How to Choose the Best Memory Foam Pillow

shredded memory foam pillow

There are contour memory foam pillows, standard memory foam pillows, shredded memory foam pillows, as well as memory foam pillows that have cooling gel (usually on one side) which acts to keep your head cool for a longer period of time while you sleep. In this article we will break down each type, what distinguishes it from the other options available, and ultimately help you determine what would be the best product for your specific needs. I will also provide links to the better rated options available on the marketplace right now. As usual, if I have not used a specific product I will not recommend it, but I encourage you to review all of the options available.

Different Types of Memory Foam Pillows


These are your standard or normal memory foam pillows. They can vary in size, quality and price, but they are essentially created in the standard pillow shape, and are a pretty safe bet for most people that don’t have a specific need or pain that they are trying to alleviate. This is the type that I originally started with – but ended up switching which I will discuss more later in the post. If you are not familiar with memory foam pillows, it might be a good idea to start with these. The other types are essentially built to cater to people with specific needs, but these traditional pillows are a good entry point into the pillow adventure! One thing I should mention is that some people really enjoy bunching their pillows up around their head. This is not a good option for that type of person, as the form is typically fairly sturdy and doesn’t allow for easily manipulating the overall form of the pillow (except where your body heat and pressure are applied).


These pillows are molded in specific shapes to help provide neck/back support or to raise the head slightly. I personally find them a bit limiting, but I do know a lot of people that swear by them. These are likely better options for people who typically sleep on their back or have some more specific needs in regards to their head/neck position due to strain or injury that they have sustained in the past. If you’ve never used a firm contour regular pillow before, it might be a bit jarring to switch to this kind of a pillow. I recommend you look at your sleep habits a little bit closer. If you routinely wake up with neck/back pain, this may assist in aligning your spine in a more comfortable way, and might be worth giving a shot.


These are essentially the “fluffy” versions of memory foam pillows. Instead of having a specific and solid form, the foam inside is diced up and is much less resistant to pressure. It can be molded and shaped a lot more than the other options. I have heard complaints that cheaper shredded memory foam pillows can sometimes have memory foam inside that is hard or “crunchy” (as I’ve heard it described). I have never used a shredded memory foam pillow myself, so I am only speaking in regards to anecdotal experiences that have been shared with me. If you are one of the people that I mentioned above who like to scrunch up the pillow around your head, this might be a good option for you. Make sure to look at user reviews to make sure the product is what you are looking for before purchasing (and to ensure no one is complaining about the hard bits – unless you’re into that kind of thing!). One other piece that should be mentioned is that these pillows can be very heavy (as far as pillows go). If I were looking for a shredded memory foam pillow, I’d probably start with the Bamboo from Good Life Essentials.

Cooling Gel

These pillows have a cooling gel that is typically located on one side of the pillow. They are typically in traditional shapes. The main reason that these options are attractive for some people is that they prefer a cooler place to lay their head. I personally use the Hydraluxe Memory Foam Pillow shown to the left. One of the complaints that some people have about memory foam pillows in general is that they retain heat more than some of the other options on the market. If you cannot regulate the temperature of the environment in which you are sleeping, you might find that memory foam is a bit too hot for you. The gel cooling works for a surprisingly long time as well. I find my pillow feels cool for a solid 15-20 minutes with my head on it. This is perfect for me – as I’m one of those people who flips my pillows around to try to find the cool spots. With this product I am able to very easily slide my head over to the left or right and be cool again. I highly recommend it providing you are looking for that cooling factor. The Hydraluxe brand has the product in multiple colors as well. This particular pillow also comes with a very nice and soft pillow case that I really like. As I mentioned above, I used to use the traditional memory foam pillow but I found that it got a little bit warm for my liking. It was very comfortable so I wanted a similar option, and this is where I landed on the Hydraluxe. This was by far the best memory foam pillow for me.

Ultimately, the Choice is Yours

Well, obviously, but what I mean is that each individual will have different requirements and preferences when it comes to how they sleep. What works well for me, might not work as well for you. I definitely recommend you take a look at product reviews (mine are coming soon, and I’ll update this page once I have them completed) and try to make the best decision for you and your wallet. Some of the options are fairly expensive, so you don’t want to end up with something that doesn’t meet your preferences. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to find the best memory foam pillow for you.