Are Memory Foam Pillows Worth The Price?

Are Memory Foam Pillows Worth the Price?

September 11, 2013
In the BedroommattressesMemory Foam

Is it worth paying the money for a memory foam pillow?

With the popularity of Tempur Pedic, Serta Icomfort, Comforpedic and others, the writing was on the wall and it was just a matter of time before the comfort seeking shoppers would become more aware of memory foam pillows.  The pillow choices offered in stores and online are nearly endless with too many styles and types to count. Pillow prices are just all over the board, which begs the question, are memory foam pillows worth the price?

Why people buy memory foam pillows

According to a very reputable online website “Sleep Like The Dead” who polled nearly 4000 people, memory foam pillows as a whole received a C grade and a 76 percent satisfaction rating overall which is outstanding in our book for something that most people have a really hard time selecting. Unfortunately this was compared to other types of pillows which may not have worked for this group of consumers since memory foam is not for everyone. We would have liked to seen in addition a comparison to other pillows in this class. (Foam Pillows) Pillows like straight polyurethane, or latex pillows to get a real sense of how memory foam pillows compared to other similar pillows since these customers rarely buy other types of pillows like down, feather, or polyester fiber.

What could have contributed to such high approval of these pillows?


With life spans reaching two and a half years and average cost at $17.60 a year it’s pretty easy to see why satisfaction would be so high. These unique pillows offer the some of the very same pressure relieving features, conforming abilities, and nightlong comfort found in visco or memory foam type mattresses. This is because they are built from the very same materials that are found in their sister products memory foam mattresses.


Prices were said to be anywhere from $12.00-$160.00 in their review and was only given a C+ even though buyers merely paid $44.00 on average which was less than a 1/3 of high priced pillow they discussed.  We believe with such a large price range to choose from and such a low average product cost that consumers would embrace the gigantic selection of product choices and wide variety of prices to choose from.


They are moldable which often can lead to less pain, making the overall feel better. The pillows have been designed for a variety of sleeping positions including back, side, and stomach. Grades given were as follows:

Back sleep friendly: B

Stomach sleep friendly: C

Side sleep friendly: C

We felt these grades were low considering that most of these pillows offer 4”, 5”, 6” and so on. Such pillows would support a large variety of body shapes and sizes to solve the objections that resulted in the mediocre C, C, and B ratings. Low grades were likely a result of no assistance by trained sleep professionals to help assist in the correct choosing and sizing of a pillow. Add in that most are bought off department stores like Wal Mart and Target and big  box stores like Costco and Sam’s off the shelves there is the inability to try a pillow while lying on a mattress. Buyers need test rest time in order to properly assess pillow comfort, fit, and support.  Utilizing a mattress store would be more conducive to making a better choices instead of buying pillows off shelves and online without suitable trial.

Easy cleaning

See pillow instruction. Most include removable and cleanable zipper covers.


Not necessary with molded or preformed pillows.

Fewer allergy concerns

Memory foam is claimed to be antimicrobial and resistant to allergens to can cause many health related issues.

Problems that develop with memory foam pillows

Preformed pillows do not allow the pillow to be moldable, easily changed, or scrunched as some sleepers prefer. Solutions to this problem, change pillow firmness or ILD. Softer pillows are more easily altered to a better conforming shape. Shredded memory foam pillows are another option. It simulates the usage of down and feather type head support for a more adjustable pillow but with the feel of foam. Their shape can be easily altered or “scrunched” to increase comfort and support.

Heat retention is another issue that people often complain about with visco elastic memory foam pillows. These are pillows that soften, mold, shape, and form as a reaction to body heat that stimulates the foam.  According to the survey only 5% slept warmer than other traditional types of pillows. One thing to note is that many companies are now manufacturing pillows that dissipate heat fast and better. Some are even building memory foam that is less heat reactive while still having the same feel.

Smell is another complaint. Off gassing from chemicals used to make foam are the main reasoning for such smells which 15% of the people polled complained about. Complaints include sweating, throat irritation, headaches, nausea, eye irritation, sleeplessness and issues associated with asthma. These issues can often be resolved by simply airing out the pillow before use or finding a model that properly cures foam before shipping to stores, even look for low VOC models.

Assessment of whether memory foam pillows are worth the cost

They offer prices that are so widely ranged and competitive with other kinds of pillows this one seems like a no brainer to us. Memory foam pillow companies offer such a wide variety of firmness’s, shapes, and sizes a buyers should be able to not only find the exact pillow that fits their personal sleeping habits but be able to do it for a cost that works with their budget.