Remember when pillows were simply a basic tool for resting your head on at night? Well, not anymore! In our list below, we introduce you to pillows designed to prevent anything and everything from the standard stiff necks, to snoring, to even acid reflux, tinnitus, and facial wrinkles! “What?!”, I can hear your exclaiming right now as you read this. Yes, even I was shocked at first. Read on to find out more about the 6 high-tech pillows below.
- Acupressure Pillows – You may have heard of neck pain pillows, which are typically contoured memory foam pillows designed to provide a high level of individualized support for a person’s neck and spine. Well, say hello to the next stage in its evolution: acupressure pillows! As the name implies this pillows do come with pointy spikes (and do require a bit of a pain threshold to tolerate), although they are only designed to be used for 15 minutes a day. In addition to neck pain, these pillows claim to be able to relieve headaches as well. Needless to say, for people looking to relieve themselves of neck pain, I highly recommend this pillow! The idea behind it is similar to acupressure therapy which aims to release pain-relieving hormones using said spikes. While no study has been conducted on said pillows, one Swedish study used acupressure mats and the research showed some signs of physiological relaxation and relief from neck pain in participants.
- Sinus Congestion Prevention Pillow – According to Dr. Mark Aronica a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic specializing in asthma, dust mites feasting on dead skin cells are a major contributing factor to sinus congestion (yes, even if you have a hypoallergenic pillow). These pillows, or rather, pillowcases, are specifically designed to repel dust mites. However if your sinus congestion is not due to dust mites, well, tough luck!
- Acid Reflux Prevention Pillows – Sounds like a parody? In fact, these wedge-shaped body pillows reduce acid reflux by tilting your body, keeping the acid down in your stomach where it belongs. Their effectiveness has been called into question however, with one physician working at Cleveland Clinic’s Head and Neck Institute noting that in order to be effective, the whole bed would have to be tilted, such as using those mechanically adjustable hospital beds or the DIY solution of putting a brick underneath your headboard. He further cautions that by causing sleepers to bend at the waist, which would push stomach contents up, these pillows may actually exacerbate the condition.
- Speaker Pillows – These pillows do in fact come equipped with speakers for you to play your favorite white noise tunes to help you sleep, or your favorite soulful jams when it’s time to get funky in bed. However, these pillows are mostly intended to block and mask sounds that may arise from tinnitus or just a noisy bed partner. You can plug most speaker pillows directly into your audio player; some brands recommend using them to listen to language courses while asleep! Just make sure your player doesn’t get stuck or you might wake up with the ability to only say ‘Omelette Du Fromage’. Also ideal for husbands with nagging wives.
- Snoring Prevention Pillows – For frustrated wives to give their snoring husbands. The idea behind such pillows is to keep the person’s chin lifted away from the chest. While such pillows come in various shapes and designs, their effectiveness has not been backed by research, says Dr. Kaplan, the director of the Mayo Sleep Center. No doubt that the first person to invent an effective anti-snoring pillow would become a very wealthy person.
- Fountain of Youth Pillows – Both Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Blackbeard are on a quest for this booty! Just kidding, however, side sleepers are prone to developing facial wrinkles due to having their face pressed into the pillow all night long. And if you are the kind who favors one side over the other, your wrinkles will be asymmetrical to boot. Pillow manufacturers have attempted to solve this issue with two solutions: copper oxide and weird shapes. Copper oxide is said to stimulate collagen production and can be found in some specialty pillowcases. As for weird shapes, these are pillows shaped like an X or two back-to-back letter Cs, enabling someone to sleep on their side while minimizing facial contact with the pillow. The oldest fashioned way of course was simply silk or satin pillowcases.
While the effectiveness of some of these pillows is questionable, it bodes well for comfort technology of the future. Dr. Aronica further notes the powerful placebo effect, saying that if someone believes a certain pillow would help them, it probably will.