When you can put enough aside to afford it, a key purchase is your pillow. It's something you use every night and affects how sore and damaged you become during the weirdly dangerous act of sleeping (being over 40, yay!)
So I put my money to the test and, after research, bought each option in the "Cervical Pillow" series:
Though the pillows have a removable strip in the center in case they're too high for you, none of them (queen, queen soft, or standard soft) were low enough. I felt like my chin was scraping my ribcage the entire time and returned them all. It was disappointing, but the foam did seem comfortable – if only too high/stiff.
With a little more looking around, SHREDDED memory foam seemed a good option so that was my next buy:
The first one I bought was MAJORLY comfortable. The kind of pillow you lay down on and can't get back up again because your body deactivates like a deflated pudgy robot. The two problems were that it was STILL too full AND it deflates very soon after buying (as it warns in the comments and reviews).
The first problem was easy to solve because all of the shredded foam pillows I found came with zipper-cases so you could pull out as much foam as you like. In one case, I had so much fluff, I was able to make two pillows out of it (I had another zipping pillow case lying around).
The second problem is based on them shredding too thoroughly. The foam was randomly sized even down to "cotton candy" shreds in some cases which meant that it compressed too much in a short time. They tell you to low-heat dry the pillows when they arrive to get rid of the chemical smell and to fluff them and also tell you to re-fluff them now and then the same way, but I lost structural integrity after only a night or two. Luckily, there's a simple solution:
I did not return the first shredded pillow because it was crazy comfortable; I bought the third pillow for one reason: cubes. The foam was evenly cut and not likely to compress easily which is exactly what I'd need if I was going to make an unholy meld of SOFT and SUPPORT. And that's exactly what I did… I grabbed a 32 gallon garbage bag and dumped the contents of both pillows together. I mixed them vigerously by hand and then started filling every zipping pillow case I had. Because they give you enough foam in these things you'd be licking your toes if you left them alone, I was able to fill probably 5 pillows to a degree that made everyone in the family happy (and I have some left over).
So it takes a little more effort, but basically:
- Buy an overly shredded memory foam pillow
- Buy an almost obnoxiously uniform shredded foam pillow as well. I looked for cubes
- Mix them together in a big bag
- Refill your pillowcases to whatever degree is comfortable for you .
I've been so comfortable recently that my pain is lower, my sleep is better, and I have to adjust my rear-view mirror every morning because of how decompressed I've been.