Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Quest for the Perfect Pillow

I must admit that I don't think about bedding, pillows, or mattresses very often.  It's kind of sad actually, because I used to sell all of those products when I worked for a famous retail chain.  The training was pretty intense.  We used to take countless numbers of quizzes and tests and sometimes we would have to go off site for all day training.


Out of every product I've ever sold, I'd have to say that selling mattresses is the hardest.  Believe me, I've sold almost everything you can think of from hardware to clothing.  I went from being a "Bob Vila", selling tools and paint, to an "Al Bundy" selling shoes.


Mattresses are a tough sell because most people don't give them a second thought.  They want something that's firm and something that is cheap, why?  Because that's what they slept on when they were a kid and it worked out well then, so why not now.  It's a hard thing to overcome, and yet, people should because one third of their life is spent while sleeping, so it might as well be a comfortable experience.  Since most people think this way about a mattress, you can imagine what they think about pillows.


Pillows and I have not been getting along in the past recent years.  I fluff, but they still remain flat.  I wash and dry them, but I still seem to get an allergic reaction-- even with fiber filled.  I was getting a new pillow about every 3-6 months or so because of my discomforts.  

I'm not a big fan of soft pillows even though they are supposed to be great for side sleepers.  I like my pillow firm so I can wedge it in between my shoulder and neck.  This gives me a ton of support and it keeps my neck in line with my spine at night.  A soft pillow does not keep my neck in line with my spine and causes a great deal of stress on my neck and shoulders.


Pillows have become pretty expensive over the years.  I can remember being able to walk into a department store and being able to buy 2 pillows for ten bucks.  The prices today, well, they can make me loose a lot of sleep.  I truly can't believe how much some of them cost.  For me, I tend to shy away from high priced merchandise because I just simply can't afford it.  Try as I might for my search of the perfect pillow, I was reluctantly coming to the conclusion that a better pillow for my condition may just come with a much bigger price tag.



Recently, though, I won a contest from Sleep Number.  This contest allowed me to win a customized pillow from them.  The pillow itself comes with an outer shell, an inner core, and an outer protector.  Prices for these pillows can range anywhere from almost $80 to almost $220.  It's a big investment, but is it worth it?  Some previous winners of the pillow were very excited for me because they knew what I would soon experience.  A lot of them DM'ed me their congrats from Twitter.  I was excited, mind you, because I've never won anything in my life that I could use-- up until now, of course.  A pillow was something I really needed to help me sleep better at night and this made me hopeful.



Once I received my coupon, I took a trip to a local mall and went into the Sleep Number store.  I was greeted by a really nice and knowledgeable associate named Dennis.  Dennis was taken a back at first by my coupon because it was something he had never seen before.  But once I explained what it was, everything went very smoothly from sale to transaction.


What I liked about the pillow buying experience was the fact that Dennis asked enough questions to get a feel for what I needed in a pillow and he took the time needed to fulfill that need.  I wound up with a totally custom pillow because I wanted some support, yet, I have allergies to down.  Dennis was very patient with me, but coaxed me into trying a down inner core because of the comfort level I was seeking.  He explained that the feathers are triple washed so that the dander from the feathers is gone.  This makes it less sensitive for people with allergies.


I was a sceptical-- to say the least.  I knew that the mere sight of down would send me into a sneezing fit.  It was the main reason why I went to fiber filled pillows to begin with.  What's worse is the fact that even when the down is removed from my sight, I will still have a sneezing fit and possibly have an asthma attack.  But I did try it because at the time I had my inhaler, so I felt like I really had nothing to loose.  And boy was I glad that I tried!  The feather inner core was soft and fluffy and gave just the right amount of support.  I did try a couple of other inner cores too-- just to make sure, but this one was it.  


I settled on the down alternative shell, the feather core, and silver pillow protector.  The silver protector provides protection from odor, static, and allergens.  It contains an all natural anti-microbial protection.  I couldn't wait to try it out so I started using it that very night that I got it.  It did take a little getting used to and I must say that you shouldn't let that discourage you if you plan on purchasing a pillow of your own.  The reason being is that the pillow is new and there has not been a sufficient enough time for you to contour with the pillow in one night.  The company gives you 30 days to try it, but I'd say that if you are not feeling more comfortable in about a week, try a different one.  Fibro patients are more sensitive to their own needs.  You know your own body and if you can't get comfortable in a week, you won't be in three-- don't torture yourself.



What I also liked from the experience is the fact that I got to try out some of the beds without feeling pressure of buying from a sales associate.  I've been in sales for almost half of my life and I know what those poor people go through, and believe me when I say that the pun is intended here-- they are in most cases poor people.  

I feel pressure myself because when I'm shopping, I have an intent to buy, but it may not be at that moment.  Pressure builds for me when I start to get to know the person I'm talking to and feel that I really should buy so I can help them out.  Sound silly?  Well, maybe to some, but to me, it's not.  I genuinely like to help people and if a sale helps them out, I will try my hardest to make that happen.


A mattress is a big purchase.  It's a lot of money.  Yeah, it's an investment and you could go for financing, but why do that if you don't have to?  I'd rather save up for what I want because it would take a lot less time to save up for an item than it would to pay it off on a credit card--let's face it.  I'm almost 37 and I still have college bills from 1995 that I'm dealing with.  I don't need anymore debt, thank you very much.  


When I shop, I want to know I can buy if the price is right, but sometimes an extra $500 to $1000 dollars is a little hard to come by for this gal, so I tend to window shop.  That's a little hard for mattresses because you really have to lay on them to figure out what's best.


But after my pillow experience, I now know which bed I'd like to be my next, and that's the memory foam.  It's a little pricey at almost $2800 for a queen to be delivered to your home.  That's going to take some serious saving time, but it might be worth it.  If not, the pillow top is also another great alternative.  It might not be my first choice, but it's comfortable too!


You all know me and you know that I would never pressure any of you to go buy something, but I will say that you should at least check these pillows out so you can get a better idea as to what is out there for you and your comfort levels.  This pillow is something that I will cherish for many, many years and it's so nice that I'm going to get one that's comfortable enough for my husband.  He deserves something this nice too... and so do all of you, my dear readers.


Stay fabulous!

Love and friendship,



Kimberley
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