Bamboo is everywhere these days. Fibers from the fast-growing plant — which is technically a grass, not a tree — are turning up in clothing, bedding, What is so special about shredded memory foam pillow? building materials, and other goods, including pillows.
Why buy a bamboo pillow? Some online sources claim that fabrics and pillows made from bamboo are naturally soft, durable, and breathable.
They also claim that bamboo is hypoallergenic. That means it’s less likely than other materials to cause an allergic reaction,
There isn’t much solid research on the health benefits of bamboo pillows. But there is evidence that bamboo fibers — the ones used in bamboo pillows — have many of the qualities talked about online.
What exactly is a bamboo pillow? It’s partly made with bamboo fibers, shredded memory foam pillow which come from a crushed up, treated, and hardened mixture of bamboo leaves and trunk flesh. The bamboo portion of the pillow is in the casing, not the stuffing.
Some potential health benefits are:
Bamboo naturally wicks moisture and heat. The fibers of the bamboo plant are hollow, and the small gaps and holes in bamboo fibers absorb moisture. They also allow hot air to escape. Compared to other fabrics used to make pillows, bamboo may be better at keeping a sleeper’s head cool and dry.
Bamboo fabrics are soft and static-free. Bamboo fibers are naturally anti-static and anti-cling. Woven into fabric, they also tend to be soft and lustrous, somewhat like cashmere or silk.
Bamboo may be antibacterial and hypoallergenic. There’s some evidence that bamboo fibers naturally resist the growth of bacteria. This means they’re less likely
king pillows to harbor microorganisms that could lead to illness or smelly odors. But some studies that have looked at bamboo have not found that it’s more anti-bacterial than cotton.
There is also some evidence that bamboo really is less likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to some other textiles.
Bamboo is easy to care for. Compared to cotton, bamboo materials are more wrinkle-resistant and less likely to shrink in the wash.
Bamboo can be eco-friendly. From an environmental standpoint, there are a few more benefits of bamboo. Compared to trees, bamboo absorbs much more carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — and makes more fresh oxygen.
This magical memory foam characteristic is called visco-elasticity.
Memory foam has the viscous properties of water, but the elastic feel of traditional poly foams. These unique characteristics are what makes memory foam pillows so popular. If you rest your head on one, the memory foam will compresses and conform perfectly to the shape of your body. When the pressure on the pillow is released, the memory foam slowly resets itself and changes back to its original rectangular shape.
This makes memory foam very good for:
- providing even, comfortable support and
- distributing your body’s weight, eliminating pressure points.
Traditional memory foam pillows are unfortunately NOT moldable.
Most mass-produced memory foam pillows consist of a single piece of foam. This is considered a substantial disadvantage by many users, myself included. No matter how you fluff, smoosh, squash, scrunch or sculpt this solid piece of memory foam, it will always revert to its original rectangular shape. If it feels uncomfortable, you can’t alter its shape to better accommodate your sleeping style like you can with other pillow types.
Shredded memory foam pillows, however, ARE moldable.
As its name implies, “shredded” memory foam filling is simply torn into tiny pieces. The individual pieces of foam move independently, allowing the pillow to be moldable. You can sculpt it much like a down pillow—it will shift and change into whatever shape you desire.
I ordered some shredded memory foam to try for myself.
I already had a nice zippered pillow case, so I just ordered a bag of shredded memory foam to fill it. It cost me $39.00 with shipping. I’m not one to complain about a few extra dollars for something that you spend a third of your life on, but if you’re shopping for pillow filling strictly based upon price, you should know that you’ll pay a bit more more for shredded memory than poly fiberfill or other more cost-effective fillings.
*Note* Shredded memory foam pillows often marketed as “bamboo pillows.” Why?
Because bamboo sounds like an environmentally responsible, safe component to use in a pillow. Marketers love to use the word bamboo in their product descriptions; it appeals to eco-conscious consumers. So where’s the bamboo? The truth is in the fine print: apparently their rayon fabric case is derived from bamboo.
Sleeping on a shredded memory foam pillow: my experience
I added what seemed to be an appropriate amount of filling and took my new pillow to my bedroom for a quick test drive. It was completely different than the traditional memory foam pillows I’ve tried. The shredded memory foam was considerably softer feeling. My head sank deep into the pillow — too deep.
I added a bit more filling and after a bit of trial and error, I got the pillow’s loft (height) just where I wanted it. The additional filling also made the pillow a bit more firm, preventing it from bottoming out under the weight of my head.
I should note that not all shredded memory foam pillows offer adjustability with a zippered opening. Personally, I think that the ability to adjust both the firmness and loft of your pillow is indispensable. When you buy something non-adjustable it’s quite likely you’re either positioning your head too high or low.
I slept on it for a couple weeks and formed some conclusions.
Some of the memory foam “magic” is lost.
Shredded memory foam offers moldability at the cost of some support. Memory foam’s unique ability to conform to your head and neck negated when it’s been torn into individual pieces. With a solid memory foam loaf, the material adjacent to the compressed area is all attached as a single uninterrupted piece. Traditional memory foam therefore reacts and compresses in coordination, allowing for a more precise “cradling” effect than the shredded memory foam can provide.
The shredded memory foam looked like candy-coated popcorn.
My shredded memory foam pillow filling came tightly compressed inside a plastic cylinder to reduce shipping charges. When I opened the bag it expanded to twice its volume. The multicolored pieces all varied in size; most were about 1/4 – 1/2 inches in diameter.
Memory foam is malodorous, funky, fetid and foul!
I opened the bag and my nose quickly reminded me of my previous experiences with memory foam — you might say it jogged my memory (foam). HA!
The strong synthetic odor associated with memory foam is powerful. I’ve tried memory foam pillows before, so this unique chemical smell was something I was very familiar with.
Although this shredded memory foam’s stink wasn’t as ridiculous as the pillows I’d tried previously, it was very hard to ignore.
What is this smell? Memory foam is manufactured using polyurethane and several other chemicals. Because of the volatile organic compounds contained, memory foam unfortunately stinks to high heaven. This is often referred to as “off gassing.” It is a common and well-documented issue and is the most frequent complaint that consumers have with memory foam. The off gassing issue isn’t limited to the smell; there are various reports and studies which indicate that memory foam may be somewhat toxic. *sigh*