Did you know that you’re supposed to replace your pillow every 1 to 2 years? I didn’t, and those years really creep up on you. To make sure I was sleeping on a pillow that was beneficial for my health (and not a stained, smelly old one with harmful bacteria living in there) it was time to invest in a new one!
As a stomach sleeper, I knew I needed a pillow that was thinner than my existing memory foam one. I found myself constantly thinking about those pillows you find at hotels. Why couldn’t I have that kind of comfort everyday, rather than just when I’m traveling? In my search for this kind of pillow, I came across Fern & Willow. The Fern & Willow brand has become increasingly popular on Amazon, so I decided to take the plunge and see what all the fuss was about.
Unboxing and First Impressions
First and foremost, let’s talk about the box itself. You’ll notice that the slogan reads: “Nothing bests a good night’s rest”. My immediate thought was that it was a typo. Obviously, the manufacturer meant to say “beats”, right?
Even when typing this out now, that lovely blue jagged line is appearing under the word to tell me, “um, hello, I think you mean “beats”? Then it occurred to me that it must have been intentional, a pun to have the slogan rhyme, and maybe to claim that these pillows are the best?
I figured there couldn’t possibly be a typo on my box, and would that mean it’s the same on every one that was printed? After sifting through and finding the slogan again on the pamphlet, my initial suspicions were correct.
The editor in me was not impressed by this. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, so what if you come across a typo here or there? We’re all human. But it’s so important to make a great first impression, as this is usually the one that lasts, so I’m likely going to remember the misspelling of “beats” for some time!
After I moved on from the typo (as you can see, it was a bitter pill to swallow), I took the pillows out from the box and laid them on my bed to decompress. It didn’t need much, just some initial fluffing and I was good to go. Initially, the pillow felt like one of those lush, feathery hotel pillows, albeit a bit thinner than expected, but I was still excited to try it out.
- Filling material: 100% polyester gel-fiber
- Cover material: 100% cotton
- Loft: Adjustable
- Sizes: Standard, Queen, King
- Comfort Positions: All sleeping positions
- Warranty: 100 night sleep trial, 3 year replacement warranty from Fern & Willow
The first thing I noticed about this pillow was that it was thinner than I expected. Sleeping on one of these alone didn’t give me the support that I wanted. But, given that it does come in a two-pack, perhaps this is perfectly fine for those who want to double up. Then I realized that it had an adjustable loft! Adjustable loft means that the pillow can zip open to reveal the filling inside, so you can remove or add filling depending on your comfort level. If you prefer a thinner, softer pillow, take some out. If you’d like yours more plump with extra cushioning, you can often purchase extra filling from the manufacturer (or if yours comes in a two-pack, just steal some from the second pillow!).
I feel like this should be a must for all pillows, because so many of us just want the Goldilocks of pillows: one that’s not too soft, not too firm, and is just right. Giving you the option to remove or add filling as you please is a great bonus, because who doesn’t want their pillow to be customizable to suit their needs? I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pillow that could be unzipped to reveal the fluff inside, so this was a unique experience for me.
It’s recommended to massage the pillow before you sleep on it to evenly distribute the filling, so I made sure to do this to avoid unwanted lumps. As is, this Fern & Willow pillow has 5 inches of loft, which is average for most pillows.
Some sleepers may find that it’s too chunky for them, and in that case the adjustable loft is perfect so they can take out some filling. Given that it comes in a pack of two, you could easily mix and match and have one pillow with more filling inside, while the other has less. Your options are endless!
My Sleep Trial Experience
— Back and side
I tried sleeping on my back and side with this pillow and it offered me enough support, even though these aren’t my go-to sleeping positions. My head and neck were fully supported with one, but having both pillows propped under my head gave me that extra comfort I was looking for. Again, the fluffy down-alternative filling has the luxurious feel of pillows you often find at hotels, so this impressed me. The polyester gel-fiber filling feels like you’re kneading dough when pressing down on it, so you can easily get it into the position you want.
I’ll admit that I am a stomach sleeper, which is the least ideal sleeping position regarding spinal alignment and proper neck support. How can it be good for your neck and spine if you’re laying on your stomach with your head forced to one side for eight hours? Obviously, back sleeping is the most recommended, but sometimes I just can’t fall asleep this way.
After sleeping on my stomach with my head pressed against the Fern & Willow pillow, I had several nights of comfortable sleep. Interestingly enough, Fern & Willow recommends that for stomach sleepers, you should remove around one third of the filling and then adjust the pillow as needed. While thinner pillows are ideal for stomach sleepers, this wasn’t comfortable enough for me. It felt like I had little support, even before removing any filling.
As mentioned above, I prefer a little extra loft, so I took some of the polyester gel-fiber from my second pillow and stuffed it into the one I was sleeping on. If you’re doing this, expect to see a little mess, because the fluff is delicate and can easily go everywhere on your bed.
Since the filling is white, I made sure to do the swap on my throw that’s a dark gray, so any extra bit of white would show up easily. I found that the pillow was much more comfortable to sleep on once I adjusted the loft.
Cooling Properties and Breathability
Fern & Willow claims that this pillow is made of a breathable fabric (the 100% cotton cover and polyester gel-fiber fill) and therefore sleeps cool. I had no issues sleeping hot while nestling into the pillow, however I’m typically a cool sleeper so I rarely experience overheating during the night.
Even when I slept with both pillows stacked on top of each other, they felt super breathable under my head and neck. I think this is credit to the gel-fiber filling, as I have other bedding products made of similar materials that have also been cool to the touch.
Maintenance, Care and Warranty
Having a pillow that’s machine washable is an absolute must for me. Sure, you’ll wash your pillowcases when you do the sheets, but sometimes your pillow itself needs a good clean too. What happens if you spill something and it seeps through the pillowcase? Spot-cleaning doesn’t always do the trick in my experience.
Luckily, this Fern & Willow pillow can be thrown in the wash, and it’s best to do this on a gentle, cold cycle. Just make sure to air dry it rather than putting it in the dryer, so it will make your pillow fluff right up again.
It’s interesting to note that the pillow label specifies you can “dry in low heat”, but on the Amazon page it states in the third image, “machine washable & easy to clean, air dry thoroughly after washing”. This is obviously confusing and likely another error by the manufacturer, so to be on the safe side, I air dried my pillow for best results. Ideally, it’s recommended to gently fluff your pillow every night before you go to bed, so that it always stays in shape.
Fern & Willow also offers a 100 night sleep trial, plus a three-year replacement warranty if you register your pillows online. This should cover any defects or faults in the workmanship, and the trial is a great bonus to make sure you love sleeping on your pillows every night. Because they’re not made of a material that decompresses a lot, like memory foam, you should have no issues putting them back in the box they came in.
All in all, the Fern & Willow Pillows for Sleeping are ideal if you sleep with two of these stacked next to each other, or take out some filling from one and transfer it to the other. You’ll definitely get enough support, and they’re perfect for all sleeping positions. But for me as a stomach sleeper (who prefers to sleep with only one pillow), it was too thin for my liking unless I transferred the filling over.
The pillow still offered that luxurious, feathery feel like you find in hotel pillows, but it just didn’t have me sold. As a sleeper who has purchased memory foam products for many years, it’s hard to make the transition to a pillow made of anything else!
This product was sent to me by Thrasio – this is an honest review and it has not affected my review in any way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What sleep position is the Fern & Willow Premium Loft Pillow best suited for?
All sleeping positions.
What is the loft of the Fern & Willow Premium Loft Pillow?
The loft is adjustable.
Will I experience any offgassing with my Fern & Willow Premium Loft Pillow?
None at all, as this isn’t a memory foam product!
Is the Fern & Willow Premium Loft Pillow organic?
It doesn’t specify whether this pillow is organic, but it is hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant for those with skin sensitivities.
What is the warranty of the Fern & Willow Premium Loft Pillow?
Fern & Willow offers a 100 night sleep trial as well as a three-year replacement warranty policy, you just have to register your pillow/s with them online.