It's funny how life goes in circles.
When you're a child you fought tooth and nail with your parents not to send you to bed. Then as you grew further into adolescence your appreciation for sleep grew too. There's something about a teenager sleeping on Saturdays until noon that seems totally harmless and completely expected.
Then as you started dealing with the pressures of everyday life, work and household, a good night’s sleep seemed to elude you, making sleep less enjoyable.
For some it gets so bad they fight tooth and nail with themselves not to go to bed, just as they did with their parents in their early childhood years, thus completing the circle.
For some a lack of sleep is attached to a serious disorder like insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, or Nocturia, which is a frequent need to go to the bathroom during the night.
But sometimes the problem is related to smaller things such as a loud neighbor, a lumpy mattress, or an uncomfortable pillow.
In fact, having the right pillow is more important than you may think, and having the wrong one can lead to spine, nerve and muscle issues, according to experts.
A national survey released by The Company Store of La Crosse, Wisc. showed that 59 percent of Americans typically sleep on their sides, 18 percent slumber on their back, and 13 percent choose their stomachs to hopefully get some Z's.
"Sleeping on a mismatched, poorly constructed or worn-out pillow can cause neck, shoulder and back pain," said Rick Williams, who specializes in pillows at The Company Store. "A good pillow comfortably supports your head and your neck, and keeps them level and aligned with your spine. When you sleep with your neck and spine relaxed and properly aligned, you help avoid kinks, aches, and pains, and fatigue," he said.
Searching for just the right pillow can be difficult, especially since you can't truly gauge its quality without extended use. Often times the packaging that reads soft, medium, or firm still doesn't provide the consumer with the right balance of firmness, malleability and softness, no matter which position a person sleeps.
The company "My Pillow" says it has all the right components for a deep and comfortable slumber.
My Pillow's inventor Michael J. Lindell could be the most enthusiastic person you'll ever see when it comes to pillows. He looks like a guy who gets a good night's sleep each and every night.
You may have seen the omnipresent My Pillow infomercial. In the 30-minute advertisement, Lindell goes on and on about how his pillows are "the best in the world," and how the pillow is perfect for every type of sleeping pattern. "It will change your life," he says.
The best in the world? Change your life? Man, product claims don't get bigger than that, do they?
Does it really?
So in our second installment of Does It Really Do That? ConsumerAffairs decided to put My Pillow to the test, to see if it's really the best pillow on the market, and if it truly lives up to all of the claims on the infomercial.
See, Lindell is sort of a pillow-industry-rebel, if there is such a thing. During the infomercial he goes through a collection of store-bought pillows that resemble the ones that consumers buy in department and bedding stores.
He shows some rather tall and thick pillows, and says they are too stiff and do not provide the neck with the proper amount of relaxation, which can lead to headaches.
Lindell also shows the popular flat foam-like pillow that curves in the middle. He says these pillows were invented to adjust to individual sleeping patterns, but they don't have the correct amount of "give" for actual comfort.
He also says the big companies aren't designing pillows according to a person’s health, as they want their products to have short lifespans, so pillows will have to be bought over and over.
My Pillow, according to Lindell, has the perfect balance of firmness and softness, and will stay in place wherever you bunch-up or set the pillow.
The infomercial shows how the pillow is designed for every sleep pattern and has the ability to morph itself into each person's needed type of neck support.
I for one have suffered from bad pillows pretty much my whole adult life.
Throughout the years the ones that I bought either were too high, which hurt my neck, or too thin and soft, which also hurt my neck.
For years I've experienced a tingly feeling in my shoulder and neck muscles, and my doctor said it’s probably due to my sleeping habits or my pillow.
So after seeing the infomercial shortly after my latest doctor visit, I had to give it a try. I bought the pillow back in May of this year and have been using it ever since, thus giving me a decent portion of time to assess the pillow's differences as well as the company's claims.
Another reason the My Pillow infomercial grabbed me is because Lindell seemed to be describing word for word the sleeping problems I had.
The infomercial says the pillow is made with a three piece interlocking system which gives it a cooling effect and allows it to be formed into one's unique shape.
It's also supposed to get rid of snoring for those who sleep on their back, and remove that tingly neck sensation for those who sleep on their side or stomach. Since I'm a side sleeper with discomfort, I was eager to give the thing a go.
My Pillow comes in different variations depending on your particular need. Some choices include the Standard Queen, the King Bed Pillow, and the My First Pillow for children. It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee and a 10-year warranty.
Okay, so here goes:
First off, was the pillow vastly different from other pillows on the market, or even yet, from the zillions of pillows I've purchased over the years? Secondly, was it really able to perfectly adjust to my individual shape?
Good news: Two yeses, for sure.
Right off the bat, My Pillow did separate itself from the pillows made by the big companies. Like most new pillows it looked fluffy and firm enough to provide me with a deep sleep, but the difference was how it maintained its shape throughout the night.
I went with the Standard Queen size, and unlike many pillows I've bought and tested it really did stay in the same adjusted form that I put it in.
My Pillow is thick yet it's still able to perfectly sink once you place your head on it. Many thick pillows don't drop at all, or they sink all the way down to the bed, providing insufficient neck support. My Pillow did neither.
The infomercial also claims the pillow is able to stay cool throughout the night, as a hot pillow can keep many people up.
This particular claim didn't actually come true in my testing, as the pillow seemed to heat up in the same way other pillows do. But the extra comfort and support it provided me allowed a deeper sleep making the slight warmth of the pillow a non-issue.
Lindell also expresses that the right pillow will provide the proper alignment of one’s cervical nerves, and misalignment of these nerves can cause that tingle feeling. He says most people have to fold their pillows in half to get the proper cushioning. Some have to stack two or three pillows.
But guess what? After about two weeks of using My Pillow, that occasional prickly feeling I had in my upper back and neck muscle was almost gone. After a little over a month the feeling was completely removed and I haven't felt it since.
So My Pillow gets another high mark for getting rid of my neck discomfort, and hopefully it'll do the same for you.
I did notice, however, that the middle of the pillow started to slightly collapse after about two months. But it’s so adjustable that I'm able to bend it back into the correct shape and the form stays throughout the night.
On its website, most of the My Pillow selections go for $29.95. There's also an entire body-pillow that's supposed to have the same unique features for $119.95.
There's only one official store in Burnsville, Minn. that sells My Pillow. You may also see the company at state fairs in certain parts of the country, but buying the pillows online is your easiest bet, assuming you don't live in Greater Burnsville.
So, the final question: Does It Really Do That?
The answer would have to be yes. The only flaw was a slight ebb in the pillow after nearly two months of use. But My Pillow has a ten year warranty that I haven't taken advantage of yet, but will if need be. How easy that process is for consumers remains to be seen.
In My Pillow's favor, the company never said its product wouldn't slightly sink after extended use. It would be nice if it didn't though.
But the pillow is still made extremely well, and it's definitely the most comfortable pillow I've come across to date. Definitely worth the price tag.