Foam Pillow

How to Choose the Correct Memory Foam Pillow

With all these various advertisements appearing everywhere for memory foam pillow products, things can become incredbibly mystifying and confusing for consumers.

Of course, every advertiser will always claim to have the best pillow.

And unless you have some information on which to base your decision, you may not like the pillow you choose.

Unfortunately, most state laws prohibit the return and resale of used pillows—so you're stuck with one that doesn't feel or perform like you had hoped it would.

Because you see pictures of someone lying on their back looking like they're in paradise, you tend to think that you will be immediately gratified if you buy that particular foam pillow as well.

I've found that most people who've never slept on a neck pillow are going to need a week or more of determined persistence to be able to enjoy a neck pillow, no matter which one they decide on.

We're all creatures of habit, and most of us have been sleeping on a more conventional pillow all our lives. The unusual shape of the neck foam pillow, even though it might be the best thing for our neck, upper back and shoulders, is still kind of hard to get used to.

It's sort of like eating spinach. We know we should because it's good for us, but unless we just happen to be one of the few people who love the taste of it, we don't eat much.

Most of the recommendations for choosing the right foam pillow follow a chart which only considers your height. The other sites I've checked out say something general like "Men should choose a medium to large pillow and women should choose a small to medium pillow." Wow, that's really helpful, isn't it?

Don't you think that a larger woman who sleeps on her side might need a different foam pillow than a petite woman who sleeps on her back? There is no way to recommend a pillow based on the sex of the person using it.

The things you should consider are height, weight and frame size. You should also determine whether you sleep on your back, side, stomach or a combination of those sleeping positions.

I've put together a chart with my suggestions for selecting the correct foam pillow, so you can see what I'd recommend to someone seeking advice.

If you're familiar with memory foam, you know that the main determining factor for comfort is the proper density of material. If you're not familiar with this term, you can learn more here.

Unlike memory foam mattresses where your whole body is lying on them, all that's lying on your foam pillow is the weight of your neck and head.

The 5 lb. or higher density of foam that's so ideal for a mattress is probably going to feel much too hard to be comfortable.

In a pillow, I think the less dense foams like 3.5 lb. to 4.5 lb. density are the most desirable.

Remember my discussion of densities and how that the lesser dense foams won't last as long as the denser ones.

However, since the cost of a pillow (even a foam pillow) isn't going to break your bank, you should figure that it will only retain its "memory" characteristic for about 3-4 years and then will slowly start to feel less comfortable. At that point, you should simply purchase another pillow to replace it.