The REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow is one of seven pillows in the range, but this one, we're told, is the brand's most popular style. The inner is made from memory foam that's infused with gel to give it cooling properties, and the removable, washable outer is made from stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric with mesh inserts (presumably to further aid airflow).
With an RRP of £89, it's one of the pricier options on the market, but is it worth it? I tested it out to see if this pillow is worthy of inclusion in T3's best pillow ranking. Read on for my full REM-Fit 500 pillow review.
REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow review: comfort
I have been sceptical about memory foam pillows for a while now. In general the idea of resting your head on a big wodge of plastic sounds sweaty and unappealing, and the ones I've tried in the past have been far too firm.
The REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow was something of a revelation. The surface is really delightfully soft to lie on; this is the only pillow I've tried, of any kind, that doesn't give me a slightly sore ear if I lie on my side, and doesn't irritate my ear piercing. Don't be thinking it's too soft either, there's none of that 'quicksand' feeling you can get with some memory foam mattresses, and it springs back into place almost immediately when you take the pressure off the surface.
You'll sink in just enough to relieve all the pressure on your head, but still feel very supported. Obviously, no plumping is required, either. (You can read more about the pros and cons of each pillow stuffing option in our down vs foam vs feather pillow comparison article.)
The brand says the pillow is designed to adapt to your body to align your neck and spine correctly, and I'd say it has succeeded. There's only one firmness/height option, which is quite typical for foam pillows (a notable exception is the Levitex pillow, which is available in a range of depths to suit your build and sleep style).
As for the cooling properties, again, the REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow outperformed my expectations by some way. This pillow doesn't seem to trap heat in the same way as some memory foam mattresses (although not the ones in our best memory foam mattress guide). It warms up just enough not to feel cold against your face, then retains that neutral temperature throughout the night. Impressive.
REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow review: design & features
If you're used to down or synthetic stuffing, the REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow will feel weirdly heavy, and I'll concede that the 'solid' stuffing doesn't look as nice on your bed as a nice, plumped traditional pillow (but it's not really about that, right?).
This particular pillow is made up of an inner and a removable, washable cover. The outer is made from soft, stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric with green mesh sections, which I have been forced to conclude you're meant to sleep directly on, in order to get the benefits of the cooling 'Re-ax' fibres'. When you add a pillow case (which surely everyone is doing), the green mesh shows through, which isn't ideal. The joins around the mesh sections also create a slight ridge that you can sometimes feel on your face, so I've been flipping the pillow over so they're on the underside. So some slightly odd design decisions, but nothing too problematic.
The inner is made from viscoelastic polyurethane foam with gel powders. (It's quite hard to find a definitive line on the environmental impact of viscoelastic polyurethane foam, but if you're concerned about buying sustainably, you might want to also consider the Panda bamboo memory foam pillow.) This inner foam section also has its own thin cover, which is a nice addition – a lot of pillows have a removable outer, but then let it all hang out inside. This is much smarter and feels more luxurious.
Should I buy the REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow?
Finally to the most important part of my REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow review: should you buy one? I'd say yes. Before trying it, I was largely of the opinion that memory foam was a bad idea for pillows, but it's done enough to earn a permanent spot on my bed (I test a lot of pillows, so this is more significant than it sounds). While it's not quite perfect (why are those mesh inserts there and why are they green?), the sumptuously soft, yet supportive sleep surface makes it worthy of a 5* score.
REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow review: Alternatives to consider
If you like memory foam pillows, a great alternative is the Panda Memory Foam bamboo pillow. It's a lot cheaper than the REM-Fit and comes with one depth option of 12cm. When you buy at Panda, you get a 30-night trial, too.
Another alternative is the Levitex pillow which has its own specially constructed memory foam which is not only supportive, but doesn't get too hot, either.