Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews: The Sleep Number Pillow

08/15/2011 By Shawn Burns

Sleeping is in my top three favourite things to do ever of all time ever. In fact, I’m going to go take a nap right now…


Sleep Number (of Sleep Number beds fame) offered me a pillow for review. They have a new service that lets you customize your own pillow online: You choose a core, an outer layer, and a cover, and the parts are delivered to you to assemble at home.

There are a range of options within each component to choose from so you can tell Sleep Number what your preferences are for firmness, allergen control, contouring, and temperature.

I customized a pillow a month or so ago and I’ve been sleeping on it ever since.

What I Like

  • The In Balance pillow covering I ordered keeps the pillow feeling cool at night.
  • It has just enough give that, as a face-sleeper, I don’t wreck my neck at night, but it doesn’t compress so far that that my head sinks into it. I don’t like it when that happens.
  • Customizing my own pillow was really easy, about four mouse-clicks easy.

What I Don’t Like

  • Because the process is all online, there’s no way to tell what your pillow will actually feel like until it’s already home.
  • The pillows are expensive, for pillows, and it’s hard to tell the difference between the $170 pillow I created and the $55 pillow I’d been using, sleep-comfort wise. Am I sleeping three times as well? I don’t even know how to judge that. The pricing issue is mitigated a little by some of the combinations you can put together. Not every pillow is going to cost $170, but the cheapest combination is still going to be about $80.

The bottom-line is, I’m happy I have this pillow now, but it would never have occurred to me to buy it for myself.

This has been Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews. To have your product featured on Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews, send it to the address on the “Make Me an Offer” Page and then wait and wait and wait and wait. Maybe I’ll review it. But not right away.