A detailed look at one of the most popular memory foam pillows on the market
There seems to be no limit to how far a person will go to achieve a better night’s sleep. You can take me for example … after years of unexplained back and neck pain and poor, fitful sleep, I decided enough was enough. I promised myself that before the year was up I would find a way to achieve the previously unthinkable: to fall asleep, and then stay asleep. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Little did I know that I was embarking on what would become a multi-year mission to examine as many specialty pillows as I could get my paws on. You know the ones … new-fangled pillows that make claims of being “game changers” for us poor souls who just can’t seem to get any decent rest. So I dove in. I looked at the futuristic hyper-elastic polymers of the Purple Pillow, and I tested the unique & beautifully simple double-pillow design of the Casper Pillow. I even read up on how pillow height affects the biomechanics of the head-neck complex (not that I understood it all …).
The Nectar Memory Foam Pillow is not only made of one of the most reliable sleep-aid materials (memory foam), but it is designed in such a way that makes it perfect for a wide array of different body types and sleeping styles. What follows is a summary of my experience with the Nectar Pillow, as well as some bottom-line recommendations for my under-slept comrades.
Now it’s time to share my experience with a pillow that is so simple, yet so impressively customizable, that it just might be the key to unlocking a more restful slumber for you and me both.
Why the Nectar Pillow Was Built for Someone Like Me
There are dozens of reasons why people having trouble sleeping. It could be anxiety about work or money, over-caffination (guilty), or the lingering pains of an old injury. No matter what the ailment, it certainly doesn’t help to have the wrong kind of pillow under your head.
Depending on what kind of sleeper you are, there is a good chance that there is a pillow out there that was designed specifically for your sleep style. The Contour Legacy Leg Pillow, for instance, is a must have for dedicated side sleepers.
But what about us “toss-n-turners”, the folks who simply cannot seem to find a comfortable position, no matter how hard we try?
What people like us need is a pillow that can be adjusted to the perfect level of firmness and fullness. The ability to adjust these attributes to a high degree is what makes the Nectar Pillow stand out from the stiff, or shall we say firm, competition.
It’s also what made me click the “order” button. A few short days later, the experiment was about to begin.
Nectar Memory Foam Pillow: Unboxing & First Impressions
The pillow arrived in a short rectangular box. It was a bit smaller than I thought it would be, but like many other shredded memory foam products, this one arrived in a vacuum-sealed plastic casing, making the actual pillow not much larger than a rolled up towel.
Breaking the plastic seal allowed the Nectar Pillow to fluff back up into shape, though a little bit of physical fluffing was required to speed up this process so that we could get on with it.
The off-gassing was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Some of the newer pillows come with such a strong plastic or rubbery odor that they need to be aired out for days, sometimes weeks, before it is even comfortable to sleep in the same room with it. This is not the case with the Nectar Pillow. A slight factory-type clean odor is certainly present, but it doesn’t seem to be as sharp or as offensive as we have experienced with other products.
With the pillow returned to its intended shape and loft, it was time to look inside. I unzipped the outer cover to find that the pillow was really two pillows. The outer pillow is softer, and the inner pillow is where all that shredded memory foam is kept. It was nice to discover that each pillow had its own removable casing. It should make this pillow remarkably easy to clean.
The Memory Foam Pillow by Nectar Sleep: Rundown & Product Overview
Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to go over the basic design of the Nectar Pillow, and examine how these elements are reported to help improve your nightly slumber.
While Nectar Sleep isn’t the first company to take advantage of the pillow-in-pillow design, they just might be the company that perfected it. As we started to go into above, the Nectar Pillow is really two pillows … one large, and one slightly smaller. In other words, a cover pillow and a sub-pillow.
The cover pillow is soft and plush, and it provides the comfort. The sub-pillow is what houses all the shredded memory foam and what provides the firmness. Together they make up one of the most comfortable foam pillows that I have ever encountered.
Adjustable Firmness & Height
Every Nectar Pillow comes overstuffed with memory foam. In fact you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would appreciate this pillow at its original height and firmness level. The idea is that every pillow owner will start by removing a little foam at a time until the perfect firmness is achieved. You might have to go back and forth, taking some out, putting some back in, but with a little dedication you can make this the absolute perfect pillow for you.
Personally, I like a high firmness with a short height. This is possible to achieve through the careful manipulation of the shredded foam, and it is most certainly this pillow’s most impressive feature.
Great Value Pillow
Unlike some of the more advanced polymers that top-of-the-line pillows are using now days, memory foam is comparatively cheap, and it has only become cheaper in recent years. This allows Nectar Sleep to be able to offer this pillow for well under a hundred bucks, which is significantly lower than Nectar’s closest competition.
What Kind of Sleeper is the Nectar Pillow For?
Because of the Nectar Pillow’s signature adjustability, we can confidently say that this is a good all-around value pick for just about anyone. It doesn’t matter if you sleep on your side, your stomach, your back, or some combination of the three, the Nectar Pillow can be made to fit just about any preference.
Its shredded memory foam construction makes it noticeably cheaper than comparable products, making it a great pick for anyone who is just looking for a great value.
Construction Materials: What the Nectar Pillow is Made of
Tencel Material (Cover Pillow)
If you don’t know what Tencel is, you are certainly not alone. I had to look it up myself. Tencel is the branded version of a material called lyocell, which is a type of fiber that is derived from the cellulose provided by wood pulp. Even though it has natural origins, lyocell is still considered a synthetic fabric. However, it is usually touted as a softer, stronger, and more breathable alternative to cotton.
Shredded Memory Foam (Sub-Pillow)
There are actually three distinct types of memory foam present inside the sub-pillow:
- Visco-elastic memory foam
- Dunlop latex
The combination of these three proprietary foams provides (respectively) the comfort, responsiveness, and shape of the pillow.
Quality Corner: How Well does the Nectar Pillow Hold Up?
For a pillow that is this affordable, I was surprised at how well it has held up against my particularly kinetic brand of sleeping. The shape retention and rebound is not quite what you would get from a more premium specialty pillow, yet it is far ahead of any run-of-the-mill supermarket pillow. The edges have a little bit of trouble keeping their shape, but I am not sure that this has any real effect on the firmness or ongoing comfort of the pillow itself. It’s just that after a few weeks of vigorous use, the straight lines of the edges have gone a bit curved and soft. The pillow, however, is just as comfortable as it has ever been.
Nectar Pillow Pros & Cons
- Highly customizable height and firmness
- Easy to clean surfaces
- More affordable than MyPillow or Purple Pillow
- Can take a while to recover its shape after unboxing
- Nectar Sleep’s 30-day warranty is shorter than those provided by most competing brands
Can you wash a Nectar Pillow?The Nectar Pillow is fully washable; however, the company insists that neither a washer nor dryer is required. A light and simple cleaning with soap, water, and a cleaning towel should be enough to remove the everyday dirt and oil that can build up on a pillow over time. You are going to want to squeeze the excess water out of the pillow immediately so that it can dry completely. Pillows that aren’t allowed to fully dry are susceptible to mildew.
How long does it take the Nectar Pillow to fully expand?While the Nectar Mattress can take up to 72 hours to expand, the pillow should be able to return to its intended size within 5 to 6 hours. However, because the pillow is so much smaller and easier to handle than the mattress, it is possible to use your hands to do a bit of light fluffing in order to speed up the re-expansion process.
The VERDICT: What we think of the Nectar Memory Foam Pillow
The Nectar pillow is a bit of an anomaly. While they claim, quite rightfully, that this is a premium pillow for neck pain, they are simultaneously touting the pillow’s remarkable affordability. Generally speaking, the more affordable a product is, the less quality you can expect from its construction. Conversely, the more expensive a pillow is, the more that we immediately believe that it must be of higher quality.
The truth is that the Nectar Memory Foam Pillow is somewhere in between. It is a fantastic value for any kind of sleeper, and if you are coming from a regular box-store bought pillow, you will no doubt experience the benefits of a specialty pillow almost immediately.
However if there is one category that doesn’t live up to the hype, it’s the coolness. The Nectar Pillow cannot match the ventilation of the more expensive specialty pillows, no doubt due to its reliance on memory foam, which is a notoriously poor-breathing material.
The Nectar Pillow: Is it time to upgrade?
Now comes the time when I have to make a decision as to whether or not I am going to recommend this particular pillow to my audience. After all, the whole point of this project is and has been to share my own experiences with trying to achieve a better night’s sleep, in hopes that you too might learn a little something to help you catch those Z’s.
No matter what kind of sleeper you are, there is a very solid chance that the Nectar Pillow is going to work for you. At the very least, you are getting a comfortable all-around kind of pillow that can be customized to your heart’s desire. For this reason we are eager to recommend it to anyone out there who is looking to upgrade their sleep system … especially if you have never owned a specialty pillow and you are currently using a ‘traditional’ cotton-stuffed pillow.
Nectar Pillow Review Summary
Product Name: Nectar Memory Foam Pillow
Product Description: Pillow-in-pillow design with quilted memory foam outer shell, plus Tencel cooling fabric and active ventilation so you are always sleeping on the cool side.
Offer price: $75
Product Summary: Nectar Sleep’s Memory Foam Pillow
The Nectar Pillow by Nectar Sleep is not only a great companion to the Nectar mattress, it is also a highly-versatile stand-alone sleep-aid that can increase the amount of sleep you are getting by providing you with the absolute perfect level of both firmness and height.
Here’s the takeaway:
- Highly customizable loft & firmness
- Perfected “pillow-in-pillow” design
- One of the most affordable “premium pillows” on the market.
- Highly Adjustable
- Very Affordable
- Little to no off-gassing
- Not as breathable or cool as other premium pillows