Are you looking for "the perfect" pillow that will help you get a good night's rest? Not a bad idea at all, if you ask me. A bad idea might be believing too many Tempur-Pedic ads and the silly reviews that unquestioningly repeat their lame claims, but looking at the pillows for yourself, looking at the competition, and then making your own value judgments based on sound logic and critical thinking is a very good idea.
I happen to fervently believe that if you really do compare what you get with competing pillows, that you will not buy the Tempur-Pedic. I think their ads are a whole lot of baloney, and their claims are a whole bucket of red herrings. My goal is to cut through the thick fog of marketing hype surrounding these wildly overpriced, wildly overrated pillows and, hopefully, bring a ray of commonsense sunshine into the discussion.
I don't like the Tempur-Pedic Comfortpillow. My wife bought one, and I've tried it out a few times. It totally blows. Too damn hard, too damn heavy, too damn weird and squiggly feeling, it makes my head sweat like a corporate bigwig with a Sixty Minutes film crew in the waiting room. Adding insult to injury is the nagging little factoid that the Tempur-Pedic Comfortpillow is one of the most OUTRAGEOUSLY overpriced pillows on the market!
The marketing hype around these pillows touts a whole lot of "reasons" for why they're "worth it", but trust me --- they're not. The reasons are red herrings, each and every one, and I'll tell you why...
The Red Herring of the "Better Nights Sleep"...
Tempur-Pedic boasts that its the material that makes their pillow so good and that gives you a good night's sleep. Their theoretical "advantages" are:
* it's "memory foam" so it holds its shape
* it's dense foam, giving you firmer support
Let's debunk these one at a time, shall we?
Memory foam: When I see the Tempur-Pedic ads showing somebody pushing down on the pillow to demonstrate how the pillow doesn't spring back up, but instead reflects the shape of the hand, I just want to shout out, "Who F*CKING CARES?!?!" Yes, I am rude --- no question --- but I'm also serious. Why doesn't anybody follow up to ask, "What's the real advantage of that"? Why does "holding its shape" matter? I don't care if the pillow remembers me. Hell, it might be better if it didn't, that way it couldn't be called as a witness in a court of law. The only advantage I see to memory foam is that it lets Regina (my housekeeper) come in my room after I've split for the day, look at the pillow, and mutter, "Gawd DAMN! That mrkstvns got hisself one BIG-ASS head, don't he?" I don't necessarily sleep better knowing that.
Density: If you're a techno-dweeb, you'll appreciate knowing that the Comfortpillow has a density of 5.3 pounds per square foot. That's not English to me, so to translate let's compare to other things we might be more familiar with: the density of water is 62.4 pounds per square foot, the density of balsa wood is 10.6 pounds per square foot, the density of a red pine log is 23.1 pounds per square foot, and the density of Dick Cheney's head is 238.7 tons per square foot. 5.3 pounds per square foot is pretty hefty and that means that the Comfortpillow weighs a whopping 9 pounds. Smack somebody with an old-fashioned down pillow and it's good natured hi-jinks that ensue. Smack somebody with a Comfortpillow and it's 5-10 years hard labor for assault with a deadly weapon.
Supposedly the denseness of the Comfortpillow translates to firmer support for your head. Truth be told, if I really wanted firmer support, I'd just throw an AT&T YellowPages under the pillow...either that or use two pillows instead of one. Given that the Comfortpillow costs a whopping 10 to 20 times more than a standard fiber-fill pillow, you could afford a mighty huge pile of pillows with the sizable cost savings of simply avoiding the Tempur-Pedic Comfortpillow.
There's lots of things that go into making for a good nights sleep. Your pillow is one. So is the mattress, the blankets, the quietness and darkness of the room, and so on and so forth. Just remember, if you're having trouble getting to sleep, the fault may not be the pillow in the first place...it may be other factors.
I was having trouble sleeping for a while and I mentioned it to my next door neighbor. He said, "You know, I used to have trouble falling asleep too, then I started laying my head on my wife's breast, and I just nodded right off. Maybe you should try something like that." I bumped into him a couple weeks later over at the rec center and he asked if I was having better luck sleeping. "Yeah," I told him, "I did just like you said, and it really works. By the way, I love what you've done with your bedroom decor."
Yep. Sometimes it might be the pillow, sometimes there's other solutions.
The Red Herring of the "Allergy Argument"...
Whenever I see or hear an ad touting the benefits of a product for allergy sufferers, I just kind of roll my eyes at the cliche of it all. Double roll when people talk about it with respect to pillows. It's a total non-benefit these days since every pillow you can buy is pretty much non-allergenic. Most are fiberfill, which is made of plastic fibers (like nylon), and isn't exactly something that people are allergic to. Even the down and feather pillows these days are hypo-allergenic, and of course, every foam pillow is going to be A-hunkey dorey.
If people experience any sneezing or nose twitching at night, it's usually caused by dust, and the leading cause of dust in the home is dead skin. The way to eliminate things like dust or mites isn't to change the pillow --- it's to get rid of the humans. Pillows don't cause dust and down pillows don't aggravate allergies. That's an old wives tale (though my Mom still swears its true....hmmm....she is a wife, and at 75 years of age, she's pretty darn old too....ergo, proven point.) If you've got allergies, there's no reason to ban down pillows in favor of something like Tempur-Pedic's overpriced "solution" to your problem. Just remember, when down pillows are outlawed, only outlaws will have down pillows.
The Red Herring of the "NASA Technology" Argument...
My eyes do the triple roll when I hear Tempur-Pedic's "it was developed by NASA" argument as to why their foam is so darn great. I ask the mattress salesman if that means the whole bed bursts into flames and disintegrates if a piece of the foam falls off. He glares at me.
Okay, so NASA did engineer this high density foam stuff, and it's yet one more example of how money invested into government research programs can yield innovations with solid civilian application and real long-term return. Tempur-Pedic doesn't have a lock on the high-density foam business, and there are plenty of direct competitors with near-identical performance and "benefits" --- competitors that somehow manage to bring "developed by NASA" foam products to market at 1/3 the cost of Tempur-Pedic.
The Red Herring of the Wimpy "But Its Worth Every Penny" Rejoinder...
Tempur-Pedic Comfortpillows are such a horrendously BAD value that I can't for the life of me understand how people manage to blind themselves to the glaring overpricing. At 1/3 the price, a Tempur-Pedic might well "be worth it". Maybe even at half the price, if you're feeling generous. But these things cost $125 to $150 --- FOR A FREAKIN' PILLOW.
It shouldn't take an economist like Fed Chairman Simon Greenspan to figure this out. You can buy better pillows that better meet your needs at a fraction of the price of a Tempur-Pedic Comfortpillow. Buy it, and all you're really paying for is slick advertisements and fat profits. Does THAT help you sleep better??
Just to sanity check my sane observations, I stopped by my friendly, clean, well-stocked Target store. They had a whole passel of different kinds of pillows to choose from. Their standard (admittedly thin) pillow was on sale for $4.99. Just in case you snoozed through 2nd grade arithmetic lessons the way I did, I'll figure out what that means on my Texas Instruments calculator: Hmmm....looks like I could get THIRTY pillows for the price of ONE Tempur-Pedic queen Comfortpillow.
To be fair, the standard pillows aren't what I'd buy. I'd jump up several grades and pay top dollar --- $9.99 --- for their Extra Firm pillow. Now THAT'S sleeping in comfort, and at price that's 1/15th that of Tempur-Pedic. I sleep sounder just thinking of all the extra dollars in my wallet!!!
Now I know what y'all are thinking, "apples to apples" and all that. These Target pillows I've been looking at so far are just your basic fiber-filled pillows, and maybe you really do like sleeping on NASA foam (me, I'm just waiting for the shuttle to fly overhead, then I'll go out in the backyard and pick one up off the lawn).
Target also sells a Serta Supreme Memory Foam pillow. It' ain't cheap though...it'll set you back $39.99, or about 1/4th the price of a Tempur-Pedic.
And if you're going by the specs and numbers and foam type, and all that jazz, you'll still be mind-boggled at Tempur-Pedic's overcharging when you look at closely competing pillows from Isotonic and SleepFresh. The Isotonic has slightly lower density, so it gives you the same memory foam advantages, but with a somewhat softer feel, while if you really buy into the "denser means better support" argument, then the SleepFresh gives you even higher density than TempurPedic, but at 1/3 the cost.
No matter how you slice it or dice it though, I just cannot find a WORSE PILLOW DEAL THAN TEMPUR-PEDIC COMFORTPILLOW!!
It's enough to drive a man to drink!! (I'll have a Makers Mark, neat --- better make it a double!)
Herrings and baloney. That's what you're really buying when you buy a Tempur-Pedic Comfortpillow.
I can get a more comfortable pillow that gives me a better nights sleep at 1/10th the sky-high price tag Tempur-Pedic charges. Head on over to your friendly, neighborhood Target store and they'll sell you a better pillow at a fair price. Now THAT'S what I call "getting what you pay for"!!
Read all 39 Reviews
Write a Review