Finding the perfect pillow for your needs can be a daunting task. And what makes it even more difficult is the huge array offered both in stores and online that promises a better night’s sleep. Narrowing down your choices can be a challenge, and may create scenarios which keeps you from finding what is best for you.
The problem with many pillows is that they are offered in traditional shapes, and most people are unaware of just how many specialty shapes and sizes are available for your specific needs. Wedge pillows are one such product, and their ability to provide relief to a decent array of ailments is often overlooked. The Sleep Judge Review team has been able to personally review the Helix Wedge Pillow to provide you an honest oversight of the product.
About the Helix Company
The Helix company was founded by people tired (literally) of terrible mattress purchasing experiences and the bad night’s sleep that ensued. They created Helix to provide more customized sleep options pertaining to mattresses, and have since optimized this process to include other products, such as pillows and bedding.
The Benefits of Wedge Pillows
Wedge pillows actually have a wide array of uses, and can not only aid in sleep positioning, but also alleviate certain disorders, or provide comfort. Elevating the head and shoulders during sleep can help with sleep apnea symptoms, snoring, acid reflux, and congestion. They also are the perfect solution to elevating the legs to reduce pressure on the lower back, reduce leg swelling, or aid in injury recovery. Plus, they are great solutions for in bed lounging and reading (some of my favorite uses)!
Shipping, Unboxing, and Offgassing
The Helix Wedge Pillow came tightly rolled and tucked into a rectangular, unmarked box. It was wrapped securely in plastic with a label to identify what was within. It was easy to unwrap and decompressed immediately, with it completely relaxing within the hour. I couldn’t smell any strong offgassing, and when I held my nose to the pillow it had a slight plasticy odor, but nothing strong- and it went away pretty quickly.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to think about the pillow at first. Although it felt well made, I wasn’t too impressed with the cover. It felt and looked like a simple foam covering and needed something more over the entirety of the product for foam protection. It was nice that it could be used immediately without offgassing or having to decompress, and although it seemed almost overlay large altogether, it is a great size.
Hefty, but not heavy, the foam wedge is constructed in a layered design to optimize overall comfort. A 1.5 inch gel infused memory foam foam layer sits atop 8.5 inches of a dense, polyurethane foam wedge to provide body adaptability and surface cooling.
Rayon and Poly Blend Cover
The rayon and poly blend cover is breathable, and serves as a basic protective layer for the pillow. The size of the wedge dictates that is doesn’t fit inside any standard pillowcase size, so you have to pretty much make due with what it comes with, or place a thin towel or sheet over it if you want it more protected.
It is a durable cover, even though I personally feel it is not wholly protective of the foam beneath. Because of this when I use it I place a thin blanket over the top to keep it clean.
The three sided zipper located at the top, or base, of the pillow unzips easily and provides access to the foam that sits snugly inside. It isn’t difficult to take the pillow out or put back in, although it does fill the case to either side of the zipper to make it a bit of a tight fit.
Features and Benefits
The features and benefits of a product are what set it above its competition, and although I didn’t like the cover overall, it serves its purpose for initial protection. This is a quality choice that didn’t feel compressed, broken down, or holding a foam imprint after regular use- giving me the impression that it will last for quite some time.
Gel Infused Memory Foam Layer
Gel infused foams are a popular way to help combat the heat sinks many foams create. Due to their dense design, foam pillow don’t always breathe well, and create an uncomfortable sleep temperature. Gel infusions into the foam help create a cooling sensation due to the scientific process of heat conduction. Temperature of surfaces that come in contact with one another try to create an equilibrium. When you place your warmer body upon it, it feels cooler as it begins to draw your heat in and away from your body.
Wedge Pillows for Chronic Pain and Swelling
Body, knee, and back pain are common ailments: all of which can be supported through the use of a wedge pillow. Back pain is often created due to poor sleep positioning. When your spine is out of alignment it creates stressors and chronic pain. Joint pain is also often common while you sleep and create stiffness as muscles work to being alignment back to the body.
Poor posture also results in poor circulation. This may cause swelling in the joints, legs, and arms. The use of a wedge can help alleviate certain body parts to help drain the affiliated areas when you use it to prop up your legs or upper body.
The length of the cervical spine and lumbar region in particular are better supported. Plus, when placed between the legs it can work to improve radicular lower back pain as well.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring Support
Sleeping on a raised surface also can help with snoring, which is often an indicator of sleep apnea as well. Both situations are caused by a restriction or blocking of the airways as your body relaxes. Your lungs may also not be able to fill properly as the weight in your body shifts. Heartburn and acid reflux can also become a problem due to this. Raising the upper body allows the body to relax in a position more supportive of the airways.
Loft & Size Options
10 inches at its peak, it gently slopes to a 2 inch rise over a full 2 foot length of pillow. Designed specifically to address pain, snoring, and sleep comfort, it is a choice that can be taken advantage of for a variety of other uses.
Similar to other wedge pillow products, it seems to be an average size overall for a wedge to fit a variety of body size and weight needs. Although I thought it might be overly large for my shorter, lighter frame, it works perfectly for the many ways I have tried it out with.
I would say the memory foam gel layer is very effective. I can definitely notice the difference from one side to another even with the cover on simply by placing my hand upon it. It is cooling and relaxing and I had no issues with heat retention.
The foams used by the company are considered high end materials with long lasting results. The pillow is considered a medium-firm option with surface contouring due to the memory foam layer. My impression of it was that it was body contouring, but provided immediate support and no slow, warming process to conform to the shape of my body.
Their memory foam regularly falls between 2.5-4.0 PCF with an IFD of 10. The density of a foam is measured by pounds per cubic foot, or PCF, and refers to how heavy it is. Most quality foams fall between 2.0-4.0, with the higher number resulting in what feels like a firmer surface. The IFD number refers to the indentation-force deflection and is specific to how durable it is. This helps explain how well it supports weight. Higher numbers feel more firm, while lower number will feel softer.
The bottom part of the wedge is a high grade polyfoam with an IFD that falls between 20-55. I would gather it is on the higher end of this as it supports weight wonderfully with little to no sagging even with a heavier body.
Maintenance, Protection & Care
As shown, the cover is easily removed for regular laundering. The material blend washes and dries well with no shrinkage. Foam can only be spot cleaned and blotted to keep from getting overly wet. The close cellular structure of foam does not dry easily, so make sure it is well dried if you do have to clean it. Because of this I do suggest laying a thin blanket over the pillow when in use to help keep body moisture, dirt and debris from working into the foam- and allowing it to last longer.
The pillow comes with a 100 night sleep trial which is quite generous given the personal nature of the product. If you don’t like the pillow, you can return it for a full refund as long as it is in like-new condition. It also has a 1 year warranty that covers defects in material and workmanship.
With free shipping included, the wedge pillow is priced right about at the same point as other high quality selections. Hovering just below a $100 average, I would expect this to be a quality, comfortable, long lasting item. And for the most part I find it to be just that.
Reviews and Feedback
This pillow has a long list of positive feedback from consumers that highlights the comfort, durability, and ability to ease pain and help reduce snoring. There seems to be no complaints of heat or foam compression, and it is popular for comfort uses as well.
I do not snore nor do I sleep on my back, so it is not a natural option for my sleep position. However, I pile pillows behind me for lounging, working, and reading on a regular basis, so I was interested in seeing how well this worked as a replacement. First off, it is amazing. I absolutely love how comfortable it is to lean against and it is easy to tip up to a more upright position.
After a long day on my feet at work, one of my favorite things to do once I get home is to get them up and stretch out my back! The gentle slope is perfect for leg elevation without feeling like your legs are too high or your waist is placed at too sharp an angle.
Since I am not a snorer, I did pass the pillow along to somebody who is. Like most people who snore, the worst of the condition occurs when they sleep on their back due to their airway relaxing and creating a narrow air passage. This pillow helped immensely with reducing the deepness of the snoring and allowing a most restful, uninterrupted night’s sleep to occur.
The test subject said it did take a little getting used to since they also turn to their side periodically through the night which is not well supported by the slope. But that it was very comfortable to sleep upon, and that they woke feeling rested- plus they also likes using it to raise their legs while they watched television!
Who We Recommend the Helix Pillow For
If you naturally sleep on your back, this is a definitely a pillow style you should consider. If you snore, or have worried about sleep apnea, a wedge pillow is also an excellent choice overall for your health and comfort. This is also true if you have any injuries you are recovering from, joint or back pain, swelling, or fluid retention.
Even if you do not suffer from any ailments or concerns, you can definitely take advantage of the pillow to lounge against or for simple creature comforts. It has become a favorite bedding product in my household for bedtime readers, tv watchers, and helps create support when working in a more comfortable environment is a need.
Our Final Verdict
The Helix Wedge Pillow is made from quality, dense foam with a cooling memory foam top layer that helps cradle your body and create a comfortable sleep temperature. After over a month of use in various ways, it showed no signs of compression or memory indent- belaying a good quality as most cheap foams will begin to show wear very quickly.
I found it to be a great product for many different uses and it definitely works for bodies of all shapes and sizes. As a snoring aid I feel it is invaluable, and for comfort positioning it is a great option- esepcailly if you want good back support.
The only thing I wasn’t impressed with was the cover as I feel it needs more protection, but I did find that it didn’t dirty easily, and tossing a thin lap blanket over it was a good solution. For the price I don’t feel like I should have to provide that extra protection,however. But after using it the cover issue wasn’t as much of a big deal as I first assumed it might be.