If you’ve bought a memory foam pillow recently, you’re probably still marveling at its firmness. This fact is not at all surprising, as this material is so famous and sought-after precisely because it is hard and extremely supportive.

But will this hardness last forever, or will the pillow slowly become softer over time? Here’s everything you need to know, from tips on preserving your pillow’s firmness to making it softer depending on your needs. Let’s get into it!

What Makes Memory Foam Pillows So Firm?

As their name suggests, these pillows are made of memory foam. This material is naturally quite stiff, as its main constituents are visco-elastic polymers.

These polymers allow the pillows to bounce back to their original shape after you’re done using them. In addition, they help memory foam pillows and mattresses conform to your body shape, making for an enjoyable experience every time you use them.

How do these polymers work? It’s quite simple: they constrict in low temperatures and expand and become softer in higher ones. That is why your pillow gets softer as the night progresses and your body heat transfers onto it.

Following this logic, it’s correct to assume that the pillow will get generally softer the more you use it. The process will take some time — usually a few years — but the pillow will definitely lose some of its firmness.

However, you should note that the change won’t really be drastic. In other words, the pillow will remain harder than non-memory foam models, and it will still change shape to accommodate you as you use it.

Can a Memory Foam Pillow Be Too Stiff?

As with all products on the market, not all memory foam pillows are created equal. That is to say, some are of higher quality than others, and their elasticity and firmness are great signs of that.

For instance, if your pillow is too firm and doesn’t get softer even when you lay down on it, it’s probably of poor quality. Such a model won’t get softer in time, as it’s made of cheap foam with little to no expansion capability.

On the other hand, the same goes for pillows that are far too soft. If you can squish them with your hand and have them stay that way afterward, you need to invest in a better one.

Can You Make Your Pillow Stay Firm for Longer?

Generally speaking, buying a quality pillow should be enough to guarantee it will stay firm for years.

Aside from that, you should also make sure to take care of it exactly the way the instructions say. So, don’t wash it in your washing machine or dry it in your dryer. Also, store it somewhere dry and spacious when you aren’t using it.

In most cases, that should be enough to ensure your pillow stays firm and comfortable for a long time.

Is There a Way to Make Your Pillow Softer?

If you’ve just gotten a new pillow and it’s still a bit too stiff to be comfortable, the best course of action is to give it time. As I already mentioned, it will get better once you adjust to it, and the foam warms up a little.

But if you want to speed things up a bit, here are a few tips to try out.

Apply Pressure

The most effective way to soften your pillow is to apply firm pressure on its surface.

For example, you can place it on a smooth surface (the floor in your room or a table) and lean on it with your hands for a minute or two. Alternatively, you can also lightly hit it with your fists for thirty seconds. It shouldn’t be anything too aggressive, though — just enough to get the fibers moving.

By repeating these steps for a few days right before you go to bed, you should get your pillow to the perfect level of firmness. After that, the pressure won’t be necessary any longer.

Use a Stuffed Pillowcase

In case the pillow is making you uncomfortable and causing actual pain and stiffness, it’s a good idea to put it in a thick and soft pillowcase. And if the pillowcase is bigger, you can also stuff it with towels or anything else that is equally soft.

However, it’s important to mention that this hack will significantly alter the pillow’s shape. As such, it will lose some of its ergonomic features, meaning that your head and neck might not receive proper support as you sleep.

So, only use this trick if you absolutely must. Try the one above first, though, as it won’t do anything to alter the pillow’s shape.

Apply Heat

Lastly, applying heat to your memory foam pillow will help make it a tad softer and more comfortable. While your body heat would do that anyway, speeding things up is also an option if you’re in a hurry.

A good solution is to turn on a hair dryer on low heat and treat your pillow for up to a minute. The warm air will be just enough to make the pillow more pliable and easy to work with. After that, lying down on it should feel a lot better.

Another way to achieve the same — if you don’t mind it — is to turn up the thermostat in your bedroom. Just a few degrees warmer should do the trick, so it shouldn’t bother you too much.

To Sum Up

Memory foam pillows are made of highly viscous and elastic materials. As such, they are firm to the touch and become gradually softer the more they are used. So, your pillow will indeed become less firm with time.

However, it will still remain firm enough to support your head and neck and help you get quality sleep. And in case you need to speed up the softening process on a new pillow, you can always use light pressure or heat to get that perfect soft feel.

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