Malouf “Z” Pillows
Malouf Sleep, also known as Malouf Linens, makes a lot of pillows, more than 30 under three brands: Z, LinenSpa, and Weekender. Most of the pillows, 20+, are under the Z brand, and a dozen or more of these use Malouf’s Dough Memory Foam. The rest are filled with latex, down & feathers, gel-encased microfiber, nanobeads, or graphite-infused memory foam.
What is Dough?
According to Malouf, “Our exclusive formula of premium memory foam is more responsive, exceptionally support, [sic] and has a slower recovery time than typical memory foam.” To those who know the properties of different densities of memory foam, this sounds contradictory. From this explanation, it appears that Malouf is trying to combine a benefit of denser memory foam (slower recovery time) with a benefit of less dense memory foam (more responsive). However, this is a proprietary formula. The only way to verify the claim is to get samples of the Dough Memory Foam and test them.
Z Dough Memory Foam Pillow
The basic model
What Malouf Sleep simply calls Dough on its website is listed as Z Memory Foam Pillow with Luxurious Rayon from Bamboo Velour Washable Cover on Amazon, or more conveniently the Z Memory Foam Pillow. This is the simplest of the pillows featuring Dough. The other Dough models have features such as zoning, gel infusions, aroma therapy infusions, ventilation, special cover ingredients, etc.
Dough is open-cell foam, which is now the standard for memory foam. Though not the perfect solution, it does help dissipate heat to deal with a common complaint about the original memory foam – too hot.
The sizes might not warrant having their own section for most pillows, but this is a key feature for Malouf pillows, such as the Z Dough. Besides the customary pillow sizes – Standard, Queen, King – the customer also selects the loft of the pillow – Low Loft, Mid Loft, High Loft. Add to these choices the firmness level – Plush or Firm. The available combinations are
high loft, firm
high loft, plush
low loft, firm
low loft, plush
mid loft, plush
Currently, the Dough Memory Foam Pillow by Z is unavailable in Standard Size.
Malouf Sleep pillows are widely available online as well as in some stores. Better-known retailers are LinenSpa (a part of Malouf), Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart.com, Home Depot, and Overstock.
Care Instructions for the Dough Pillow warn against applying heat to the material. Obviously, this refers to heating pads and electric blankets. Memory foam is designed to be heat sensitive to body warmth, but heating accessories can overheat and degrade the material. The cover can be removed and washed (delicate) without chlorine bleach. Tumble dry on low heat.
It is common knowledge that memory foam products gas-off when first opened and have to be aired out, even when certified by CertiPUR-US as free from harmful substances. The Care Instructions recommend washing the cover before using the pillow. They also suggest leaving the cover off awhile to air out the foam.
Malouf’s Dough Pillow is covered by a 5-year limited warranty against defects in materials and manufacturing.
Although the average customer rating (ACR) on Amazon as of 12/8/2017from all 770 reviews for the Dough Memory Foam Pillow is 4.2, from the 724 verified customer reviews (VCRs) it is 4.1 (actually 4.07). It is one of four regular-shaped pillows with a 4.2 ACR, but three have a lower average VCR (AVCR). For example the Dough Memory Foam + Z Gel Pillow (Z Dough Memory Foam + Liquid Z-Gel Pillow on Amazon) has a 4.04 AVCR, Gel Dough Memory Foam Pillow by Z (Z Gel-Infused DOUGH Memory Foam Pillow) 4.08 ACVR, and Zoned Gel Dough Pillow by Z (Z ZONED GEL DOUGH Gel-Infused Memory Foam Bed Pillow) 4.22 ACVR.
By contrast, three of these are out-ranked by four shredded memory foam (SMF) pillows (Snuggle-Pedic Body Pillow, Snuggle-Pedic Ultra Luxury SMF Pillow, Coop Home Goods Original SMF Pillow, Xtreme Comforts SMF Pillow) and a solid memory foam travel pillow (by Crafty World), and the Zoned Gel Dough Pillow is tied with the Xtreme Comforts pillow.
Two key advantages of shredded memory foam over 1-piece memory foam are (1) adjustable shape and loft, and (2) more airflow. There is one Z pillow with shredded latex and two with shredded memory foam. There is also one LinenSpa pillow with shredded memory foam. At this time these are the only Malouf shredded foam pillows – all the other Dough Memory Foam pillows have one-piece foam. Some of these are ventilated, but not all. However, unlike with other manufacturers, the shredded foam Malouf Z pillows do not rate higher than those with solid foam.
One contributing factor VCR ratings is the country of origin. While the highest rated memory foam pillows on Amazon are USA made, most products sold by Malouf or their ingredients are, according to the labels, “Designed in the USA, made in China.” The difference in quality eventually shows in use and in reviews by users. One way this shows is the longer time for the original smell to dissipate, as reported by several users, a common complaint about China-made memory foam. This was addressed by Dr. Swartzburg in Beware of Cheap Imitations.
The Z Dough Memory Foam Pillow by Malouf shows innovative design, especially in its matrix of sizes, loft, and firmness. However, in light of user response, we give it a rating of 4.1 Stars out of 5.