Finding the Perfect Partner In the Sack: Choosing a Pillow

Finding the Perfect Partner In the Sack: Choosing a Pillow

Gregory Han
Apr 7, 2008

Last we checked, we've yet to line our pockets enough to afford an all-encompassing luxury sleeping pod of our very own to slumber comfortably within. But personally we'd settle for just finding a new and comfortable pillow to replace our 15 year old Mervin's special we've been looking to let go after years of sweat, tears and large cranium induced compression...

We're currently trying out the Vita Talalay latex filled Breathe pillow, all in the hopes of finding a worthy successor to the myriad of other pillows we've tried before. From pricey memory foams, to buckwheat hull filled versions, to cheap Target brand pillows...none have matched the firm-height requirements of replacing our cotton filling pillow purchased back in our senior year of high school. Pillow comfort is so subjective and personal, and thus far it has proven near impossible to find a pillow that hits all the marks of firmness, height and with a non-feather fill (allergies). It's the Goldielock's syndrome: we want a pillow that is "just right".

Finding the right pillow has been a pain in the neck (sometimes literally). Most are just too soft and airy, even those labeled as "firm"; it seems like pillow manufacturers have mostly switched to polyester filling, a material that doesn't seem to retain firmness as well as cotton. Memory foam pillows become too hot to be a suitable option here in Los Angeles. Finding the right height has also been an issue, and we've resorted to putting pillows under weighted suitcases all in the hopes of compacting them to a height that comfortably accommodates our necks and heads.

The Breathe pillow we're trying is an interesting head rest, in the fact it feels both heavy and light at the same time. The exterior is covered with a perforated layer which is designed to allow for air flow, feeling extremely light to the touch when pressed, while a denser interior provides side-sleeper support and can be felt when squeezed. So how does it feel, sleep wise? The pillow's airflow design does indeed keep the head cool, and it has a pleasant medium-firm feel that would do best for side sleepers. The Vita Talalay Latex feels extremely elastic and feels like it will retain its shape for awhile. Our main criticism is that the springy quality of this pillow coupled with the height makes it just a tad bit too high overall for our preference. Emily noted last night it feels like she's resting on "Flubber", and she worries her head will bounce to the ceiling with too much force. We're hoping in time with natural compression, the Breathe will reach that sweet spot in pillow comfort we've been trying to find. This is definitely a pillow for those who prefer a firm pillow (like us), and not the soft-airy filling of down or similar feather-like filling. We'll give this pillow a fair shake for the next couple of weeks before making final judgment. But for now, the old school, sweat stained Mervin's $12 special that we've had before college remains the best pillow in our bedroom selection.

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