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Pillow Guy Down Alternative Pillow Review

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Pillow Guy entered the bedding industry with a mission: to create luxury bedding designed for men. Offering comfort, style, and simplicity, Pillow Guy aims to relieve some of the anxiety that men might feel during their quest for the perfect bedroom accessories. But, no matter your preferred aesthetic, Pillow Guy pillows are tailor made to suit the needs of every sleep style. The side/back sleeper pillows are built to be lofty and thick while the stomach sleeper pillows are soft and thin.

If you’re a combo sleeper, it’s not a bad idea to have several different sorts of pillows in your arsenal so, depending on your position, you can pick the pillow that best supports your posture.

In this review, I’ll be testing both the back/side sleeper and the stomach sleeper pillows from Pillow Guy. I’m going to see how they compare, how they differ, and who I think could really benefit from becoming a Pillow Guy. If you don’t have time to read the entire review you can click here to skip to the summary.


WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?

When it comes to the construction of these pillows, they are similar in almost every way… except when it comes to the support.

At first glance, they look about the same; Pillow Guy’s signature color is very striking. They are both size ‘jumbo’ which measures 20×28 inches with 30 ounces of fill power. The only thing that you can tell is different (before feeling them) is that one has considerably higher loft than the other so you can tell right away which pillow is designed for which position.

Pillow Guy Stack

There is a different amount of fill in the Pillow Guy Down Alternative pillow depending on which position you sleep in

Each pillow is encased in a protector made from 100% cotton percale with white satin piping that lines the edges, and the PG logo stitched into the bottom left corner. The pillow protector was designed to be soft, absorbent and breathable to offer you a nice cool sleep. Not to mention, Pillow Guy uses durable long-staple cotton, so you know it’s built to last.

The zipper is very discreetly hidden along the sides of the pillows so that you can easily remove the protector when it’s time to be washed.

Inside the protector is the pillow’s shell, which is made from 100% polyester and employs something called MicronOne Fabric technology which focuses on the microscopic pore size of the fabric. The minds at Pillow Guy say this method can help to protect your skin and respiratory system as it prevents allergens, microtoxins, dust mites, and bed bugs from passing through from your pillow.

Both pillows are filled with the company’s proprietary blend of poly gel fiber which was designed to be soft and fluffy like down, but offer extra breathability. Sometimes with down pillows, the feathers can trap heat and really aren’t the best for keeping sleepers cool. The fill and the cover fabric of these pillows were both designed to be light, airy and breathable. So, sleepers looking for a cooling down alternative might find great compatibility with these pillows. Not to mention, no birds were disturbed in the process of making these pillows!

Pillow Guy Pillows

The Pillow Guy Down Alternative Stomach and Back/Side sleeper pillows

The color of these pillows (which is a favorite feature of mine) is a unique blend known as “Pillow Guy Blue”. The company came up with it by using a gentle reactive dye and playing around with many different Pantone colors. After some creative experimentation, they got their mixing just right and landed on this blue/green hue — a color that has become a special identifying characteristic of the Pillow Guy brand.

The construction of the back/side sleeper and stomach sleeper differ in one key way: support. The side/back sleeper was filled to be thicker, with higher loft. This way, folks who sleep on their backs and sides can get a little extra support in order to keep their heads, necks, and spines in healthy alignment. While it’s still soft, it’s amply stuffed so that the pressure relief is more compatible with the lateral and supine positions.

The stomach sleeper, on the other hand, is filled with less material so that folks who sleep in the prone position can enjoy a thinner, flatter surface to rest on. When sleeping on your stomach, it’s extra important to pay attention to the elevation of your head/neck; using a soft pillow with low loft (or even no pillow at all) can help to prevent your head from being lifted into an awkward angle.

Unfortunately, these pillows are not adjustable so you can’t go in and manipulate the fill in any way. You can fluff them up, fold them, and generally shape them from the outside until you find your pillow’s perfect loft, but you can’t actually go in and remove or shift the filling inside the pillow’s shell.

HOW DOES THE STOMACH SLEEPER FEEL?

The stomach sleeper pillow has a soft, squishy feel to it which is super easy to shape and manipulate. The nature of the poly gel fiber is to feel like down, but not exactly. Down has a bouncier fluff to it, while this pillow’s fill is more malleable and foldable.

Pillow Guy Press

The Pillow Guy Stomach Sleeper pillow has less fill than the Back/Side

Some sleepers might be turned off by the idea of a thin, soft pillow, but this is the kind of support stomach sleepers should be looking for. As I mentioned earlier, the last thing you want is too much loft when you’re sleeping on your stomach, lest your head be elevated and forced out of alignment with your neck.

Pillow Guy’s stomach sleeper is designed to be flat and mushable so that sleepers can cradle it in their arms and prop up the areas that need a little extra lift. In this way, while this pillow is not technically adjustable, it still allows sleepers to manipulate the loft of certain areas to attain their perfect level of support. Most stomach sleepers don’t just lie there with their arms at their sides — it’s natural to want to reach up under the pillow so you can nuzzle your face into the cozy pocket you’ve made. Because this pillow is so soft and foldable, this pillow is very well suited to that maneuver.

Pillow Guy Stomach Pillow Stomach

Using the Pillow Guy Stomach sleeper pillow

Both pillows offer a super quick response to pressure, but as I mentioned, the stomach sleeper is much less full in order to help you keep good posture. Because of this, I think this pillow is perfect for hugging under the arm. Even if you’re not a stomach sleeper, sleepers could very comfortable hold this one for arm/shoulder support while resting their head on a pillow better suited to their position.

HOW DOES THE BACK/SIDE SLEEPER FEEL?

The back and side sleeper is notably thicker and fuller than the stomach sleeper. This was done, of course, so that folks who sleep in the supine and lateral position can enjoy extra support. We know that stomach sleepers need a flatter, softer surface area upon which to rest, but back and side sleepers aren’t usually interested in a pillow like that (we need more support!).

When you’re resting on your back or side (especially your side) sleepers need higher loft in order to keep healthy posture. Pillow Guy’s back and side sleeper is stuffed full of poly gel fiber, offering a nice bouncy loft and firmer support. On top of extra support, this pillow has a lightning fast response to pressure — so, whether you sleep on your side or roll onto your back, this pillow has you covered.

Pillow Guy Side Pillow Back

Lying on the Back/Side down alternative pillow from Pillow Guy

When you’re on your back, the fluffed fill conforms to your head and neck, keeping everything supported, but it’s also so soft! The combination of soft support and cushy downlike fill creates that lifted feeling of sleeping on a cloud that so many sleepers enjoy. Because your head sinks into the pillow a bit, the sides fluff up around your face offering two soft and cozy sides on which to rest your temple.

Side sleeping with this pillow offered a similar sort of pressure relief, however, some might consider the loft to be too short. Many side sleepers (myself included) need a firmer support level with much higher loft than the middle of the pillow. That’s why so many side sleepers bunch their pillow up under their heads when they lie down — they are propping themselves up so their necks can find that neutral comfort zone.

Pillow Guy Side Pillow Side

The Back/Side pillow from Pillow Guy is designed with more fill to support your head

What’s good (and not so good) about this pillow is that it’s fill is so malleable that, when you’re on your side, you can bunch it up and fold it every which way in order to create your ideal level of head elevation. On the other hand, without propping the pillow’s loft up a bit, side sleepers might find the pillow to be too soft and short on its own.

More: Feeling overwhelmed by all this pillow talk? Maybe our best pillows guide can help!

HOW DID YOU LIKE THEM, SARAH?

So! I started with the back/side sleeper because, well, that’s what I am. My first impression, before even touching the pillow, was that the color of the pillow’s protective casing (known as “Pillow Guy Blue”) is stunning. It’s not a color I’ve ever seen before, but I guess that’s because the company made it themselves. It’s unique, made from gentle dyes, and very aesthetically pleasing. The white satin piping around the sides adds a nice touch, too.

The feel of the cover fabric is also lovely! It’s not silky smooth like Tencel is, but it’s got a cool, breathable softness to it. As usual, I started in the supine position which felt comfortable right away.

This pillow’s response to pressure is super fast, so as soon as my head fell into the cushy center, the rest of the pillow conformed around me. In fact, this pillow’s quick response to pressure might be the highlight for me — it offers this really lively quality that I haven’t experienced with many pillows. For example, I can squeeze this pillow as tightly as I can, but as soon as I release even the slightest bit of pressure, I can feel the poly gel fiber eagerly responding and expanding in my arms.

Pillow Guy Side Pillow Hold

Holding on tight to the Pillow Guy Back/Side sleeper

Lying in the supine position on the back/side sleeper was my favorite position/pillow combination. The fluffy down-like fill did a great job of conforming to my head and neck and offered very cozy pressure relief. I felt totally supported and I didn’t feel like my head was sinking too far into the pillow’s center. It’s not adjustable, but it’s also not overly stuffed so I didn’t feel like my head was awkwardly elevated. My neck felt totally aligned with my spine, and frankly, it was hard to get out of this position (and by ‘hard’ I mean I didn’t want to).

While the back/side sleeper has more fill than the stomach sleepers, it still feels pretty lightweight, very foldable, and perfect for people who like to bunch their pillows up into a personalized shape. The nature of the poly gel fiber is to be conforming but also super soft, so if you’re someone who likes to punch your pillow’s loft into perfection, this pillow might be for you!

As for me, I generally need a more supportive pillow when it comes to side sleeping. With this Pillow Guy, life was great on my back — but rolling onto my side definitely took me out of my comfort zone. As I said, this pillow is super foldable and huggable so it’s easy to kind of reach under and prop yourself up. Without the extra support I provided myself though, I’m not sure that this pillow would be supportive enough for me in the long run. The loft isn’t quite high enough to compensate for how soft and cushy the fill is, so I would probably stack another pillow for side sleeping.

Pillow Guy Stomach Pillow Back

Trying out the Pillow Guy Stomach Sleeper pillow on my back

When it comes to the Pillow Guy stomach sleeper, I think this pillow is awesome for sleepers who tend toward the prone position. I slid into this pillow like you slide into homebase, arms extended and ready to embrace the comfort in store. The cotton percale felt cozy and cool against my cheek, and my head fell softly into the cushy center. Now, I’m not usually a stomach sleeper, but I think I could easily get a full night’s rest if I were using this pillow.

Right away you can tell this pillow is much thinner and softer than the back/side sleeper — much better suited for stomach sleeping. My head felt comfortably aligned with my spine, and my neck was never extended in an uncomfortable way. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you might already know that you never want to use a thick pillow with high loft as it can very easily force your posture out of healthy alignment. With this particular pillow, you could even fluff it up a bit for a little higher loft, but I felt perfectly supported exactly as it came.

UNDER-THE-ARM AND BETWEEN-THE-LEGS

While neither of these pillows offer much between-the-leg-support, they serve very well as under-the-arm huggers. Using either of these pillows under my leg seemed sort of futile as the weight of my leg sunk right to the bottom of the pillow, offering my hips very little support.

Pillow Guy Side Pillow Legs

Some may find it helpful to place a pillow between their legs to align their spine

However, these pillows are super foldable and, as Pillow Guy puts it, “really soft and smushy”. So, if you’re a sleeper who likes to hold a pillow while you sleep, these might be right up your alley.

Overall, while these pillows are made of the same materials, they have very different personalities and levels of support; but I think, because of their foldable, stackable qualities, sleepers of all styles could find some comfort here.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

  • Free shipping in the USA!
  • 30 Day Sleep Free Guarantee — don’t like it? You’ve got 30 free days to decide!
  • Free returns in the USA!
  • Pillows come in a single or two pack
  • Size options are Jumbo (standard) and King
  • Made in the USA
  • Machine washable and dryable — just be sure to use a gentle wash cycle with like colors, and tumble dry with very low heat.

WHICH OF THESE PILLOWS IS FOR ME?

As is evidenced by their names, back and side sleepers could definitely benefit more from the pillow with higher loft while stomach sleepers would be more compatible with the thinner, flatter pillow… but it’s not that simple! Folks who might find these pillows to be especially helpful are sleepers who:

  • Are vegan — Sleepers who love the feathery support of down, but aren’t willing to disturb any animals in the process would probably love these soft, down alternative pillows.
  • Like a ‘masculine’ aesthetic — The people at Pillow Guy focus their bedding on the man’s sleep space, offering darker colors that they think evoked a more manly style.
  • Are pillow stackers — Because these pillows are so soft and malleable, they are great for stacking on top of other pillows to offer that extra bit of down-like comfort.

Buy your down alternative pillow directly from Pillow Guy.

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Sarah is a journalist, storyteller, and comic who has been passionately doing all three for almost a decade. Before working at Sleepopolis, she was seasoned in infant sleep training, dream interpretation, and a personal exploration of cat-naps. Since joining the team, she's discovered that the world of sleep is vast, and most importantly, vital to wellness. So, she uses her skills to uncover everything there is to know about it! And the more she knows, the more she shares.

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