Why Is My Memory Foam Pillow Hard? Answers and Solutions

If you own a memory foam pillow, you might have noticed some changes in its firmness. The pillow might have been quite soft when you bought it, but might have hardened over time. If you’re wondering, “Why is my memory foam pillow hard?,” we’ll cover some answers and how to get over this problem.

Memory foam has taken over the bedding industry by offering a soft, hypoallergenic and easy-to-clean alternative to conventional pillows and mattresses. This has made memory foam products extremely popular with people looking to buy new products for their bedroom.  

Why Is My Memory Foam Pillow Hard?

Memory foam comes in a unique design and material different from conventional mattresses and pillows. While a normal pillow typically comes with a fabric that is filled with cotton, polyester, or down stuffing, memory foam has a cellular structure. This means that your entire pillow is one single unit. 

The reason why this material is called memory foam is that it “remembers” the shape of your head, neck and shoulders while you lie down on it. A memory foam pillow will take about a week to shape itself according to the contour of your head, giving you the best possible support when you sleep. 

This gradual change in shape of the pillow happens with the help of your body heat and weight. When the slight heat from your body is applied to the pillow, it changes the cellular structure to give it the correct shape according to your body. 

The simplest answer to why your memory foam pillow might be hard is that memory foam becomes firm when it’s cold and softens up when it’s warm. The material is very sensitive to changes in temperature. This means that if you live in colder weather, your memory foam pillow will be significantly harder than it would be in warm weather. 

FAQs About Memory Foam Pillows

Is it normal for a new memory foam pillow to be hard?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal to find your new memory foam pillow hard, especially if you’re making a switch from conventional pillows. While normal pillows employ the use of stuffing to make your sleeping experience more comfortable, memory foam pillows use their cellular structure to gradually adapt to your needs. 

Therefore, when you get a new memory foam pillow, you should expect it to be hard. It will gradually change its shape with use. Being hard is actually a sign of better quality in a memory foam pillow. A hard pillow will last you a lot longer than a soft one. 

How long does it take for a memory foam pillow to adapt to my body?

There will be a breaking-in period when you first buy your memory foam pillow and start sleeping on it. If you’re used to conventional pillows, this might come with some discomfort until you get used to it. 

However, if you sleep with your head on the pillow every night in relatively the same position, you can expect your memory foam pillow to adapt to the shape of your head and neck in around a week. You should also note that the pillow will revert back to its original shape if left unused for a long time. 

Is my memory foam pillow too hard?

This can be a tricky question, as it’s not just about comfort. It’s also about using a memory foam pillow long term. While a memory foam pillow will definitely feel hard in the beginning, you need to keep in mind that this hardness comes with relieving tension and pressure in your neck and spine. 

There is no immediate way to tell whether your memory foam pillow is too hard. If you have been using it for a few weeks and you do not see any improvement in the strain on your neck, back or joints, it might mean that your pillow is too hard and is not adapting to the shape of your body. 

How should I soften a memory foam pillow?

memory foam hard

The best and most effective way to soften your pillow is by using body heat. Sleeping on your pillow for a few days will give you the right amount of support. 

However, if your pillow still feels too hard and won’t allow you to sleep, there are ways to make it softer more quickly. 

  • Use a heater or a radiator in your room near the pillow. The constant flow of warm air will soften up your pillow. If it’s a vent, keeping it below or in front of it at a distance will be perfectly safe. However, keep in mind that memory foam is extremely flammable and might catch fire if it comes in direct contact with a radiator.
  • Before you sleep on your pillow, press it down where your head will lie. Before it regains its original shape, place your head on it. This will cause the pillow to regain its shape around your head and neck, effectively increasing the speed of the process.
  • If your memory foam pillow is machine washable, putting it in the washing machine on a gentle setting can soften it as well. 

Bottom Line

Memory foam pillows can seem quite hard to people who are not used to them. The cellular structure of the pillows is designed in a way to adjust to the contour of your head. This makes a memory foam pillow hard, but there are ways to soften it easily and quickly. 

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