Pillow Talk: The search for the perfect pillow - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Pillow Talk: The search for the perfect pillow


Have a hard time sleeping because your snore or the person next to you snores? Many specialty pillows promise to do all kinds of things, but they may not be the dream they claim to be.

Matthew doesn't know he's doing it, and he doesn't do it on purpose, but when it happens, his wife is sure to let him know.

"When I get swatted, I know it's time to roll over," he said.

Now there's a growing market of specialty pillows to help snorers. There are pillows that claim to minimize snoring and sleep apnea. Others supposedly provide better support for the neck to prevent strain.

The Sona pillow is designed to keep sleepers on their side. Its contoured design claims to cradle the head to create optimal breathing alignment. Its promises to cut down on snoring and mild sleep apnea are FDA cleared.

"Pillows that kind of force a person to sleep on their side might provide some benefit," said Neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Clete Kushida.

A model by Brookstone promotes a built-in support system to cradle your head and neck, promising to keep your chin out, and airway open. Matthew put this pillow to the test for two weeks. While waiting to see how it worked, we questioned whether the concept could help decrease snoring.

"Putting the head and neck in a CPR type position could help open the airway to a degree," said Dr. Kushida.

Both the Sona and Brookstone tout clinical tests to back up their claims, but Dr. Kushida said to take these claims with a grain of salt. He said a lot of those studies are based on just a few patients.

Another option on the market is a pillow that uses more than 2,000 plastic spikes to apply acupressure, giving you a head massage designed to help you relax. Study results are pending on that pillow. Dr. Kushida said it's a matter of preference.

"It comes down to a matter of comfort," he said.

He also said if you have serious sleep issues, don't pin your hopes on a pillow.

"For a person that has a serious sleep disorder or medical disorder, there are certainly a lot of different treatments are more accepted," he explained.

Matt's snoring didn't stop with the pillow he tested, though his wife said it wasn't as loud. So Matt's search for the perfect pillow continues.

"I'm willing to try something that would help," he said.

When we told Brookstone the pillow didn't work for Matthew, the company reiterated the packaging promises, stating it had been clinically tested to make sleeping more comfortable and reduce snoring.

There are also specialty pillowcases that promise to do everything to cut down on allergies to reducing wrinkles.

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