You should probably replace your pillows.
The disgusting truth, according to the Sleep Council of the UK, is that after just two years of use, up to a third of your pillow’s weight could be made up of bugs, dead skin cells, and dust mites and their faeces.
I hadn’t replaced my own pillows in years — some of them I’ve had since college. For my boyfriend, it was even longer. Some of the pillows we were sleeping on were from the Bush years.
Because we needed new pillows, I decided to do some research. I saw Casper, the hip mattress company, had put a lot of time and money into designing the “perfect pillow” that costs $75. A colleague at Business Insider, however, said it wasn’t worth the price.
So I started doing even more digging online and found one of my favourite lifestyle bloggers had recently turned to the #1 rated pillow on Amazon: The Miracle Bamboo Pillow. It’s made with shredded memory foam with a casing made partly from bamboo and comes with a five-year warranty. You may have heard of the pillow from one of the company’s late-night infomercials:
At $50 a pop, it was only slightly cheaper than the Casper pillow. But while browsing the over 6,800 reviews on Amazon, I was intrigued. 78% of people gave the pillow five stars on Amazon while 89% rated it over four stars.
“This pillow is soft yet supportive,” one commenter wrote. “No matter what position I sleep in (side or back) it conforms and supports, very comfortable.”
“My allergies were gone in one night!” another said.
The website for the Miracle Bamboo Pillow makes a lot of equally unbelievable claims, including that it resists mould and dust mites, keeps cool all night long, and is perfect for side, back, or stomach sleepers.
It seemed too good to be true, but I gave it a shot anyway and added two of the pillows to my cart. Two days later, the Amazon package arrived.
When I took the pillows out of the box, they were both folded up and compressed. The pillow on top had a bit more air in it than the pillow on the bottom, as you can see here:
When you opened the package, the pillow unfolded and nearly doubled in size immediately. Some of the pillows also come rolled up, similar to a Casper mattress.
Once I got them out of the plastic wrapping, they both inflated very quickly. They feel heavier than normal pillows and were bigger than our old ones. The Bamboo Pillow is around 30 inches and can weigh up to five pounds.
They were also really soft and dense. I was starting to understand why the Amazon customers were so impressed — the pillows weren’t as rock hard as some of the other memory foam pillows I’ve tried, but they still felt supportive and hefty.
I’ve slept on the pillows for a few nights now, and here are my takeaways.
First, the negative. There is a chemical smell when you first open the packaging and I could still smell it on the pillows a few days later. Other people have complained about this as well, and recommend throwing the pillows into the dryer with a dryer sheet, which will also make them much fluffier and eliminate any lingering odours.
Living in NYC without a dryer in my apartment, I didn’t give this a try (yet), but I might in the future. As it stands, the smell is slowly dissipating.
The positive! Aside from the smell, I think the pillow improved my sleep. I twist and turn a lot throughout the night which usually causes me to wake up, but the Bamboo Pillow kept me in one position all night long.
Part of that might have to do with the temperature of the pillow. I didn’t get overheated or too cold while sleeping with it, which meant I wasn’t constantly adjusting my pillow.
Overall, my body is still acclimating to the new pillow, and when it does, I’ll likely purchase a few more. One thing’s for sure — I won’t miss the dust mites, dead skin cells, or bugs that may have been living in my old one.
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