Memory foam pillows have a loyal following. They’re not for everyone, but it’s safe to say that most people who use a memory foam pillow are very satisfied.
If you like the idea of a memory foam pillow, but they just don’t work for you, a shredded latex pillow might be what you’re looking for.
Shredded latex has similar characteristics to memory foam, but it also has some key differences that make it an excellent alternative!
What exactly is a shredded latex pillow?
Essentially, it’s a pillow filled with shredded bits of solid latex, like those shown in the picture above.
Latex is soft, springy, and offers quicker compression compared to memory foam. In other words, when you place your head on the pillow, it cradles your head on impact – whereas it takes a few seconds to fully sink into memory foam.
Its compression rate, combined with the increase in pressure points offers superior pressure relief.
Who would benefit from a shredded latex pillow?
Assuming that you like memory foam pillows, but hate certain aspects of them, you will enjoy a shredded latex pillow if:
- Memory foam pillows get too hot for you
- You need a pillow that you can fluff
- You’d prefer a pillow with more pressure points
- You’re tired of foam pillows that harden over time
If you appreciate the support and high loft of a memory foam pillow, but one or more of the factors above apply to you, a shredded latex pillow might be the perfect alternative.
Our recommendation is the Z Shredded Talalay Latex Pillow from Malouf.
Malouf is an American bedding company located in Utah. They make an assortment of high-quality pillows, sheets, comforters, and other various bedding items.
Their “Z” line of pillows offers innovative options beyond the regular goose down or polyester variety.
The Talalay latex pillow above is filled with 100% natural latex, and features a rayon bamboo outer cover to keep everything comfortable and cool. It has 6″ of loft, and is an ideal option for side and back sleepers.
Latex does offer some distinct advantages over memory foam, so let’s take a deeper look into the advantages of a shredded latex pillow to see if it is right for you.
Latex is cooler than memory foam
One of the major complaints against memory foam pillows is that they sleep hot. Memory foam is very dense, and as a result, it holds on to heat just like a cast iron pan.
If you tend to get sweaty sleeping on a memory foam pillow, you’re not alone. This is a common problem.
Latex, on the other hand, is not as dense. It’s a very porous material, which allows for significantly more air circulation. This results in a much cooler sleeping surface.
With memory foam pillows, you’ll often see built-in gimmicks like gel infusion, etc. These are needed to temper the heat down a bit.
Shredded latex stays cool on its own.
Latex is more responsive than memory foam
The same density which allows memory foam to hold on to heat also makes it a slow-moving material.
When you first place your head on a memory foam pillow, it takes a moment for your head to sink in. If you decide to reposition, it takes another moment for the pillow to bounce back.
This is why we see pictures of memory foam pillows or mattresses with a handprint on them.
Latex doesn’t have the same delayed response. It cradles your head the moment you lay down, and springs back up if/when you decide to reposition.
A moldable, more pliable pillow
A memory foam pillow is one huge piece. You can’t mold it to perfectly suit you.
A shredded latex pillow is more like a traditional down pillow. It is filled with loose pieces that allow you to shift and shape the pillow the way you’d like.
You can fluff a latex pillow, whereas a memory foam pillow has a permanent shape.
More pressure points
A tire has tread on the outside to provide more of a grip. When your tires go bald, they no longer grip the road and are prone to slipping – especially when the ground is wet.
The texture created by the outer tread provides multiple pressure points.
This is the reason why a shredded latex pillow feels more comfortable and supportive. The numerous loose pieces inside provide you with more pressure points – whereas a memory foam pillow is one big piece, kind of like a bald tire.
Similar to memory foam, a shredded latex pillow also has a high loft.
Loft is the height of a pillow. Latex pillows usually have a loft of 5″-7″. This is particularly beneficial for side sleepers, as well as back sleepers with large shoulders.
If you experience a stiff neck even with a firm goose down or polyester pillow, the probable cause is the loft.
For proper support, a pillow needs to keep your spine in alignment. If a pillow doesn’t provide enough loft (or too much), then your neck tilts up or down, and you wake up stiff.
This is why people with larger frames or shoulders have a difficult time finding a suitable pillow. Most pillows found in department stores have an average loft – about 3-4″.
3-4″ is perfectly fine for the average person, but people with larger shoulders or large frames need a few more inches – and the 5-7″ loft of a latex pillow is just right.
Latex is made of natural materials, and is, therefore, more durable than memory foam. Foam pillows tend to go dry and crusty after a few years. Latex does not.
Also, memory foam pillows tend to flatten or crater after some time. Because they are made of one single piece, they tend to get lumpy where your head usually rests.
This is another advantage provided by the numerous pieces of latex versus the single large chunk structure of memory foam.
This isn’t a huge concern, but it is worth noting.
Because of the chemicals used in its manufacture, memory foam pillows have an odor of cigarette smoke. This odor usually does go away if you let it air out for a while.
Latex doesn’t have any odor and can be used right away.
Finally, if you are the environment-friendly type, shredded latex is a sustainable material made from the milky sap of the rubber tree.
Memory foam is made from petroleum.
Shredded latex pillows are offered in different varieties. The best, however, are those that are made from 100% natural Talalay latex.
Many cheaper latex pillows are made with latex that is blended with foam. These cheaper pillows don’t offer the superior feel and function of a quality latex pillow.
If you decide to purchase a shredded latex pillow, read the description carefully. Look for “100% natural Talalay latex” where the fill material is described.