PolarPillow Review: 12 pounds of goo makes for one comfy cushion

For as long as I can remember, I've desired a pillow that was always cold. I'm a pillow flipper, in that I tend to constantly flip my pillow every few minutes when trying to sleep, desperate to get to the "cool side." The solution? Well, something like what the PollarPillow promises.

If you're new to the world of self-cooling cushions, the key advantage of the PolarPillow over most other pillows that claim to always remain cool is you don't have to do anything. You don't have to plug it in, you don't have to add water, you don't have to refrigerate it — nothing.

Continue reading to find out how the PolarPillow stacks up.

The PolarPillow isn't the only self-cooling headrest on the market. The Chillow, for instance, has you filling a small plastic bag with cool water that you then lay on top of your regular pillow. I've actually used the Chillow before and I definitely wasn't a fan of sleeping on top of a liquid — plus, it had a little leaking problem. On the plus side, it was extremely lightweight and easy to move around, which is something the PolarPillow isn't.

The PolarPillow is a heavy pillow. It weighs more than 12 pounds. Let that sink in for a second. Because that's pretty heavy for a pillow you're meant to sleep on.

Pillow-Chilling Technology

Why that heavy? It's because of the 200 ounces of cooling endothermic gel inside that uses the "ambient room temperature to dissipate body heat." The gel actually takes your warm body heat and uses that to make the pillow cooler. Don't worry about the gel leaking out — it's inside a material separate from the real pillow part of the cushion, but at the same time is soft under your head. In the original product, the underside of the pillow is cotton filling. These will get replaced by micro-air beads in an updated version due out later this month.

This diagram should give you a better idea of what's going on under the hood (click to enlarge):


Micro-air beads are "tiny polystyrene beads that flatten out under pressure and expand once pressure is removed." The micro-air beads are designed to make the pillow part of PolarPillow more comfortable for side sleepers and back sleepers because they can mold the pillow into their preferred shape. Plus, it doesn't slide around as much as the other one and it lays flat a little easier than the original which can shift around because the cotton can't stand up to the weight of all that gel.

How does the PolarPillow work? Just put it inside your favorite pillow sheet and lay your head on it. Make sure the blue side is facing up, as that's where the gel is. It can take up to ten seconds for you to feel the pillow getting cool as the endothermic reaction takes place, and it will stay that way for about 2 hours. At that point, it will catch up to room temperature and you'll need to take your head off for about 15-20 minutes to let it "re-energize."

A Cool Experience

Overall, I'm loving my PolarPillow. I tried the original version for about a week before I was able to try the forthcoming one with the micro-air beads inside. The weight of the pillow can certainly be an issue (making the bed can feel too much like working out at the gym), and you can tell the pillow looks "off" when placed next to a regular pillow, as seen above. Such gripes aside, the product indeed works as advertised.

The pillow isn't as comfy as, say, one stuffed with feathers, but for me personally, it's exactly the right height and comfort level, which is something I worried about when just purchasing it online. The newer micro-air bead version actually didn't feel as comfortable to me, and I didn't see a huge difference enough to stick with it. For right now, I'm sleeping with the original version every night. Hopefully they'll start to sell these in retailers soon because you'd ideally want to feel it before purchasing.

PolarPillow also recommends the pillow for "headache sufferers, menopausal women who get hot flashes, pregnant women and athletes who just need to cool down after a workout." But if you're just like me and you're tired of flipping your pillow looking for those elusive cool spots, the PolarPillow, which can be purchased online for $99, is at least worth a look.

Via PolarPillow

About Our Guest Blogger

Alan Danzis is a lifelong technology enthusiast, which is something he inherited from his father. He's an early adopter: he had the first generation Sony TiVo and had to buy a special device just to plug the analog DVR into his digital phone line in college, further showcasing his nerdiness. His fast typing skills is attributed to playing Sierra games as a kid and he currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., where he usually plugs too many things into one outlet. Keep up with him on Twitter @adanzis.

Full Disclosure: Alan Danzis works at Ketchum Public Relations, which is his day job. His opinions here are his own and do not reflect the opinions of Ketchum, nor the clients Ketchum works with. His DVICE writing is wholly unrelated.

Review Disclosure: Original PolarPillow purchased by Alan Danzis for review with his own money. PolarPillow was kind enough to send out its updated micro-bead pillow for the purpose of this article.

For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice