|Size||26” x 18” (standard)|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Side Sleeper Friendly?||Yes|
|Back Sleeper Friendly?||Yes|
|Stomach Sleeper Friendly?||No|
The pancake pillow is an unusual concept. Inside it hide 6 individually stuffed pillows. And each one of these pillows can be removed, allowing you to customize the pillow to your preferred sleeping height.
From the front, the Pancake Pillow looks like any other…
And if it wasn’t for the blue three inch high gusset that runs around all sides of the Pancake Pillow, nothing would look unusual here either.
Same for the short side…
And that’s a good thing. It makes the Pancake Pillow feel like any other gusseted pillow.
Inside the Pancake Pillow
The outside of the Pancake Pillow is made up of a 300 thread count cotton outer shell, which feels soft and comfortable.
What makes the Pancake Pillow unique is what’s on the inside. And to open the pillow up you will be using the zipper, located on the left hand side of the pillow.
Opening the zipper up reveals the Pancake Pillows unique inside. Multiple pillows, stacked on top of each other like a pile of pancakes (get the name yet?) are hiding inside.
The Pancake Pillow makes these removing these smaller pillows easy, thanks to the cover’s 3 sided zipper. By undoing the zipper the whole way, you can open the pillow case like a briefcase, allowing you to simply lift as many pillows out of the cover as you need.
So I began removing the pillows, one at a time and testing the pillow until I found my preferred height. Below you can see how the pillow looks at different heights.
If you remove one of the pillows that make up the layers, you will see that it it’s construction is pretty basic. A polyester cover which is filled with hypoallergenic down-alternative (polyester) filling.
Each layer pillow measures between 2” and 2.5” tall. Why the variance in height? Because each pillow isn’t exactly filled evenly.
And to show you what I mean, I’ll cut one open with a pair of scissors.
In the photo above you can see that the polyester down-alternative does not evenly fill the pillow. If you look closely, you’ll even make out spots where there is no filling at all.
And as you can imagine, if there isn’t any filling, there is nothing there to support your head.
But here’s the interesting thing. While the uneven filling is noticeable on a single layer pillow, if you stack multiple (three or more) you won’t notice this at all.
In fact, the stacked design makes the uneven filling virtually unnoticeable, and actually evenly supports your head throughout the night.
And the hypoallergenic filling didn’t give off any strong smells.
Feel and support
Next up, we looked at just how far your head sinks into the pillow.
To test the compression we used an 11 pound medicine ball (the weight of the average human head) and measured just how much it compressed the pillow against the original height without the medicine ball.
The response time of the Pancake Pillow, how quick it returns to it’s original shape after pressure is applied, was slow. The down-alternative filling actually imitates downs characteristics, allowing your head to sink into it with minimal push-back.
Below are our results:
|# of pillows||Height||Compression|
As you can see, the Pancake Pillow did not perform particularly with one or two pillows. In real world use, if you place your head on the pillow at these levels, you can feel the bed beneath your pillow.
Unfortunately this rules the Pancake Pillow as being suitable for stomach sleepers, who need a thin yet supportive pillow for optimal comfort.
With three pillows inside, the Pancake Pillow can comfortable cradled and supported my head as a back sleeper.
With 6 pillows inside, the Pancake Pillow is only suitable for side sleepers, and awkwardly throws your head out if you attempt to sleep on your side or stomach at this height.
It is also worth mentioning with 6 pillows, the Pancake Pillow has a denser filling, which is pushing the pillow cover. This results less compression than with 5 pillows or less. That said, the “feel” of the pillow is still soft.
Going back to the results, this is a particularly soft pillow and won’t suit those of you looking for a firmer option or if you dislike pillows that allow you head to sink into them.
Should you buy the Pancake Pillow?
If you are a side or back sleeper who is looking for a soft yet supportive pillow that can be adjusted to suit your preferred height then this is certainly ideal pillow.
It certainly comes at a price. And you will have to decide whether the convenience of being able to adjust the height is worth the extra cost.
If you already know your preferred sleeping height then you can pick up a similarly gusseted, down alternative micro fiber fill pillow for a quarter of the price.
But for this is a unique product, and with nothing else currently available that is remotely similar, you will have to pay for the experience.