Are Memory Foam Pillows Good?

Memory foam pillows are a great option if you enjoy the comfort and firmness of foam.

These pillows are made with memory foam filler encased in a cover that is usually made of cotton or polyester.

Memory foam pillows are extremely supportive and can help to relieve pressure from your neck. The material actually moulds to the shape of your head and neck while you sleep. They are particularly effective when paired with a memory foam mattress.

If you’re trying to decide whether a memory foam pillow is for you, we’re here to help. Below we discuss the benefits of memory foam pillows, how long they last and the care that they need to help you come to a decision. 

Shop all memory foam pillows

A woman laying on her side on a memory foam pillow smiling
For neck support that is unique to you, check out our memory foam pillows

Are memory foam pillows worth it?

Yes, memory foam pillows are definitely worth investing in - especially if you love the soft, supportive feel of memory foam.

We recommend trialling a memory foam pillow or mattress before you make a purchase. It is good to get an initial feel of the foam filling, so you know exactly which firmness to buy.

Memory foam pillows have a variety of features, all designed to help you sleep more comfortably. Below we explain how these can benefit you:

Pressure relief

Memory foam has fantastic pressure relieving technology, which can help to ease strain on your shoulders and neck.

How is this possible? Memory foam uses your body’s heat to mould to the shape of your shoulders, neck and head while you sleep. This allows the pillow to take pressure off of your joints exactly where you need it the most.

Specialised support

As we have mentioned above, memory foam pillows take on a shape that is unique to you. 

This is useful because not everyone sleeps in exactly the same position. A pillow moulded exactly to your shape provides the best support.

It is especially useful if you sleep on your side. The memory foam will fill in the empty space between your shoulder and ear so that you can enjoy a fully supported night’s sleep - and avoid waking up with neck ache!

A woman laying on the TEMPUR Original Pillow
Some memory foam pillows, like the TEMPUR Original, are even shaped to provide additional support

Deeper profile

Most memory foam pillows tend to be slightly deeper than other types of pillow, like hollowfibre and wool.

They provide targeted support for your neck, making them ideal for side sleepers..

If you are a front or back sleeper, we do stock some thinner memory foam pillows. The depth of each pillow will be listed in the product description.

View all memory foam pillows

If you have decided that you don’t like memory foam but want a pillow with similar levels of comfort and support, we recommend taking a look at latex pillows instead.

Back to the top

Are memory foam pillows good for neck pain?

Yes, memory foam pillows can ease the strain on your neck.

If you are concerned about any discomfort you may be experiencing in your neck area, please seek medical advice.

The pressure relieving properties of memory foam are well known and most people can instantly feel the difference as soon as they rest their head on the pillow.

However, memory foam alone may not be enough to ease the strain you may feel in your neck and shoulders. It is also important to consider the depth of your new pillow.

Which depth of memory foam pillow is best for you?

Whether you sleep on your front, back, side, or a mixture of all three, you need a memory foam pillow that is the correct height for your sleeping position.

Your spinal alignment is key while you sleep. This means that when you are laid on a mattress, your back and neck should be as straight as possible to help your pillow relieve pressure from your joints.

A series of diagrams explaining that spinal alignment is key in every lseeping position
This image demonstrates the spinal alignment you should aim for to avoid placing too much pressure on your head and shoulders.

Front sleepers

Sleeping on your front is not considered ideal. The orientation places a lot of pressure on your hips and shoulders as you sleep. To ensure that you achieve the best spinal alignment in this position, we recommend investing in a memory foam pillow with a slimmer profile.

We offer a range of memory foam pillows that allow you to remove some of the fillings and adjust the height of the pillow to your needs.

Two diagrams showing how a person can use a thin pillow under their hips to create a straight spinal alignment
A thinner pillow helps to keep your neck and back aligned. Also, try adding a thin pillow beneath your hips to create the best sleep posture.

Back sleepers

If you sleep on your back, you already have a good sleep posture. Similar to front sleepers, we’d recommend using a thinner memory foam pillow to avoid sleeping with your neck at an upturned angle.

Also avoid using any shaped pillows unless necessary, as they can cause your neck to rest at an uncomfortable angle while you sleep.

Three illustrations demonstrating that your pillows and mattress should not be too soft or firm as it curves your spine. The correct diagram depicts a woman laying flat on her back with a thinner neck pillow to ensure her spine is straight.
Memory foam is ideal for back sleepers as it moulds comfortably to the shape of your head and neck

Side sleepers

Side sleepers usually find that their back posture is great while they sleep, but they still sometimes wake up with a stiff shoulder or neck. 

This is usually caused by the gap between your ear and neck creating a lack of support. Use a deeper memory foam pillow to avoid this.

Two illustrations depicting how the woman's spine should be straight when she sleeps on her side, using a deeper pillow to support the woman's neck.
Feel the difference in your neck and shoulders when using a thicker, more supportive pillow

If you like to change sleeping positions in the night, we recommend choosing a pillow that allows you to adjust the depth. Pillows like the Simba Hybrid Pillow can be adjusted by adding or removing their filling.

Shop all memory foam pillows today

Back to the top

Which pillow is better: memory foam or latex?

Comfort is subjective so we recommend giving both a go to find out which you enjoy more. Below is a table outlining the standard features of memory foam and latex pillows:

FeatureMemory foam pillowsLatex pillows
Pressure reliefyesyes
Firmer feelyes
Bounce back technologyyes
Natural temperature regulationyes
Budget friendlyyes

If you do not enjoy the feel of memory foam, latex pillows as a great alternative. Latex doesn’t feel as dense as memory foam, offering more of a ‘sink-in’ feel.

If you’d also like to compare latex and memory foam mattresses, check out our latex mattress advice guide, where we compare their benefits.

Back to the top

How long do memory foam pillows last?

We recommend that you replace your memory foam pillow every 2 years - if you sleep on it every night.

Your care guide or guarantee and warranty may provide a longer lifetime as this varies between manufacturers, but 2 years is around the time that most pillows can start to lose their support.

The Simba Honeycomb Memory Foam Pillow
If you’re looking for a new replacement pillow, the Simba Honeycomb Memory Foam Pillow is a best-seller!

The main reason to replace your pillow is hygiene. As we sleep, we sweat and lose dead skin cells. Hair and dust can also get pressed into the pillow while we sleep. 

Even with the best care and maintenance, the wear and tear will affect the overall quality and performance of your memory foam pillow.

Back to the top

Can you wash memory foam pillows?

You cannot machine wash a memory foam pillow, but you can spot clean it by hand to keep the pillow fresh and hygienic.

Please note: When you’re cleaning a memory foam pillow, you must be extra careful as using too much water can damage the foam inside. This will ruin the pillow and invalidate your warranty or guarantee.

How to wash memory foam pillow

If your memory foam pillow comes with a care guide, always follow those instructions if they differ from the advice below. If your pillow has a removable, machine-washable cover, the same applies.

Person adding cover to a memory foam pillow
Here’s an example of what a removable cover can look like

If your purchase arrived with no care instructions, here’s our guide to cleaning a memory foam pillow:

  1. Remove the pillowcase
  2. Check to see if your pillow has a removable cover - if it does and you’re not sure if it can be machine washed, remove it from the pillow and perform the following steps on the cover only
  3. Vacuum the surface of your pillow to remove all dust and hair
  4. Mix a small amount of lukewarm water and mild laundry detergent
  5. Use a cloth to gently dab at any stains - remember to use as little water as possible
  6. Leave your pillow to air dry before putting on the pillowcase back
A woman placing two memory foam pillows on a bed.
To keep your pillows in great condition, you should clean them every 3 months

If you would also like to know how to clean your other memory foam products, read our ‘How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress?’ and ‘How to Clean a Mattress Topper’ guides.

Back to the top

Are memory foam pillows hot?

Memory foam pillows have changed a lot over the years, meaning that newer models do not get as warm as older versions. 

It’s important to remember that memory foam uses your body heat to shape itself to your body, but this heat will dissipate as you cool down.

Back to the top

Now that you know what to consider before buying, why not take a look at our range of memory foam pillows?

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of pillows, check out the guides below: