For many years, pillows have been filled with duck and goose feathers that, while soft in the beginning, compress throughout the night, leaving your head to rest on a flatbed of fluff. This lack of support found with down pillows has led some traditional users to experience unsavory health complications. Specifically, for those who mainly sleep on their sides, it’s common to experience stiff necks each morning due to improper alignment of the spine. There are many side sleeper options on the market, and many of them are foam based.
The most highly recognized benefit of owning a memory foam pillow is its ease of motion transfer resistance. While first receiving recognition using its counterpart, the memory foam mattress, this technology enables the cushion to essentially build a mold around your head for optimal head and neck support. This benefit is also known to lead to a reduction in snoring thanks to foam keeping the neck aligned and air passages open.
The optimal position for the neck during rest is what experts call the “neutral” position. This is when that natural curve of the neck is at the perfect and comfortable angle, so as not to overly bend or compress the joints. For this ideal alignment of the neck to occur, it’s best to find one that is thick enough to allow your head to rest gently and evenly within the “neutral” position.
Unlike the feather filled pillows, memory foam does not lose its shape over time. There will never be a need to “fluff” this type because it is designed to, as stated before, resist motion transfer. They are made primarily from polyurethane, and material specially manufactured to keep its form for years to come, which also lends to the products longevity versus traditional ones that should be replaced roughly every 1 to 3 years.
The only other problem with this option is that it is very much unlike other memory foam options, in that it is much softer. When buying a good memory foam pillow, many tend to assume that they will be firmer. With shredded foam, however, the product is noticeably softer, but for those looking to enjoy the benefits of memory foam while still appreciating “fluff,” this is an excellent choice.