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A good pillow is a problem for me. I bought a number of pillows, and made a few ones myself, but they always are a problem for my neck.
The best pillow for me is a pillow that has a top layer of memory foam, and at the bottom a few thin layers of polyether foam to adjust the height.
The memory foam cushions that can be bought, have a neck roller. But my neck is longer than average, so a neck roller never supports my whole neck.

I bought an electric knife for slicing bread. But it turned out that it was impossible to saw the polyether foam and memory foam. So now I use an old iron knife with a thin blade. With this it is possible to cut/saw the polyether foam.
To handle memory foam, I put it in the refrigerator or (in a plastic bag) in the freezer. After that, there is a short time that the foam is stiffer and easier to handle.

Pillow with layers

When I buy a pillow, I can't lie relaxed on it. So I have to make something myself.
First I tried to shape a pillow by adding pieces to with with glue and cutting pieces off, but that was not a success.
More recently I try to compose a pillow from different layers of foam. I have all kind of foam (firm foam, polyether foam, memory foam, etc.) with different softness and different thickness. Generally I put a layer of memory foam on top.

This photo shows a few layers.
layers of foam for pillow
With those layers I compose a pillow.
The pillow is on my bed, but not on my mattress. My mattress ("mattress with layers") keeps space at the head end, and my pillow is on the flat bed. This way I am able to control more precisely the height and softness of my pillow.
Below is a picture of my pillow on my bed. On top is a purchased pillow of memory foam, which I have modified by cutting a piece off.
pillow on bed

Pillow with vibrating motors

Since 2012 I have my mattress with motion, but my pillow is lying still.
To make some kind of motion for my neck, I thought about a piece of foam that I would put under my pillow and that would bring some kind of motion gently to my head and neck.
I used a piece of EVA foam and made four small vibrating motors in it. I can turn the motors on and off individually and I can also change the speed of the motors.
pillow with vibrating motors pillow with vibrating motors
It didn't work at all. The vibrating motors made a lot of noise, but they did not make any motion to my head or neck.
Hopefully I can think of something in the future that does work.

Pillow with slot

This is a pillow that I made by myself in the past.
pillow with trench
This cushion consists of a central part of memory foam. The high sides are to prevent that my head rolls sideways in my sleep (I only lie on my back). The trench in the middle is to release the middle of my neck. Particularly at the back of my head, between my neck and my skull it can sometimes be quite annoying when something is pressed against it. With this pillow it stays unrestrained.

In 2018 I had more pain in my neck for some time. The most painful spot was again at the back, in the middle, just below my skull. I had to make something very quickly.
To set the height of my pillow to a certain level, I use EVA foam plates of 35x50cm. I glued two of those plates together with hot glue, en I made a slot (or recess) in it.
eva foam with slot plaat eva schuim met uitsparing
Op top of that, I put 1 cm or 2 cm thick polyether foam, and on top of that a open structure of gel
It is not comfortable, but the slot reduces the pain in that spot a lot.

Last change to this page: September 2018