Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: a soft & cradling experience

The Panda pillow promises to hug your head throughout the night. We review what it feels like to snooze on

T3 Platinum Award
Panda bamboo pillow
(Image credit: Panda)
T3 Verdict

Memory foam isn't for everyone, but if you like the idea of a pillow that cradles your head, the Panda Bamboo memory foam pillow is a great one to go for. It feels soft and luxurious, and moulds itself to your head and neck beautifully. There's even a 30-night trial so you can be sure you like it.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Super-soft cover

  • +

    Firm and cradling

  • +

    30-night trial

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Memory foam isn't for everyone

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In this Panda Bamboo pillow review, we'll be sharing our experience of testing out the only pillow option from one of our favourite sleep accessory brands. The Panda pillow has a memory foam filling, with a bamboo pillow cover. It's available in adult size (the one we tested), as well as a smaller Panda Kids pillow and even smaller Panda toddler pillow. 

Memory foam pillows are designed for those people who regularly find themselves tossing and turning at night, and struggling to get their pillow into a supportive position. While it won't appeal to everyone, we have quite a few foam options in our best pillow ranking, and recommend giving one a try, even if you're sceptical at first (we've seen many converts in our time). 

We’re big fans of the Panda Cloud Bamboo duvet, and so we were keen to try out the company’s memory foam pillow too. It's currently one of two pillows in Panda's range – head to our Panda Hybrid pillow review for a closer look at the other option, which uses charcoal-infused foam and has a lightly padded removable cover. Read on for our full Panda Bamboo pillow review, and a closer look at the design, materials and features, plus what it’s like to use in practice. 

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: materials

Panda pillow

(Image credit: Tom May)

The pillow measures 12cm deep x 40cm wide x 60cm long, making it slightly shorter than the standard 70cm. It features three layers of visco memory foam, a type of polyurethane foam that was developed for airplane cushions in the 1970s, and which is now used widely in memory foam mattresses. (Find out more about how it shapes up as a pillow filling option in our down vs memory foam vs feather pillow comparison article.)

So where, you may ask, is the bamboo mentioned in the product’s title? That you’ll find in the pillow’s outer cover, which is made from 40 per cent bamboo fibre and 60 per cent polyester. The inner cover, meanwhile, is 100 per cent polyester.

Anyone with sensitive skin should also note that this cover conforms to the OEKO-TEX standard. This means that it’s free from harmful chemicals that are likely to cause allergies and irritation.

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: design 

Panda Bamboo pillow

(Image credit: Tom May)

The first thing you notice about the design of the cover is that it’s super-soft, and feels smooth and luxurious to the touch. On close examination, the cover was tightly and securely stitched in place everywhere... well, almost. Unfortunately, the thread on ours had started to come away a little near the metal zip. 

Moving inside the pillow itself, we also felt four hard blobs of what we assume is glue. Our main concern, however, was the zip itself, which protrudes from the outside of the cover, and we feared might be irritating during sleep. 

Panda Bamboo Pillow

(Image credit: Tom May)

However, in practice, none of these elements were noticeable when it came to actually sleeping on the pillow, essentially because the memory foam stops your head from moving around much in the first place. Also, we have to commend Panda for including a super-soft washing label, rather than the hard and crinkly ones we’ve experienced on cheaper pillows.

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: comfort

While it does seem a little cheeky to call this a ‘Bamboo’ pillow, when bamboo only constitutes 40 per cent of the cover material, the beautiful softness of the cover cannot be disputed. But what’s the pillow like to actually sleep on? Well, if you’ve never tried memory foam before, it may be a little unnerving, as it really is a different experience from other types of pillow. 

When you lay your head on the Panda Memory Foam pillow, there’s some initial pushback, until your head slowly sinks into it and the pillow conforms around its exact contours. From here on, your head remains firmly cradled in a stable, rigid position. It’s less like sleeping on a cloud, then, than sleeping on a giant marshmallow.  

I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to this experience. But rather than feeling uncomfortably stuck, as I'd feared, I actually felt a soothing experience of calm at being held in place so securely. As someone who generally tends to move around a lot in bed, this was a novel and unexpectedly relaxing feeling. As a result, this has now become my favourite pillow, period.

Panda Bamboo Pillow

(Image credit: Tom May)

The relatively high loft of 12cm means your head is at a bit of an angle, so I was initially concerned this might put strain on my spine. However, in practice I found the angle to be fine for good spinal alignment, and had no issues with my back or joints in the morning. It’s worth noting, though, that I’m a side sleeper, and back or front sleepers may have more of a problem with the high loft.

Another concern was that visco memory foam tends to be heat-retaining. However, that seems to be balanced out by the breathability of the pillow cover, and both my head and neck remained noticeably (and pleasantly) cool during the night. 

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: cleaning

As with all memory foam pillows, the Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow cannot be either machine-washed or hand-soaked. Instead, Panda offers a set of detailed cleaning instructions here involving a combination of vacuum cleaning and spot cleaning (using a dash of laundry detergent and water). The cover, meanwhile, should be washed at 40 degrees and put on a low tumble dry. It must not be ironed.

Panda Bamboo PIllow & box

(Image credit: Panda)

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: the small print

It’s rare for pillow companies to offer free trials, but because memory foam isn’t for everyone, the Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow comes with a generous 30-night trial. Panda says, "If you’re not 100% satisfied, simply get in contact and we’ll deal with the rest". However, be warned that the trial only applies to online purchases: if you buy it through a third-party retailer it may not be available.

Panda also provides a 10-year warranty. Delivery to the UK mainland is free for orders over £30, and will take place within five working days of your order.

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: verdict

Memory foam pillows aren’t for everyone: some people love them, others find them too moulding and inflexible. But if you're in the former camp, the Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow comes highly recommended from us. Despite my negative expectation, in practice this premium pillow offered a soft and luxurious experience, with great cooling properties, and it looks pretty cool too.

Not sure about memory foam? Or concerned, as a back sleeper or combination sleeper, that the loft may be too high? Then Panda’s generous 30-night trial offers a free and easy way to try it out.

Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow review: Alternatives to consider

If you like the Panda brand, the Panda Hybrid Bamboo pillow is a great choice. It introduces a new type of memory foam, that's a mix of bamboo and charcoal for the ultimate comfort and support.

If you're a fan of foam pillows, the Levitex pillow is another alternative that uses its own Levitex foam to support the back and neck.

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and author of the book, Great Ted Talks: Creativity. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.