Love memory foam pillows, but fear the strange material you're sleeping on? Your caution is reasonable because synthetic memory foam pillows can contain everything from VOCs to toluene — better known among green salon-goers as one of the three scary chemicals that many nail polish companies have been convinced to take out of their products, thanks to the urgings of environmental health groups.

But there is a greener memory foam pillow option made by a company called Essentia. I discovered Essentia when the company debuted its Santa Monica store last November and gave me its Classic pillow to review.

Essentia Classic Natural Memory Foam Pillow

How does a natural memory foam feel? A lot like "regular" memory foam, except you'll encounter none of the chemical smells the less-green pillows come with. According to Essentia, its memory foam is made mainly with rubber tree sap, using an individual molded process that eliminates glues, which are often known to contain toxic chemicals. Essentia's website contains a rundown of the differences between its natural memory foam and other synthetic foams, along with a toxic materials comparison.

I've been sleeping on the Essentia Classic for months now, and love its comfortable give. According to Essentia, its pillows are more breathable and conform to the body faster. I'm not sensitive enough to have felt much of a difference on that front, but I do think this pillow feels plusher than my old, ungreen memory foam pillow did.

Essentia's Classic weighs a hefty — and long-lasting — 5 pounds, and comes with a washable, striped organic cotton zippered cover. The pillow is 4 inches tall, but obviously sinks a bit once you rest your head on it, so high-pillow types may want to stack up or opt for the slightly thicker Forma Spa design. Essentia also offers an ergonomic design for more neck support.

Essentia store in Santa Monica

Green pillows don't come cheap; Essentia's pillows range from $149 to $249 each. Got the money to get a whole bed out of memory foam? Check out Essentia's gorgeous mattresses online or at an Essentia store near you. 

Pillows made for green dreaming
MNN's lifestyle blogger tries out a natural memory foam pillow for cushy comfort without the toxic chemicals and odors.