Cooling, supportive night time comfort is not always the easiest to come by. If you sleep hot, then you know how uncomfortable certain pillow fills can be if they retain heat. This can often cause issues when searching for a proper pillow support as you occasionally must choose between physical comfort and cooling preferences.
Luckily, there are some products in the current sleep industry that claims to offer both. The Bear Pillow is supposed to be supportive in all sleep positions, and it also allows for an unparalleled cooling sleep surface.
Of course, no pillow is a true one size fits all, but the many promising Bear Pillow reviews influenced The Sleep Judge Review Team to purchase one for ourselves to see if it was as great as it claimed to be. Our unbiased review surrounding the details of the pillow are found below, as well as our own personal results.
Bear Company History
Started as a family business over 25 years ago, The Bear Mattress Company was founded based on experience and value. Bear has grown through the years to put the customer experience first and is considered an honest, transparent company because of this. With a team of designers, athletes, and outdoor enthusiast, the company interest in providing comfort to the active body has been well noted. Their products surround proper spinal support and comfort to help the body recover and rest.
They also are dedicated to giving back to their community. With over 3200 organizations and over 1000 schools which were past recipients of millions of dollars of support and equipment, this is definitely a company making note of. They also are partnered with Good Sports, an organization dedicated to helping children lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
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Breakdown of the Bear Pillow
Bear uses a memory foam hybrid called the LOFT-X, a patented design of their own making to provide contouring comfort. Their entire approach to the pillow is one of proper support and cooling comfort to allow for correct cervical alignment and soft muscle recovery after a long day of movement. Because it is highly responsive, it is considered a good support for any sleep position, which of course comes with the realization that no pillow is a true one size fits all, which is why the company offers a 100-night sleep trial.
My Bear Pillow arrived in less than a week after ordering, which was awesome. Although the box was branded, it was fairly nondescript, which was fine for setting on the porch until I came home. Within the box was a zippered plastic carrying case that held the pillow. I was glad to see there was no compression- since foam that is stored in a compressed state over time can begin to lose its comfort faster. There was a slight off-gassing smell that lasted a few days. It was not particularly strong, but did exist; this is very typical of foams that are stored in plastic for any length of time.
I actually was seriously surprised at the size of the box on my front porch, as it was much longer than what I am used to arriving when pillows are involved. And because I was in the midst of other reviews, I didn’t open the box immediately to quell my curiosity. Once I did, I was shocked to find it was so long due to it being a king pillow (since in general, we stick to reviewing standard and queen sized pillows).
Figuring there was an ordering mix-up, I did go back to the original order- to discover that in the process the order defaulted to a king size. Although this is no game changer for me- consumers, be sure to double check your orders through the company to ensure you have not defaulted to a king size pillow before committing to purchase. If it does occur, customer support is considered awesome and can help you out with exchanges.
Other than the slight off-gassing, I actually was very initially impressed with the pillow. It was responsive, incredibly cool to touch, and looked like it’s of excellent quality. Despite the king size length, it also was fairly lightweight, and I looked forward to trying it out.
Features & Benefits
To make a product stand out from the others, companies will highlight the feature and benefit claims. This pillow is no different and has a unique list of material and construction details to help provide a better understanding of what it can do for you. We’ve gone into detail of each below to provide you with a good overview of the feature, as well as our own opinion of it.
The Bear Pillow comes in two sizes: A queen that measures 27 x 15 inches and a king that measures 35 x 15 inches. These are well within industry standards to provide your own pillowcase covering with plenty of room to avoid restriction of comfort. Unless you have a king size bed, considered very broad-shouldered and used to a larger pillow, a king size pillow is not what is always best for your comfort.
Of course, in this review, I was working with a king pillow size and actually found it to be of little comfort difference to the standard/queen sizes I am used to. This may not always be the case with every pillow, however, and my opinion is that this was due to it being a solid core foam filling with a very consistent surface comfort feel.
Although the company claims the loft, or height of the pillow upon a flat surface, is an average 5 inches, I found it to be slightly more than 6 inches. Loft should never be an indicator of comfort or positional support due to how airy certain fills may be, but since this is a solid foam pillow, the height was fairly reflective of how it might influence sleep.
Six inches still falls within the average pillow height for a variety of sleep positions, making it a decent choice for combination sleepers. I felt it to be a perfect height overall for my body type, as I will detail more about below.
LOFT-X Hybrid Foam Filling
Bear has its own patented hybrid foam called the LOFT-X, of which provides the contouring of a memory foam and the bounce of latex. The foam is highly responsive and contours immediately under your weight, making it an ideal choice for combination sleepers, or anyone else who requires a little bit of movement for comfort through the night.
Since many foams are considered ‘warm’ to sleep upon due to a tight cellular structure, the company has designed their foam with additional airflow channels found throughout the core.
This not only allows for a release of body heat through the pillow to dissipate away from your body, but it also allows for an increase in breathability to keep air circulating and allowing you to rest at an ideal temperature.
I found the solid foam core to be lightweight, highly responsive, and very comfortable overall. I have a tendency to change positions through the night and loved how the contouring moved with me with no delay in support. This allowed for an easy sleep with no interruption to my comfort.
Double Ice Fabric Cover with Breathable Mesh Sides
The company’s ‘Double Ice’ fabric is like their foam, a patented secret of the company. Comprised of a 40% ‘cool yarn’ and 60% polyester blend, this is a thicker, quilted, cooling surface designed to help wick heat and moisture from your body and allow it to dissipate away.
I’ve mentioned that the pillow feels incredibly cool to the touch, making me think that there is a gel technology to what they call ‘cool yarn’ – allow heat from your body to be drawn away through the process of heat convection.
Many cooling pillows incorporate this simple physical process as it is considered highly effective. Plus, this type of weave is considered naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial- making it a good choice for allergy sufferers.
The pillow also boasts two mesh ends to help increase breathability, and they are sewn well into the rest of the cover with a seamless edge – showing a high degree of quality construction. Along one long side is a lay flat zipper that is easily accessible for cover removal and exposure of the protective inner cotton blend casing that surrounds the foam itself. Although the inner cover is not removable, it does serve as an aid in proper foam protection.
The Bear Pillow is considered a pillow that can support all sleep positions. This, of course, is dependent on a variety of factors, such as body size and height, shape, and personal preference, but it is designed with variance in mind. This is especially important to combination sleepers, as they all need different support for correct spinal health.
Back sleepers need a responsive, thinner surface with enough fill to support the neck correctly. Stomach sleepers need thin, softer comfort, and side sleepers need firmer support with a contouring feel to keep the head and neck at the proper height and in alignment with the spine.
Pillows that have the ability to move with weight shifts and differences typically make a better choice for a wider variety of sleep preferences. The construction of The Bear Pillow definitely makes these concessions, which does make it a decent choice to consider.
Care: Spot Clean Only
Foam is not considered a machine washable material, and this pillow is no exception. Both protective covers do a good job of protecting the foam but rest assured, you can spot clean it with a little soap and water if you need to. The outer cover is easily removed and is machine washable. You also can machine dry it as well, and when used with a regular pillowcase, it should hold up well under regular use. I found the cover to be very durable and also highly resistant to dirt.
Warranty: 2 years
Along with the 100-day sleep trial, the pillow comes with a 2-year warranty to guard against construction and material defects. If unopened, you also can return for free within the first 100 days after purchase. Customer support is considered top notch, and they guarantee hassle-free returns after 30 days of trying the pillow out. The 30 days is to ensure you have given it the proper chance, as many times changing your sleep products can result in some discomfort until your body adjusts to it. Return shipping costs are not covered within this first 100 days, but the cost of the pillow will be fully refunded.
Although considered a new product, it has quickly become a popular product to review by consumers with a large amount of praise provided for the cooling support it lends. Although considered soft by many sleepers, it also is mentioned many times how well it holds the head at the proper level for correct spinal alignment. This lends support to neck strain and has helped alleviate headaches as well.
Being too thin or too thick is a complaint made by a few people, which is more specific to sleep positions and body types- as well as personal preference. Details of why this might occur are addressed below through our own sleep trials.
An observation made by many (myself included) that are not necessarily a complaint- is how smooth the pillowcase is. This actually can cause your own pillowcase to slip off it very easily depending on the type of material it is. I found this somewhat amusing and did find that a 100%, low thread count (best to take advantage of the cooling properties) cotton case and flannel seem to stay on the best- but microfibers and other smooth material blends slide easily upon it.
Because of the nature of this pillow, I did want to make sure we provided true opinions of our experiences. Since I am a combination side and stomach sleeper, I handed this pillow off to a back and side sleeper of a very different body type to get a more well-rounded trial run out of it. Therefore, our first trial saw the pillow in use by a heavier set, stocky framed man with broad shoulders- who happens to sleep hot quite regularly despite having a fan blowing in the room.
The results of this trial yielded not so surprising results after reading through many other consumer reviews. As a back sleeping pillow, it was an excellent choice. It was contouring, comforting, supportive, and extremely cool. It was also mentioned by his wife that it seemed to ease the occasional snoring issues that disrupt their nights. As snoring can be caused by poor head and neck support, this was a great observation to take note of.
As a side sleeper, this pillow was not considered thick enough to properly support the broader shoulders. Unfortunately, the head was held too low, and there was little to no neck support. This was not a surprising result and was expected based on other reviews.
My Sleep Trial Experiences
As mentioned, I am a side and stomach sleeper. I also am shorter, and I’m over an average weight and overall shape. My favorite pillow is usually highly malleable feather and down fills as they can be shaped to support my habits of sleep combinations, wherein I sleep on my stomach and side- two very different positions that need drastically different support. Therefore, any pillow that claims it can support all positions within reason typically grabs my attention as a possible choice for me.
Although I do not sleep on my back, I do like to sometimes nap on my back. I did find this pillow to be comfortable and cooling and had no issues with pressure points. It did, however, raise my head a bit more than what I would have liked, which did not keep my spine in alignment. Although I had no discomfort from this, if this was a sleep position of choice, it could eventually influence lower back or shoulder strain.
The pillow did conform extremely well to my head and neck, but I felt as if I did not have enough weight to me to truly settle back into the pillow. Rather, the foam seemed to ‘bounce’ against me and keep my head aloft. Again, it was uncomfortable, but it was higher than what I would want.
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This was actually an incredible rest, and I very much felt as if my head, neck, and back were properly supported when sleeping on my side. My head settled well into the pillow, and I could rest my shoulder up against it and feel the foam supporting my neck. I also very much like to tuck my hands and arm under the pillow as I sleep, and although it may have raised the pillow profile slightly, I felt the foam did conform around my arm and hand very well without causing any discomfort to my sleep position.
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Like my back trial, the pillow was just too thick for this to be a correct position for me to rest within for any length of time. Initially, it was very comforting, but overall, it raised my head too high. I felt that if I could push down more and add weight, it would have been perfect. It did provide a very cool surface, and it was very comfortable to lay my head against with no pressure points.
As a side and stomach sleeper, I try to influence a more healthy spinal alignment, which can often be aided by body pillows for added shoulder and hip support. Since I had the advantage of a king size pillow, I decided to see how well it might serve this purpose. I absolutely loved the results. The king size was the perfect length to use for my head, shoulder, and hip, or just my shoulder, hip, and knees if I choose to use a different pillow for my head.
The added weight of my body truly allowed me to feel the contouring comfort this pillow lends, and it supported my body excellently without flattening through the night. This may not have been what this pillow was originally created to be used for, but it is highly effective and can see how well it might help with injury recovery as it is very responsive and reduces pressure along joints.
The comfort you gain from this pillow is very dependent on your body type and weight. I very much feel it can support all sleep positions well, but the supportive comfort you receive is very dependent upon these details- as well as personal preference. Heavier or larger body types will most likely enjoy this pillow for back and stomach sleeping. Smaller, narrow-shouldered bodies can most definitely take advantage of it for side sleeping and perhaps back sleeping as well in certain circumstances.
As a body pillow (in the case of a king size) or even alternative knee and hip support (for smaller queen sized pillows), this is a great choice. Many people forget that pillows can be used for much more than the head and neck, and they can lend support to proper spinal alignment, and provide relief from injury, surgery, and disease.
This is a high quality, comfortable pillow that does stand up to the claims it makes. The company also very much realizes that not all body types may be able to make the best use of their pillow in certain positions and thus offer a 100-day sleep trial to allow you to see if it works for you. The highly responsive hybrid foam, cool cover, and overall construction defines a product worth considering. I had a hard time finding fault with it knowing that no pillow is a true one size fits all, and it seems that most people are able to put it to good use or at least appreciate the details behind the comfort.
Cooling, responsive comfort truly describes The Bear Pillow. I found it to be highly responsive and amongst the best surface comfort I have experienced in a pillow. Be sure to look carefully through the details provided above to see if it may work for you, but even if you are not completely sold- but interested in trying out, you can take advantage of their 100-night sleep trial.
Frequently Asked Questions
Best for which sleep position?
All three! (Side, Back, and Stomach)
What is the loft?
Will I experience a lot of offgassing?
No, wears off after 24-48 hours.
Is it organic?
What’s the warranty?