How to Soften a Memory Foam Pillow in 4 Easy Ways

how to soften a memory foam pillow

Looking after your body is important to prevent any aches and pains in your back, shoulders, neck, and more. This also means that you should take care of your health while you sleep, too, including the bedtime accessories you use.

If you love memory foam pillows but find that they’re becoming too stiff or uncomfortable, then learning how to soften a memory foam pillow may be useful to you. We’ve got a lot of easy ways to inject some softness into your pillow.

Make the most out of your memory foam pillow by retaining its shape and softness. We’ve searched for the best ways to use and care for yours. Check out the solutions we’ve discovered and shared below for a comfier night’s sleep.

How to Make Your Memory Foam Pillow Softer

Increase the Room Temperature

Sometimes memory foam pillows can become stiff when the room temperature decreases. For example, this commonly happens if you leave the home for a week or so and return home where the thermostat hasn’t been turned on. Start by increasing the temperature at home and placing the memory foam pillow close (but not on top of) a heat source.

One of the things you can do is keep the pillow close to a radiator for around 10 minutes. However, don’t let it touch the radiator. You can also try increasing the temperature in your home so that the pillow gets a chance to warm up before bedtime.

Alternatively, you can invest in an electric blanket and apply this to the memory foam pillow. Let the electric blanket heat up the pillow for around 15 minutes.

Apply Pressure to the Pillow Before You Sleep

This technique might raise a few eyebrows, but it works. The fibres in a memory foam pillow can loosen if they’re exposed to physical stress. Focus on firmly punching the foam pillow—concentrating on the areas that are particularly stiff. You can also use objects (such as broom handles) to help you apply more pressure.

Begin by placing the pillow on a firm surface so it doesn’t begin in a deformed shape. Then use your object or hand and apply pressure to the pillow to soften the fibres and make it softer after several minutes.

Expose the Pillow to the Sun

Another of the most popular ways to soften a foam pillow is by using the sun’s heat to soften the fibres. If you can place your memory foam pillow out into the garden on a protective mattress to retain heat, do so. In which case, make sure you flip it over onto one side every so often to ensure that all sides are exposed to the heat.

The one consideration with this method is that the memory foam pillow’s colour could fade in high heats, so this is something to bear in mind.

Increase Your Body Temperature

You might also want to try applying heat to yourself—whether that’s in a bath or moving around to get the blood pumping. Doing so will increase your body temperature, which means that the memory foam pillow won’t feel like a rock at bedtime.

 

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Will Memory Foam Pillows Soften Over Time?

In a nutshell, yes. The more you sleep on a memory foam pillow, the softer and more comfortable it’ll feel (unless you own a poor-quality type of foam pillow, of course). Laying on your pillow each night allows the foam pillow to adapt to the way you sleep, allowing its shape and texture to naturally break in.

Why Is Memory Foam So Hard?

Although you’re looking for every possible method to make your memory foam pillow become softer, stiffness isn’t always a sign of poor quality. In fact, you need some element of hardness to support your neck and spine as you sleep. And it can take some time for the pillow to adjust to your body shape and sleeping habits.

In particular, if a memory foam pillow is harder, it is likely to last longer. This is primarily because stiff materials are more durable and don’t wear down quickly, compared to low-quality memory foam pillows that deform quicker.

A stiffer pillow can adapt to your sleeping position easier and can reset its shape entirely when you stop using it. This allows you to share it with a partner as well as begin afresh every night.

Signs Your Memory Foam Pillow Is Too Stiff

young woman with neck painAn unsupportive memory foam pillow can be frustrating and uncomfortable, making you want to discover ways that it can become softer.

There are typically two signs for knowing when your memory foam is too hard: waking up throughout the night with aches, discomfort, or muscular tension in your shoulders, head, and neck. And another possible sign is restlessness as you experience interrupted sleep.

Another common problem with a stiff pillow is not being to get comfortable in the first place. If the memory foam pillow is too stiff, to begin with, it won’t adjust to your body shape or sleeping position. This means that you’ll spend half of the night readjusting how you sleep to try and get some shut-eye.

Is Your Memory Foam Pillow Too Old?

Here are some indications that it’s time to ditch your current memory foam pillow and choose a new one that’s softer and can withstand the pressure of your body each night.

  • You’ve developed allergies. If you don’t properly care for your foam pillow, it can lead to respiratory allergies. These pillows can absorb sweat over time that can lead to irritations and even rashes.
  • You’re waking up feeling sore a lot. Memory foam pillows are supposed to support your head, neck, back, and shoulders. If you’re waking up aching every day, your pillow might not be retaining its shape (even if you do commonly adjust sleeping positions throughout the night).
  • Noise keeps waking you. These pillows absorb soundwaves, so you’re less likely to hear rustling sounds when your partner turns over. And if you’re one of those people who wake up at every little sound, it might be a good idea to invest in a new one.
  • Your pillow has an uneven shape. Pillows that lose their shape and become lumpy are an indication that they’ve become worn and damaged over time.

Do Memory Foam Pillows Get Stiffer in Winter?

Memory foam pillows (and mattresses) are sensitive to the temperature in a room. So if the room is cold, the memory foam pillow will also be cold, which leads it to become stiffer. During winter and colder months, we recommend applying a heating pad to the foam pillow before you get into bed to avoid this discomfort.


Avoid neck pain by prioritising your health. If you don’t own a heating pad, apply a dryer to the foam pillow to increase its temperature, thus enhancing the softness.

Alternatively, you may notice that the fibres in your memory foam pillow are softer in the summer months since there’s a higher temperature that can increase its softness. Hence, you’ll rarely have to apply the above methods as a solution.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to make the most of your memory foam pillows it of utmost importance for getting a good night’s sleep. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a stiff neck or not being able to fall asleep in the first place.

Do you know how to soften a memory foam pillow with a particular process? Let us know your memory foam tips and tricks in the comments.

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