position.
Dr. Anish Bajaj, a New York City-based chiropractor specializing in spinal correction, recommends that shoppers identify the positions they tend to sleep in the most, as that will affect what qualities they should focus on when looking to buy a new pillow. “Regardless of material, when you sleep on your back, the contour, positioning, and size of the pillow are quite different from what you need if you're sleeping on your side,” he says. “Memory foam does offer adaptability where areas of greater pressure can get some relief and support, but the shaping of the pillow, whether it comes from the predetermined shape of the filling or the way that it’s encased, determines what position your head will be in.”
After hours of research, we put top-rated memory foam pillows to the test at both The Lab and in our homes, evaluating them based on their quality, temperature and airflow, comfort, durability, and value. Of all the options we assessed, The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow was our favorite pick because of its innovative two-in-one design, cloud-like comfort, and luxuriously soft cotton shell.
Read on for the best memory foam pillows, backed by our testing.
Best Overall: The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow
Two-in-one design for both support and comfort
Feels cool and maintains a comfortable temperature
Luxuriously soft fabric
Limited sizing options
Memory foam side is not as firm as in some other options
If you have trouble deciding between support and comfort when pillow shopping, look no further than The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow. Earning its title as our best overall pick, this pillow offers the best of both worlds with its two-in-one design. One side is constructed with a ventilated memory foam that molds to your head, providing ergonomic support while you sleep. The other side is made of a synthetic gel fiber that’s cushiony and offers tons of comfort throughout the night.
Overall, our tester enjoyed how she could easily switch between the sides, depending on her preference and needs. “If you want a pillow that has both a firm and soft option, depending on your mood, then I would recommend this,” she said. “The memory foam side offers support, while the gel fiber side is very soft and feels like a cloud.” However, our tester also noted that because of the gel fiber side, the pillow overall was not as firm as some other options on our list. So if you prefer an ultra-firm pillow, you may want to consider an alternative that doesn’t include the plush gel fiber this one has.
During testing, we were immediately impressed by the pillow’s quality, as the texture of the removable cotton cover felt soft and luxurious. Even though this product isn’t marketed as a cooling pillow, our tester also loved how the pillow stayed cool and maintained a comfortable temperature throughout the night. In addition to its extremely comfortable design, it held up well after a month of consistent use, maintaining its shape and overall quality. All in all, if you’re looking for a high-quality, well-designed pillow that will last you for years to come, this pillow’s versatility, comfort, and durability make it a stand-out option that we can’t recommend enough.
Price at time of publish: $59
Best Budget: Qutool Cooling Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow
Dual design with cooling fibers and bamboo fabric
Can add or remove filling for more customization
CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified
Good value, considering price point
Some reviews mention a funky smell after opening
May need to adjust and fix filling occasionally to maintain comfort
For those who are in the market for a more affordable pillow that rivals pricier options, the QuTool Cooling Bed Pillows deliver on that and more. Sold in a pack of two, these pillows have a similar design to The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow: one side is made with cooling fibers, while the other is made with bamboo fabric. The pillow’s cooling capabilities definitely impressed our tester, who enjoyed having the ability to adjust temperatures quickly and effectively. “I loved that if I got too warm, I had the option of flipping the pillow over – the cooling side did exactly that,” she said. “It lowered my body temperature immensely and was great at not having that ‘shockingly cold’ feeling.”
Considering their low price point, the overall quality of these pillows was excellent. Their quilted texture gives them a high-end feel, and our tester pointed out the soft and supportive construction. However, while the pillow provided our tester with an overall enjoyable and restful experience, she did find that she had to adjust the filling a few times throughout the night to maintain comfort. To do that, you would simply add or remove the shredded memory foam through the zippered inner and outer cover. We like that this feature provides more customization in terms of loft and density, so anyone can adapt the pillow to their personal preference.
After washing the cover and adjusting more of the filling, our tester noted that the pillow felt brand new again, a good sign of the product’s durability. Especially when you consider this product’s CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certifications, these pillows offer a ton of value at a relatively low price point, making them a great option for those who want a high-quality pillow that won’t break the bank.
Price at time of publish: $47.99
Best Firm: Sealy Molded Memory Foam Pillow
Good for stomach and side sleepers
Quilted texture and weighty design
Limited sizing options
Not as cooling as other options
A firm pillow can provide a ton of support to your head and neck while you sleep, helping to alleviate discomfort and prevent soreness. Constructed with memory foam and a plush knit cover, the Sealy Molded Memory Foam Pillow is an exceptional pick for anyone who prefers a firmer option. After a month of consistent use, our tester said this product vastly improved her sleep quality and routine, allowing her to fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer. “It supports my sore shoulders and neck in ways I haven't received support before,” she said.
The Sealy Molded Memory Foam Pillow features a quilted texture and a weighty design, giving it a high-quality feel. The pillow cradled our tester’s head very comfortably without straining her neck, and she reported having a restful night’s sleep afterward. This product doesn’t offer specific cooling properties; however, our testers didn’t face any problems with temperature throughout the night. Throughout the duration of the long-term testing, this pillow held up very well, with no signs of change or wear over time. While softer pillows may provide more plushness and give, the Sealy Molded Memory Foam Pillow proves you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for adequate support.
Price at time of publish: $32.99
Best Soft: Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
Well made with quality stitching, subtle pattern, and rounded corners
Good balance of softness and structure
Pillowcase is extremely soft
Not as cooling as other options
If you prefer a softer pillow, the Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow is a great option that offers a plush, cushiony feel without compromising support. While it’s on the pricier side, we think a restful night’s sleep is well worth the investment. When testing this product, its quality immediately stood out to our testers, who loved the product’s well-constructed pillowcase, rounded corners, and subtle pattern. In addition to its luxurious quality, we also loved how comfortable this pillow felt, as it was soft and squishy while still providing support. Made with T&N Adaptive foam infused with graphite and cooling gel, this product’s cloud-like feel makes it one of the plushest pillows we tested.
After one month of consistent use, our long-term tester said she was able to sleep throughout the night with fewer interruptions. “I used to wake up repeatedly throughout the night, tossing and turning, fluffing pillows, turning them over, rearranging them,” she said. “Now I mostly sleep soundly throughout the night and don't recall having to squish or fluff my pillows.” With thousands of five-star reviews online, the Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow is the perfect option for those willing to splurge on an ultra-soft pillow that both looks and feels luxurious.
Price at time of publish: $100
Best Shredded: Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow
Moderately firm yet plush
Can add or remove filling for more customization
Cooling aspect works well
Pillowcase may slide off
Rather than using a single piece of foam to fill a pillow, shredded memory foam is deconstructed and torn into smaller pieces, allowing for increased moldability and airflow. Our favorite shredded option is the Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow, which is filled with a blend of latex and memory foam with a cooling gel infusion that can be added or removed to adjust the pillow’s loft and firmness. The pillow also comes with a cooling cover, aimed to draw out heat and regulate temperature.
During testing, we found the pillow to look and feel high-quality due to its solid, heftier construction and a minimal yet pleasing design. Overall, this pillow is very comfortable, and our tester loved how plush and squishy it felt: “This pillow is very soft, bouncy, and the cooling feature works well,” she said. However, this pillow was by far the longest option we tested at 31 inches, and we found the pillow to be somewhat awkward and cumbersome at times due to its size. While this product might not work for all bed sizes, this is a great option for those who like a larger pillow. With over 1,500 five-star reviews online, The Brooklyn Bedding Premium Shredded Foam Pillow is a top-notch pick, offering a customizable sleeping experience, contouring comfort, and sufficient airflow.
Price at time of publish: $40.50
Best Adjustable: Coop Home Goods The Original Pillow
Extremely plush yet sturdy
Extra ½ pound of fill included for more customization
Can buy in a two-pack or four-pack to save money
CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold Certified
On the expensive side
Tiled pattern shows through pillowcase
When shopping for a pillow, adjustability and customization are important features to consider, since taste in loft, firmness, and density vary greatly from person to person. Being able to adapt the form of a pillow to your taste can also increase its longevity, as you won’t have to buy a new one as your preferences change over time. Coop The Original comes with an extra half pound of cross-cut memory foam and microfiber fill so you can do just that. Simply add or remove as much as you want until you reach your desired amount.
We were impressed by the overall quality of this pillow, which is both CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold Certified. The casing is made of the brand’s signature Lulltra fabric, which is composed of 60 percent polyester and 40 percent bamboo-derived viscose rayon. Our testers even found the material to feel so soft that they didn’t need to use a pillowcase with it. Coop The Original achieved the perfect balance of plushness and sturdiness, and our tester loved how the shredded filling conformed to her body, while still maintaining its structure and support. “The pillow is great for a back or side sleeper who wants support but also wants a soft, cushy-feeling pillow that doesn't feel like stiff memory foam,” she said.
Price at time of publish: $72
Best Cooling: Nest Easy Breather Pillow
Comes with extra fill for easy adjustability
Lofty and supportive construction that doesn’t deflate
Extremely luxurious pillowcase fabric
Stays cool throughout the night
On the expensive side
Slight smell out of the package
For those who tend to run hot while sleeping, the Nest Easy Breather Pillow offers an effective solution to keep you at a comfortable temperature throughout the night. Its fill material consists of a 70/30 blend of CertiPUR-US foam and smooth polyester fiber, while its cooling cover is made of two percent spandex, 49 percent polyester, and 49 percent Icecore, which is Nest’s proprietary adaptive cooling fabric made with a performance yarn technology. Our testers from both the lab and at home reported feeling very cool as they used the pillow, and they never overheated or felt stuffy. The Nest Easy Breather Pillow also includes a fill bag and comes overstuffed, so you can easily remove as much as you want until it reaches your desired loft and density.
Our testers were impressed with the overall quality of this pillow, as the pillow itself was hefty and sturdy while the fabric felt luxuriously soft. We also enjoyed just how much loft and support the pillow provided throughout the night, and it held up well during our long-term testing, too. “I love that it's adjustable and morphs to your head without deflating and is exceptionally supportive,” our tester said. While this pillow hit the mark in both quality and comfort, its real standout feature was its cooling capabilities.
Price at time of publish: $85.60
Best Gel: WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow
Holds its shape extremely well
Feels comfortable without having to adjust throughout the night
Firm and supportive
Stays cool throughout the night
Might be too long for some pillowcases
Might not be plush enough for some people
Both gel memory foam and traditional memory foam excel in contouring to the sleeper’s body, but gel memory foam features cooling properties that help prevent overheating (x). Our favorite gel option is the Weekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow, which features a mid-loft, ventilated design. We found the pillow to be aesthetically pleasing, with an understated yet tasteful quilted design that gave the pillow a high-end look. In addition, its sturdy construction felt high-quality, and over the course of a month, it was able to hold its thickness and shape impressively well.
While this pillow is on the firmer side, our testers raved about how supported they felt in every position, as they never needed to shift positions or re-adjust throughout the night. Our long-term tester, who had previous experience with gel foam pillows, said that the Weekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow outperformed and even replaced her other one. “It provided support from day one, remained cool throughout the night and has retained its shape so far,” she said. Our testers weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the Weekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow, as the product has amassed over 20,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, making it one of the most beloved options we tested.
Price at time of publish: $31.99 for a Standard
Best for Side Sleepers: Marlow The Pillow
Tons of airflow and ventilation
Side zip features for customizable loft
Free shipping within continental US
Can buy in a two-pack or four-pack to save money
Pillowcase not as soft as some other options
Slight learning curve when figuring out adjustability features
The position you tend to sleep in can greatly affect the amount of support, loft, and firmness you may require from a pillow, so it’s important to consider this while shopping. Marlow’s The Pillow includes a hidden zipper channel designed to adjust the pillow’s loft without the mess of loose filling, providing adequate volume that may suit side sleepers. According to Dr. Lefkowitz, founder and owner of Body In Balance Chiropractic, people who sleep on their side require a different amount of support in a pillow than those who sleep on their back or stomach. “Side sleepers need a pillow that is a bit thicker, as you need to fill all of the space from the outside of the shoulder to the side of the neck,” he said.
While the pillow felt well-made and featured an innovative adjustable design, our testers did note that the pillowcase could be softer. However, we think that because of its unique adaptability, Marlow’s The Pillow is still well worth the investment. In terms of comfort, we found that the pillow provided ample support throughout the night and was on the firmer end of the spectrum. Our testers also said the pillow aligned their body while sleeping, helping to prevent neck and back pain. Marlow’s The Pillow was also one of the most breathable options we tested, as its ventilated zipper gussets and low-density percale shell allow for adequate airflow throughout the product.
Price at time of publish: $65
Of all the options we tested, our top pick is The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow. With its versatile two-in-one design, this pillow offers both the comfort of gel fiber and the support of memory foam. Its silky smooth fabric, quality construction, and overall comfort earned this pillow perfect scores across the board. If you’re in the market for a more budget-friendly pick, we loved the QuTool 2-Pack Cooling Bed Pillows because of their adjustable filling, cooling capabilities, and CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certifications.
How We Tested the Pillows
After researching some of the most popular memory foam pillows currently on the market, we sent 20 of our favorites to our team of testers to use in their very own homes. After sleeping on the pillows for at least one night, our testers evaluated each option on the basis of its quality, temperature and airflow, comfort, durability, and value. We also assessed the pillows’ adjustability, firmness, density, and case fabric.
In addition to our standard real-world testing, we also conducted long-term testing for 15 of the memory foam pillow options. We asked testers to rate the pillows based on the same attributes we used in the standard real-world tests, but for an entire month. (After all, the best way to really assess the quality of a pillow is by seeing how it holds up over a long period of time.) We also asked how the pillows may have affected their sleeping routine and other general thoughts they had about the product.
We supplemented our results from real-world testing with lab-testing insights, as we put 31 pillow options with a variety of fill types to the test in The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa. After compiling all of our external research with the testing data gathered at The Lab and at home, our editors came up with this list.
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. Adjustable picks, like Marlow's The Pillow, are designed to work with all sleeping styles.
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, like our top pick from Snuggle-Pedic, 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.)
One thing about memory foam pillows is that they can be quite warm, says Dr. Hayden. "I can think of no contradiction for foam pillows other than possible allergies and the fact that they can get warm: they reflect your body heat," he shares. To combat this by adjusting your preferences yourself, he recommends adding a cotton pillowcase.
Shape and size
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. Some of our testers deducted point for difficult care instructions, despite how much they enjoyed the pillow.
One of the most important certifications you'll want to look out for is CertiPUR-US, which 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 flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.
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 can help prevent a stiff neck and sore muscles.
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 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 like 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. In general, you'll want to stay away from standard, queen, or oversized pillows while you are traveling (unless you plan to have a suitcase just for your pillow).
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.
How often should you change your memory foam pillow?
Generally speaking, you should replace your memory foam pillow every two or three years. There will be various signs your pillow is on its last leg, including 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?
This article was written by Bianca Pineda, a commerce writer specializing in bedding, bath, and home decor at the Spruce. For this roundup, she consulted both lab and real-world testing insights to analyze the performance of each product. She also conducted supplemental research about the topic, assessing numerous customer reviews, product specs, key features, and material certifications to compile this list of our top picks. All of the products in this roundup met our quality standards during the research process and performed the best during our lab and real-world tests.
In addition, Bianca also spoke to experts in the field in order to gather some guidance regarding the benefits of memory foam pillows on overall sleep quality. Insight was provided by Dr. Jan Lefkowitz, founder and owner of Body In Balance Chiropractic, and Dr. Anish Bajaj, a New York City-based chiropractor specializing in spinal correction. Expert advice was also provided by Robert Hayden, DC, chiropractor and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association.