A memory foam pillow is made from a material called polyurethane, which responds to heat and pressure. This unique design allows memory foam pillows to adapt to the shape of your head and neck, offering the ideal level of comfort and support for you.
Memory foam was originally created for NASA astronauts in the 1960s, designed to cushion and protect them when travelling through space. It was later developed for mattresses and pillows and became widely available, well-known for its excellent supportive properties.
What is a memory foam pillow good for?
Because they mould around your body as you sleep, memory foam pillows are good for providing tailored support. These pillows help to keep your spine in a comfortable position overnight, which can reduce back, neck, and shoulder pain, plus give you a better night’s sleep.
Memory foam pillows offer a number of other health benefits too, including stopping snoring and headache relief, simply by keeping your body in the right place. They’re also made with anti-dust materials, so can minimise allergy symptoms like sneezing and congestion.
Are memory foam pillows better than traditional pillows?
Unlike traditional pillows, memory foam conforms to the shape of your head and neck, which is why some sleepers find them better and more comfortable because they benefit from the customised support. Memory foam pillows are particularly popular with back and side sleepers for this reason because they usually lie in the same neutral position all night.
However, if you toss and turn a lot during sleep, it will be harder for the memory foam to adapt to your natural shape. You normally need to break in a memory foam pillow for it to feel comfortable, but this shouldn’t take more than a week.
Who are memory foam pillows good for?
Memory foam pillows are a good option for back sleepers because they keep your spine properly aligned and supported, giving you a more comfortable, well-rested sleep.
Sleeping on your side places pressure on your hips, shoulders and lower back, which can cause aches and pains. Memory foam pillows help to relieve this pressure, which is why they’re good for side sleepers. You could also try using two pillows, with the second one between your knees to prevent your spine from moving out of place.
Sleeping on your front is not recommended because your spine is misaligned, which can cause back problems and a sore neck. However, if you are a front sleeper, a thinner or softer memory foam pillow can help to keep your body flat.
What to consider before buying a memory foam pillow?
Make sure to choose the right memory foam pillow for your sleeping position, whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper. You might need two pillows for maximum comfort.
Usually, the firmer your pillow is, the more support it offers. If you suffer from neck ache, consider a firm memory foam pillow to ensure your body is completely supported. Alternatively, you can choose a softer pillow if you sleep on your front, so your head and neck stay flat.
If you get too hot at night or you’re looking for a summer option, try a gel-infused memory foam pillow. These contain a cooling gel that’s ideal for keeping you refreshed as you sleep.
Memory foam pillows aren’t as cheap as other pillows, but they are more durable and are built to last longer. It’ll be around 18-36 months before you need to replace a memory foam pillow. Plus, the cheaper pillows don’t provide the unique support you get with memory foam.