The answer to the question is this: memory foam contour pillows really work according to what they are designed for. One caveat, though: there are many types of contour pillows now available and they each have varying gradations of success for each user.
One type of contour pillow might work wonders for many people but simply does nothing to another. You need to keep looking for the type that suits your needs, and you can try those that fail with others.
Contour pillow types
There are three common kinds of contour pillows – the posturemed, the inflatable travel and the wedge. The difference is mostly in the way these pillows cradle your head (or other body parts) to make you comfortable.
The wedge keeps your head inclined while the posturemed gives out the better cradling effect. The inflatable travel contour pillows have many sub types, but not as good as the other two. For traveling, they are the best when there are no other alternatives.
In the end, the ultimate measure if contour pillows really work is the amount and the quality of a user's sleep. Sometimes, insomnia (total lack of sleep) is sometimes caused by the simple incompatibility of the user and the type of contour pillow used.
With the wrong kind of head pillow, people using them would experience poor support and other non-ideal conditions such as shoulder compression and displacement of the spine especially in the neck region.
To really work, the right pillow must be able to give out the right support needed by the body. The total effect includes the proper propping of the head, neck and shoulders.
This support results in actually keeping all these body parts in alignment while at sleep. At this position, the pillow relieves pressure and puts in the right counterbalances in the body. Finally, relief and comfort induce a restful sleep.
To have a pillow really work its intended function, it has to conform to the various sleep positions while giving the necessary therapeutic support as well as comfort to the sleeper.
Typically, people going to sleep rarely pay attention to position of the neck and spine.
Often, the head is at a wrong angle in relation to the position of the rest of the body. It may be comfortable but it puts stress on the neck and spine.
The right contour pillow must be adjustable to conform to these particular curvatures, arches and inclines. It should also be flexible enough to be reshaped into any needed shape for easing up pressure points.
Nowadays, there are many pillow types that are tailor-fitted to their uses. For instance, the Leg Wedge pillow works as a knee wedge and leg spacer.
As a knee wedge, it levels the lower body with the upper body while lying on one side.
This is ideal for side sleepers, straight spine alignment, leg and knee arthritis, and any others.
As a leg spacer, it elevates the legs (and feet) to promote circulation, leg cramps, thrombosis, as well as supports and aligns extremities with loose nerves and tendons. Many contour pillows models are now doing excellent work and more are in development.