I read all the reviews on this item and decided it was worth a try. I used it last night and had the best night sleep! This pillow is not too soft, not too firm, and not at all hot. The smell is a little different, but as others suggested, I aired them outside and it really cut down on the odor ( and will air them out some more today). However, the slight odor didn't interfere with my sleep at all, so I don't think its a big deal. Very happy with these pillows and would reccomend them without hesitation. Oh, I am a side and back sleeper and it worked well.