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How to Soften a Memory Foam Pillow if It’s Too Stiff?

How to Soften a Memory Foam Pillow if It’s Too Stiff
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No one is denying that memory foam pillows are a clear step up for your well-being over ordinary ones – they help you sleep better, allow you to get deeper, more relaxing sleep and do wonders for your tired and overstressed neck muscles in the process.

Do most of them really need to be so damned hard though?

Many more people would make the transition to a memory foam pillow if they weren’t feeling as if they had a solid rock instead of a therapeutic pillow under their heads.

Soften a Memory Foam Pillow if It’s Too Stiff

If you don’t understand the science behind memory foam, you too might be thinking that there’s no way of making an existing pillow made from it softer short of asking your seller for a replacement. Fortunately there are a few tricks you can try that will result in the pillow becoming softer.

Why are Memory Foam Pillows So Hard in the First Place

Why are Memory Foam Pillows So Hard in the First Place?

When choosing what materials from which to make their pillow, manufacturers have to maintain a balance of rigidity and conformity. This means that the foam in question must give a little, but not so much to be made too soft and stop regaining its form.

If you were to take a microscope and examine the foam’s structure, you’d see that it was made up of millions of taught fibers which stretch out when pressure is applied to them and shrink back to their original size once that pressure is gone.

You can’t do much about the very nature of this process since that would leave you with yet another shapeless synthetic pillow there’d be no real use for. What you can do however is bend the rules a little and make the default state the foam’s fibers return to a little less rigid both as a short-term and a permanent solution.

Turning Up the Heat

One way of accomplishing this is with increased heat. If you’ve had a memory foam pillow for a while and kept it in a cool room, you may have noticed how stiff it gets when exposed to cold air. Well, you can use the opposite of that to your own advantage, whether you’re applying heat directly to the pillow or its ambient.

The most direct and effective short-term solution, which doesn’t tamper with your home’s temperature, would be to take an electric blanket and wrap it around your pillow. Turn the blanket on and let it warm the pillow for 10-15 minute.

If you’ve got central heating or electric radiators you can place the pillow close to them for 10 minutes or so, just be sure to not touch the radiator directly. Another option would be to use an iron along with a towel or other kind of heavy cloth you can drape over the pillow so it doesn’t get burned.

If none of these are available to you and you’d still like heat to soften the pillow up, consider raising your room temperature by adjusting the thermostat controls.

Beating the Pillow into Submission

Beating the Pillow into Submission

We aren’t even joking with this one – the foam’s fibers will noticeably loosen up if subjected to physical stress. Any blunt object that can pack a concentrated punch will do. Broom handles and rug cleaners are perfect for the task.

Place the pillow on an even, firm surface so it doesn’t accidentally get deformed, take your implement of destruction and give it a few resounding whacks! Try not to overdo it, of course, as too much punishment can cause the pillow to permanently lose its shape.

If you’ve got small kids who’ve almost always got excess energy they need to burn off, here’s your chance to make them feel helpful and help get them tired a little sooner than usual.

Put the pillow on the center of a sturdy bed, explain to the child what you want them to do and have them jump onto the pillow a couple of times. Make sure their socks/feet are clean before they start though.

Letting Time Take Its Course

Not wanting to wait for your pillow to become softer is understandable, but if you don’t mind roughing it until the foam becomes less rigid, you can rest assured that the pillow will be noticeably softer a couple of months after purchase.

The two forces discussed above – physical stress and heat – are both at play while you sleep and just take a longer time to take permanent effect than their sudden extreme application.


If you pay close attention and compare how the memory pillow feels right after you’ve started using it vs. 10 minutes from then, you’ll notice a difference. Constant use of the pillow will ensure that it’s just a little bit softer with each passing day, and that adds up over time. It’s up to you to determine whether it is worth the wait.

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