The Tempurpedic Company has long-standing respect in the sleep industry not only for their innovative mattress comfort design but also due to how they apply their technology to other sleep comfort aides. TempurPedic pillows are offered in a wide variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and comfort levels to meet the needs of a large audience of consumers. Your sleep comfort is dependent on more than just a mattress, and how well your spine is aligned in relation to the rest of your body influences a proper night’s sleep.
Choosing the right pillow is important for your overall well being, and The Sleep Judge Review Team has set out to experience top-reviewed pillows for ourselves. The Tempur-Contour Breeze Side by Side is one that we’ve acquired to provide our own personal opinions on, and our findings are provided below.
Filling- Memory Foam
Loft- ~ 5 inches
Comfort Positions- Side
Warranty- 5 year
For over 25 years, TempurPedic has been using innovative technology to produce high-quality comfort across sleep industry standards worldwide. Their patented memory foam, first designed for NASA space flight comfort, has found its way into a variety of products- and influenced a new way to approach how well you sleep.
The Tempur-Contour Breeze Side by Side has been created specifically for side sleepers and includes a cooling gel layer. The unique design is made to address both body size and temperature concerns for a specific sleep audience. The curved surface is constructed to allow for various comfort preferences- firm on both sides and a softer center to allow for support where needed. It is built to support spinal health and to keep your head and neck in the correct position through the night to alleviate neck pain and discomfort.
Shipped in a sturdy brown box and encased in a branded box, the Contour Breeze Side by Side was also tightly wrapped in plastic for further protection. A PillowPak was also included, which is a silicon-based bead pack created to help absorb moisture while in storage and can also aid in managing odor. Memory foam is known for occasional off-gassing, especially after being encased in a non-porous plastic, and the smell can be bothersome to those sensitive to it.
When I unwrapped the plastic, this smell was noticeable, and although not incredibly strong, it was enough to have me put the pillow aside for a few days until it had somewhat dissipated its smell. Placing the pillow in the sun for a few hours can help speed this process up, but usually, the smell goes away on its own within the first week. After a few days, I no longer noticed the smell from the pillow.
Most pillows in the sleep industry meet a size average standard in order to fit within the industry-created pillowcases. There are occasionally some variances in width or height from one company to the next, but for the most part, pillows fit roughly into the same size categories.
Specialty shaped pillows are often an exception to this rule, and TempurPedic is one company that often makes up their own sizes based on their own formulas to better address sleep comfort needs. The Contour Breeze Side by Side measures in at 20 x 13 inches, which is a bit more narrow by a few good inches than a 20 x 24-inch industry standard. Despite that, the pillow fits well within both a standard and queen pillowcase size without it being too snug or too loose.
Unique Shaping Comfort Claims
The unique shape of the Contour Side by Side is created specifically for proper head and cervical alignment through the night. Varying edge heights allow for a wider range of people to take advantage of it depending on their height and shoulder width. The edges are more firm with the center providing a softer give to support the gap created between your head and shoulders- all while allowing for a cradling comfort for your head (more on the firmness levels below).
This is definitely a different design than many other comparable pillows, wherein more than one body size is supported by the details of the side heights. I appreciate the different sizes, however, one side was far too high for me, and the other side felt as if it was a closer fit in overall height for my narrower shoulder width.
Extra Firm Memory Foam Filling
Although this pillow is constructed with two different firmness levels due to its unique shape, it is considered an extra firm pillow, and it takes full advantage of the Tempur HD (high density) foam that provides a heavy quality and a closer cellular structure foam construction. Furthermore, the Indentation Load (ILD), which determines firmness levels, is rather high (the company isn’t disclosing exactly how high).
This heavier foam is found on the outer side of the pillow to provide neck support, while a softer Tempur foam is found in the middle of the pillow where you lay your head to allow for a more gentle, pressure point reduction. I did find the middle foam firmness to be comfortable. It did not create any pressure points against my ear or brow bone, and it provided a slightly soft sink.
The firmness of the foam found within the pillow rolls is no joke. Although it does give way to pressure, it takes a few minutes to warm to your body temperature and contour to your shape. This pillow truly is specialized to a specific body type, and my average weight and shoulder width for a 5’4” woman is not quite enough for the pillow to keep its contouring well. On the higher side of the pillow, the foam provided pressure on my neck without any sinkage at all, and although the lower end was a correct height for my size, I still struggled to truly take advantage of any contouring support it can provide.
Cooling Gel Layer
The cooling gel layer is what defines this pillow as a Breeze series. TempurPedic addressed the issues with memory foam heat retention by releasing a Breeze series of mattress and pillow foam that are layered with a cooling gel. This gel is able to draw heat from your body through the physics of conduction (when a warmer surface shares energy with a cooler surface to create an equilibrium). This process creates a cooling sensation that has been found to reduce heat sinks as well as provide a comforting surface for naturally hot sleepers.
This layer is found underneath a mesh casing that surrounds the memory foam and gel to help protect it and keep it in place as well as the pillow cover itself. It is visually noticeable if you look for it with both covers on, although the edges of it cannot be felt. It is located in the trough of the two raised sides, and it does provide a slightly cooler feel when you place your hand over it.
The loft of the pillow is the measured height when placed on a flat surface. Obviously, this pillow has varied loft measurements where the tall side measures about 5.5 inches, and the short end measuring a full inch shorter. The depressed middle measures 4 inches, which means you can choose between the two sides depending on how much support you need for your neck to relax properly.
Loft Measurement – Tall Side
Lof Measurement – Shorter Side
I think this is a great design, but it is very specific to only a certain set of sleep styles. Combined with the firmness level, you can narrow down the consumer you can market it to. Despite that, the shape is one that is preferable to certain people who suffer from neck strain and discomfort, and it does help keep your neck in alignment with the rest of your spine.
Breathable, Removable Cover
The zippered cover is made from 100% polyester and is very thin and smooth- which is slightly different compared to many of their thicker, plush covers. My assumption with the difference has to do with the cooling gel layer- it helps you take full advantage of it. The seams are sewn to the inside and are double stitched for durability, and the outer seam has a contrasting orange thread which is a nice quality touch.
One note on the casing, however, is the zipper. It does not run the entire length of the cover and leaves a few inches at the end. This is a typical design used to help keep your cover snug and well fitted. But due to the firmness of the foam, it is VERY difficult to remove the cover. I found I had to bend in the corner of the pillow (which was no easy feat), pull the cover down over it, and then inch the case off. It was time-consuming and put a lot of strain on the case itself. I thought multiple times I was going to pop the seams, but they are very durable and held up well. I actually only pulled the cover off halfway because I was not looking forward to having to try and put it back on.
Pillow Cleaning- Cover ONLY
If for any reason, your pillow becomes dirty, you can wash the casing, but not the foam. Memory foam breaks down easily when exposed to moisture and is notoriously difficult to dry fully. If you do happen to spill on it, quickly blot up the offending liquid and lay it out to dry completely or even use a hair dryer.
5-Year Limited Warranty
The TempurPedic does not offer a sleep trial on their pillows, but they do offer a 5-year limited warranty to cover workmanship and defects. Returns are also available for pillows found to be covered under warranty issues as well as those damaged in transport. Since this is offered only by the parent company or authorized dealers, be sure to know who you are purchasing from in case any problems arise.
As mentioned, this is a pillow you can definitely appreciate for quality purposes but may not work for you concerning comfort. The Tempur-Contour Breeze Side by Side is a pillow that fits a more narrow audience of consumers. It is very firm and is specific to side sleepers of a certain size and weight. With that being said, the pillow has a long list of positive reviews either stating how well it helps elongate and support their spine, reduce neck pain, and provide a restful sleep. Others commented on the quality and their hopes for a good night’s rest, even if it didn’t turn out to be a good match for them. Overall, those types of reviews speak highly of the product.
Complaints revolve around the off-gassing, which is what I mentioned earlier as well as how hard the sides are. This has many consumers commenting that this pillow is best used by large-bodied, heavier sleepers.
Obviously, I may be able to provide some honest observations, but I am not the best person to reflect upon the overall comfort of this pillow for those it works best for (although I will describe my own separate experience below). This comfort trial review was completed by a male who stands 6’ 3” tall and is a combination sleeper (side and back). And this is what he has to say:
“This was a heavier pillow than what I am used to. I didn’t like that it couldn’t be used to prop myself up against when sitting up in bed watching TV, but it did lay nicely upon the bed to sleep on without shifting around. I sleep mostly on my side, and when I tried to sleep on my back with this pillow, it was obvious that [it] wasn’t going to work, so I just turned myself to a side position.
I used the taller side at first and found it to be much too firm and high for my taste. It really didn’t conform to my neck and I felt like I was laying my head over a hump to get to the softer inside of the pillow. I figured out right away I would switch sides, which made it much more comfortable. I still felt that the pillow was way too firm, but after a few minutes it softened to my neck … and I slept very well in this position.
Over time I think I could get used to the firmness level. I do not sleep hot, so I am unsure if the cooling gel works in that manner, but I do know I never felt warm when using this pillow. Overall it was comforting, even if it wouldn’t normally be a pillow I would choose on my own.”
My Sleep Trial Experiences
I generally sleep on my side or stomach, and I prefer a less solid pillow for either position. But having to have experiences with memory foam pillows in the past, I was willing to give this one a go. As mentioned before, I needed to take advantage of the lower side of the pillow. When I tried to use the higher side, it literally pressed up against my windpipe and never softened to conform and allow a sink of my neck and jawline.
The shorter side allowed me to rest a bit more comfortable, but I still never felt any real contouring- and if I shifted at all, I could feel pressure up against my jawline and neck. The middle of this pillow provides a true firm, contouring sink that is comfortable and reduces pressure, but to really take advantage of it, you need to get over the firmness of the side. I did not wake with any neck pain or discomfort, but I also did not sleep well on such a firm surface. Perhaps with time, I could get used to it, but I couldn’t help but wish for it to be just a little less firm.
In my opinion, I am just not the right size for this pillow. It is much too firm for how much of my body actually rests against it, and it never softened to a degree that any sort of memory foam contour could be taken advantage of. My head was held correctly for good spinal alignment, and my neck was not at all compressed- which had me believing the claims that it does support spinal health- but personally, it was a not a good match for me.
Our second trial run had a much more successful experience, which makes me believe weight and height are very influential to the comfort of this pillow. More weight would definitely have an influence on the responsiveness of such a firm foam. Plus over time, it is entirely possible that the foam would break in and create a slightly softer surface.
Neither of us experienced any negative effects from it- may it be stiffness or soreness. And what it came down to more than anything was our personal comfort with the extra firm foam.
The quality of the design of the product is apparent, and the benefits of the pillow can be proven when working with the right group of sleepers. Plus, the claims that it allows for proper alignment of the spine held up across a wider variety of consumers when overall comfort wasn’t considered. But the bottom line is: this is a pillow made for people with the specific height and weight in mind.
The difficulty in removing the cover is a bit of a sore spot for me still. I feel that if you weren’t taking just the right amount of care during the process, stressing the seams beyond repair might become an issue. But at least the memory foam is well protected to avoid any breakdown in the foam over time.
Overall, the pillow is a good choice for side sleepers looking for unparalleled spinal support and to those who prefer an extra firm surface. I can’t deny my neck felt as if it was a step below traction and was held well in place. Also, the gel layer seems to work excellently as there are absolutely no heat retention issues with this pillow that I could “dig” up nor did we experience any through this trial.
If neck support, proper spinal positioning, and a firm surface are on your list of pillow needs, the Tempur-Contour Breeze Side by Side Pillow is worth taking a closer look at. High-quality foam, durable cover stitching, and excellent material choices as well as a 5-year warranty, all back the claims made by the company to provide a cooler, supportive, side comfort sleep.
Our trials indicate that taller, heavier bodies will get the most comfort out of these pillows, although the support benefits were noticeable even to smaller sleepers. The extra firm surface will most likely soften somewhat to provide more contouring as the pillow breaks in as well, providing the likelihood that it would be more available to a wider range of sleep preferences.