Finding a pillow that can serve a wider variety of sleep positions and comfort preferences can be difficult. Those of you who consider themselves a combination sleeper, defined by more than one position through the night, can often struggle with the proper support needed to keep your head and neck in alignment with the rest of your spine.
Many companies try to approach this need with a unique pillow shape, and TempurPedic is no exception.
The Tempur-Embrace pillow has a wholly unique design that breaks free of the more conventional shaping and fills often used by the company. We have had an opportunity to personally experience the Tempur-Embrace Pillow to provide you with our own detailed reports of this particular pillows many claims.
Size – 24 x 20 inches
Material – Shredded Foam Filling and Memory Foam
Warranty – 5-year warranty
Breakdown of the Tempur-Embrace Pillow
TempurPedic continues to be a strong brand name in the sleep industry synonymous with innovative comfort and sleep surface design. With their adaptation of a patented memory foam (first developed to aid in NASA space flight comfort) to provide a new approach to how consumers viewed their own sleep health- they influenced an entirely new generation of sleep products.
The Tempur-Embrace seems wholly unconventional at first glance with its very specialized rounded x-styles construction. And unlike TempurPedic’s other best selling pillow models, it actually takes advantage of a finely shredded memory foam fill rather than a solid piece to create a new approach to pillow comfort completely unique to the company. Since TempurPedic is well known for taking technologically backed, innovative approaches to new experiences, I was not completely surprised to find this pillow on my front porch to review.
Unlike most of TempurPedic’s pillows, this one did not come encased in a branded box. It was wrapped in plastic and arrived with a few other pillows from the company in an unmarked brown shipping box. Since it is well protected and packaged with the other products, I had no issues with this, especially since it’s one less box to have to dispose of.
Many memory foam pillows have a slight off-gassing, but this one did not have any that I could notice. My guess is that since it was not tightly wrapped in plastic nor stored in that manner for any length of time, the smell often noticed was never able to build up within the packaging. Off-gassing normally dissipates on its own within a few hours to a few days, so it was nice to be able to use this pillow immediately upon receiving.
Features and Benefits
The features and benefits of any product are what helps highlight the claims it makes. These details are what any consumer should take a closer look at to see if it is a worthwhile product for their particular needs. I’ve broken down each of these to provide both an overview as well as my own impression of them to give you an idea of whether this is a pillow that might work for you.
My first impression of this pillow was of its shape and the overall heft. It is a more solid feeling pillow, but with a very ‘squishy’ surface that is easy to grab and manipulate. I felt that it looked overly large, but as described below, is well within a standard pillow size range. I wasn’t too sure what to make of it concerning comfort at first, but I did quickly find out how versatile it is.
Obviously, this is not your average sized pillow, and my first thought concerning this was how in the world would it fit within a pillowcase. Most pillows fall within an industry standard of measurement in order to fit both your own and store bought pillowcases. Obviously, with the unique curved shape, you wouldn’t measure this for dimensions as you would to other rectangular pillow shapes. However, if you look at it as a more rectangular piece, and negate the curving indents that define the x-shape, you will see that it can be measured like a more traditional piece.
Despite this, TempurPedic claims this is a queen-sized pillow (standard measurement is 20 x 30 inches), and measures 24 x 20 inches, which is well within a typical pillowcase size. I’ll admit it looked much larger to me due to the shaping, but I was very happy to see that it fit well into a standard pillowcase size with plenty of room leftover to take advantage of the unique curves. Of course, you can always use it without a pillowcase as it does have its own protective cover, but I like having an added layer over my pillows due to the personal nature of how a pillow is used.
• Shaping Comfort Claims
The unique shape of this pillow definitely dominates your first impression. Although it does look larger than what it truly is, as explained above, it is a true average sized pillow with a few helpful shape adjustments.
The x-shaping allows for three different gently curved indentations as well as a flat size to provide more of a traditional pillow feel when you need it. These curves allow for the neck, shoulder, upper body, and head support- depending on its use. I’ll admit that I totally viewed this as a body pillow alternative from the get-go. As a stomach and side sleeper, I often look for support to help keep my spine aligned through a shoulder and upper body support, and this pillow looked like a very malleable, huggable alternative to my soft feather and down preferences.
• Shredded Poly Foam Filling
Unlike most TempurPedic pillows, this pillow has a very finely shredded foam filling and thin memory foam pad to provide a more shapeable, soft contour. Created from a basic polyurethane foam, it also creates a slightly malleable feel in order to better cushion the pressure you place on it. It is sewn into a well shaped, gusseted casing to help it keep its general, overall shape, but still allows for excellent movement of the filling.
Most memory foam products have a slight delay in their contouring sink. This fill provides an instant contour – allowing for a plush surface feel with an underlying support. I found that no matter which position I used it in, it never ‘pushed’ back or create any pressure points. It also kept its overall shape well due to an inner casing, and it easily allowed me to tuck my arms under the pillow without creating any uncomfortable pressure.
I want to clarify the feel of this shredded memory foam since many of us are used to the larger, chunkier, shreds of foam like those used in bamboo pillow choices. These shreds are very fine and are not even noticeable due to how close together they fit. Unless you are really paying attention to how you can slightly shift the filling within, you can tell that it isn’t a solid piece of foam.
The measurement of your pillow height at rest is called the loft, and although is not the best way to determine overall comfort or firmness, it does provide a general idea of how much support you may receive. The height of this pillow measures in at a little over 4.5 inches and includes a 2-inch gusset to provide consistent shaping based on the pillow design. This also allows for excellent neck support without the collapse of the softer materials along the edges.
• Polyester, Breathable, Removable Cover
The cover is a 99% poly and 1% elastane blend to provide a little extra stretch to accommodate the shredded foam movement within. It is a smooth, non-snagging material that also includes micro-venting to provide good airflow through the pillow and to allow easy fluffing of the shredded foam. This cover is naturally dirt repellent and does wipe clean easily, but it is also machine washable (more on that below).
The seams are double stitched with a lay flat zipper that spans the entire width of the pillow and wraps slightly around the edges. This makes it easier to remove and put back on since many times these types of covers are very form fitting and difficult to work with. The Tempur logo quilted into the cover is also a nice quality touch.
• Pillow Cleaning- Cover ONLY
Like most foam products, this pillow is not very liquid friendly and should never be washed. If liquids do soak through to the foam filling, blot up as much as possible and allow to dry fully- since lingering moisture can begin to break down the foam’s cellular structure.
The casing, however, is machine washable and should be line dried. It also can be spot cleaned as needed, especially if you do not use it with a pillowcase, but the added protection is highly recommended.
• 5-Year Limited Warranty
A 5-year warranty comes with each pillow. This covers shipping damage and workmanship or material damage not caused by the consumer. It also pertains to a breakdown in foam that is considered more than what is normal for settling over time. Returns may also be accepted as long as it is due to a warranty covered factor.
Despite the odd shape, this is a pillow that seems to be well loved by those willing to give it a try. With no trial period available, many people may be deterred from trying out his pillow and being a waste of money if it doesn’t work for them, but luckily it seems to have overwhelming support due to its soft contour, supportive shape, and it has the features in which combo sleepers could advantage of.
People make comment on how well the pillow fills the space between their head and shoulders to provide a true soft tissue relaxation. Plus, since the shape promotes support of the shoulders and upper body, how well it cushions and provides pressure point relief is also mentioned many times in the consumer reviews. People who like to tuck an arm under their heads or hug the pillow, also commented how well the pillow takes on their shape without disrupting their head or creating unwanted pressure.
It may be too thin for some side sleepers since they need a pillow that can both support their shoulder width as well as neck to provide proper cervical alignment. But it does seem to be a favorite for both back and side sleepers due to the thinner, softer nature of the pillow.
I don’t really know anyone who tosses themselves around as much as I do through the night (mainly because I am trying to break myself on sleeping on my stomach- and I am failing miserably). Therefore I found a few back sleepers of various sizes to see how well they liked the pillow.
The sleeper of smaller stature preferred the feel of the indented side as it cradled her head and supported her shoulder width well. She loved how she could turn her head to the side in order to find a comfort zone as well as how easy it made turning side to side if she chooses to shift positions.
The sleeper of heavier stature preferred the flatter, non-indented size and also liked how well it held his head steady through the night. He also occasionally likes to turn to his side to sleep but did not feel that this particular pillow was thick enough to support the width of this shoulders. He liked how well he could fold the pillow’s side in order to provide a better supportive surface but felt that it was too much energy to bother with in the middle of the night if shifting positions.
My Sleep Trial Experiences with the Tempur-Embrace Pillow
As an average sized, smaller woman, I look for contouring pillow fills that allows for shapeable comfort. I prefer to sleep on my stomach, but also regularly, I will sleep on my side if I feel well supported. Currently, my favorite go-to pillows are soft, thin, feather and down, or bamboo shredded foam due to how malleable they are.
Although I am not a big fan of the more solid foam pillow construction, I have found myself rather impressed with the softer TempurPedic pillow choices, so I was excited to check this pillow out- especially since I discovered it has a shredded foam fill.
Back sleepers rejoice! Since you do need a thinner pillow to help keep your head and neck in optimal alignment with your shoulders and spine, this seems to be an excellent choice. The shredded foam provides top-notch cradling and the perfect amount of support under your weight to keep your head from bottoming out or being lifted too high.
I especially liked how my head and neck fit up into the pillow with the curved sides helping to stabilize my position. This made it easy to take advantage of the shape to really allow my head to fall into a restful, more natural position and still be well supported.
When I sleep on my side, I get the best rest when I am able to wrap my arm around a soft pillow and really tuck my bottom arm and shoulder underneath me. I could easily fit my shoulder up into the pillow indent and lay my arm under the pillow without experiencing any firm pressure. The pillow conformed to my body pressure and allowed me to get a really decent sleep positioned like this.
I liked how I could feel the foam return to shape if I shifted position or moved my arm, but I never felt like there was any delay in its response to my weight and shape. This is definitely my a top choice for side sleepers of my stature and shoulder width. After sleeping three nights in a row in this position, I can honestly say I woke up feeling refreshed each time (which is a difficult feat due to a truly insane schedule as I juggle with work and my children).
As a person who naturally leans towards stomach sleeping, I struggle with lower back pain and occasional neck stress due to how poorly this position supports your cervical alignment. I have found that my pillow choices are incredibly important to my overall comfort, and since I have been struggling to become more of a natural side sleeper, finding a pillow that works for the odd combination of side to stomach and back without straining my neck has been a challenge.
Usually very soft, malleable feather or down alternative pillows work for me as I can shape them to my needs, but this unique shape is turning out to be a very decent alternative. As its name suggests, this ‘Embrace’ truly can be embraced and allows for a gentle slope to your back when you lay upon it as a stomach sleeping choice. This takes the unnatural curve your neck and upper back takes on when you rest your head on a too tall of a pillow. Plus, with my situation, I was able to roll into a side sleeping position and turned back to my stomach during the night with ease.
I do believe this is probably a choice position that is very much determined by personal preferences, however. Initially, I had a concern if this would place a strain on my lower back, but it never did.
Depending on body size and sleep preferences, this seems to be a pillow that can work well for all three sleep positions and accommodate combo sleepers without any issues. People with smaller stature can better take advantage of the pillow as a back and side choice, whereas a larger bodied individual may prefer it as a back and stomach option.
Stomach sleepers of any stature may also look to take advantage of the unique shape to support their upper body to use it as a true “Embrace” pillow. By laying upon it or using it as a body pillow alternative, it allows or helps provide the specific support needed to alleviate shoulder, back, and neck pain. This is, of course, very dependent upon personal preferences, but I did find it very comforting in this manner as a way to initially relax.
In my opinion, the unique shape lends itself to a wider variety of needs than many other traditionally shaped pillows. Even though the shredded poly foam isn’t the patented Tempur memory foam the company is so famous for, it is incredibly responsive and returns back to shape immediately.
Overall Side Sleeping Rating: 4.5
Despite its odd shape, this is a very versatile pillow as we’ve described, and it is a popular pick for many people who are willing to check out the overall comfort claims it made. Like most TempurPedic products, there is a definite care and quality put into the overall workmanship. The unique shredded memory foam filling combined with well sewn and designed casings for shape provides support where needed, as well as good contouring under pressure and subtle malleability for individual preferences.
Since it is a different type of pillow compared to what most people are used to, a sleep trial probably would be beneficial if offered through the company to allow more people to take a chance on investing in the comfort it lends. It is backed by a 5-year warranty, however, and like many other pillows constructed by the company, it should provide good years of use.
Overall, our Sleep Judge Review Team gives this pillow a big two thumbs up. It seems to provide a bit of comfort for just about everybody, and it probably is the most versatile pillow I have personally ever reviewed. It definitely makes its way to our list of best pillows to check out.
If you have been on the hunt for something new and unique to help with your sleep comfort, go ahead and take a closer look at the Tempur-Embrace Pillow. No matter what sleep position you prefer, it most likely will lend a degree of support and benefit to your overall sleep.