Archived Q&A and Reviews


European Sleepworks' Oxygen Pillow?

Feb 2011

I have all sorts of problems sleeping - part of which is due to very mild sleep apnea - too mild for a CPAP. I have heard good things about the european sleepworks oxygen pillow but at $140 it better REALLY help. has anyone tried it?? sleep sufferer

I can give the Oxygen Pillow major recommendations. Our family loves them. We have a European Sleepworks bed as well, and the pillow and bed do work spectacularly well together. If I have to sleep away from home and can pack the Oxygen pillow, I do. It really does help position your neck for a good sleep. You can get different heights. I have the small one, and my partner has a larger one.

European Sleepworks is really helpful about getting you the right pillow. I think my partner went through a couple pillows before he settled on the right one.

When we needed a replacement for another pillow (you know the ones that flatten after a month of use), I opted for the Oxygen Pillow (which never flatten).

Totally worth the price

Pillow That Stays Firm

Nov 2008

I am looking for all-natural pillow options that stay firm. I have bought tons of different pillows over the years but usually within a month or two they have collapsed. I end up putting my hand under it while I sleep to prop my head up. I also flip my pillow several times at night! If you have any recommendations for natural pillows that stay firm, please send them along! searching for pillow

I loooooove my European Sleepworks pillow - the store is located in Berkeley at 2966 Adeline St, 841-5340 It's all natural, and I've had it for 2 yrs now and it has completely maintained its original shape. Best pillow ever. Not cheap but worth every penny. Mari

Try organic latex/rubber. I got mine at Earthsake on 4th Street - but I'm sure there's other options online. I LOVE my latex pillow. Firm with a little bit of spring and lots of weight. It has never changed shape. I can't use anything else now! Love my pillow

Pillows: where to go and how to pick?

Feb 2008

We need to buy new pillows but can't figure out where to go or how to pick them since you can't really test them out in the stores. Is there any place where you can actually try before you buy? Or a place where you can at least get advice from someone who knows what they're talking about? Cathy

Try Warm Things on College Ave. in Rockridge. Nice people, good prices. anon

Organic cotton Fiber for making pillows

Feb 2006

I am looking for stores which carry organic cotton fiber for making pillows and other clothes. Thanks Ashu

Try http://www.nearseanaturals.com/ They'll send you swatches and have a great selection.

If on-line suits you, do an online search for ''organic cotton fabric by the yard'' R.K.

Pillows - not too fluffy, not too flat?

Jan 2006

Searching for a pillow that's juuuuust right. We've been using decades-old pillows that are lumpy and flat, so we just bought some new ones at Costco -- $10 for a pack of 2. But they're way too puffy, to the point that I've gotten neck strain. I think this is a problem with most new pillows you might find at Bed or some such store. We need synthetic, not down. And relatively flat but not lumpy. Any recs on where to find the perfect pillow? Thanks. princess and the pea with pillows

Over the years I have used every kind of pillow imaginable from polyfill to down, including memory foam and ''waterbed'' pillows with a water core in the center to relieve neck pain. I have used small pillows, old pillows, big ones and contoured ones, buckwheat pillows, millet pillows, you name it. I always come back to foam rubber pillows (NOT the yellow foam like they have at the foam factory.) As long as you don't have a latex allergy, they are amazing. They are squishy yet supportive. Good for side sleepers and back sleepers, I also used one when I was a stomach sleeper. They put up with lots of abuse, i.e. folding in the center for reading, pillow fights. And as long as you put a dust- mite proof pillow protector on it, will not give you allergies or have feathers poking you in the neck, or break into odd-sized lumps or deflate and make your neck ache. A foam rubber pillow is sorta expensive compared to the Costco ones, but it will last you at least 12 years. Check it out! Bed bath and Beyond sells them, or Linens and Things- don't know about other stores. Sleeping well on Latex

I like down pillows but I was getting too hot at night from the down, plus was having to constantly shift it around all night to get it out of my face and under my neck. So I got a Primaloft ''side sleeper'' pillow at TheCompanyStore.com a couple years ago. I've been really happy with it. It's just right. It's flattened out more over the last year so I think it is time to get another one. I see they are on sale right now for $25 for queen sized. Ginger

Same problem with pillows at our house. I finally tried a latex pillow and I love it. It did take a little getting used to and they are a bit spendier (about $20) but I think it will last forever and it's just right. Helps your head stay in a natural position. Bought mine at wal-mart. pillow happy

I found a great pillow at Ikea. I can't recall its name but I think it has medium fluffiness and is a combination of down and poly. Great price, too. anon

Ikea has a good selection of pillows, thick and thin, down and fiberfill. I think for each kind of filling they have 3 different heights or lofts. Nelly

Ikea has all types of pillows (feather, down, synthetic) that are organized by varying heights. flat pillow fan

I just bought pillows at Target--they have big bins of all the same brand, but they're labeled (soft, medium, firm, extra support...) I found 2 there that were quite soft but still supportive. Heidi

Finding the right pillow takes some consideration as to your sleeping habits. Do you sleep predominately on your sides, stomach or back.? Depending on how sleep determines what type of pillow (based on firmness) you should get so that you do not have neck strain. Try looking at what is recommended. Maybe something will be listed online. Some pillow packages will state that this firmness is recommended for X sleeping habit. Good luck. side sleeper with very firm pillow

Hi there, I chuckled when I read your email because the day before we bought the same pillows at Costco you spoke of; I agree, the pillows were way too puffy and they killed my neck! I'm a side sleeper and those pillows are not made for side sleepers. There isn't one 'perfect' pillow but different pillows allow for different sleeping positions (side, back, stomach). After returning the pillows to Costco, I bought 3 different types of pillows from Target. I'm happy to say the 'Bamboo pillow' ($10) was perfect (not too soft and not to hard; it cradles my head just right). It's made out of bamboo so, as a bonus, it's ecologically friendly as well! Check it out. If you don't like it, return it. Best of luck. Rebecca

Quality FIRM Pillow

June 2005

I am looking for a very firm pillow that will stay FIRM. I buy my current firm pillow at JCPenney's and it stays firm for a few months and then gradually becomes flatter and when I start waking up with horrible shoulder and neck pain, I just replace it. It would be nice to buy a pillow that will stay firm. Please state where the pillow can be purchased as well as brand name. Thank you. Anon

You can't beat the ''memory foam'' pillows sold at Costco for $30- 35 (as opposed to the name brand sold for $99 at most stores). I've had mine for over a year now and it's as firm as ever. It's so great that I got one for my car, too and I sit against it for hours on long drives and it never flattens, but conforms to the contours of my body to give support right where I need it. I've even taken it with me to watch Shotgun Players at their new Ashby Stage (great theatre, hard pew seats) and although I may look a little silly walking in, I can stand up comfortably afterward and always get asked about my firm pillow. I'm a true memory foam pillow convert, but could never stand the $99 price tag. Firm Pillow Lover

I have a ''pillo-pedic'' that I bought from my chiropractor's office, about $60. It is firm and gives great neck support. I was told that I would need to replace it annually; when I start to feel achy...so I guess these pillows are just not made to last. eve

How to pick a pillow?

Feb 2005

I can't say how long we have had our pillows! I see somewhere that it is good to change pillows every 3 years. Is that true? Now I am overwhelmed by the choices, wool, cotton, down, latex, memory foam; is more expensive necesarily better? How did you pick your pillow and are you satisfied? any pillows you might recommend? eve

All our pillows are from IKEA, they're cheap, come in different fillings and different sizes (fluffy to flat) and super comfortable. Elizabeth

As a massage therapist, I see people with ALL kinds of neck pain. I also have a fair amount of neck pain myself from various things I've done in my 52 years of life. I always ask clients how they sleep and what kind of pillows they use....there are thousands of ''therapeutic'' pillows out there. I've tried MANY!!! Here's what I found out. I don't necessarily think we should change pillows every few weeks (I've never heard of that). It is important to sleep with the neck supported in the cervical curve and the head aligned with the spine as much as is possible.

Once we're assleep, we are not in control of posture. If we sleep on our side, it's best to have a pillow between the knees so that the hips are not torqued and again to have the head aligned with the spine.

Sleeping face down is not a great idea because it twists and torques the neck in unnatural positions and then stays that way for the duration of that sleeping position...usually too long (I know, lots of people can only sleep that way and have no problem. I'm not one of them).

My personal opinion is that it's not necessary to spend lots of money on fancy pillows. A year ago, when I painted my bedroom, I spent a few nights sleeping on our couch till the fumes lifted. The first nighit I slept on an old lumpy couch pillow. When I woke up in the AM I suddenly realized ''Wow,....my neck doesn't hurt''...this was a first. Same thing next night. I assumed it had something to do with the pillow, but who knows. So, now I use an old feather pillow that I can scrunch up to fit into the curve of my neck. I also use a ''Bucky'' when I sleep on my side. A bucky is a ''U'' shaped small pillow filled with rice or buckwheat hulls...people use them on airplanes to support their neck sitting up. I use the Bucky on top of my feather pillow to fit into the crook of my neck when I sleep on my side. It works. I won't say I never wake up with neck pain but it's way better and much more comfortable than all the therapeutic pillows I've used in past years.

Then again there will be people who will swear by their therapeutic pillows....so, there is no one right answer. I know this is long winded, sorry. I hope it's helpful. June

I also have a pillow I've had for years, but it's so comfy I haven't even tried to replace it! Last year I got my partner a ''My Isotonic'' foam pillow to replace his really old one. It seemed like a good choice, since he likes to have a flatter type pillow, but it was too high off the mattress for his comfort and he ended up not liking it. Then I tried it for a while, but found that it tended to give me neck aches and headaches. I think it puts too much pressure on the head, or something. Anyway, we're still looking as well. good luck

Hi. I've been told that the temperpedic type foam pillow is best for your neck and shoulders. I'm going to go pillow shopping myself. Not that I don't like a fluffy pillow, but I notice I wake up with neck tension in the morning. My acupuncturist recommended that I get the temperpedic type foam pillow with the natural curve in the middle. bk

Looking for small toddler pillow

June 2003

I am looking for a small, toddler sized pillow that isn't too firm. Can anyone tell me where I might find one with appropriate pillow cases? One Step Ahead has one, but was hoping to find one locally. Thanks. Hilary

to the person inquiring about toddler pillows. We've used 2 cheapo versions: very flat old pillow of ours, or ''borrowed'' an airline pillow.

You can get small pillows (I think they are called boudoir size?) as well as linens for them through The Company Store. They have catalogs, an 800 #, and a website. My son has used one since he was about 18 months old and loves it. cheryl

This won't help you find one locally, but I got a great toddler pillow for my daughter at Ecobaby.com. (They're based not to far from here, but it would still come in the mail.) All organic materials, and they have a variety of pillow cases to match. Not cheap, but great quality. elise

Hi There, I recently purchased a great buckwheat-filled toddler-sized pillow at Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck. It has a fleecy removable cover that is washable. The brand is ''Bucky.'' My daughter loves it! Monica

I found a small travel pillow that I use for a toddler pillow at Bed Bath N Beyond, and they had little pillow cases too -- blue or ivory. Inexpensive too. Tasha

It's easy to make one if you have a sewing machine. Buy a square decorative pillow at any fabric store (I bought mine at Poppy Fabric, but you can get them anywhere). Cut in half and sew the cut sides back up. You could also do it by hand, it would just take a bit longer. It is the perfect size for toddlers. You can either buy a pillowcase and cut it down, or just make one out of any fabric (we have an Elmo flannel print that I got at Long's VERY CHEAP). Good luck, and enjoy! kelly'

I noticed a while ago that Bed Bath & Beyond had a ''travel pillow'' which appeared to be exactly the same thing as One Step Ahead's toddler pillow. If you'd rather buy from a non-chain place I'm sure you could look for the same thing in any travel store. Not sure about cases, though. Holly

Hi, Try the new Pottery Barn Kids store in Emery Bay Market. They used to call them toddler pillows, now for legal reasons I believe they're referred to as ''decorative pillows''. I have two and love them, also you can always find new pillowcases to fit. You can get down or hypoallergenic and they're not too pricey. Good luck, Romy

I have seen/purchased smaller/toddler pillows at the following locations: Bed, Bath and Beyond (Jack London Square) Pottery Barn (anywhere; or Emeryville to be specific) Ikea (the pillows are a bit larger than those sold at the other two stores and you'll have to buy the Ikea sets in the childrens department or make your own) Happy shopping! pillow queen

Isotonic Foam Pillows?

April 2003

Does anyone have experience with these pillows? They are supposed to conform to the shape of your head and offer excellent support. Some claim to help snoring (which is primarily why I'm interesteed in them.) There are a couple of brands on the market, and they range in price from $60-$100, so I'd like to get some feedback before I spend that kind of money! Thanks!

I love my 'memory foam' pillow. It was a big expense as far as pillow prices go, but it's been worth it. I side sleep on mine and bought it for the so-called spinal alignment it provides. The best thing about it is how it conforms and is both soft and supportive. anon