The 10 Best Foam Pillows, According to Our Testing

The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow is our favorite because of its unique dual-sided design.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best foam pillows
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

If you often wake up with shoulder, neck, or back pain, a memory foam pillow could be the solution you've been looking for. These pillows mold around your body in response to heat and pressure, creating a cradle for your head and neck that can help minimize pain and lead to a better night's rest.

We sent 20 foam pillows to our testers, who slept on and evaluated each pillow based on quality, airflow, comfort, durability, and value. For expert tips and recommendations, we spoke to Kelly Murray, a certified pediatric and adult sleep coach.

"Memory foam has a slow response rate (think of it as the 'bounce-back'), and as the body sinks into the pillow, it gradually molds around the body's weight, using the pillow's density to create a firm support that stays in place all night long," says Murray. "Many sleepers swear this gives them their best night's sleep, as they're no longer shifting around due to a pillow losing its shape throughout the night."

Our top pick is The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow because it has a smart, dual-sided design. One side uses supportive memory foam, while the other uses synthetic gel fiber to draw heat away from the head and neck and provide a softer, cloud-like feel.

Here are the best foam pillows.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Foam Pillow: The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
thecompanystore.com

Who it's for: People who want a firm pillow that's cooling and doesn't lose its shape.

Who it isn't for: People who want an adjustable foam pillow.

We were wowed by the comfort and support provided by this solid memory foam pillow from The Company Store. A self-described combination sleeper, our tester even went as far as to call it their favorite pillow they've ever slept on: "It's firm, doesn't lose shape, and feels luxurious."

Our tester slept on this pillow for five consecutive nights and found it to maintain a comfortable temperature for the duration of the night. This is thanks largely to the reversible design: One side features ventilated memory foam for relieving pressure and providing support, while the other side is made from synthetic gel fiber, which helps to draw heat away from the head and neck and provides a softer, cloud-like feel. Choose one of the two sides (or alternate between them) in order to get the right level of comfort and support for your sleeping style. The memory foam insert is 3.25 inches tall, which makes it ideal for back and combination sleepers.

The breathable cotton cover is machine washable, but the pillow is spot-clean only. Be sure to take advantage of the 90-day sleep trial, which allows you to sleep on the pillow and wash it before you commit. We also love that it costs less than the average price of all the foam pillows we tested. Our only complaint is that it's not CertiPUR-US-certified.

Price at time of publish: $59 for standard

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard
  • Fill: Solid memory foam with gel fiber
  • Cover: Cotton
  • Return Policy: 90 days
  • Certifications: N/A

Best Budget Foam Pillow: Simply Essential Adjustable Memory Foam Bed Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
bedbathandbeyond.com

Who it's for: People who want an affordable foam pillow for outfitting multiple bedrooms.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer the structure of a solid foam pillow.

Made with shredded memory foam, the Simply Essential Adjustable Memory Foam Bed Pillow lets you add or remove the fill based on your desired loft and firmness. This pillow was tested by a side and stomach sleeper, who found it to feel soft and malleable. Where this pillow really stands out is its price: It's the least expensive pillow of all those we evaluated, and our tester says they would happily pay more for it. "I definitely think looking at the price of this pillow, you might expect it to be a bit uncomfortable. I'm happy to report that that's not true whatsoever, and the comfortability was great."

Although shredded foam is generally recommended for hot sleepers as it allows for more airflow, our tester did note that this pillow warmed up a bit overnight—but not so much that they felt the need to switch sides. We do wish the cover was made from a more breathable fiber like cotton, as opposed to polyester.

We think this would make a great choice for those looking for a pillow for a guest bedroom or anyone stocking up for multiple bedrooms in their home—the low price makes it more realistic to purchase more than one at a time, and the adjustable memory foam allows guests to modify the pillow based on their sleeping style.

Price at time of publish: $15 for standard

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard/queen
  • Fill: Shredded memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester
  • Return Policy: 90 days
  • Certifications: N/A

Best Foam Pillow for Side Sleepers: Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
nestbedding.com

Who it's for: Side sleepers or people who want a foam pillow that's entirely machine-washable.

Who it isn't for: Stomach sleepers and anyone who prefers a flatter pillow.

Our tester immediately noticed the luxurious feel of Nest's Easy Breather Pillow—particularly the cooling cover, which is made with the brand's temperature-regulating "Icecore" fabric. This, combined with the adjustable shredded memory foam, helped keep our tester cool all night long.

The adjustable fill gives you total control over the loft and firmness of your pillow. Nest suggests first removing a lot of the fill, and then adding some back until you reach your desired firmness. Although removing the fill can help flatten the pillow, we'd only recommend the Easy Breather for side and back sleepers, as it's quite plush and heavy compared to other pillows and may be too lofty for stomach sleepers.

Perhaps the most standout feature of this pillow is the fact that it's entirely machine-washable, thanks to the washable inner pouch that holds the foam together—a unique feature for a memory foam pillow. We also appreciate that the foam has the CertiPUR-US certification, meaning it has met strict standards for content, emissions, and durability. However, we would like to see a longer trial period, given the price of this pillow.

Note: Even though this pillow comes in a dedicated "side sleeper" version that has a contoured design, we tested the regularly shaped version (which is available in standard, queen, and king sizes).

Price at time of publish: $107 for standard

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, side sleeper, queen, king
  • Fill: Shredded memory foam and polyester fiber
  • Cover: Icecore/polyester/spandex
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Certification: CertiPUR-US

RELATED: The 8 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers, According to Our In-Depth Testing

Best Foam Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: Sealy Molded Memory Foam Bed Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Target, Walmart, and Kohl's.

Who it's for: Stomach or combination sleepers who want a supportive pillow that won't strain their neck.

Who it isn't for: People who sleep hot and want something that stays cool.

The Sealy Molded Memory Foam Bed Pillow gives you the support and pressure-relieving properties of memory foam without being overly dense, making it well suited for stomach sleepers. "The pillow really cradled my head while also providing support," one tester says. "I find that I have a lot of neck and shoulder issues from sleeping on my stomach, and this pillow seemed to support those areas a bit."

The pillow comes with a solid memory foam insert and a machine-washable knit cover that, while supportive, doesn't allow for much airflow. Our tester did have to flip it over throughout the night to stay cool. However, they took it on vacation and noted that it made the experience of sleeping on a lumpy rental bed much more comfortable. It didn't lose its shape over time, either.

Overall, this pillow provides the support and structure of memory foam without being too firm, making it ideal for stomach sleepers who are in the market for a solid memory foam pillow. Plus, it's very reasonably priced compared to the other foam pillows we tested.

Price at time of publish: $34 for standard

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard
  • Fill: Solid memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester and spandex
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Certification: CertiPUR-US

Best Cooling Foam Pillow: Qutool Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a foam pillow with cooling and temperature-regulating properties.
Who it isn't for: People who are shopping for smaller beds and need a standard-size pillow.

This pillow comes with a double-sided cover—one side is made with rayon from bamboo (a soft and moisture-wicking fabric) and the other with a cooling "ice silk fabric," according to the brand Our tester first took note of how it had an immediate cooling sensation that helped lower their body temperature. Should you want to forego the cooling sensation in the winter months, you can simply flip it over to the bamboo side. The quilted outer cover is machine-washable and held up well in our testing.

The Qutool Gel Adjustment Memory Foam Pillow also comes with a gel-infused shredded memory foam fill. The shredded foam allows for increased airflow, while the gel helps draw heat away from the head and neck. Like most shredded foam pillows, you can add and remove the fill to achieve your desired firmness and loft.

The pillow is relatively affordable and comes with a 90-day sleep trial via the manufacturer. Plus, the memory foam is CertiPUR-US-certified, so you can have peace of mind.

Price at time of publish: $36 for queen

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Queen, king
  • Fill: Gel-infused shredded memory foam
  • Cover: 60 percent polyester, 40 percent rayon from bamboo
  • Return Policy: 90 days via manufacturer
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

RELATED: The 8 Best Cooling Pillows, According to Our Tests

Best Foam Pillow for Neck Support: The Company Store Neck Support Memory Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
thecompanystore.com

Who it's for: People with neck pain or muscle tension who need a supportive pillow.

Who it isn't for: People who aren't interested in a contoured pillow.

For those who struggle with neck pain, muscle tension, or stiffness, this contoured pillow from The Company Store is worth considering. It features a wing-shaped design that cradles your head and keeps your neck and spine in alignment. "My neck felt so rested," says our tester, who found the pillow to maintain its shape even after a full week of use.

The pillow is made from solid memory foam and comes with two covers—one made from a blend of polyester and Tencel lyocell and one made with CoolMax moisture-wicking technology, both of which are machine-washable. Our tester did note that the solid-core memory foam wasn't very breathable—a trade-off for its density and structure. It should be noted that this pillow is likely to be too firm and lofty for stomach sleepers.

Like all pillows from The Company Store, this one comes with a 90-day sleep trial so you can experience its neck support for yourself.

Price at time of publish: $119

Product Details:

  • Sizes: One size
  • Fill: Solid memory foam
  • Cover: Polyester/Tencel lyocell knit cover and CoolMax fiber cover
  • Return Policy: 90 days
  • Certifications: N/A

Best Firm Foam Pillow: Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
saatva.com

Who it's for: Side or back sleepers who prefer medium-firm to firm pillows.

Who it isn't for: People who reposition often throughout the night or people who want a plush and lightweight pillow.

Saatva's premium pillow is constructed with three distinct layers: an organic cotton outer cover, a graphite-infused memory foam inner pillow, and a shredded memory foam and natural latex core. Our tester found this firm pillow to be supportive and buoyant, and they said it kept their head and neck settled in the same spot for proper alignment and support. They also noted that it's a bit heavier than other pillows we tested, so it can be cumbersome to move around throughout the night—keep this in mind if you're the type of person to switch sleeping positions often.

Plus, the pillow stayed moderately cool throughout the night considering its thickness, which is likely thanks to the graphite-infused memory foam. (Graphite helps to pull heat away from the head and neck, much like gel.)

This pillow is likely a little too tall and firm for stomach sleepers, but side and back sleepers will appreciate the support it provides. It's the priciest pillow out of all those on our list, but it does come with a 45-day sleep trial so you can be sure of your purchase.

Price at time of publish: $165 for queen

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Queen, king
  • Fill: Shredded memory foam and natural latex
  • Cover: Organic cotton
  • Return Policy: 45 days
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

Best Soft Foam Pillow: Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
amazon.com

Also available Tuft & Needle and Target.

Who it's for: People who want a soft, cloud-like pillow that maintains its shape.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer a traditional memory foam feel.

The Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow is proof that you don't have to sacrifice comfort in order to get support. Instead of memory foam, this super soft pillow is made from the brand's patented "Adaptive Foam," which is designed to bounce back quickly and avoid impressions, as well as wick away moisture and body heat. This pillow is also infused with graphite and cooling gel beads to pull away and dissipate heat.

According to the manufacturer, the pillow is meant to "conform to however you sleep," and our tester felt that it followed through, calling it the "right combination of soft and structured." They also describe the breathable, machine-washable cover as "buttery-soft," adding that they will now be sleeping on this pillow regularly.

We appreciate that it comes with both the CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold certifications. Plus, this pick is tied with the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow for the longest trial period, at 100 days.

Price at time of publish: $100 for standard

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Standard, king
  • Fill: Solid foam with cooling gel beads
  • Cover: Polyamide and polyester
  • Return Policy: 100 days
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold

Best Adjustable Foam Pillow: Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Coop Home Goods and Target.

Who it's for: Combination sleepers or people who want an entirely machine-washable pillow.

Who it isn't for: People who sleep hot may find this pillow too warm.

Our tester sums up this adjustable pillow from Coop Home Goods in three words: "soft, sturdy, and comfy." It's filled with a blend of shredded memory foam and microfiber, which can be added or removed based on your preferences (it comes with an extra half-pound bag of fill), making it particularly ideal for combination sleepers who want a pillow they can tailor to their unique sleeping needs.

Even though this pillow doesn't make a claim to be cooling, the shredded foam filling is breathable, and the polyester and bamboo rayon cover is soft and lightweight—although hot sleepers may still find this pillow too warm.

We appreciate that, like the Nest Easy Breather Pillow, both the inner pillow and the outer cover are entirely machine-washable. And, this pillow comes with both CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold, as well as a generous 100-day sleep trial.

Price at time of publish: $72 for queen

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Queen, king
  • Fill: Shredded memory foam and microfiber
  • Cover: 60 percent polyester and 40 percent rayon from bamboo
  • Return Policy: 100 days
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold

Best Orthopedic Foam Pillow: Uttu Sandwich Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillows
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People suffering from neck or back pain who want the option to adjust the height of their pillow.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer a pillow with more bounce-back.

The Uttu Sandwich Pillow is unique because it supports the natural contour of your neck, giving you better spinal alignment and pressure relief. Our tester particularly appreciated the adjustable loft, which you can modify by removing the insert—a rare feature for a solid memory foam pillow.

Unlike many memory foam pillows, we found this orthopedic pillow to have great airflow. Plus, the polyester- and rayon-from-bamboo cover felt soft and cooling. There was a faint chemical odor when we first opened the package, but fortunately it dissipated quickly.

Our tester notes that although this pillow molds to your body, it doesn't lose its loft over time (but you may have to give it a little time to fully expand after each use). The machine-washable cover did not sustain any damage after laundering, either. We were impressed with the accessible price point of this pillow and would recommend it to anyone looking for an orthopedic memory foam pillow that won't break the bank.

Price at time of publish: $56 for queen

Product Details:

  • Sizes: Queen, king
  • Fill: Solid memory foam
  • Cover: 60 percent polyester and 40 percent rayon from bamboo
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Certifications: CertiPUR-US

Final Verdict

Our top pick is The Company Store Dual Memory Foam and Gel Fiber Pillow because it has all the advantages of memory foam at a fairly accessible price point. It's supportive, maintains its shape, and remains at a comfortable temperature—thanks to the synthetic gel fiber that draws heat away from the body, as well as the ventilated memory foam and cotton cover.

For a budget-friendly pick, the Simply Essential Adjustable Memory Foam Bed Pillow is the least expensive of all the pillows we tested, and the shredded memory foam can be added or removed to achieve your desired loft and firmness.

Our Testing Process

To compile our list of the best memory foam pillows, we sent out 20 foam pillows to testers who slept on them for up to seven consecutive nights. First, our testers examined the quality of each pillow, including its material and construction. They also measured the loft, length, and width of each pillow prior to use. Testers then placed the pillow in a pillowcase and evaluated how well it fit in an appropriately sized pillowcase. For pillows with adjustable fill, our testers followed the manufacturer's instructions for opening the pillow and removing or adding extra fill.

Then came the real test: To evaluate the comfort, support, and temperature-regulating properties of each pillow, testers slept on it for up to seven consecutive nights. They took note of whether the pillow began to lose its shape with use, and what effect it had on their neck pain, snoring, and allergies.

After at least one night of use, our testers washed and dried each pillow according to the manufacturer's instructions, assessing whether there was any post-wash damage. They also took the measurements of each pillow again to see if there was any change in size or loft. Finally, testers received the price of each pillow and scored its overall value, considering how well it performed in the above tests. We plan to test these memory foam pillows long-term and will follow up after several months to see how they hold up over time.

best foam pillows
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

How to Shop for Foam Pillows Like a Pro

Sleeping Position

As is the case with all types of pillows, you need to consider how you sleep before purchasing a foam pillow. Here are some general guidelines for choosing a foam pillow based on your preferred sleeping position, but keep in mind that other factors such as body type and personal preference will also affect how comfortable a pillow is for you:

Stomach Sleepers: Murray suggests a flatter foam pillow for stomach sleepers, so as to not prop your head up at an angle. We like the Sealy Molded Memory Foam Bed Pillow for stomach sleepers because it's not overly firm or lofty.

Back Sleepers: To keep a neutral spinal alignment without craning the neck forward, a pillow with a moderate loft is best for back sleepers. "Consider a curved/hill-shaped foam pillow for neck support," says Murray.

Side Sleepers: People who sleep on their side will require a loftier, firmer pillow to fill the gap between their head/neck and the mattress. Murray recommends an adjustable shredded memory foam pillow for side sleeping, so you can have control over the loft and shape without sacrificing the support of memory foam. We think the Nest Easy Breather Pillow would be great for side sleepers because we found it provides ample support and loft in our testing.

Solid vs. Shredded Foam

Memory foam pillows generally come in one of two forms: solid or shredded. The latter refers to loose chunks of foam that can typically be added or removed to adjust the loft and firmness of the pillow as needed.

"Depending on the density of the foam, solid foam pillows tend to be firmer and absorb more heat," says Murray. Refer to the following chart for the pros and cons of each type of foam—just keep in mind that these may not apply to every pillow.

Pros Cons
Solid Foam -Retain their shape better 
-Firmer 
-More supportive
-Retain more heat
-Cannot be adjusted
-Heavier
Shredded Foam -Allows for more airflow
-Can be adjusted to fit your preferences
-Lightweight
-Require regular fluffing and adjustments

Cooling Properties

As we've already established, memory foam—particularly solid memory foam—has a reputation for absorbing and retaining body heat. But "even some of the densest memory foam pillows are breathable now thanks to advancements like perforated designs and copper gel," Murray says. So if you are a hot sleeper but prefer the structure and support of memory foam, look for a solid foam pillow with cooling elements (like gel and graphite) that draw heat away from the head and neck. (We like the Qutool Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, which is filled with gel-infused shredded foam.) Or, consider opting for a shredded memory foam pillow instead, which allows for more airflow.

best foam pillows
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Product Certifications

Memory foam is a synthetic material, meaning it will release volatile organic compounds (VOC) in a process known as "off-gassing," which can contribute to poor indoor air quality and create an unpleasant, chemical odor. Fortunately, there are several third-party certifications that test for these emissions and ensure that products are safe from harmful substances:

CertiPUR-US: Foam pillows—as well as foam mattresses and furniture—must meet standards for content, emissions, and durability in order to receive the CertiPUR-US certification. All CertiPUR-US certified foams are made without ozone depleters, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, and more—and they must have low VOC emissions for indoor air quality.

Greenguard: The UL Greenguard Certification Program tests products for over 10,000 chemicals and VOC emissions. The Greenguard Certification indicates that the product meets strict standards of low emission levels, while Greenguard Gold-certification products emit even fewer VOCs than standard Greenguard products.

Return Policy

Considering the above factors is a good starting point, but Murray says the best way to know if a pillow is right for you is to "take advantage of some of the amazing return policies that many companies offer these days and try several pillows out until you find the one you love." Many companies offer sleep trials, ranging from 30 to 100 days, in which you can typically return the pillow for a full refund.

More Foam Pillows to Consider

Casper Foam Pillow With Snow Technology: This Casper pillow is another great option for side and back sleepers because it holds its shape well and provides ample support. But it really stands out for its "Snow Technology," which is designed to pull heat away from your head and neck throughout the night.

Weekender Gel Memory Foam Pillow: Our tester appreciated the sturdiness of this solid memory foam pillow and its ability to hold its shape with use. The ventilated foam is infused with temperature-regulating gel to keep you cool and maximize airflow.

Questions You Might Ask

How long do foam pillows last?

Generally, memory foam pillows have a longer lifespan compared to other types of pillows, such as down or down-alternative pillows. "So if you invest in a high-quality memory foam pillow, you may be making a steep investment for quite a long time," says Murray, who suggests replacing your foam pillows every two to three years

How do you wash foam pillows?

Most solid memory foam pillows are spot-clean only, while some shredded foam pillows are machine-washable (such as the Nest Easy Breather Pillow and the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow, which have an inner pouch that holds the foam inside). Most foam pillows have a machine-washable cover, but be sure to refer to the manufacturer's care instructions before washing your pillow and/or cover. And make sure you always let foam pillows dry completely before use to prevent mold.

best foam pillows
Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To make our selections, we sent 20 memory foam pillows out to real-world testers who evaluated them based on their quality, airflow, comfort, durability, and value. For tips on how to choose the right foam pillow for every sleeper, we tapped Kelly Murray, a certified pediatric and adult sleep coach.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible. Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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