Of the hundreds of pillows available for you to choose from in your attempt to get a better night’s sleep, you probably have run across a few that make some pretty outrageous claims. Since your sleep comfort is an essential component of a good night’s sleep, you definitely want to spend some time researching your top picks.
Here at The Sleep Judge, we have been trying out some of the top reviewed pillows currently on the market to help you find the perfect pillow match to your preferred sleep position and comfort.
One of our top picks is the Protect-A-Bed Zefiro Hybrid Innerspring Memory Foam Pillow, created specifically to address back and neck pain caused by poor nighttime support.
You read that right: a pillow created with a memory foam wrapped innerspring support system. We spent a little time with this particular pillow to determine if the claims it makes are all it cracks up to be, and our reviews and experiences can be found below.
Breakdown of the Protect-A-Bed Zefiro Hybrid Innerspring Memory Foam Pillow
Zefiro means a light west wind in Italian and is named so to highlight the comfort and breathability of the pillow it is describing. This is typical of the company that takes great pride in providing quality comfort products, and unique design construction to do so.
Protect-A-Bed was founded in 2001 and has since grown to be a worldwide leader in bed protection innovation and quality. Currently, their products are recognized as Class 1 Medical Devices with the Food and Drug Administration and have received the Good Housekeeping Seal.
The materials used within their product construction have been designed to wick moisture, regulate temperatures, and block pests, allergens, and stains so can rest easily and comfortably. The Zefiro Hybrid pillow is no exception to this rule and is created both with your health and comfort in mind. Since sleep discomfort is a leading reason for a restless night’s sleep, the Zefiro has been designed with a focus on reducing neck and back pain through the proper support of body alignment while you sleep.
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The pillow comes encased in plastic within a branded box. The outside of the box is actually quite informative about the company message, which is rather helpful since the pillow does not come with any other information (although it all is easily found online). Upon opening the pillow does have a slight off-gassing smell that is very noticeable for a few hours.
Although I couldn’t smell it much after the first day when standing over it, I could if I laid my head down on it. This did take the better part of the week to dissipate completely. I don’t know if this is caused by how it is stored, or how long it is stored, but normally I am not very sensitive to off-gassing. I did finally put the pillow out in the sun on the 5th day (the first chance I had for a sunny afternoon) and that seemed to do the trick to freshen it up. I would guess that if I had done so sooner that might have helped.
Features & Benefits
Reviewing the features of the products you are considering is an important step in order to better understand which benefits may fit your particular sleep needs. The Zefiro Hybrid Pillow has quite a few unique features that are important to understand to determine if it may be a solution to the aches and pains you may be experiencing each morning.
This pillow is a one size fits all choice and measures in at 16×31 inches, which is only slightly larger than the standard queen size of 16×30 inches. This means it should fit well into your pillowcases without any worry of bulge or compression from the pillowcase size. This is a good compromise of sizes between a standard, which measures 16×26 inches, and a king, which measures 16×34 inches. Standard queen sized pillows are the most bought since they fit the majority of consumers well King sized pillows are usually reserved for larger people with broad shoulders who need the extra width to accommodate a more comfortable sleep.
Density Choices and Loft
Even though the pillow comes in one size, it does offer multiple density comforts to choose from. Soft pillows are a more thin choice for back and stomach sleepers, and although the company states it measures 7 inches in height, mine only measured 5 inches. The medium and firm choices are supposed to measure a half and an inch higher than the soft pillow, respectively: with the medium focused on combination sleepers and the firm for side sleepers.
I’m not sure of the website contained a typo or not, but a 5 inches loft for the soft pillow was absolutely perfect for my personal back and stomach positions, and even was comfortable on my side (see below) It definitely would not have been as good a choice for my body size if it had been any higher.
Hybrid Innerspring and Memory Foam Filling
I know exactly how odd this combination sounds in relation to a pillow, but with Protect-A-Bed’s long-standing qualifications in the sleep industry, the Sleep Judge was definitely inspired to take a closer look.
At the center of the pillow lies a pocket coil system that contains 60 buoyant springs. These springs move independently from one another to create a gentle response that absorbs your weight and contours to your shape and movement. These coils are encased in memory foam in order to create a form-fitting loft for comfort and pressure relief.
Although you can tell the coils are in there if you really pay attention to the movement of the pillow when pressure is applied, you cannot feel them in any way through the encompassing layer of memory foam. I have, however, noticed a slight noise when compressing the pillow all the way. It is most likely the noise of the springs as they come together as it is a soft, quick grind noise that you do have to listen for. I never really noticed it when laying on it until I turned over, and it never woke me in any way through the night.
Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often have decent cooling claims due to the fact that they have a large open area within their construction that allows for good airflow. Therefore it makes sense that this pillow makes similar claims. The pocketed innerspring system allows for excellent breathability, and the movement of compression and expansion encourages the air circulation throughout the pillow.
Even though memory foam is known for its heat retention issues due to the close cellular structure of its synthetic construction, this type of material layering allows it to breathe and dissipate any body heat that may collect around the body. I found the pillow to sleep at a comfortable temperature without any sort of heat issues arising at all. This is an important detail for many people as different materials and product construction can create breathability issues at times. The cooling claims made by this pillow through proper airflow created a comforting sleep environment.
As mentioned, the company is known and awarded for their innovation in sleep comfort and health. This pillow is no exception, and the design, although not typical of other pillows making similar claims, is created specifically for back and neck pain relief. Recognized by Ergonomics laboratory in Udine, Italy, the Zefiro Pillow has been awarded the Ergocert Ergonomics Certification. This means it has passed a rigorous testing process that determines if the pillow provides proper spinal alignment in all positions against a wide range of body types.
Pillows must provide a less than 20-degree misalignment for back sleepers, and less than 14 degrees for side sleepers. The Zefiro Pillow showed significantly lesser measurements in all trials, making it a great candidate for certification.
Jacquard Knit Fabric Cover
The Jacquard knit fabric cover is a breathable weave of a poly/viscose blend. Complete with a protective lining to keep moisture from becoming an issue within your pillow, this cover is plush to the touch and soft against your skin. The overall feel of the pillow can be felt with the use of a cotton pillowcase (which I use to promote good airflow) and provides an extra layer of comfort.
The seams are also double stitched and are small, which keeps them from being felt. The nice contrasting color of the seams is also a nice touch as it helps to highlight the effort that has gone into the design and creation of the product.
I liked that it felt thick and of excellent quality. It is definitely plush, and it’s obvious the jacquard design provides good aeration. I also really liked that it has a protective layer since the pillow is not at all washable, as explained below.
Obviously, the use of an innerspring system makes this pillow unwashable to keep from ruining the construction and create a prime environment for rust to develop. The cover is also not removable, and so care must be taken to protect the pillow.
The cover is considered easy to spot clean, and I can attest to this being true as when I was trying the pillow out for the first time a bit of my eyeshadow rubbed off on the pillow. Since I still needed to photograph the pillow I immediately looked at what my options were and read the claims that this pillow is easily spot cleaned with a little fabric cleaner and water, and that stains came up with ease.
Obviously, I was going to see if this was true, and I am happy to report that it absolutely was true. When I first wet it nothing came off, but with a little fabric cleaner, it lifted right away with a brief scrub and blot. I then just blotted up the extra moisture and left it to dry.
This is a VERY new product with little to no feedback concerning comfort or long-term use. The ergonomic trials do use a variety of test subjects over a series of nights, and they do speak of a comfortable night’s rest.
Furthermore, they were being monitored with sensors to record sleep positions in relation to the pillow and those came back with rave reviews, hence the certification license. In general, the company has a long list of products that have been given 5-star reviews, making their products worth checking out.
5 Year Warranty
Also unique to this company is how generous a warranty they offer on their pillows. Backed by a 5-year warranty, The Zefiro Pillow is covered from all manufacturers or product defects for a full 5 years. To sweeten the deal you also have a guaranteed 30 days to return the product, unopened, if you decide it just isn’t for you. You do lose out on the shipping cost through this process, but at least can receive the majority of your investment to put towards something new. The customer service is supposed to be superb as well, meaning you get to talk to a real person about the issues you may have.
My Trial Experiences
As a stomach sleeper and an average sized woman, I often struggle to find a pillow that doesn’t raise my head too high and cause neck and back pain. I was personally intrigued by the innerspring construction of this pillow and found it to be very responsive and soft to the touch when first checking it out. I sent some time sleeping with it to determine my comfort levels in various positions.
This is the natural position I move into through the night despite my attempts to sleep on my side. This means that a responsive, thin pillow, or no pillow at all, is my best choice to help keep my back in the best possible alignment. Although the 5-inch loft may seem high, this pillow truly does compress very well to provide a soft sleeping surface that doesn’t loft up around your face. I really appreciate how I could move anywhere on the pillow without feeling as if the filling would redistribute or become clumped up in one area, which can happen with down, or down alternative fillings over time.
Overall I felt that this was a good choice for my body type as my head was able to rest comfortably without bottom out through the pillow. Plus I never felt the strain of my head sitting too high through my shoulders or back and woke comfortably each morning.
I can fall asleep easily on my back but either wake to turn over, or find myself in a new position come morning. This was a decent pillow to fall asleep on. Often I find thin pillows to hurt the back of my head if I use them while sleeping on my back (which may be why I sometimes turn over), but this pillow seemed to cradle my head well and kept my neck supported also. Although I did move to my side through the night, my head and neck were never stiff or sore that I could tell.
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I have been trying to influence my sleep position to shift more to my side so I can better accommodate my spinal alignment for a healthier rest. I have achieved being somewhat of a combination sleeper depending on the types of pillows I have available since a stomach sleeping thin choice, and a more plush side sleeping choice do not compliment each other well.
Therefore I attempted to fall asleep in a side sleeping position with this pillow to see if it would properly support my head and neck. I’ll admit that I felt my trial was a success. I had decent neck support and I felt relaxed enough to fall asleep like this. I do not, however, feel the soft version of this pillow is the best for side sleeping and a medium, or firm, would do the trick better for larger people than myself, or those who specifically sleep on their sides.
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Most pillows are capable of taking on more than just head support, and the Zefiro is no exception. Although it should not be used in a folded position (which negates how the springs within work) it does serve as an excellent hip and knee support to take the pressure off your lower back when in a stomach or back sleep position respectively.
A conforming pillow used in these places can help better support the natural curves of your spine to take pressure and stress off the soft tissues in your back for better alignment and a healthy rest.
I had to share this pillow with a fellow stomach sleeper to see if they felt the same as I did about its comfort. Our second trail run surrounded the sleep of another woman of average build and short stature. An athlete, she often has a lot of tension onthrough her back and shoulders and also struggles to find a pillow that helps keep her head and neck in a more neutral position.
She was impressed with this pillow and felt that it allowed for just the right amount of compression and moved well with her movements when settling in for the night.
Since that was exactly what I had noticed, I am venturing a guess that that is specifically how the inner springs should be working to provide you with uninhibited movement and comfort.
She did note that the whole feel of the pillow took a little getting used to as it doesn’t feel like memory foam (and is much more responsive) but also doesn’t feel like a polyfill or down pillow either. She also noticed the slight noise when using her hand and upon initially resting her head, but again, like me, had to listen to it after her initial reaction to there possibly being a noise present.
Overall she felt this pillow comfort was a win as she woke without any aches or pains, and also felt rested. Since she asked where she could get her hands on her own I figured this was a good sign that she would highly recommend it.
I thought the soft version of this pillow was great. It provided a really good support while on my side and back and truly cradled my head comfortable all while adjusting seamlessly to any of my nighttime movements. For me, it also served well for sleeping on my side, although I would recommend a more firm density for anyone larger than me. The construction is extremely innovative and intriguing, and the studies and certification to back its claims of proper alignment and health support seems to spot on from The Sleep Judge Team standpoint through our trial runs.
The few drawbacks this pillow has are far outweighed by the awesome innovative construction that has resulted in a wholly unique sleep experience. Although not washable it spot cleans well, and if you take care to use a pillow protector, this should not even be an issue. The slight noise it makes when fully compressed was noticeable more by me, and despite it being a non-issue as well, it is something to be aware of in advance. In fact, I will be curious to see if this goes away after more use as it simply could be the newness of the coils and their movement against one another. Again, it was not even a problem nor noticeable unless you were listening to it.
My biggest setback was the off-gassing. Even though it wasn’t a strong smell, it was unpleasant to my senses, and it did take a good airing out.
If your searches for a supportive, comfortable pillow has been turning up choice after choice- but none seems to address the needs you have concerning neck and back tension and pain relief- then The Protect-A-Bed Zefiro Pillow is a pillow worth taking a look at. It is created specifically for your spinal health in mind, and even if you don’t suffer from any discomforts- this is a great pillow to keep you from ever having that worry.
Our trials with this pillow were a success in comfort and therefore we are happy to give it two thumbs up! Since everybody differs in sleep position and preferences, what works for us may not work for you, but we are confident that the quality and workmanship behind this pillow is one anyone can appreciate.