Good support for back sleepers
May be too thin for some back sleepers
Little odor after opening
What is the Leesa Premium Memory Foam Pillow?
The company has just two pillows, and I tested its most popular model: the Leesa Premium Memory Foam Pillow. This 5-inch-thick piece of solid memory foam is described as suitable for back sleepers as well as side sleepers and stomach sleepers. The cashmere-soft cover is machine-washable and the foam has ventilation channels, though it is not a cooling pillow. At $79 to $99, the price is about average for a quality pillow (and Leesa often has sales).
How did we test the Leesa Premium Memory Foam Pillow?
While testing, I slept on the pillows as anyone would, but took note of things like whether my spine felt aligned once my head nestled in, if I woke up in the middle of the night, and whether the pillow felt hot beneath my head.
Then our senior scientist, Julia MacDougall, stepped in to run a gamut of tests in our Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab. Leaving 25 pounds on for eight hours to determine how quickly the pillows sprang back? Check. Looking at heat retention with the help of an electric blanket? You betcha. Following the care instructions to see how well they held up after laundering? Uh huh.
What’s great about the Leesa Premium Memory Foam Pillow?
When you first unpack your Leesa pillow, you may notice a slight odor—but don’t let it put you off. That’s normal for foam bedding products, and I was pleased that the off-gassing was much less noticeable with the Leesa than with some of the other pillows we tested. Simply leave it to air out for a day or so, and you won’t notice the smell at all.
When it comes to my personal preference, I look for a firm, supportive pillow that has a little give to it. You know, you lie down and your head sinks in just enough to signal it’s time to relax for the next several hours, but not so much that your spinal alignment is out of whack. And as a back sleeper, Leesa’s Premium Memory Foam Pillow hits all the marks for me.
This pillow is plush enough to be comfortable yet it offers the right support for a full night’s rest. Night after night, I’d close my eyes and wake up, seven hours later, in the same position. The memory foam—as you’d expect—maintained its shape and there was no need to reposition myself in the middle of the night. While foam can retain heat compared to other materials, I didn’t notice a change in temperature, and this also held true in our lab experiments.
Most importantly, the pillow’s slimmer profile kept my spine and neck at just the right height. My head didn’t jut forward or settle too far in as the hours ticked by.
As someone who religiously makes my bed every day and is a stickler about stripping it every week to wash my sheets, I don’t want to make the tasks any harder than they are. That means a lightweight pillow that’s easy to arrange is a must for me, and compared to other solid memory foam pillows, this one from Leesa is definitely on the lighter side. I tested one pillow that weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds—the Leesa, by comparison, weighs just four pounds.
While I had the luxury of testing this out in the name of journalism, Leesa offers a 30-day trial period for any old customer. There are pillows with longer trial periods, but a month should be enough time to determine if this is a good match for you.
What’s not so great about the Leesa Premium Memory Foam Pillow?
The company says it’s suitable for sleeping on your back, side, and stomach. Unfortunately, our side tester found that its 5-inch height didn’t offer enough loft to support her head, neck, and shoulder in a fetal position. She also tested pillows for stomach sleeping and while the Leesa wasn’t included in that test roster, she thought that many would find the Leesa pillow, conversely, too thick for comfort in that position.
This Leesa pillow is not customizable like another one of our favorites from Coop Home Goods, which uses shredded memory foam that can be removed to adjust the loft and density. Even some solid slab-style pillows offer removable layers, though that’s not how the Leesa is built. The company's other pillow, the Leesa Hybrid Pillow, offers a removable insert that may make it better for stomach sleeping. We haven't tested that pillow, but remember: Leesa offers a 30-day trial period in case you don’t think its pillows are dreamy.
Relatedly, because of the pillow’s slimmer profile, when I buy a Leesa Premium Foam Pillow for permanent use, I’ll consider breaking out my sewing machine to tailor a few of my standard-sized pillowcases for a slimmer, less sloppy-looking fit. It’s only a slight annoyance but an easy enough fix.
Is the Leesa Premium Memory Foam Pillow worth it?
For me, this was the one pillow during testing that I kept coming back to—and I can't wait to purchase it for myself. If you’re a back sleeper with a smaller frame and you’re looking for a memory-foam pillow, this is definitely worth a try.
And because of the 30-day trial period, there’s no risk involved. We can’t say the same for another company’s solid foam pillow that performed well in our testing. Tempur-Pedic's Tempur-Cloud and Tempur-Cloud Dual Breeze cannot be returned once they’re slept on, making them a pricey investment for something you can't be totally sure will pan out. In addition, the pillow comes with a three-year warranty, an added assurance to help you sleep easy.
At $79 to $99, this Leesa pillow’s price tag is on par with other memory foam options out there. For me, the comfort and support this pillow provides is more than worth the price. I tested nine pillows—and counting—and none stood out like this pillow from Leesa.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Editor, Money@sarah_hagman
Sarah Hagman covers personal finance for Reviewed. She was previously the managing editor of The Improper Bostonian, where she chatted with Mikhail Baryshnikov, ate gelato in a Turkish bath, and hung out with Master Sommeliers.
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