Tempur Pillow Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Will the Tempur Pillow make a difference to my sleep?

I’ve long been a convert to the merits of memory foam. I love the way it sculpts to your form, and how a good mattress can give you just the right support in all the right places. One thing that has held me back from indulging this belief however is the price: memory foam mattresses and pillows are undeniably expensive. So I’ve generally opted for cheaper version, IKEA own or similar. But some arguably sub-par results have left me with that lingering question: could there be something better out there? With seemingly endless lockdowns leaving me spending more time than ever in my own bed, and a travel budget very much surplus to requirements, I decided to get an answer.

Image of the Tempur Symphony Pillow Box
Image Credit: Harvey Norman

Tempur Symphony Pillow

After a good bit of research, reading different product descriptions, and even breaking out the tape measure, I went for it and splashed out on a Tempur Symphony Pillow, in size large. This promised to be the perfect pillow for people who sleep on their side or back. I’m usually a curled-up on my side sleeper, but how Australian nights have driven me onto my back. I bought my Tempur pillow for a not insignificant $199 from Harvey Norman. A couple of months down the line, let’s take a look at some of the things I love, and some I don’t, about my new pillow.

Pros

Starting off with some of the Tempur Symphony’s best qualities. I sleep on an Ikea memory foam mattress with memory foam topper – the Tempur may feel different if you’re not using any kind of memory foam mattress in the rest of your bed set up.  I previously used the Ikea Rumsmalva ‘ergonomic pillow for side/back sleepers’ (costing a mere $29.99), so this is what I’m comparing the Tempur experience with.

  • Comfort. This pillow really is much more comfortable than any other I’ve used. I’ve been sleeping with an Ikea memory foam pillow since arriving in Australia, so I didn’t expect there to be too much of a difference. But the Tempur offers noticeably better support. Weirdly, it has a lot more and less ‘give to it. It adjusts to support you far more, cupping your head and sculpting to your sleeping position. The instructions (yes, this pillow came with a manual) warned that there would be a bit of a break-in period as the material softens, and while I have found this to be the case, I still noticed an immediate difference.
  • The weight. This feels like another slightly odd thing to say about a pillow, but the Tempur Symphony is really pleasingly heavy. I’m a bit of an uneasy sleeper, and I used to find my pillow pushed all over the place into all sorts of odd arrangements in the morning, but Tempur has a kind of stabilising weight to it, so it survives a disturbed night without moving, and still in a supportive position on my bed.
  • The cost. Now this definitely is a strange thing to say, I’ll admit. After all, the cost was one of the things putting me off buying the pillow in the first place. But having lived with it for a while now, I think it’s great value for money. Gone are the creaky neck pains I used to wake up with, and the awkward fidgeting to find the right position when I’m trying to get to sleep. The quality of life improvements are definitely there, and given the life expectancy of the pillow, $199 isn’t that much per use. Compared to the cost of other things I could do to help myself sleep better (not least possibly buying a Tempur mattress), this pillow is pretty cheap, with impressive results. Despite the initial outlay, it has worked out as a good return on investment.

Cons

Now we’ll take a look at some of the negatives you might consider when deciding if this is the pillow for you.

  • Size. Despite my going for the large, this is quite a small pillow. The three sizes actually only differ in depth – essentially to match the width of your shoulder. The overall size of the pillow doesn’t change. If you’re someone who likes the classic, deep piles of pillows look, this won’t work for you. By its nature you’ll only need one pillow per person, so you can’t stack them up for added height. If you go for this pillow, you have to accept that, at least functionally, your bed will have quite a minimalist appearance. Another thing about the proportions of this pillow, and its general compactness, is that it doesn’t fit perfectly into standard pillowcases. All of my existing pillowcases are a bit loose with this pillow, with extra fabric that can be tucked back under the pillow. Not a big deal, but you can’t expect to have that pleasingly stuffed pillowcase you get from standard pillows.
  • You’ll still need another pillow. If, like me, you often stay up reading in bed of an evening, you’re still going to need another pillow to support you in a seated position. This doesn’t have to be a problem (it can help solve those aesthetic things I mentioned earlier), but you’d be mistaken if you thought this was the kind of pillow you could prop up and lean back on. It’s very much designed for one purpose, which it does really well, and no other.
  • Firmness. Even after the break-in period this is essentially quite a firm pillow. That suits me perfectly, as that has always been my preference, but if you normally opt for big feather pillows, the Tempur could come as something of a shock. It is really supportive, but you will feel supported, if you see what I mean.
  • There’s no cool side of the pillow. But there’s no hot side either… While it claims to be dual-sided, the shape of the pillow means that I only really find it comfortable one way up (for me, there is a right and a wrong way up), so there’s no flipping the pillow for that sweet cool side on a hot night. It promises that the material regulates temperature so you don’t need to reach for the cool side, and while so far I’ve found that to be the case, we’ll have to wait and see how it fairs with Australian summer nights.

Should you buy a Tempur Symphony Pillow?

As you can tell, I’ve really been won over by this pillow. I was worried that I hadn’t managed my expectations very well, and had got my hopes up that it would solve my problems only to be disappointed. But in reality it does exactly what I want it to: comfortably supports me and helps me get a better night’s sleep. The novelty of how different it feels compared to other pillows has worn off, but what I’m left with is a consistently good experience. It won’t be for everyone – if aesthetics and fluffiness are your main concerns, this pillow is best avoided. But if you don’t mind investing a bit of money, and prioritise support and consistency, the Tempur Symphony pillow is a great option.


How do you sleep? The stresses and strains of the last year have really taken a toll on my sleep, so I’m keen to embrace anything that will make my nights more comfortable. Before this I probably wouldn’t have thought to invest in a ‘fancy’ pillow, but I’m glad I chose to now. Do you have any sleeping tips you can recommend? I’d love to try some out, so please do share in a comment (you don’t need to log-in to do so). I hope this review will be helpful if you’re thinking of upgrading to a Tempur, and as always, thank you very much for reading!

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