How to Sleep on a Memory Foam Pillow

Sleep is one of the best things for your health. Not getting enough of it can contribute to stress as well as make you lack energy and enthusiasm the following day. Investing in a high-quality mattress and pillow can increase your comfort levels and help you get better sleep.

If you’re considering a foam pillow, you might have considered how to sleep on a memory foam pillow to make the most out of your sleep. In this article, we’ll be sharing a guide to the best way to sleep on these types of pillows along with features to look out for during the buying process.

What Is a Memory Foam Pillow?

woman comfortable while sleeping Before we dive into your sleeping regime, let’s take a look at the qualities of a contour memory foam pillow. These foam pillows are recognized for their curved design that offers maximum support for the neck while also helping to keep the spine aligned. By following the natural contours of your head and neck, a memory foam pillow can relieve pressure on your neck and shoulder muscles. This helps relieve neck and shoulder pain and corrects poor sleeping posture.

Moreover, there are various kinds of memory foam pillows. The most popular type is an open-cell memory foam pillow, first developed by NASA in the 1960s, which has a distinct internal structure. This design provides improved air movement within the memory foam pillow, allowing adequate body heat transfer, to help you drift off to sleep.

In addition, there are also gel-infused memory foam pillows that absorb and regulate heat. These pillows are ideal for hot sleepers.

5 Key Benefits of Using Memory Foam Pillows

There are so many reasons why a memory foam pillow might be beneficial to your bedtime routine.


Firstly, these pillows tend to be cleaner than regular pillows, because they don’t hold onto dirt and sweat on the exterior. Not to mention that all memory foam pillows tend to be easier to clean and maintain since they only require a quick wipe every so often.


If you suffer from respiratory issues, a foam pillow might be more beneficial to you since they retain less dust due to the material that it is made of. In fact, traditional and down pillow material can contribute to respiratory difficulties, but only a small amount of people experience these issues with a memory foam pillow.

Spinal Alignment

As a foam pillow can keep your spine properly aligned, you’ll experience less discomfort than with a traditional pillow. What’s more, as memory foam pillows mould to your head, they allow you to sleep in a more natural position. Therefore, your neck and the rest of your spine are perfectly aligned, reducing neck and back pains along with chronic aches.

Pain Relief

Most importantly, these pillows are ideal for protecting the head, neck, and spine. This is particularly ideal if you’ve suffered some injuries or perhaps had a recent break or surgical operation. Memory foam pillows are soft and gentle on the body, helping to decrease the amount of pressure you encounter while sleeping. If the pain is located in the neck, shoulders, or back, you’ll likely experience a massive relief with regular use.

Range of Firmness

With a wide range of firmness options, you’ll receive plenty of options, allowing you to choose a pillow that suits your comfort levels. Alternatively, traditional pillows tend to only be available in different sizes and cases rather than firmness diversity.

How to Sleep on a Contour Memory Foam Pillow

You’d think that once you own a memory foam pillow, you just need to sleep on one and your neck pain and aches are reduced. But, in order to make the most out of memory foam pillows, we recommend the following techniques on how to use them:

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers should place the larger end of the contour memory foam pillow underneath the hollow of their neck when lying down. The curve of your neck should rest in a natural position on top of the hump.

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Curled-Up Sleepers

If you tend to lay in this sleeping position on one side, place an additional pillow between your knees to support your lower back. Regarding the placement of the foam pillow, bear in mind the same fundamentals as sleeping on your side.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers should place the larger end of the pillow underneath the hollow of their neck, too. Make sure that the pillow is close to the top of the shoulder, supporting the natural curve of your neck to allow for optimum relaxation and to reduce neck pain and back pain while sleeping.

Stomach Sleepers

If you’re a stomach sleeper, a contour memory foam pillow isn’t always necessary. However, you might find it beneficial to place a slim, soft memory foam pillow low down—near your neck. This position will help to prevent your back from arching, helping to prevent any discomfort while you sleep.

Should You Buy a Foam Pillow if You Sleep on Your Stomach?

We don’t advise buying a contour memory foam pillow if you sleep on your stomach. This is because a foam pillow’s shape can put pressure on your head and neck. This could exacerbate headaches, and sometimes, causing the back to arch—leading to back pain and aches.

Moreover sleeping on your stomach, in general, can cause your neck to stiffen and can also put pressure on your upper back and even vital organs. In fact, using contour memory foam pillows for sleeping on your stomach and can even cause more discomfort than a soft pillow.

The Best Technique for Sleeping on a Memory Foam Pillow

Memory foam pillows can provide better sleep for most people, but there are some specifics to remember when going to sleep. Start by placing the flat side of the pillow down and position the larger of the two curves toward the foot of the bed. This position will make sure that you receive optimal support for your back and neck muscles.

Then, settle onto the pillow and allow your head to sink into it. At first, the pillow might seem hard but remain patient. Within a few moments, the pillow will adapt to the shape of your neck and body. Plus, if the temperature in the room is cold, the foam pillow will feel slightly stiffer than in a warmer room, so this is something else to bear in mind. There are plenty of ways you can warm your pillow up if it is too stiff.

How Memory Foam Pillows Ease Pain Compared to Traditional Pillows

There are so many reasons to purchase a memory foam pillow. Memory foam pillows can help make your sleep environment more comfortable and complement the benefits of a memory foam mattress. They may also help alleviate back pain, sciatica, and common aches in the neck and back, while improving your spine alignment.

A memory foam pillow contours the neck muscles to protect your body against tension and pain while offering a world of relaxation while you sleep. In particular, the ergonomic design of these pillows perfectly suits a range of sleeping positions while also using high-quality materials that increase their longevity.

How to Choose a Memory Foam Pillow

With a plethora of benefits to contour memory foam pillows, you might be excited to rush out and purchase one. But before you do, there are some factors to consider that can help you choose the best memory foam pillow for your sleeping position and needs.

Type of Memory Foam Pillow

There are two types of memory foam pillows to consider: one-piece and shredded.

woman smiling while lying on back One-Piece

The former can be shaped like a traditional pillow or tailored to follow the curves of your head and neck. This type of memory foam pillow adapts to its original shape when you remove your head.


On the other hand, shredded pillows contain 100 per cent memory foam (or are sometimes blended with other materials such as latex or fibrefill). The biggest advantage of shredded memory foam pillows is that you can add or remove the filling to your preferences, enabling you to increase or decrease the hardness to suit your comfort levels.

This type of pillow usually provides more airflow, which is great for preventing a build-up of heat while you sleep.

Pressure Relief

A memory foam pillow offers incredible pressure relief—no matter the type that you choose. Both types conform to the shape of your body to provide plenty of support and comfort. For a pillow that contours closely to your neck and provides the best support and pain relief, opt for a shredded pillow, as this is ideal for serious aches and pains.

Firmness Preferences

Furthermore, carefully consider the amount of firmness that the memory foam pillow offers. One-piece pillows only offer one type of firmness, where shredded foam pillows allow you to customize the pillow so that it contours to the shape of your body.

A pillow made from shredded memory foam benefits you if you’re looking for the maximum firmness for plenty of spine support.

Cooling Properties

hand pushing on cushion made from a viscoelastic material If you’re a hot sleeper, you’ll especially need to consider the cooling properties of a memory foam pillow. Otherwise, a buildup of heat can cause discomfort for any sleeper, and memory foam products are renowned for heat retention, which is great for winter months but not in the summer.

A shredded memory foam pillow or a product with airflow channels will allow you to feel cooler while you sleep.

Things to Consider With Memory Foam Pillows

There are so many benefits to this kind of pillow, including incredible support, but one of the things people don’t always talk about is the downside of owning a memory foam pillow. This includes trapping heat, which can cause you to become uncomfortably warm while you sleep—making it unideal for hot sleepers or in a hot climate.

Memory foam pillows aren’t always highly responsive, especially if you opt for a product with a high level of firmness. This can often lead people to feel uncomfortable for a few seconds while shifting positions. You’ll need to have a level of patience to allow the pillow to readjust to your movements.

Furthermore, the synthetic foams in these pillows can release some off-gassing odours when it’s first unpacked.

How Long Do Memory Foam Pillows Last?

orthopedic sleep product Discerning consumers would naturally want to know how long a contour memory foam pillow will last. Most commonly, this is 2–3 years, but some have been known to last longer, including latex or buckwheat pillows.

Even pillows made with the best material are bound to change shapes and become susceptible to general wear and tear along with becoming lumpy. However, based on reviews, higher-density foam pillows tend to be more long-lasting than lower-density memory foam pillows. The downside to choosing a pillow with a higher foam density is the price and increased heat retention during the summer months.

However, you can increase your pillow’s lifespan with regular cleaning and fluffing. Avoid placing it in the washing machine as doing so can damage the material and cause the pillow to lose its shape. Ensure that the pillow is dry after a clean before you apply a pillow cover to prevent any mildew from forming.

What Bed Accessories Do You Own?

Falling asleep might be a challenge—especially when anxiety runs high and you experience aches in your head and neck areas. While memory foam pillows provide excellent support and comfort, knowing how to sleep on a memory foam pillow is important in making the most of your sleep product.

What accessories do you own to alleviate any neck pain and discomfort while sleeping? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments.

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