Proper head and neck support to ensure spinal alignment for overall comfort and health is a priority in the construction of the TempurPedic line of pillows. Many people are unaware of how important their pillow choices are to a good night’s sleep and that an investment in a quality pillow should be a priority alongside their mattress choice.
Choosing a pillow simply on store availability is not always the best route, and taking the time to research your options based on sleep positions and preferences is always suggested.
In acquiring the Tempur- Symphony Pillow, The Sleep Judge Review Team has been able to consider the claims made by the company and try them out for ourselves. Our personal findings are described in the review found below.
Tempur-Symphony Pillow Specs
Filling- Memory Foam
Loft- ~ 5 inches
Comfort Positions- Back/Side
Warranty- 5 year
Breakdown of the Tempur-Symphony Pillow
TempurPedic has been around for over 25 years now and continues to meet quality industry standards with their innovative approaches to sleep comfort. Their patented memory foam was first designed to help with NASA space flight, and it was later tweaked to create a new form of mattress construction.
This foam is now used in a variety of products, including pillows, and the Tempur-Symphony is created to specifically meet the needs of side sleepers with its gentle curved side but also can be versatile enough for back and certain stomach sleepers when the flat side is used. It incorporates the company’s softer foam for proper neck and head contouring and support through the night.
- Very contouring
- Washable cover
- Dual-sided support
- No trial period
- May not work for stomach sleepers
- Pillow not washable
TempurPedic ships almost all their pillows in a sturdy, branded box in order to keep from compressing their foam both in storage and shipping. The Symphony arrived in an unmarked brown shipping box and was well wrapped and sealed in plastic within the brand box as shown. Upon opening, there was a very faint off-gassing, which is very typical of foam products- especially those that have been stored in non-porous plastic packaging.
I opened it in the evening and had dissipated by morning, although I could still smell it if I pressed my nose against it. It was never a strong smell, and within a few days, it was gone altogether. You can speed up this process by allowing it to sit out in the sun and fresh air for a few hours.
Features and Benefits
Products made for specific comfort purposes often have a series of features and benefits that support the claims made by the company. The Tempur-Symphony is no exception, and with its unique shape, it not only contains TempurPedic’s famous memory foam but also boasts a few other details to help you get a great night’s sleep.
Of course, not all pillows work for every individual, and much of what you choose to invest in, it should be based on both your sleep posture needs as well as personal preferences surrounding materials and need. Therefore, it is important to look into these claims in detail to ensure you are investing in a product you will get the most of.
Pillows meet a size standard within the industry based on specific measurements to allow a universal purchase of pillowcases. Average sizes are approximately 20 x 26 inches, x 30 inches, and x 36 inches for standard, queen, and king sizes respectively. The Symphony measures 24 x 17 inches to accommodate its unique arched design, and it fits well with both standard and queen size pillowcase.
I truly struggle to see the variances between pillows as their loft (described below) can make a pillow look larger or smaller than it actually is. This pillow is no exception as it looks like a standard sized pillow until you place them directly side by side. The rule of thumb to keep in mind is to choose a pillowcase that does not fit too snugly around the pillow as you do not want it compressed in any manner in order to better take advantage of its full benefits. As mentioned, I had no issues with the pillowcase sizes.
Memory Foam Filling
The pillow is constructed with the softest of the Tempur foam to create a very responsive sleep surface. Memory foam quality is measured in pounds per cubic foot, and this particular type weighs in at 4.1 lb/cubic foot, which is on the average to high end of acceptable quality foams by industry standards. It also is a heavier, more dense pillow due to the memory foam use, but not overly so.
I found the pillow to be very responsive to my weight, even when in a colder room which can often make a memory foam feel hard and less giving until it is exposed to your body heat. Usually, memory foam is not my first choice of pillow feel, but I felt more like I was sleeping on a dense fiber-filled pillow but without the shifting that can sometimes occur with the use of that material.
Memory foam is used to provide a perfect fit per se to your body shape and size- and I definitely noticed how well it conformed to the areas of my body that were touching it without causing any untoward pressure.
Loft refers to the height of the pillow when placed upon a flat surface. Depending on the type of fill that is used, it can vary and may not be the best indicator of comfort or firmness levels, but it does provide a good size measurement. Since the Tempur-Symphony uses memory foam, the loft is a bit more accurate as the material is not one that can be plumped or shaped.
Measuring an average 5 inches despite the gentle arch, this pillow is considered a common size that is often found in the industry. What’s nice is that the loft does not vary greatly when at rest or when compressed since the foam conforms and compressed only to the weight placed on it and does not redistribute inside the pillow.
Unique Shaping Comfort Claims
The Symphony has a gentle arch on one side and a flat surface on the other. The arch is specific to side sleepers to allow them to easily position their head and neck for a more comfortable support.
When I first used this pillow, I actually forgot about this detail as it is not very noticeable unless you intently look for it. I was unsure if I had slept on the sloped side, and so after checking, I made sure to sleep on the opposite side to see if there was any noticeable difference. I honestly could not tell the difference in terms of comfort when sleeping on my side on either surface. However, it was a bit more apparent when resting on my back.
Breathable, Removable Cover
Like other pillows made by TempurPedic, the symphony comes with a zippered removable cover. Made from 100% polyester, it is soft and micro-vented to allow for a free flow of air through the surface of the material. Seams are double stitched for durability, and the zipper is a lay flat design and is barely noticeable.
Pillow Cleaning- Cover ONLY
Depending on the type of pillow you buy, it may be considered an easily washable and dryable product. Unfortunately, this is not the case with a TempurPedic pillow. Memory foam does not always go well with moisture or any liquid for that matter. And if wet, it takes quite a bit of time for the foam to dry out completely. But you have to take note that long exposure to damp environment can cause a breakdown of memory foam cellular structure, so even if you do feel like you at least need to spot clean it, be sure to blot and dry as much as possible.
However, the cover it comes with is machine washable and dryable and serves as an excellent barrier to protect the pillow itself. Plus, with the addition of your own personal pillowcase, you have provided a decent amount of protection against all but the worst of accidents.
5 Year Limited Warranty
Unfortunately, TempurPedic does not offer any trial periods on their pillows. But there is a 5-year limited warranty that covers workmanship and material defects. They do also accept returns, but it is ONLY if the issue is covered under warranty, or the product was damaged in shipment to you. This warranty includes if the pillow becomes too compressed than what is deemed normal over time creating an uneven surface.
But this warranty is only available if you order directly from TempurPedic or an authorized dealer. Be sure you know where your products are being purchased from.
One thing about TempurPedic is it generates a lot of reviews surrounding their products across many online sources. When researching for TempurPedic pillows in general, I found out that Symphony ended up being rated as one of their top reviewed products, hence one of the reasons why we decided to take a closer look at it as well.
This pillow is considered a versatile pillow by consumers and is available for all sleep positions, although back and stomach sleepers claim it to be too firm. It is highly praised by side sleepers, however, who took note of the gentle sink it provides without creating too soft a surface. It is also considered a cooler sleep experience to some and is not one to create noticeable heat retention issues. They are also popular because they last for years without creating indentations or breaking down, and many people commented that they continually go back to buy this same pillow well after the 5-year mark (most pillow life is 18 months to 3 years).
The off-gassing I noticed is a bit problematic for some people and it is definitely noticeable no matter how slight. Consumers seem to have varying experiences with how long the smell last with some saying a few days and others a few weeks. My experience was a few days.
In order to gain a wider perspective of this product in general, I also had it reviewed by another stomach and back sleeper to see if their findings were similar to mine- which I’ll describe in more detail below. Our second trial member is also not a fan of memory foam but did remark that this one seemed a bit lighter and plusher than others they have reviewed.
As a side sleeping choice, they felt it really didn’t put forth the firm surface feel they were used too with this type of product and felt it supported their head and neck well. They also liked how well they could roll on it without having to wait for it to soften up when they shifted their weight.
They did find it to be comfortable as a back sleeping choice as well but felt the flatter side was better suited for this. They didn’t like, as a combo sleeper, that if they rolled from their side to back, they needed to flip the pillow from arch to flat to meet their personal preference needs.
My Sleep Trial Experiences
I am a natural stomach sleeper who also sleeps on my side. As a shorter, average weighted woman, I lean more towards softer, thin pillows that I can shape and bunch under my head and neck for support when needed. Because of this, although I can appreciate a memory foam surface, I generally find them to be too firm and unyielding in comparison to what I am used to.
My first impression of the pillow was that is wasn’t as heavy as other memory foam pillows I have reviewed in the past. As mentioned earlier, I didn’t even really notice the arched side as it is very subtle. I also appreciated right away the softness of the foam as it gave very easy under my grasp when I picked it up to move it.
I did expect to fall asleep with it and wake sometime in the night to push it out of the way, but surprisingly, I slept through each night with it quite well. It reminded me more of a shredded memory foam, soft contouring feel- a filling I do really like to sleep on.
I nap regularly on my back and tried the Symphony out first on the arched side before flipping to the flatter side. It is thin enough both ways to provide a nice cradle for the head in this position, and it gave well under the top of my shoulders and neck that I had resting against it. I didn’t notice much of a difference between the sides, probably because it is a pretty yielding foam.
I don’t know if I would enjoy this for an entire night’s sleep, simply because I did notice that I was a bit inclined overall. This could cause some neck strain in the long run for a woman of my size and stature. It was comfortable for a short nap, however!
This was a complete no go for me. Although soft, it is much too high to get comfortable for any amount of time, and I could feel the strain between my shoulders and lower back within minutes of trying to lay my head over it. I could move upwards to rest my shoulders upon it which helped alleviate the back stress, but that is not a position that is comfortable to me personally. I could see this being an option for broad-shouldered and heavier bodies than myself.
This is a great pillow for side sleepers, and I was very pleasantly surprised to wake morning after morning having rested well on my side. As mentioned, it was extremely responsive to my weight, and I could press my shoulder into the pillow and have it shape itself around me without causing pressure.
For a more solidly formed pillow, it provided excellent pressure reduction, and I never felt at any time the pillow was pressing against my ear (and I sleep with earrings on), jaw, throat, or skull. It held my head at a level that did not cause stress to my neck, shoulders, or back, and if I wanted to place my arms under my pillow, it conformed nicely around it and could not be felt through the pillow nor did it elevate my head at all. I also did not experience any heat retention.
This pillow gets two thumbs up for side sleeping, but back and stomach sleepers may not want to make this their first choice. If you like the more solid feel of a memory foam, but not a firm surface, this is an excellent choice for overall support. I often can appreciate the quality and comfort a pillow may lend to a variety of sleepers, but not many surprise me as much as this one did. I expected a more firm, heavy pillow, and was unaware, until now, that a solid memory foam pillow could feel this much lighter compared to other similar products. And the responsiveness was immediate- a detail I know many people can appreciate.
Overall Side Sleeping Rating: 4.6
Since this pillow claims to be side sleeping pillow first and foremost, I can honestly say it takes the cake. This is a great supportive rest in this position, no matter whether you choose the arched or flat side. It is contouring, does not create pressure points, and is cool to rest upon. As for a back or stomach sleeper, there are plenty of better options available out there; BUT, for a side sleeper of smaller to medium stature- it is one of the best available of the many I have personally reviewed.
In my opinion, the overall shape works well, but the shaped side is truly not needed, especially since the flat side isn’t even all that flat and seems to only be there in order to provide a possible surface for back and stomach sleepers. My impression is that it was an afterthought to make it sound like a greater variety of sleepers can take advantage of it- which, in some cases, may be true, but in general is not truly what it is made for. Either way, both sides are very comfortable to rest upon.
The off-gassing is almost always an issue with memory foam products, and this one does seem to linger, despite the slight odor. My suggestion is to let it rest in the sun, if possible, for the whole afternoon to help speed up the dissipation of the smell.
The Tempur-Symphony Pillow is by far my favorite solid memory foam side sleeping choice up to this point. If you are not a fan of a more solid pillow but do like the contouring memory foam can provide for you, this is an excellent pillow choice to consider. It is a lighter weight pillow, and it truly provides an instant sink to the weight you place upon it, which memory foams are typically known for.
As a back or stomach choice, it may be reasonable to many people, but for an average weight, shorter women, I feel I did not have the shoulder width or the weight to make it a true comfort choice for a full night’s sleep. As expected of a TempurPedic product, it is of very high quality and is expected to last at least as long as the generous 5-year warranty.