What is a Memory Foam Pillow?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 March 2020
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A memory foam pillow can refer to many different types of pillows made of visco elastic foam. People are often surprised when they feel memory foam for the first time, since it is very soft when weight is applied to it. It cushions and supports, which has led to its growing popularity. There are a few people who don’t care for it though, and some people complain these pillows have a tendency to retain scent after a while. Yet others love them and will have numerous choices when they shop for pillows.

Memory foam bed pillows can be made in several different shapes. The classic shape is contoured so that the lip of the pillow sits securely under the neck. This may help align posture, if the pillow lip is the right height. Some people find the contouring inadequate, and others find it is too high, so it can take some shopping to find the right sized memory foam pillow.

To avoid this issue, there are now standard pillows made much in the shape of any average filled pillows that can be more comfortable, or some pillows are made for people with smaller frames and have a foam insert that can be removed to lower the pillow’s height. People who sleep on their stomachs may definitely prefer a more standard sized pillow because contouring gets in the way if a person is face down on the pillow.


It would be a mistake to assume that the only memory foam pillow types available are those for head support. There are some different styles that can provide cushioning and comfort for other areas of the body. These can include lumbar support pillows, which are often cylindrical in shape. Such pillows could be used under the lower back when lying down, or between the back of a chair and the lower back to provide extra support. There are larger pillows that can be attached to the backs of chairs and these might be particularly useful with office chairs.

One relatively new memory foam pillow look is a square shaped chair cushion. People might be these to make hard rocking chairs or kitchen table chairs more comfy. Some people add them to wheelchair seats, office chairs or seats in cars.

Another helpful memory foam pillow is called the quad cushion. This is usually inserted between the thighs and knees. Many pregnant women are fans of this style because they can make sleeping more comfortable and reduce some backache or other aches and pains associated with pregnancy.



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