The Nectar Premium pillow is a kind of a memory foam pillow... but kind of not. Instead of a solid cuboid of foam, Nectar has filled its case with shredded foam, to deliver some of the supportive properties of memory foam, but with the look of a more traditional, down/feather pillow.
It's not the only brand to try this approach, and it's perhaps a good idea. Memory foam is very much the 'Marmite' of bedding materials. Some people love it, finding it supportive and cradling, while others hate it, finding it overly constricting. And there's no getting around the fact it looks a little sad in a pillowcase, too. If you're in the former camp, you'll love the idea of a memory foam-filled pillow that holds your head in a stable position all night, and stops you from rolling around in bed too much.
Nectar is known for its expertise with memory foam – this is the brand behind the popular Nectar memory foam mattress, after all – so we're not surprised it has decided to use the material here. If you're interested to see how this brand's other sleep products shape up, and if you'd be wise to kit yourself out with the full set in one fell swoop, check out our Nectar duvet review, and the Nectar mattress protector review too. And if you are in the market for a new mattress and fancy the Nectar model, be aware that there are regular Nectar mattress deals that bundle in bedding.
So to the crux of the matter: how comfy is this pillow to sleep on, and is it good enough to be included in our ranking of the best pillows around? We got hold of one to put them to the test. Well actually, two, as they're sold in pairs. Read on for our full Nectar Premium pillow review.
Note: this is the UK Nectar pillow. If you've landed on this page from the US, there's a different range of pillows for you (opens in new tab).
Premium Nectar pillow review: design
Our pillows came wrapped in plastic, and once we've removed them from their packaging, they took about 15 minutes to return to their original shape. (That's pretty much par for the course when it comes to any memory foam product.)
The Premium Nectar pillow measures 60x40x12cm. It's encased in thick, quilted cover made with polyester that incorporates Tencel cooling fabric and features a mesh border.
Tencel, which is extracted from eucalyptus trees, is naturally breathable and wicks moisture away, while the mesh border improves airflow and helps keep everything cool on hot nights.
Inside the pillow are strips of shredded memory foam. While large blocks of memory foam are generally prone to overheating, shredding the foam contributes further to ventilation and coolness.
Premium Nectar pillow review: comfort and alternatives
In use, I liked the soft feel of the quilted cover, and the memory foam filling provided good pressure relief and support. Overall, I found this pillow nice and comfortable. In general, I'd recommend it for side and back sleepers, although for front sleepers the loft is probably too high.
One thing that the shredded filling does have going for it is that is allows for ventilation through the pillow – some foam pillows can trap heat a little, so if you're concerned about this, this might be a good bet.
What alternatives should you consider? Personally, I prefer to place my head on a solid block of memory foam, such as the more expensive Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow. If you want a similar kind of stuffing but need something less lofty, the Simba Hybrid pillow lets you remove its inner cubes of foam until the pillow is at your preferred height.
Premium Nectar pillow review: cleaning and maintenance
The Premium Nectar pillow case can be easily removed via the zip – but be aware that it's not machine-washable, but spot-clean only. So unless you plan to spot-clean it very often, you may prefer to wrap it in an extra pillow case for better hygiene. Also note that the pillow itself cannot be washed. For advice on pillow maintenance, see our article on How to clean a pillow.
Premium Nectar pillow review: the small print
Nectar offers free, no-contact delivery within five working days, and you get a two-year, no-defect warranty. But what if you find you just don't like it? Well, on the website page selling this pillow, there is a text box that reads "365-Night Home Trial. Almost 2x longer trial than our closest rivals." Sounds great, right..? To my mind, though, this sounded too good to be true. I checked with customer service and they told me that actually, this only applies to mattresses. Non-mattress items can only be returned within 30 days of delivery. So now you know.
Premium Nectar pillow review: verdict
So, should you buy the Premium Nectar pillow? Well, if you're on a budget then this pillow is surprisingly affordable, at current prices. Although the standard price on the website is £109, that's currently discounted to £65.40.
Considering you get two pillows for that, we're talking just over £30 per pillow. And given the lovely feel of the quilted cover, and the high quality of this pillow overall, that represents pretty decent value.
We'd add some caveats, though. If you don't like memory foam, this isn't for you; and if you're a fan of pillows containing solid blocks of memory, it may not be for you either. If, however, you want some of the uniform support of a foam, but packaged up so it looks and feels a bit more like a traditional pillow, this could be a great option.