It’s easy to feel bombarded by all the options beyond the standard pillow. From down alternatives to customizable elevation, is the perfect one out there? Below, five DuJour staffers, charged with the tough task to find out, sleep on it and share the results:
Who: Lindsay Silberman, Staff Writer
The pillow: Sweet Slumber Pillow by Reverie, starts at $89
The claim: The pillow’s filled with shredded natural Latex to simulate down.
The experience: The first thing that struck me about the pillow was how incredibly heavy it was—it easily weighed more than my current six pillows combined. It was super soft, but felt completely different from the regular down pillows I use. I didn’t really notice much of a difference in the quality of my sleep.
The verdict: I had a really hard time getting over the weight of it. I tend to move around a lot in my sleep and I’m constantly repositioning myself—plus folding my pillows, tossing them around—this one took a lot of muscle to move! I’d recommend it for anyone allergic to down or people who prefer pillows that stay put.
Who: Adam Rathe, Articles Editor
The pillow: Classic Sleeping Pillow by Technogel, $169
The claim: The pillow is said to relieve pain and stress thanks to its gel interior, which molds to a user’s head, neck and shoulders.
The experience: The pillow felt flat and dense, not what I’d immediately associate with a good night’s sleep. Still, sleeping on it was easy, and the support it offered was noticeable and appreciated.
The verdict: As a side sleeper used to down pillows, I don’t know that this is the ideal fit for me, but it certainly seems to offer the claimed support and an unexpected level of comfort. I won’t keep it on my bed, but visiting guests are in for a treat.
Who: Daryl Chen, Deputy Editor
The pillow: Puzzle Pillow from the Sleep Doctor Michael Breus Ph.D. Pillow Collection, starts at $99
The claim: The customizable foam pillow can be arranged to offer three different types of elevation (low, medium, high) for weightlessness, personalized comfort and tranquil sleep.
The experience: Every night I used the pillow, I slept very well. However, the pillow was not one I’d ordinarily pick out. Its grades of elevation could be more accurately described as “flat, flatter and Flattest.” I like a pillow with a bit more height, and I usually sleep on a combination of a down pillow on top of a buckwheat pillow. I like the feel of both—the loft of the down and the firmness of buckwheat. Sleeping on memory foam feels like, well, sleeping on a piece of foam, so the texture is very same-y. There’s nothing particularly luxurious or appealing to the senses about it. I didn’t try the other configurations because they were too low. In the past, some low pillows have given me a sore neck, but this one didn’t.
The verdict: It’s a decent all-around pillow. It’s especially good for people who like flat pillows and especially for those who like memory foam—that sensation is one that I’ll need to get used to, however. Overall, I think this will be an excellent guest pillow since it’s quite comfortable and good for my friends and family who are allergic to/not crazy about down.
Who: Juli Mosoff, Web Producer
The pillow: GeoEthic Pillow with Aloe Vera by Magniflex
The claim: The pillow is designed to soothe and heal skin by releasing aloe vera extract through the linen pillowcase with tiny breatheable microholes. It’s also supposed to provide neck and back support through a foam interior that molds to the body while sleeping.
The experience: I’ve never slept on a foam pillow before, and I liked the way it fit my shape while I was lounging in bed reading a book. I was pleased that the scent of aloe wasn’t overwhelming, since that may have been distracting while sleeping, and though I thought the texture of the linen pillowcase might irritate me, it was actually comfortable and cooling.
The verdict: I think that this pillow would be perfect for a back sleeper, since it does keep the neck and spine aligned and in place. I, however, am a side sleeper, so though I enjoyed the pillow, I don’t think it’s the best fit for me personally. I didn’t notice any immediate skin-changing effects from the aloe, but would be curious to see if any gradual changes would occur when sleeping on the pillow for a longer period of time.
Who: Krista Soriano, Web Editor
The pillow: SensorCOOL pillow by Sensorpedic, $60
The claim: The contoured memory foam pillow is covered in with CleanCOOL fabric technology and ventilated for increased air flow allowing hot air to exit the pillow and cool air to enter to regulate body temperature. It’s also “double gel-infused” for an extra-firm, supportive feel.
The experience: I personally believe my body temperature rises a few degrees when I go to sleep, so I was excited to sleep on a pillow that’s supposed to cool you down. I didn’t feel too much of a temperature difference once I tried it, but will say that I’m a two-pillow sleeper (for height), and this memory foam one was unexpectedly perfectly comfortable.
The verdict: The pillow was very breathable for being made out of memory foam, but it’s still pretty heavy. Keep the A.C. on.