Many people are unaware of how important their choice in pillows are when it comes to their overall sleep comfort. If you find yourself tossing and turning, or waking with aches and pains, don’t rush to blame your mattress, rather first consider the effect your current pillow may be having on your overall body alignment.
Pillows aren’t designed to last forever, and a pillow that once was comfortable, may not fail to support your head and neck the way it was designed to. Also, many people are unaware of what types of pillows their sleep positions require, and the support that can influence a better nights sleep. The Sleep Judge Review Team has had the opportunity to personally experience and review the Tuft and Needle Pillow to provide unbiased feedback of both the design and comfort, it provides.
Tuft and Needle Pillow Specs
Filling- Patented Adaptive Foam
Loft- approx. 5 inches
Comfort Positions- all
Warranty- 3 years
The Tuft and Needle Company Story
Tuft and Needle began when the founder and his wife first got married, paid an exuberant amount of money for a comfortable mattress -and then found out it wasn’t. The return policy was even worse than the comfort, and thus began the idea of creating a consumer-friendly mattress shopping experience. By 2012 they had founded Tuft and Needle to help provide transparency and fairness in the sleep industry, and have grown ever since.
The company has thus grown to include mattress toppers, protectors, sheets, a duvet, duvet covers, and their famous Tuft and Needle pillow. Designed and crafted in the U.S.A, the company believes in giving back to their communities and currently work with over 400 schools for fundraising and community giveback programs.
You might be interested also in: Best Tuft & Needle Mattresses
Breakdown of the Tuft and Needle Pillow
The pillow is designed to fit the needs of most sleepers and is made from a patented foam to provide a cooling, comforting rest. Custom cut, it provides the support your head and neck need to allow for spinal alignment and full body relaxation. Safety certified, the pillow holds certificates from OEKO-TEX, GREENGUARD, and CertiPUR-US as a recognized worldwide standard of quality in both material use and construction.
- Supportive and responsive for back and side sleepers
- Very cooling and comforting, even for hot sleepers
- Cover is easy to remove and wash
- Not a true one-size-fits-all (no product is, unfortunately)
- Not a decent choice for most stomach sleepers
- May not be supportive enough for all side sleepers
The pillow came in a simple, marked brown box. Although it was branded, it wasn’t yelling, ‘here I am!’ from my front porch which is always a good thing. It unpacked easily enough with the pillow compressed and sealed in plastic with a welcoming envelope placed on top of the pillow itself. This contained two cards: a welcome to Tuft & Needle and please share card, as well as a brief unpackaging direction and basic informational card.
The plastic opened easy and the pillow slid free without bursting out to expand. Although the company states it may take up to 24 hours to fully expand, I felt it was pretty much at its maximum size within minutes and noticed no difference in size or feel at any point after this.
These were some offgassing that was noticeable upon opening the package. The strongest smell dissipated within a few minutes, but I could still smell it after 24 hours if I pressed my nose up against the pillow. It was completely gone by day 2.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect at first since the advances in foam technology have become so advanced there is a huge range of differences in response and comfort. I noticed first how lightweight this pillow is, and how easy the foam was to grasp when pulling from the bag. This is definitely a soft, highly responsive foam that does not seem to have any ‘memory’- meaning it does not leave behind an impression after placing weight upon it.
Features and Benefits
The company claims people are tired of waking up to fluff their pillow, turn it to the cooler side, or having a flat pillow each morning, so they created a new design. The features and benefits highlighted below are claimed by the company, and reviewed by us to let you know how well they stand up after being in use.
Related: Best Orthopedic Wedge Pillow Reviews
The pillow is available in two sizes: standard and king. The Standard measures 16 “ x 25” while the King measures 16” x 34”. Although this is a little smaller than most standard measurements in the industry, I honestly did not notice the missing inches at all, and the standard pillow fit comfortable in a queen pillowcase without anything feeling snug. Because the pillow has a foam core, there is not ‘fluffing’ action going on that might affect the overall loft. In this pillow, it stays at a consistent 5” of height.
T&N Adaptive® Foam Filling
Tuft & Needle prides itself in their advanced responses to consumer needs. Their patented creation of an adaptive foam provides a latex bounce back feel, with the soft contouring of memory foam. The foam covered with a fine protective mesh bag, but if you look closely, you can see it is ‘cored’, or has a series of holes that pass through the foam to allow for excellent air flow without disrupting the actual comfort of the pillow.
Since I prefer a soft pillow that I can manipulate, I typically lean away from foam options because they often are too dense overall to get the comfort I need. This pillow is highly responsive, however, and I found that it was easy to manipulate, hug, squish, or otherwise create the contouring comfort I wanted for my head, neck, and shoulders.
– Graphite and Cooling Gel Beads
Foams are also often complained about due to how easily they retain heat. The cellular structure is much more densely packed together, and this doesn’t always allow good air flow. Tuft & Needle addresses this concern not only with their core air-flow design as described above but also with graphite and cooling gel bead infusion built right into the foam itself. The graphite considered heat-wicking and pulls the heat from your body through the process of conduction. It then works with the cooling gel to help dissipate it into the warmer surrounding atmosphere.
I did find the pillow to be very cooling overall. I don’t sleep warm by any means, but the feel of the foam was extremely comforting temperature wise and felt highly breathable. I could not notice a difference in heat from side to side, even after laying on it for an extended period of time- making the claims that every side is s cool side the truth.
Soft Micro Polyamide and Polyester Cover
The cover is a thicker, plush, polyester, tencel, and elastane material that is smooth and cooling to the touch. It is woven with long windows of breathable inserts to help with airflow and to work with the cooling properties of the foam core. It has a comforting feel and is not at all bumpy against your skin, especially when placed in a pillowcase.
The material does feel as if it might snag easily, and although I did not have any problems with this, it is woven of very fine threads that seem as if they might easily catch when presented the opportunity. It did wash well in a washing machine without any signs of wear.
– Lay Flat Zipper
The zipper pulled and closed easily without catching on the seams, and it did lay flat against one side of the pillow. It isn’t a hidden zipper by any means, but it also did not change the comfort of the pillow in any way. It also opens wide enough to easily remove and replace the core without having to manipulate, pull, or shove the pillow back into it. This is a nice touch as many foam pillows can be a tight fit in their case when attempting to take the cover on or put it back on.
The company claims this pillow is a good choice for all sleep positions. As mentioned earlier, there is no true one-size-fits-all pillow, and consumers should always take their own needs, including body weight and type, into account prior to the purchase of a new sleep product. Back sleepers need responsive, thinner option, stomach sleepers a thin to barely their option, and side sleepers need a supportive choice that is high enough to accommodate shoulder width. Many foams work well for combination sleepers due to their excellent responsiveness that can provide a soft sink, as well as supportive height.
Of course, the 100 – night sleep trial (more on that below) does help sweeten the deal if you are interested in trying the pillow out. The free returns and a full refund is available if you don’t find the pillow to your liking.
The cover is fully machine washable but it is suggested you air dry it to avoid damaging the soft, fine fibers. Like most foam, the pillow itself is not water submersible. Foams tend to break down and lose their comforting attributes if soaked. They also take a long time to dry and can harbor molds and mildews. You can easily use a gentle cleaner and blot clean any dirt that may come in contact with the foam itself. Using a good pillowcase over the outer casing protects it even further.
100-Night Sleep Trial, 3 Year Warranty
In the true style of the company, since their entire founding was based on what they felt was unfair practices, the pillow comes with a very generous 100-night sleep trial, complete with free shipping both ways. If you do not like your pillow comfort, simply return it for a full refund.
It also has a 3 year limited warranty, which is pretty much unheard of concerning pillows. This is based on material and workmanship flaws, or regular wear and tear, but includes a repair or replacement if the pillow is being used as it should be and defects or a collapsing of support becomes apparent.
Despite the pillow being released in 2017 with very little feedback surrounding the longevity of the comfort, initial reports from consumers are positive in relation to both quality and comfort. Although the pillow may not be the best fit for every sleep style and unique body shape and size, no complaints surround workmanship or initial feel of the foam or casing. Also, no complaints seem to exist pertaining to it sleeping hot, meaning the cooling effect seems to be rather effective.
Those who praise the comfort are mainly back and side sleepers of all sizes. The foam is nicely reactive and doesn’t seem to lose its responsiveness after months of use, it also supports the head and neck well in both these positions. Stomach sleepers do not seem to be as comfortable with the pillow, which reflects our own results as well.
My Sleep Trial Experiences
I’m a side and stomach sleeper and turn naturally towards soft, manipulative type pillow fillings that allow me to hug, bend, and shape them into what I need to support my upper body. Although I sleep consistently with down and feather options, I have found a few good foam pillows that work well for my own personal sleep habits. I also can highly respect a good pillow, and The Tuft and Needle Pillow is one worth mentioning in my opinion.
Back sleepers require a thinner, responsive pillow, and the soft, giving the feel of this one is spot on in my opinion for back sleepers. It immediately cradled my head, provided neck support, and did not hold me too high or create an uncomfortable pressure point at the back of my head. Although I do not sleep on my back for long periods of time, this choice was one that was easy to use to drift off to sleep with and it wasn’t hard to see why it is a popular choice for back sleepers of all shapes and sizes.
I do like to sleep on my side, and a side sleeper needs a pillow that can accommodate their shoulder width. This pillow worked perfectly for my body type – which is considered short and athletic. I could see how a broad-shouldered sleeper may find this a bit too thin overall due to how responsive it is under the weight of your head, but for a small to medium sleeper, it seems to hold the head and neck in proper spinal alignment for body health.
This is my go to sleep position, and since stomach sleepers realistically do not need a pillow, anything of any height is going to be too much. I typically lay more upon the pillow in a side/stomach hybrid position to try and ease my back, which can get sore from the stress placed on it when sleeping on my stomach. The responsiveness and easy manipulation of this pillow was an excellent choice for this as the loft gives under weight without creating a dense, firm feel, and easily moves when you shift positions.
I would not say it is a good pillow for stomach sleepers, but it is a very supportive choice for comfort, and also lends itself well for placement under hips and between knees to help support the spine and reduce joint pressure.
Overall Sleeping Rating: 4.6/5.0
This is definitely a quality pillow made with quality materials and with consumer comfort in mind. Their claim that it is made for everyone isn’t realistic, but it does a decent job in addressing many needs of many different sleep positions, body types, and personal sleep preferences. The amazing soft responsiveness moves with you and doesn’t compress into a dense, hard surface when laid upon- making it a decent choice for just about any positional needs. It also is incredibly cool and provides excellent moisture and heat wicking properties.
As a foam, it is not washable, and so you definitely should keep it protected. Plus, the cover seems as if it could snag very easily despite the plush soft feel. This is the negative of using a thin threaded weave, but if you are using a pillowcase you should be able to avoid any real damage with heavy use. The seams are well sewn so there isn’t any fear of those pulling loose.
Because it is highly responsive and soft, it also may not be the best choice for broad shouldered side sleepers as it might not provide enough firmness or loft to truly accommodate the head and neck in spinal alignment. It can be easily placed on another thin pillow however to aide in this issue if the feel is comforting.
You may be interested in: Tuft & Needle Mint Unboxing
If you love the feel of responsive foam, but prefer a softer version for a more manipulative experience, The Tuft & Needle Pillow may be an excellent choice for you. This truly is a no hassle, no risk option as well that provides a generous sleep trial and free shipping. Plus the warranty length is practically unheard of in the sleep industry for a pillow- allowing you to sleep securely knowing your pillow is going to provide some lasting comfort.