December 2, 2004 7:03 PM   Subscribe

NotAPepsiBlueFilter(IPromise):Has anyone had any experiences (good or bad) with memory, water, or non-standard pillows ? [MI]

My neck gets painfully stiff whenever I get up. I'm guessing that it's a combination of stress and the crappiness of my pillows. I was at one of those medical stores looking over the pillows and some of them are quite expensive. Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with contour/ergonomic (and as seen on TV! and in cooperation with NASA! pillows?
posted by PurplePorpoise to Home & Garden (21 answers total)
I've used a memory-foam pillow since 1997 and have difficulty sleeping without it. Because of my ankylosing spondylitis, I have to sleep flat on my back: a pillow with decent neck support is essential, and a thick ordinary pillow causes me all sorts of hurt. But my needs are rather specific; yours may differ.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:32 PM on December 2, 2004

I've used one of those swiss foam pillows. They're pretty good, but they tend to lose their spring after a few months. For the price, it's not really worth it, I think.

Also, on a related note, I get great sleep when I use the chillow. A word of warning - that sucker is heavy. I slept with my arm under it for a few weeks, and my shoulder started to really ache (like, sore for days, reminiscent of being in rehab for shoulder surgery). It eventually faded, but I'd be careful with it.
posted by Caviar at 8:36 PM on December 2, 2004

I've been using a memory foam pillow for years now, and while I thought it was great for a while, I'm realizing that the problems I've been having with neck pain, stiffness and headaches might be because of this pillow. I mostly sleep on my side, and the memory foam pillows don't offer enough support for side sleeping. They're great if you lay on your back (see mcwetboy), but not thick/high/firm enough for laying on your side.

My chiropractor recommended that I get one of these. Does anyone have any experience with anything like this?
posted by MsVader at 8:37 PM on December 2, 2004

Caviar - the Chillow is awesome! I get really hot at night and the Chillow has been like a miracle. And you're dead on with the weight issue (add that to the already weighty Tempurpedic pillow and you're in trouble). Don't be starting any pillow fights with the Chillow in your pillowcase, or you just might knock someone's head off.

One note - by early morning, the entire Chillow is very warm. That's really annoying as that's usually when I'm reaching meltdown temperatures.
posted by MsVader at 8:43 PM on December 2, 2004

Response by poster: Holy cow ankylosing spondylitis is damn scary.

Rheumatoid, eh? mcwetboy - do you know if anyone has tried B cell ablation (commonly done, lately, using Rituximab to treat/halt the disease?

Quick PubMed, there's anti-self DNA antibodies involved, but it seems like people are trying to use an TNFa-antagonist instead of B cell (the cells that make antibodies - the mediators of rheumatoid diseases) depletion.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:44 PM on December 2, 2004

Response by poster: Caviar - I could probably use one of those to get some arm exercise while I "sleep" =)

MsVader - my intuition is suspecting that the fibre will compress down and be useless in a fairly short amount of time. As for the dcore, I'm kinda suspicious (largely unfounded, probably just a prejudice) of chiropractors, but I'm assuming most of their advice is based on facts-based research/observation. As for the memory foam pillow, would it help if you slipped in another (thin?) pillow underneath it (I, too, sleep on my side... most of the night)
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:52 PM on December 2, 2004

I use a buckwheat hull ("soba") pillow, which seems to be a Japanese and Korean thing. There's very little spring to it, but it's not as dead as a bag of sand. I can't sleep on an ordinary fiberfill or foam pillow any more: it feels like my head is balancing on a spring and my neck & shoulders get all tense trying to keep it from rolling around.

I've seen soba pillows advertised as "Magic Oriental" deals for way too much money, but you can get 'em cheap at the local Korean market.
posted by spacewrench at 9:07 PM on December 2, 2004

PurplePorpise - I have tried putting various things underneath the pillow (folded up blanket, thin pillow, etc...) but then it's too high for the time that I'm on my back.

I've looked at D-Core-like pillows in person, and they have much more substance on the sides than they do in the central neck area. Seems like the perfect solution. However, I had the same thought you did about the fiber filling flattening over time.

I used to be suspicious of chiropractors until I found a really good one that helped reduce the number and severity of my headaches. But, I think it's good to be suspicious until you find someone who really knows what they're doing.
posted by MsVader at 9:10 PM on December 2, 2004

My parents now have both the memory pillows and a memory mattress pad (or maybe a whole mattress?) and love it.

You're a jerk, P_G.
posted by gramcracker at 10:49 PM on December 2, 2004

I'm a side sleeper and I can't deal with the memory foam pillows. It's like sleeping on a brick and in the morning my ears are tender from getting squished. Foam cervical pillows are just right for me, though.
posted by stefanie at 11:46 PM on December 2, 2004

i'm not sure what "standard pillow" means, but i like down pillows. they squash down where you want them to and stay up where you don't, without being "springy". and you can "reset" them just by scrunching them up. much better than fibre or foam.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:02 AM on December 3, 2004

I'll second the buckwheat pillows. They aren't springy but are form fitting and give 100% support without your neck fighting the pillow all night. I liike a goose down pillow (not those horrid feather pillows) because it's warmer but when I have a sore neck from driving or something I reach for the buckwheat. Cheap too.
posted by Mitheral at 8:44 AM on December 3, 2004

Response by poster: Hmm, thanks for the experiences everyone.

andrew cooke - I think that I might have to plunk down the cash and go for the down pillows. How well do they last, though? Do they get nappy pretty fast, or have feather bits start leaking out?

MsVader - I'm going to go see if I can find a store that has something like the d-core and see if I can give it a try. Wonder if there are anything like the d-core, but with down?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:52 AM on December 3, 2004

Response by poster: spacewrench - I think that I've tried those, but the scrunching noises were a little distracting. Do you get used to it after a while?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:54 AM on December 3, 2004

Hey, P_G, you're on metatalk...
posted by Irontom at 9:37 AM on December 3, 2004

I never liked the memory foam pillow I had. Sure, it would conform to my head and neck, but that went out the window everytime I rolled over. Then it was like rolling onto a high shelf that would ssslllllooowwwwlllyyy sink down to a comfortable level. A night full of that was uncomfortable and I had a sore the next morning.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:42 AM on December 3, 2004

the trick to down pillows is to get a "liner". i have no idea what they're called really, or who sells them, but they're like a very tightly woven pillow case that goes around the pillow and inside your normal pillow case. that keeps the feathers under control.

as for how they long they last - we've had ours for maybe 6 years now. but then we use things forever, so maybe that's a poor guide.

i'm not sure how expensive they are. i bought a feather/down (don't know which) filled quilt here recently and it was very reasonable. but that might be a chile thing - i could imagine locally produced down products being way cheaper than in the uk or usa.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:02 AM on December 3, 2004

I recently got a duck down pillow from IKEA. Wasn't outrageously expensive, and certainly beats the crappy foam pillows I had before. It might be a little high for me, but as andrew cooke says, you can fuss with it and reform it as you see fit.
posted by maledictory at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2004

Response by poster: Ah, I think I've been sold on the down pillow. The IKEA one's priced far more reasonably than the ergo-foam/memory/water things I saw at the medical store. Thanks all!
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:17 AM on December 3, 2004

Anything one can do if they're allergic to feathers? Down pillows may be great, but if I want to breathe they're out.
posted by MsVader at 12:30 PM on December 3, 2004

Response by poster: This comes up as the first google result for :

hypoallergenic down pillow OR pillows

And this seems to fit the bill. Pricey, though.

I don't have any airborne allergies so ?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:43 PM on December 3, 2004

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