What’s a memory foam pillow made of?

Last Updated on January 3, 2022

Most of us spend up to a third of our lives asleep. Many think that your mattress is what makes or breaks your sleeping cycle. However, another crucial factor is the pillow you choose for a good night’s rest.

Memory foam pillows are one of the most popular options on the market today and may appeal to you if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional cushions. What you need to figure out is if they can give your head and neck more support and fining if they help people sleep better?

In today’s article, we’ll try to explain what memory foam is and discuss the memory foam pillow construction. So if you are interested in the subject, let’s get started.

What’s a memory foam pillow made of?

What’s memory foam?

The main component of memory foam is a polymer, which is a substance with large molecules that consist of many small, similar subunits bonded together, also known as polyurethane. Polyurethane is an extremely common and versatile plastic polymer used to produce various materials and items like pillows and mattresses. However, it is used in products like insulation, liquid paints and primers, spray foam, elastic fibres, car parts, and even tough elastomers such as rollerblade wheels.

Memory foam is known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam or low-resistance polyurethane foam (LRPu). It is created by adding various compounds and additives to polyurethane, which can change depending on the type of foam that’s being produced.

Ultimately, set chemicals affect two of the main qualities of the foam: viscosity and elasticity. What we mean by a material being ‘viscosity’ in memory foam is that it takes a long time to change shape under pressure or transfer energy from one place to another. In comparison, we say a material is ‘elastic’ when it can stretch or contort but afterwards, it returns to its original shape or size.

Different manufacturers have different processes to create the foam and various chemicals they add up. Therefore, these techniques affect the feel and function of each memory foam product.

the memory foam pillow construction

What’s a memory foam pillow made of?

When we talk about foam it is crucial we mention foam density, as it plays a significant role in the choice your are making. High-density products are usually firmer. Overall, dense foam is beneficial for side sleepers as they need more support.

Since 80% of the human population sleeps on their side, its safe to say that low-density foam shouldn’t be your first choice. With that said, everyone has a personal preference, so don’t for to include yours in the decision making. 

100% memory foam pillows are made from just a single piece of foam and designed to fit into the shape of your head and neck to provide optimum support and contouring. However, there are some 100% foam options that are filled with shredded pieces of memory foam instead.

This option lets you mould the pillow more easily than if you are using a feather or down cushions, which means your body will feel more comfortable and your spine will have proper alignment. They have the longest lifespan and are of the highest quality.

There are also hybrid pillows made from a mix of memory foam and other materials such as microfibre or down.

Also, for hot sleepers experts have designed cooling pillows in which you will find gel-infused foam that will keep you cool in the hot summer nights. But, overall, your best bet when it comes down to this type of pillows are high-density 100% single piece foams.

What are the qualities of memory foam?

 In general, four main characteristics describe pillows of that type as a whole, though different cushions will offer varying levels of each of these qualities. They are the following:

  • Contouring – One of the hallmark characteristics is right there in the name. When you lie down on a soft creation of memory foam, you can feel the sleep surface contour specifically to your head and shoulders. The same happens to your body’s curves with a memory foam mattress.
  • Sink – In addition to contouring, this material tends to have a sink, which is the feeling of being embraced in a cloud-like pad.
  • Palpable response – As mentioned above, memory foam is extremely adaptive to pressure, and you can feel the material becoming more pliable and less dense in response to the pressure and heat when you lie down.
  • Motion isolation – Last but not least, the material is great with motion isolation, which might not be that important in cushions. Still, it’s extremely valuable in mattresses, especially if you are sharing them with a partner. 

Bottom line

Finding the right pillow that will cradle and support your head is just as important as finding a supportive mattress. When you’re shopping for a foam pillow, you should consider the type of foam and any special features that can provide you with quality sleep. You can find the right fit no matter your sleeping position, body type or weight. You just have to know where to look!

Pillows come in various sizes, shapes, and construction styles. So it’s up to you to decide what will work best. 

Finding the best pillow can be overwhelming, but we hope that our guide on memory foam pillow construction was useful and full of insightful information. Please remember that we are non-professionals in the medical field, and these are only recommendations.

We hope we were able to answer the how and why, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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