Best memory foam pillows to support your neck

Looking to buy a memory foam pillow? We've rounded up the best for you to shop, online and in-store.

best memory foam pillow

by Lorna White |
Updated on

Our guide to the very best memory foam pillows should help you out if you're sick of tossing and turning throughout the night. As we spend around one-third of our lives sleeping, it makes sense that supporting our neck correctly while we sleep can help reduce neck pain. If you often find yourself waking up in the night with a stiff neck, you may already be familiar with memory foam pillows. It's been scientifically proven that memory foam pillows work. So let's get into these best pillows.

A recent study in 2019 monitored two groups of people who regularly experienced neck pain, giving one group a memory foam pillow and chiropractic treatment and the other just chiropractic treatment. The results were that those who also slept with the memory foam pillow demonstrated a significant clinical improvement post-test. You can also find memory foam orthopaedic pillows.

Best memory foam pillows at a glance:

Best firm memory foam pillow: Silentnight Memory Foam Pillow - View on Argos
Best memory foam pillow for neck support: John Lewis Memory Foam Standard Support Pillow - View on John Lewis
Best gel memory foam pillow: Gel Fusion Memory Foam Pillow - View on Dunelm
Best bamboo memory foam pillow: Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow - View on Panda London

A good night's sleep has a lot to do with your sleeping environment, which includes your room, temperature and also your bed, duvet and pillow. Improving your sleeping environment has been proven to help you sleep better. The use of sleep support systems may be especially important in neck pain relief because humans have no active control of positioning and posture while sleeping. You can find our guide to the best pillow for neck pain here.

From firm pillows to softer pillows, memory foam pillows feature firmer and durable materials designed to perfectly mould around your head and neck to give you the perfect level of support so you can sleep better throughout the night. Here are our top picks for a more peaceful slumber.

The best memory foam pillows

Best firm memory foam pillow

This affordable yet reliable Silentnight pillow is designed to mould around your neck, head and shoulders to provide a personalised pillow for the best comfort at night. Suitable for both side and back sleepers, this pillow is on the firmer side.

Customer review: "What a difference this pillow has made to my sleeping. I was getting a really stiff neck from my old pillow and having used a memory foam mattress for a number of years, thought I would try a memory foam pillow to see if this would help. Unusual at first as it doesn’t press down like a traditional pillow, but slowly moulds around your head and neck."

Pros

  • Comes with a removable machine washable cover to keep your pillow feeling fresh.
  • Made in the UK and comes with a two-year guarantee.
  • Suitable for side and back sleepers, hypoallergenic.

Cons

  • You may need to purchase larger pillowcases as it is a struggle to fit into a normal-size pillowcase.

Best memory foam pillow for neck and spine support

This is designed to keep your neck and spine aligned as you sleep to try and combat any morning aches and pains you might experience. It also comes with a five-year guarantee for your peace of mind.

Customer review: "I was looking for a Tempur cloud contour pillow because my son has one and he loves it. I suffer from curvature of the spine, and for all my life, I have had to keep moving my pillows about to try and get a good night's sleep. Since buying the John Lewis memory foam contour pillows - one for me and the other for my husband (he has Parkinson's and has difficulty having support for the neck when going to sleep). Both of us are absolutely amazed at how comfortable they are. We don't toss and turn all night; we sleep so well now."

Pros

  • This dual-contoured pillow has a pressure-relieving core.
  • The larger contour supports the spine alignment of side sleepers
  • The shallow one is ideal for back sleepers.

Cons

  • Some people found it was too 'high' for them to sleep comfortably.

Best gel memory foam pillow

As well as the supportive memory foam, this Dunelm memory foam pillow also contains a removable gel pad to help you keep cool on warmer nights for the ultimate relaxed night's sleep, whatever the weather.

Review: "This pillow is amazing! I’ve slept so much better since having it. I’m no longer waking up in the night to flip my pillow over to the cooler side, nor do I need to be pumping up the pillow throughout the night."

Pros

  • Its specialist honeycomb design
  • Gel-infused memory foam insert helps to improve airflow between your head
  • The foam for a cooling sensation, so you can have a more relaxed night’s sleep.

Cons

  • A slight odour can be expected that will disperse in use.

Best bamboo memory foam pillow

Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, so this is a great pillow if you suffer from any allergies or tend to have more sensitive skin. Being a sustainable material too, this bamboo is a great choice if you want to do your bit for the environment.

Customer review: "I wish I'd bought this years ago; it has transformed my sleep and greatly reduced joint pain. It is amazingly comfortable."

Pros

  • Temperature-regulating technology will keep the pillow cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  • Great for allergy sufferers
  • Suitable for those who have eczema, sensitive skin or hay fever caused by dust mites.

Cons

  • Some users found it too tall and hard for them.

Best contour memory foam pillow

Designed with recommendations from sleep experts, this pillow is designed to relax the spine for a blissful night's sleep. With a medium-firm feel, it helps to put the neck and spine into a natural position for sleep.

Customer review: "This pillow is perfect for me, I have spent literally years trying to find one that is not too soft but hard enough to support my neck. It's soft to the touch and has just the right amount of give in it to support my neck and shoulders. It's a little smaller than standard pillows, but actually, it works perfectly for it. I had a couple of discs removed from my neck a few years ago, so a good supporting pillow is an absolute must for me. I would highly recommend this pillow, which I originally bought for my partner to stop his snoring. I was so taken with it I bought one for myself. It's a good value product, in my opinion, and I would highly recommend it - a good night's sleep is well worth the investment."

Pros

  • It has a dust-proof and special breathable inner cover.
  • It will also help those who snore to snore less.

Cons

  • Smaller than a standard pillow, so doesn't fit standard pillowcases.

Best anti-allergy memory foam pillow

A little on the pricier side, this pillow is made by sleep experts, Simba and is both anti-allergy, cooling and supportive for your neck and back. Again, this pillow is suitable for front sleepers as well as side and back sleepers.

Customer review: "My previous pillows were too soft for me to sleep comfortably so I purchased this, as my sister recommended it. At first I thought it was a bit on the hard side, but after a night or so I found it really comfortable with no issues at all."

Pros

  • Clever airflow cooling channels help keep you cool while you sleep.
  • Suitable for front sleepers.

Cons

  • It's the priciest pillow in our list

Best two-pack memory foam pillow

Designed for back and side sleepers, our memory cool pillow has a memory wrap to provide firmer support to the head, neck and spine. These pillows are specially made with pressure-relieving memory foam wrap and is wonderfully comfortable.

Customer review: "Really comfy, good support, great night's sleep. Highly recommend. So good I bought a second pair."

Pros

  • Comes in a two-pack
  • Firm support
  • Supports side sleepers

Cons

  • May not be as soft as some options

The verdict: best memory foam pillows

Still unsure what memory foam pillow to pick? Luckily our shopping experts here at Yours are on hand to help as we've chosen the best memory foam pillow.

The pillow that ticks all of our boxes is the Silentnight Memory Foam Pillow, we love that it supports the neck, head and shoulders when sleeping. This is perfect for anyone who loves a firmer option.

Different types of sleepers: is memory foam right for you?

There is no 'one-size-fits-all' when it comes to pillows. We all have different preferred sleeping positions. For example, you may be a back sleeper, prefer to sleep on a particular side, or on your belly. So, knowing how to find the right pillow is important.

Approximately seven per cent of people sleep on their stomachs. However, this has been linked with back issues as it doesn't allow your spine to relax in a neutral position.

41 per cent of people sleep most comfortably curling up on their sides with their knees bent - the fetal position. Some studies suggest that more women than men sleep like this.

In general, it comes down to finding a pillow that allows your spine to remain in a neutral position while you sleep, rather than bending your neck into the 'wrong' position and your spine having to compensate.

Often, a feather pillow is too soft to provide this support. For many people, memory foam provides the perfect level of comfort and support. According to Merrill Rudin, chiropractor and member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, memory foam is a good choice for three reasons.

"It helps to support the head and neck, which in turn supports the spinal curve — it helps with spinal alignment," says Merrill. "It also provides more comfort and ease for people with pressure points, which can allow for a more restful sleep."

If you're not used to memory foam, it can feel a little odd at first and they do take some getting used to. That's why it's really important to do your research to find the perfect pillow for you. Take a look at our round up of the best memory foam pillows on the market for you to buy.

pillow

What brands do memory foam pillows?

You probably know the big name brands when it comes to memory foam pillows. We're talking the likes of Silent Night, Eve, Panda and Tempur. But don't forget that many brands such as John Lewis and Asda do their own memory foam pillows that can be often much cheaper, so are well worth checking out.

Where can I buy memory foam pillows from?

The good news is that it's pretty easy to get your hands on a memory foam pillow. For some, a bunch of great reviews is enough to feel comfortable enough to buy online, but if you fancy testing out the pillow in person, many high street stores stock the brand we have mentioned. Here are a few to check out:

Dunelm memory foam pillows

IKEA memory foam pillows

John Lewis memory foam pillows

Argos memory foam pillows

ASDA memory foam pillows

Can you wash memory foam pillows?

We spend a lot of time with our memory foam pillows, so understandably, you'll be curious to know how you can keep it clean and hygienic.

The most important thing to note is that memory foam must not go in the washer or dryer and needs to be cleaned by hand. We recommend vacuuming your memory foam pillow every time you change your bedding, ideally once a week.

How and when to clean your bedding

What other memory foam pillows are available?

If you've become fond of your memory foam pillow, why not go the whole hog and purchase more memory foam loveliness for your home? What about a memory foam body pillow? Or memory foam knee pillow? Or, if you're on the move, a memory foam travel pillow will make long journeys much more comfortable.

Lorna White is a Senior Digital Writer at Yours.co.uk. She was previously a writer at Yours Magazine writing features and news stories before joining the digital team. Lorna loves the great British countryside and likes to spend her spare time out and about in her home of Nottinghamshire walking her dog, Pippin.

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