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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 06:18 #1

  • steelwindmachine
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I have had a few memory foam pillows, both layered and shredded and I understand that the visco-elastic foam is heating up over the course of the night and flattening out. I also wind up sweating at my neck and back of my head through the night despite the AC on and room being 66*-68*F. We are sleeping in cotton sheets with a single layer duvet. I've used the memory foam pillows because of their firm (albeit initial) support compared to other mass-marketed pillows I've tried (polyfill, poly-foam, down).

My dilemma is that despite knowing this, having become more enlightened by being on this site and having bought a shredded talalay latex pillow for my wife to try, given her reports of it being a bit of a hot sleeper, I'm not sure what to try for myself.

She was coming from using two pillows. One with barely any down feathers that she used to prop up her chin at night combined with a polyfill wrapped foam pillow. The shredded latex pillow seems to be working out well for her, allowing her to shape the pillow to her comfort.

I'm looking for pillow/materials guidance for a pillow for me to primarily address the flattening and then maybe something that can sleep cooler.
- Dan G.

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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 07:21 #2

  • MattressToGo
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If the shredded latex still doesn't work well for you, you might consider a wool pillow, especially one that is customizable (zippered so you can replace/remove the wool fill). Wool is very good at temperature regulation. While wool will tend to firm up a bit as the years go on as the fibers interlock, most of the customizable wool pillows are produced overstuffed so you can always add material back in after a few years if you want to "fluff up" the product.
Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator™ Owner of Mattress To Go
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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 08:36 #3

  • steelwindmachine
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Jeff,

I'll try my wife's pillow as soon as she's done evaluating it.

As for wool, sounds great, but my wife is allergic. She gets itchy and I'd be concerned with her sleeping next to it being an issue. Maybe it won't, but I don't know. Same with alpaca. So I'm not sure if that'll work out or if I need to find some hypoallergenic wool alternative.
- Dan G.

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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 09:06 #4

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I'll try my wife's pillow as soon as she's done evaluating it.


That sounds like a good plan.

As for wool, sounds great, but my wife is allergic.


Issues with wool tend to be contact related and are most often sensitivities as opposed to true wool allergies, which tend to be rare. I have a wool sensitivity and have no issue with wool toppers and pillows, as I never come in contact with the product, but that's me. Additionally, different types of wools can produce different reactions to those sensitive. This article gives a good basic primer on the subject, should you choose to investigate a wool pillow. I know there are also some good links on the forum about wool as well. Every person is different, so you have to make an educated choice based upon your personal circumstances.

Good luck!

Jeff Scheuer
Mattress To Go
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 13:57 #5

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Hi steelwindmachine,

I'm looking for pillow/materials guidance for a pillow for me to primarily address the flattening


While it's impossible to cover the properties of every possible pillow or pillow material on the market because there are so many (memory foam, polyfoam, latex, shredded foam materials, different types of wool or other animal fibers, plant fibers such as kapok or cotton, feathers, down, synthetic fibers or fiber "clusters", buckwheat or millet hulls, and others) ... in very general terms fiber fillings will tend to compress and pack down and become firmer over time (or in some cases over the course of the night) more than foam materials or shredded foam materials. Wool is one of the stronger and more resilient fibers though so it tends to maintain its loft better and for longer than other fibers such as polyester (dacron) or cotton (especially wool "balls" vs wool batting) .

and then maybe something that can sleep cooler.


On the other hand ... fiber materials in either a pillow stuffing or in a pillow casing (in particular natural fibers) also tend to be more breathable, moisture wicking and temperature regulating than foam materials (particularly memory foam).

Some of the many variables that are involved with temperature regulation for mattresses are discussed in post #2 here and these would apply to pillows as well. The type of fabric used in the pillow casing is also right next to your skin and can also affect moisture and temperature regulation as well.

A suitable pillow is an essential part of good alignment for the head and neck and upper body because the gap between the head and the mattress and the curve of the cervical spine needs to be supported just like all other parts of the spine. Like mattresses ... there are certain "needs" that depend on body type and sleeping positions but with pillows, personal preferences play a more important role because the face is much more sensitive to textures, temperature, smells, and other more subjective "feel" based properties of a pillow. There is more about choosing pillows in the pillow thread here and the other topics and sources of information that it links to that may be helpful as well.

Better sleep shops will often have samples of their pillows available for you to try (they should be in a pillowcase and not a plastic wrapping) so you can try different types of pillows and pillow materials in person and use your own personal experience rather than just "theory" to help you decide on the types of pillows and pillow stuffing you tend to prefer.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 20:23 #6

  • Magialisk
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I won't say that I've had as severe an issue as you with the hot pillows (ie: no head/neck sweating), but I'm one of those people who if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I need to flip the pillow over, or roll over to find a cool spot on the pillow, or even sometimes grab the "backup" pillow to feel cool and get back to sleep. I can't just close my eyes in the same spot and drift back to sleep. Once I get hot, I tend to stay hot, and getting back to sleep becomes a pain... I came *this* close to buying a shredded latex pillow which had great reviews and allegedly slept very cool...

That said, I was walking through Bed Bath and Beyond a month or so ago and came across a "Comfort Revolution Hydraluxe" pillow. It's all memory foam, with a layer of gel bubbles laminated to one side. I've since seen similar pillows with waves of gel instead of bubbles, and other similar versions from other brands. This one was out on display with a tag saying to push your hand into the pillow and count out 20 seconds, so I thought "sure, I'll give it a shot". About 10 seconds after pushing my hand down onto the pillow the thing felt *SO COOL* like it was just sucking all the heat out of my hand! It wasn't exactly "cold", like an ice pack or anything, but it was so different from any other pillow I'd experienced in how cool it felt. I was essentially sold immediately, and went online to find the cheapest deal I could on a king-size version :)

I've been using the new pillow now for about 3 weeks, and I love it. Every night I put my head down on it, it sucks away all the heat making me feel very cool, and I fall right asleep. Online reviews tended to say that the cooling sensation from the gel layer only lasts 15-20 minutes, and if you don't fall asleep within that time its not any cooler than a regular memory foam pillow, but in my case it's been great. On the off chance that I do wake up in the middle of the night, the king size pillow is so large (I've only ever had standard pillows before) that there's a whole 50%+ of cold gel waiting to suck the heat out of me all over again :) NO problems at all getting back to sleep so far.

In the interest of full disclosure I'll share the two minor negatives that I've noticed about the pillow. First, the thing had a strong chemical smell that I could still detect after 2 weeks or so. This really surprised me because we just got a new Novosbed (memory foam), which in my opinion had only a very faint odor and only if you put your head right down on it, even from the first moment we opened the plastic bag. After a day or two any odor in the mattress had completely dissipated, as far as my wife and I could tell. This darn pillow though was far stronger smelling than the bed ever was, and the smell has only just recently seemed to go away in my 3rd week or so of using it. I'm fortunately not sensitive to the odor, but if you are you'd use up most of a retail store's 30-day return policy just letting the thing air out to the point you could sleep on it :)

Second minor complaint, this particular pillow is very thick, around 6" I believe. I can barely fit my pillow case around it, it's practically busting the seams! The king size pillow weighs 10 lbs! (literally, not an exaggeration at all). I'm mostly a stomach sleeper, and while I prefer a thicker pillow than I suspect is normal for stomach sleeping (my old standard size down pillows I used to fold in half to bulk them up...) this is right on the edge of being too thick for me. My first couple nights it felt very strange to have such a thick and supportive/firm pillow, but now after several weeks I believe I'm getting used to it. I loved the cooling sensation so much that I really just wanted it to work out as long as it didn't cause me pain or otherwise affect my sleep, which so far it hasn't... For back or especially side sleeping, the thickness would be less of a concern, but just pointing it out.

In any case, you may want to look at something similar, as I said there are a dozen brands out there with similar gel-laminated foam pillows, even the Tempurpedic's and other pricey brands have versions of the same idea. For me, it was exactly what I needed, and never knew to look for.

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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 08 Jun 2016 21:04 #7

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Hi Magialisk,

Thanks for taking the time to share your comments and feedback about your pillow ... I appreciate it.

Online reviews tended to say that the cooling sensation from the gel layer only lasts 15-20 minutes, and if you don't fall asleep within that time its not any cooler than a regular memory foam pillow, but in my case it's been great. On the off chance that I do wake up in the middle of the night, the king size pillow is so large (I've only ever had standard pillows before) that there's a whole 50%+ of cold gel waiting to suck the heat out of me all over again :) NO problems at all getting back to sleep so far.


While each person's experience on a pillow can be very different from someone else (as you read in the many reviews of this pillow) ... one of the reasons that the cooling effect tends to last longer in this pillow is because it has an actual layer of soft solid gel on top of the memory foam rather than using a percentage of gel infused inside the memory foam itself. You can read a little more about the different types of gel materials in post #2 here .

As you also mentioned a thicker/firmer pillow would typically be a better match for side sleepers than it would for stomach sleepers who "on average" tend to to best with a thinner/softer pillow than other sleeping positions.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 20 Jun 2016 11:18 #8

  • steelwindmachine
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a follow-up:

I tried my wife's new Brooklyn Bedding Dreamfoam Ultimate king size stuffed shredded talalay latex adjustable pillow and found it much better at least in through the night support than my "pancake" memory foam pillows. I like the adjustable nature of it and it doesn't go flat over the course of the night like all of my memory foam pillows. It was reasonably inexpensive on Amazon, ~$50 shipped.

So far my wife has liked it the best out of all the other pillows she's tried. Though she still often uses her barely-stuffed down pillow for cuddle-comfort. She's going to make a travel size pillow using the excess latex stuffing from the Dreamfoam.

As for the sleeping cooler with me, I'll see how this new pillow performs for the rest of the summer, but I'll be glad to at least solve the "support" issue. Since this new pillow's cover is zippered, if I wanted to fiddle around with customizing it with other types of fillings (shredded, flat or bats of different density latex, natural fiber and/or gel), at least I have that option.

Next, go to Shovlin to test out new mattresses :)

thanks everyone!
- Dan G.

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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 20 Jun 2016 11:39 #9

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Hi steelwindmachine,

Thanks for taking the time to share an update with your comments and feedback ... I appreciate it.

It's good to see that your Dreamfoam shredded latex pillow seems to be working well for you :).

Phoenix.
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Hot, Flat pillow - no good =\ 20 Jun 2016 11:50 #10

  • steelwindmachine
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Phoenix,

Absolutely no problem!

This site has saved my wife and I from yet another trip to local stores where we plop our head on pillows in the store, mash them around, buy something and then wind up being dissapointed.

Frankly, if you have any ideas on what to do with low-use memory foam pillows, I'm all ears.
- Dan G.

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