The average person spends about 26 years sleeping. We do not mean sleeping on the job, but lying on a comfortable bed in slumber. The nearly one-third of our lives spent sleeping directly influences the quality of the remaining two-thirds of our lives.
We hear tips from sleep experts on how to enjoy a restful sleep. You know, tips such as do not drink caffeinated drinks before bed and lay off alcohol several hours before turning in seem to appear on every sleep expert’s tips list. However, one factor above all determines the quality of your sleep: the type of bedding you use.
From silky smooth sheets to the last coil inserted within a mattress, how your bedding performs has more to do with the quality of your sleep than any other factor. Most of us believe how our mattresses perform is the most important bedding factor, and you know what, that is a correct assumption. Yet, a mattress takes care of the pressure points along the hips, back, and shoulders. What about the neck and head?
For those two important body parts, we rely on the design and manufacturing process of a pillow.
This comparison article takes an in-depth look at the MyPillow Classic Bed Pillow [Standard/Queen, Medium] and Purple Pillow. We set up the meat of the article by describing how to buy a pillow and we finish the piece by providing a few pillow buying tips.
Bottom Line Up Front: I personally preferred the much more practical and comfortable Purple Pillow here. With a built-in zipper (better for fluffing), temperature neutral qualities, and long-lasting shape and support, the Purple Pillow is just objectively better on every count. MyPillow is marketed on radio and late night TV heavily, but it’s just not worth it… More hype than substance!
How to Buy a Pillow
Learning how to buy a pillow is not only important for getting a good night’s sleep, it is also important to be proactive in preventing neck and back pain. Poorly designed pillows can cause tendonitis, nerve pain, and muscle stiffness. If you are in the market for a new pillow, you should examine six primary factors.
Type of Material
The material used to manufacture is the most important factor for determining quality. You might like to sleep on a firm memory foam or Talalay latex pillow.
Firm pillows keep the neck and head stabilized during sleep. A soft pillow made with more expensive down deliver a fluffy feel, with down contouring around your head to maximize comfort. Pillow manufacturers now offer pillows constructed with two or more different materials.
The type of material you decide to go with depends on your budget, how the material feels, and whether the material supports your neck and head enough.
Do not confuse the meaning of the terms firmness and thickness. A firm pillow typically is thick, but a thick pillow can create a plush feel.
Thickness is a factor to consider because of how it affects different sleeping positions. Side sleepers should opt for thicker than average pillows, while stomach sleeper usually thrives sleeping on thinner than average pillows. If you move between sleeping positions during the night, you should consider buying a thicker than average pillow.
Consumers have two pillow fills options: synthetic or natural. Synthetic fills reduce or even eliminate allergy symptoms. Advanced technology has improved the comfort levels of synthetic fills, but natural pillow fills remain the leader in offering supreme sleeping comfort.
Natural pillow fills typically consist of down or goose feathers, or in some cases, a combination of both down and goose feathers. Manufacturers use polyester to create synthetic pillow fills. If you want the fullest feel and the best support for the neck and head, spend a little more on a pillow that has down fills.
As with mattresses, thread counts for pillows measure the number of threads for every square inch of fabric. Research shows the higher the thread count, the more comfortable a pillow feels.
High thread count pillows also last longer than low thread count pillows, as it is difficult to rip or tear a high thread count pillow. Fabric threads ensure the insert remains in place, which prevents dirt from compromising the quality of a pillow interior.
A reputable pillow manufacturer backs up the quality of its products by including a long-term warranty. The guaranteed period of customer satisfaction should be easy to see, preferably located near the pillow label.
Some of the issues covered under the best pillow warranties include the prevention of neck and back pain, as well as assurance by the manufacturer that the quality of the materials will last a specified amount of time.
The firmness of your mattresses influences the type of pillow you buy for a couple of reasons. First, a firm mattress requires a thicker pillow. A softer mattress pairs well with a thinner pillow. Second, mattresses that create above average motion transfer work best with pillows that provide firm support
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Another night of tossing and turning in bed has led to another session of television viewing. Imagine your surprise one night when you turn on the television and see a man enthusiastically describing a “revolutionary” new pillow. The timing could not be any better for you because part of your sleeping problem stems from the uncomfortable pillow you have owned far too long.
MyPillow Classic Bed Pillow [Standard/Queen, Medium] inventor Michael J. Lindell calls the MyPillow groundbreaking in terms of lulling customers to sleep with its smooth texture and firm, yet comfortable construction. The question for you is should the MyPillow be your next pillow?
Lindell designed the classic version of the MyPillow with an outer cotton cover that delivers excellent durability. Even hot sleepers benefit from the outer cover fabric that quickly removes moisture to cool the back, neck, and head.
The filling consists of 100% polyurethane foam, which feels more like standard poly foam that the manufacturer ran through a shredder. The standard version of the MyPillow measures 18.5 inches by 28 inches. You have two feel options for the classic version of the MyPillow: medium and firm.
More about the Cover
We have established how the 100% cotton cover allows air to circulate around the pillow to keep you cool at night. However, some features of the cover might leave you scratching your head. There is not a zipper on the cover, which makes it nearly impossible to adjust the interior filling and achieve the optimal pillow shape.
Although the stitching appears to look presentable, many MyPillow customers complain about erratic stitching patterns and small sections of the pillow where there are no stitches at all. Some customers report numerous loose threads, especially located underneath the MyPillow.
The cover does not present an aesthetically appealing appearance, with the MyPillow logo attached to the front and back of the pillow. Without any design elements to improve the look of the cover, it seems like you have just purchased an inexpensive pillow from one of the big box home retailers.
You can machine wash and dry the pillow, with the recommendation to tumble dry the pillow for 15 minutes to fluff the fill.
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If you enjoy sleeping on softer than average pillows, you should find the MyPillow matches your sleep preferences. Moderate sinkage appeals to customers that like to at least start out the night sleeping on their sides. MyPillow cradles the neck and head to provide average support.
The fill does not bounce back as quickly as it should, which means you might need to adjust the fill to find the best shape for the MyPillow. Back and stomach sleepers will probably not like the slow readjustment time for the fill. As we mentioned, the lack of a cover zipper makes it hard to adjust the fill.
You have to learn how to fluff the MyPillow by shaking it. Manually finding the most comfortable feel takes time, which can frustrate users.
Price and Other Features
MyPillow Classic Bed Pillow [Standard/Queen, Medium] lists for $67.49 on websites for retailers such as JC Penney. Ordering the pillow directly from an offer made during an infomercial can save you money.
As of May 2018, Customers received a 26% discount to lower the price of the MyPillow to $49.95. With free shipping, side sleepers can purchase a pillow from the comfort of their homes for under $50. The lack of a scent is a good thing for consumers suffering from indoor allergens.
You can wash and dry the MyPillow as often as you want and not have to worry about the fabric diminishing in quality. One complaint found in numerous customer reviews is the MyPillow comes in only two sizes: standard and king. MyPillow Classic Bed Pillow [King, Medium]
We have established the MyPillow Classic Bed Pillow [Standard/Queen, Medium] works best for consumers who sleep on their side. There simply is not enough support for stabilizing the necks and heads of back and stomach sleepers.
With average overall support, you can find a higher quality pillow for the same price. Some customer reviews have mentioned the MyPillow looks and feel like the twin pack of $10 pillows they bought in college. Maybe it is the television hype and the attention paid to the creator of the MyPillow, but the pillow does not live up to expectations.
Purple Pillow Review
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Purple Pillow represents the result of extensive research conduct by two brothers who wanted to discover the formula to relieve pressure points for people that spend most of their life in a wheelchair.
By creating a stretchable material called Hyper-elastic Polymer™, the brothers eventually patented the material and the process that produced the material. After developing the stretchable material for pillows, the goal of the new company was to make its trademark Purple Pillow one of the more popular bedding accessories on the market.
According to dozens of customer reviews and more than a handful of bedding expert reviews, the Purple Pillow has changed the way consumers look at pillows.
Designed with the company’s patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer™, the Purple Pillow slowly eases under head pressure, while ensuring the fill and fabric maintain comfortable support. Thousands of miniature purple triangles work together to contour around the different neck and head sizes.
The revolutionary Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ does not lose its shape anywhere on the surface of the Purple Pillow. With the fill feeling firm on the edges, super softness dominates the middle section of the Purple Pillow.
Unlike the MyPillow, the Purple Pillow does not require users to spend several frustrating minutes trying to find the most comfortable fill feel. Referred to as “Smart Comfort Grid,” the Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ placed inside the pillow arranges in a head-friendly manner to provide superior support. The grid design also encourages airflow to keep you feeling comfortably cool at night.
Does the Cover Outshine What MyPillow Has to Offer?
Right out of the package, the Purple Pillow cover hands down beats the MyPillow in terms of quality and more importantly, common sense design. With a blend of rugged 92% nylon and stretchable 8% spandex, the Purple Pillow cover comes with a convenient to use a zipper.
The zipper feature alone sets the Purple Pillow apart from the MyPillow. Designed with a light fabric, the Purple Pillow cover offers incredible breathability to help adjust the temperature neutral composition of the pillow. This means that if you sleep hot, the thin cover will encourage air flow to cool the head and neck.
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When you take the Purple Pillow out of the cylinder-shaped package, it is easy to become a little skeptical about the comfort you expect the Purple Pillow to deliver. After all, the Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ material looks like a slab of cool gel.
It weighs about 10 pounds and it wriggles around like it is some form of jelly. There is no way the patented material created by two brothers is going to imitate a pillow. However, once you put the material on the mattress and put your head on the Purple Pillow, it is difficult not to think about grabbing a quick nap.
The Purple Pillow gently supports the head to produce a fully relaxed feel that supports the neck and spine, regardless of your favorite sleeping position.
You enjoy pressure relief at the most vulnerable points of the head, neck, and shoulders. The Purple Pillow automatically adjusts to account for ever-changing sleep positions. Back sleepers that find the MyPillow too soft should love sleeping on the firm, yet comfortable Purple Pillow. The amount of personalized head and neck support is unmatched by any other pillow on the market.
Cleaning the Purple Pillow
Although the MyPillow withstands the punishment delivered by countless wash and dry cycles, the lack of a zipper to remove the cover poses a cleaning issue. That is not the case with the Purple Pillow, which allows you to remove the cover fabric before starting a wash cycle.
You wash the Purple Pillow on a warm, gentle cycle just like you do for washing colored apparel. The interior is 100% waterproof, which means you can wash the interior with the fabric cover.
With the comfort grid system designed from non-toxic, food-grade material, you can expect to detect a slight chemical smell when you pull the pillow from the package. However, the smell gradually disappears after a few wash cycles.
Price and Other Features
Pricier than most other types of pillows, the groundbreaking Purple Pillow costs $99 at most household goods retail outlets. Free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 states takes some of the stings out of paying nearly three digits for a pillow.
Purple Pillow comes in one size measuring 16 inches wide by 24 inches long by three inches tall. The one size limitation might not appeal visually to a homeowner concerned about bedding design uniformity.
At 10 pounds, Purple Pillow is considered the heavyweight among all types of pillows. The company runs a 100-day free home trial program, with a lower than average warranty of one year. Check the latest prices via the Purple website here.
Despite the sticker shock of paying $99 for a pillow and a bedding industry low warranty coverage of one year, the unique and effective Purple Pillow gives consumers several compelling reasons to dig deeper into the pocketbook for years of restful sleep.
If you are looking to try a revolutionary way to enjoy a firm, yet comfortable neck and head support, we recommend trying a pillow designed with proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer™.
You do not have to spend time fluffing fill and foam to achieve the optimal feel for a pillow. The seemingly paltry one-year warranty is not an issue, as no other pillow delivers the same length of long-lasting durability as the Purple Pillow.
Above all, the Purple Pillow accommodates all types of sleeping styles, which makes the pillow perfect for sleepers that frequently change positions throughout the night. The temperature neutral pillow should appeal to sleepers that do not experience much body temperature changes during sleep.
The Bottom Line: MyPillow or Purple Pillow?
Sometimes, when you compare two products, it is hard to decide which product is the better product. That is not the case when comparing the MyPillow Classic Bed Pillow [Standard/Queen, Medium] and Purple Pillow.
The MyPillow comes out of the gate lacking a zipper, which makes fluffing the fill a lengthy chore that can frustrate restless sleepers. Side sleepers will like the soft feel of the MyPillow, but the lack of neck and head support will turn off back and stomach sleepers. The limited appeal of the MyPillow is not worth the time or money required to invest in the pillow.
Bottom Line: On the other hand, the revolutionary Purple Pillow, which contains patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer™, offers the rare combination of firm support and supreme comfort. The temperature neutral pillow should appeal to sleepers of every kind, from the side sleeper that remains on his or her side all night to the sleeper who starts out on the back and changes positions several times before the alarm clock rings.
Pillow Buying Tips
The first tip to follow for choosing the best pillow involves knowing when the time has come to throw out the old pillow. Dr. Michael Breus, who is a clinical psychologist and renowned author of the book “Good Night,” says “If you have a plain-old, inexpensive polyester pillow, you should be replacing it every six months, but if you have a memory foam pillow or anyone with structural integrity, it’ll last you anywhere from 18 to 36 months.”
The exception to the one and a half to three years of pillow use rule is the Purple Pillow. However, most other styles of pillows eventually form lumps or stop offering a supportive place to rest the head.
You should replace your pillow if you experience one or more of the following issues:
- Your pillow does not regain its original shape after a night’s sleep
- You have to spend too much time trying to form the best shape for a pillow
- Lumps appear where there should be smooth fill
- It begins to feel damp
- The pillow sleeps warmer or cooler than normal
How Much Care Does It Take?
Every pillow you consider for purchase should include care instructions located near the pillow label. You do not want to spend much time taking care of a pillow.
Some of the caring instructions that should make you think twice about buying a pillow include advice not to wash it a front load washing machine. Some pillows require dry cleaning services, which takes time and money to accomplish. Avoid pillows that instruct you to spot treat stains and watermarks. You should be able to enjoy a pillow for several years and not have to wash and dry it more than three times per year.
Shop at a Retailer
The Internet has made it convenient for consumers to purchase just about any product from the comfort of home. Since comfort plays a huge role in determining what type of pillow to buy, we recommend you shop for a pillow in person.
Unless you are purchasing the same brand of pillow for the second time, you need to try out different pillows by testing for feel and support. The same principle of testing a mattress applies to testing a pillow, with pillow tests involving a few different techniques.
- Spend about five minutes per pillow
- Determine comfort first
- Ask to test a pillow at home
- Compress the fill and see how long it takes for the pillow to recover
Remember that you will probably change the style of pillow you sleep on throughout your life. Health issues typically prompt consumers to seek pillows offering specific characteristics that alleviate pain in the neck, head, and shoulders. You also might experience weight changes and begin to suffer from pillow material allergens.