If you want a pillow that's both soft and supportive, reviewers say you should give a memory foam pillow a try. Memory foam pillows get high marks for keeping their shape both in the short and long term, and many users say they provide pain relief as well. If you prefer something softer, see our discussions of down and down alternative pillows elsewhere in this report. If you want a pillow that will cradle more than just your head, see our discussion of the best body pillows.
The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow (Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Review) a well-liked memory foam pillow that is also a great value, reviewers say. This pillow is made from shredded visco elastic memory foam, and the cover is 40 percent bamboo, 60 percent polyester. Many users say that the cover is soft and breathable and doesn't seem to trap heat. The cover is not removable, but the pillow is machine washable. It comes in queen and king sizes.
Most users say the memory foam in the Coop Home Goods pillow is very comfortable, with enough "give" to make it supportive without feeling like it's too hard. There are those who disagree of course, and say it's like sleeping on a solid block, but they are in the minority -- and that seems to be an issue with those who prefer very soft pillows; memory foam is never the softest choice. Some note that, although the Coop Home Goods pillow seemed to have too much loft at first, it settles a bit after a few days of use. A few also say the foam "shreds" are lumpy, but, again, that's a minority opinion. This memory foam pillow seems to be most popular with side sleepers, but we saw plenty of positive comments from back sleepers as well.
The biggest issue we see with the Coop Home Goods memory foam pillow is the initial odor. That is common with all memory foam bedding products, but this pillow seems to be worse than most when it comes to odor on the initial unpacking. However, rest assured, the odor does not stick around. Most say it disappeared after a few hours, but even those who still sniffed out a scent after the initial airing say it was gone after a day or two. The pillow comes with a 5-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. Customer service gets raves from those who bought the pillow, decided it wasn't for them, and decided to return it; full refunds are given without question.
The Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow (Est. $50 to $70) is a very close runner up to the Coop Home Goods pillow at SleepLikeTheDead.com and in owner reviews, and it comes in three sizes -- standard, queen and king. Most users say the Snuggle-Pedic has just the perfect amount of firmness for a pillow, and it's almost equally popular with both back- and side-sleepers.
Made from finely shredded, hypoallergenic foam, the Snuggle-Pedic also features a bamboo cover that users say makes it very breathable, thus cutting down on the warming factor that often plagues memory-foam sleep products. The bamboo cover is also reported as soft and comfortable, although most people still use a pillow case for protection. The cover is not removable, but the pillow is machine washable. Like all memory foam bedding, the Snuggle-Pedic has an initial odor when unpacked, but most say it goes away after a few hours of airing out. The Snuggle-Pedic comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, and a 20-year warranty. This is a better warranty than the Coop, but the pillow itself is pricier, so, all other things being equal, that makes the Coop Home Goods pillow a better value overall, but go for the Snuggle-Pedic if that's what's available when you go shopping.
The top pick in pillows at TheSweethome.com is the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow (Est. $40 to $50), which also comes in standard, queen and king sizes, as well as a "slim" option, the Xtreme Comforts Slim (Est. $35 to $40), that is said to be more comfortable for stomach sleepers. While we're impressed with the hands on testing done by editors at TheSweethome.com, this pillow stays out of our top spot because of its lower overall user ratings in fewer reviews than our two top picks, the Coop Home Goods and the Snuggle-Pedic.
Still, this is a highly affordable choice, and is made from hypo-allergenic visco elastic foam with a soft bamboo cover. Users say this is a very "moldable" pillow and can be formed to fit however you'd like it to. Others note that as a downside, saying it's much too soft for them, or that it flattens too much as the night wears on. Xtreme Comforts backs this pillow with a 30-day money back guarantee and a six-year warranty and customer service earns high praise for honoring those.
One pillow that gets a lot of buzz, but not so terrific reviews, is the My Pillow (Est. $60 to $120). This infomercial star makes some big claims, but, as our analysis shows, they don't always hold up. You can read more about the My Pillow, as well as find out if other infomercial products really do what they say they do, at our As Seen on TV section, so head on over -- after you find your perfect pillow, that is.
Because memory foam is denser and more supportive than most other pillow filling materials, it's a good choice for pillows whose function is to provide more support to a specific part of the body. Wedge pillows are intended to keep your head and upper torso raised while you sleep; much easier than elevating the head of the bed by placing bricks or other items under the legs. Wedge pillows are popular with those who suffer from sleep apnea, reflux or breathing problems that are exacerbated by lying prone.
The InteVision Ortho Bed Wedge (Est. $35) gets raves from users who say it's great not only for elevating your upper body, but also to support your legs. Those who suffer from sleep apnea, reflux, or swelling in their legs say this pillow is both comfortable and supportive, and has helped them sleep without pain or wake without swelling. It gets good feedback for relieving back and neck pain as well. Some who bought it to use after a surgical procedure found it so comfortable that they keep it around to use for sitting up in bed and watching TV. Others, who work on their feet all day, use it daily to give their legs a rest after their shift. As with all memory foam bedding products, the InteVision bed wedge has an initial odor when you unpack it, but that dissipates fairly quickly. It includes a removable, washable, cover.
Travel can be exhausting, yet it can be impossible to sleep in an airplane seat -- especially since they barely recline, if at all. This is where a travel pillow can come in handy, as they allow you to nap while sitting up. Travel pillows are most commonly made in a U-shape that fits around your neck and the firmer pillow surface supports your head to keep it from flopping around. Memory foam is the perfect filling for this purpose, and the Cabeau Evolution (Est. $40) gets very high praise for being an uncommonly comfortable travel pillow. In addition to a firm, memory foam core, the Cabeau features soft, raised side supports to help support the head even more. It also has flat back to keep the head from flopping forward, and a front drawstring to help keep the pillow in place. It's a bit large, but comes with a compact travel bag that can compress the pillow down to 1/4 of its size and that can easily be attached to your carry-on bag to make it easy to transport.