Soft pillow choices have a tendency to be a very misconstrued comfort surface. Soft is a term that belays a sense of flatness or poor support, but this couldn’t be less true with a quality product. Your pillow choices are incredibly influential upon your sleep comfort and health, and the diversity of a soft pillow may be an addition you may want to take advantage of.
The Sleep Judge Team has taken a closer look at a variety of soft pillow choices to highlight the differences between them and show how they can provide added comfort each night.
The Smart Home Bedding Super Plush, Down Alternative Pillow is one of our top soft pillow picks that we have purchased for closer inspection. Specifically made for side sleepers, our personal opinions can be found below.
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Breakdown of the Smart Home Bedding Super Plush, Down Alternative Pillow
The Smart Home Bedding line is carried by multiple distributors as part of a selection of high caliber sleep products. Considered hotel quality which accepts only durable materials and construction of personal products of this nature- these pillows set a standard for others to follow.
Created as a soft side sleeping alternative, the feel of these pillows are supposed to be plush- meaning they are contouring and weight encompassing without sacrificing the support where needed. The alternative down, polyester filling provide a strong yet soft interior that is able to hold up under your weight without compressing and losing shape over time. Plus, it is machine washable and dryable.
Wrapped tightly in plastic, these pillows come in a set of two but are not overly compressed, and it plumps up almost immediately because of this. There was absolutely no off-gassing which was nice as many sealed pillows do require a period of time to air out. Plus, it was suggested to plump them up in the dryer, although I felt this step truly wasn’t needed.
I actually was shocked at how ‘plump’ they did become and became a bit worried about the size and feel of these pillows as a true soft choice when I first officially looked them over. But they gave willingly to pressure from my hand and took on weight very well without lifting up or feeling lumpy which made me look forward to trying them out. It’s often hard to find a truly soft, side sleeping pillow as many softer pillows are geared more towards back, or even stomach, sleepers, and the fill for a side sleeping choice needs to be enough to properly support your head and neck.
Features & Benefits
Your personal comfort preferences should always play an important role in deciding upon your sleep product choices, but you also need to consider specific needs you may have as well. Your pillow should be supportive of your natural sleep position, and many people mistakenly lean towards soft or firm choices without the knowledge of how it will affect their spinal alignment. A leading cause of an interrupted sleep is poor body positioning due to pillow and mattress choice, so it is a detail you need to take into consideration.
The Smart Home Super Plush Pillow is offered in 2 sizes: a standard/queen and king. These measure 20×26 and 20×36 inches respectively making the standard/queen choice more of a standard sized pillow according to industry guidelines. But despite this, the 20×26 is more than enough for the average person and provides plenty of material and plush comfort for a wide range of body types. Most king sized pillows are specifically for larger bodies and wide shoulders who need the added support.
I found the pillow to be quite sizable in nature overall, and I really couldn’t picture it much larger as it would have been a bit too much for me and my queen size bed. The standard/queen size fits perfectly in a standard industry pillowcase and was a comfortable fit for my body size- which is an overall average, smaller-sized woman.
25 Ounces Hypoallergenic, 4D Poly Micro-Fiber Fill
Polyfill is a naturally hypoallergenic synthetic material that is strong and durable, and it doesn’t break down easily over time- and when under pressure- to provide you with a long-lasting product. The soft, 4D polyester fill within this pillow is considered a micro-fiber, a process that creates a finer, thinner strand of fiber that is then ‘shredded’ to create a closer match to a true down pillow fill feel.
This allows you to have a much more pliable, shapeable, and foldable surface experience which is often why a softer pillow is popular in the first place. This ‘down-like’ experience can be felt through the pillow casing as it provides easy compression and a soft, almost movable, distribution of the material within.
Plus, the fill distributes outwards under even pressure, and not precisely up, which is common with down and feather blends to keep the pillow from lifting up around your face. Polyblends are also well known for creating good air flow even when compressed due to the strength of the threads which contributes to a cooler sleep experience.
As mentioned, my initial visual impression of the pillow was to view it as an overfilled, firmer pillow than what it is marketed as. But it took no time at all to understand why it is considered a soft pillow. Leaning more towards a plush feel which provides an underlying contouring firm support, the entire surface of this pillows allows for excellent soft distribution, unlike firmer choices which may only respond to your weight in the areas you place it.
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50/50 Cotton Poly Cover
240 thread count casing is a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend that provides great breathability. When combined with the polyfill, you have a moisture wicking, breathable surface that helps keep heat from being retained around your head and body.
I was surprised to find that this was not a 100% cotton case and was actually a blend. It is a slightly crisp, soft, smooth surface very similar to the other cotton covered pillows I’ve reviewed. It was very comforting and was the perfect balance between a thick cloth capable of holding its shape and a malleable material that is easily shaped.
Double Stitched Edging
Putting weight on a pillow distributes the filling within which can put stress along the seams of the pillow. These seams are double stitched and well finished to provide a strong, durable edge that doesn’t pucker or stress. This is important since shifting variable weight against the sides of the pillow is part of what it is built for, and it is nice to know that the construction of the pillow is built to last.
Loft refers to the height of the pillow and serves as a general idea of the overall size of your pillow. It does not, however, always refer to the comfort level of the pillow. This is because a lofty looking pillow can often look so due to a high amount of air pockets within the pillow and not because of a high amount of fill that may make it more firm in nature.
The loft of this pillow is an average 7 inches which seem incredibly high, but the fill makes it seem airier than it actually is. With applied weight, it levels out to around 3 inches depending on your weight, but the 25 ounces is a bit of an overfill so it keeps your body well supported.
Machine Washable and Dryable
As a hotel quality pick, being durable as well as easily washable is important due to the nature of the product that comes in such intimate contact with a person’s body. This pillow washes easily with no loss of cushioning and fluffs back up quite nicely in the dryer. You can also easily toss the pillow in the dryer for a quick plumping and refreshing whenever needed. This also speaks to the overall longevity and durability of the product to hold up after wash without sacrificing quality.
The cover is also stain resistant, but, as with most pillow, it is good practice to provide a good pillow protector as an added layer under your pillowcase. Pillow protectors can keep stains from setting or spills from soaking into your pillow material.
This pillow is popular for those looking specifically for neck support in both side and back sleeping positions. The movement of the polyfill provides a soft, gentle but contouring uplift, where it is important for a true soft tissue relaxation. Many people also commented that the pillow initially looked fat to them, an observation I also shared but wanted to explain how it really wasn’t that thick of a pillow once you begin to use it.
For those who found it a bit too lofty at first, liked how it settled with use without losing how plush it was. Plus, how easy it is to plump back up in the dryer was commented on quite a bit as well. It did come across as too firm and high for others who were under the impression that soft also equaled thinner, but in all sites I visited, specs were clearly visible as was reviewed pertaining to its shape and comfort uses.
The overall consensus was to praise this pillow as a truly soft, side sleeper. Many softer choices are somewhat tempered by the fill that creates a firmer surface, but the multitude of reviews that recommend this as a thicker, softer pillow are providing a pretty accurate description.
30-Day Distributor Returns
Sold through online distributors, this pillow has an average 30-day return policy depending on where it is purchased from. Be sure to read carefully the guidelines to ensure exactly what shape the pillow must be in and what this return covers financially.
My Trial Experiences
As a person who prefers to sleep on her stomach, I’ve been really trying to lean away from this position due to how poorly it supports proper body alignment. Plus, it adds stress to the lower back and neck, and I have increasingly noticed sore muscles every so often when I wake.
Side sleeping is a much better way to sleep to support overall health, and transitioning into this position requires finding a way to feel naturally comfortable. I found, through trial and error, a great way to take advantage of this pillow as a stomach sleeper and also discovered how comfortable it can be in other positions as well.
This is not a pillow for use on your stomach, at least not in my opinion. It lifts your head and neck too high, and it places an undue amount of strain upon your back. Although the fill does allow for contouring, and it doesn’t loft up around your face- it simply has too much fill to let your head rest deeper on the pillow and more level with your back.
I found this comforting, although it was probably a slightly too high of a loft to rest in for any real length of time for my body height and weight. Back sleepers need their heads to rest back on a pillow in alignment with their shoulders and, depending on body type, would make a hit or miss scenario for many who try it out.
Although I easily drifted off laying on my back with this pillow, it wasn’t one I found myself waking back up upon as I would shift away from it through the night. This very well could be a decent back sleeping choice for somebody much larger than me, and I did pass it off to just that type of person to see if my theory held true. Those results are found below.
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This is precisely what this pillow is made for, and it’s not hard to determine why once you get yourself situated to use it. Because it really is a soft, overfilled pillow, it is very pliable and easy to get it just how you want it. I found that it filled the space between my head and shoulders extremely well, and the cushioning faux down feel within cradled my head just right- similar to what other consumers have written reviews about.
Side sleepers need a pillow that allows their head to line up with their shoulders but also fill in the gap left from their shoulders resting sideways upon the mattress. This pillow fills in all the open spaces well and creates a comforting surface to lay upon.
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Through all this, I, of course, kept wanting to go back to my stomach, so I began to wonder how well this pillow would serve as an upper body, body pillow. Through our reviews of pregnancy pillows, it became obvious that allowing your head, neck, and shoulders to rest slightly inclined can better support your cervical alignment and still provide the feel of sleeping on your stomach.
I decided to try this out with this pillow to rest my head and shoulders upon, and I basically ‘hug’ it. With a pillow between my knees to help keep my back straight, I was happy to find that this pillow contoured perfectly and took on my weight well to provide a very comforting and supportive sleep position.
Second (and Third!) Opinion
Since I have a set of friends who are soft pillow lovers, they have served as perfect test trials to provide additional opinions to our review. They are back/side combo and stomach sleepers, and they do like a good soft pillow to help support their various sleep positions.
My stomach sleeper was right away put off by the thickness of the pillow but did like how I described how I could lay upon it as a body pillow. Her hubby loved the feel of it from the start and informed me he would give it a good trial run!
Like myself, the stomach sleeper did try it out as I suggested and found it very comforting to lay upon, and she actually used it to lay over while on her stomach reading books. Her use was focused more on comfort out of the bed and also enjoyed propped up behind her while watching television. Her husband very much enjoyed using it and declared it a perfect soft combination pillow choice. He said the fill really did distribute into all the right places in both positions, and he loved how soft it felt without rising up around his head.
The durability and quality, combined with a thicker softness good for back and side sleepers make this a really great soft pillow choice for anyone searching for that elusive supportive softness needed for side sleeping. The ability to machine wash and dry it is also a really great perk that makes the care that much easier.
The filling is soft, pliable, and hypoallergenic, ensuring your peace of mind surrounding your purchase if you have allergic sensitivities. It is slightly overfilled which is what makes it such a great choice for side sleepers, and it is also a bit of a stand out amongst other soft pillow choices. But this also means that the compressed filling may make it too lofty for stomach sleepers as well as more light weight for back sleepers.
Soft comfort pillow shopping can be quite deceiving as soft, pliable pillows can be easily manipulated to work for different sleep positions due to the amount of fill found within. This is why looking at your choices carefully, reviewing your specific needs, and reading up on first-hand experiences are always good practices before making an investment in your sleep health.
The Smart Home Bedding Super Plush, Down Alternative Pillow is a unique soft pillow choice but one that made The Sleep Judge’s cut as a great quality, soft comfort choice for side and back sleeper combos. Finding a true soft feel in a side sleeping position can occasionally be a challenge especially if you desire a pillow that works with your changes in position through the night. The strong micro-fiber fill allows for great compression bounce back and head and neck contouring, and it is certainly worth taking a closer look at.
Frequently Asked Questions
What sleep position is this best suited for?
What is the loft?
7 inches, but reduces to around 3 inches in use due to plushness.
Will I experience a lot of offgassing?
No, it’s minimal and wears off quickly.
Is it organic?
What’s the warranty?