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A review of the best-selling Carbon Air Pillow: what makes it the best fit for all sleepers

July 02, 2020 | Posted by Matteo Franceschetti
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“The Carbon Air Pillow has been a game-changer for me”

Humans have been using pillows since the beginning of time. In fact, researchers have found the first trace of pillows around 7000 B.C in Mesopotamia, an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean. The pillows consisted out of blocks of stone to elevate the head from the ground. Furthermore, ancient Chinese rested their heads on jade, bronze, and even porcelain, while ancient Greeks and Romans used straw to create softer pillows. 

Although ancient pillows do not sound like anything that we’re used to nowadays, the history of the pillow suggests that elevating one’s head during sleep must have some benefits. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center confirm this statement. According to their research, pillows keep your spine in the correct position and support the natural curve of your neck. Matthew O'Rourke, a physical therapist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, explains “If your neck is bent in any way for an extended period of time, you'll get uncomfortable." This can cause neck and back pain. 

At Eight Sleep, we’ve always known that pillows are a very important part of your sleep. We create products like the Pod that help you sleep better by using dynamic temperature regulation. In addition to the Pod, we wanted to offer our members a pillow that’s designed to stay cool – in addition to being comfortable. Our best-selling Carbon Air Pillow is made out of carbon-infused ventilated foam for lasting cooling properties that filter heat away from the body. Besides the unique cooling feature, the Carbon Air Pillow supports spine alignment in all sleep positions. 

I’ve been using the Carbon Air Pillow for three months now. It has definitely been a game-changer for me. Read my review to find out why.

Carbon Air Pillow Specs

  • Review price: $150 for one, $265 for two
  • 16 inches wide x 29 inches long x 6 inches loft
  • Carbon-infused foam for cooling properties
  • Perforated design for increased airflow and breathability
  • Premium breathable cover
  • 5-year warranty and 30-night trial

The science behind pillows

Having the right pillow is not only comforting, but it also plays a big role in the health of your spine. A pillow affects the way your neck aligns with your spine, which can either be beneficial or put more tension on your back which possibly triggers headaches, neck pain, and even arm numbness. 

Spine alignment during side sleeping
Image: good vs bad spine alignment. Source: Orthopaedic Associates

To decide what pillow works best for you, consider the position that you sleep in the most. The goal is to keep your head in neutral alignment, meaning it rests on your shoulders, similar to a good posture when you’re standing up. 

  • Back sleepers should have a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck and takes the shape of the head. The height of the pillow should neither be too high so that it tilts your head too forward, nor too low that it extends the neck and tilts the head upwards. Generally, a thick and firm pillow is the best choice for back sleepers.

neck alignment in back sleeping
Image: Neck alignment in back sleeping. Source: Bedding Pal

  • Side sleepers require extra support because there is a bigger distance between the head and the mattress. To keep the head and neck in a neutral position, side sleepers need firm pillows. The pillow should be able to stay firm throughout the whole night for the best support.

Neck alignment in side sleeping
Image: Neck alignment in side sleeping. Source: Mind Body Spine

  • Stomach sleepers should use a flat and soft pillow to reduce stress on the lower back. Using a pillow that’s too thick, will bend your spine at an angle that is very likely to cause aches. If possible, avoid sleeping on your stomach since it requires twisting your head, which makes it difficult to maintain a good alignment (see image below).

Neck and spine alignment in stomach sleeping
Image: Try to not sleep on your stomach as it’s difficult to maintain good alignment. Source: Biomotion

As a general rule, pillows need to be replaced after 1-2 years. You’ll know it’s time to find a replacement when your pillow doesn’t give enough support anymore. Another way to find out is to fold the pillow in half and see if it stays that way. If it does, it’s time for a new one.

Pillow folded in half
Image: If your pillow stays folded in half, it’s time for a new one. Source: Au Lit Fine Linens

Details of the Carbon Air Pillow 

The Carbon Air Pillow has lots of unique cooling features. One of the cooling features is the phase-changing cooling material. This material works by absorbing body heat and then releasing it at a specific temperature that is tuned to a sleeper’s personal needs. It will continue to absorb heat until the body (the heat source) reaches that temperature. The small holes in the pillow (about 1/8” in diameter) help with that: the holes stimulate air circulation and dissipate heat when needed. 

In addition to the phase-changing cooling material, the Carbon Air Pillow features carbon-infused foam. Carbon is known for its ability to absorb moisture and attract excess heat from the body, which keeps the pillow cool throughout the whole night.

The pillow is topped with a Tencel mesh cover. Tencel is a strong, soft, and cool fiber that is very breathable and moisture-wicking against liquid spills. The cover is removable for easy wash and care.

Carbon Air Pillow layers
Image: The Carbon air Pillow. Source: Eight Sleep

The combination of phase-change material, carbon-infused foam, aerated holes, and Tencel mesh cover, makes the Carbon Air Pillow the most advanced temperature regulation pillow. 

Other than the cooling features, the Carbon Air Pillow distinguishes itself from other foam pillows by being able to support any sleep position. The carbon-air ventilated foam offers all the same benefits of memory foam, without using memory foam. It gives the pillow a plush and huggable feeling that releases tension on any pressure points in the neck or shoulders. The pillow has a medium loft (6 inches) which makes it suitable for all sleep positions because it’s not too high, nor too low.

The Carbon Air Pillow cools perfectly

The first time I slept on the pillow, I was positively surprised: I definitely did not expect it to feel as cool as it feels. The airflow and breathability truly keep the pillow cool throughout the whole night, no matter how hot you sleep. I’m personally not really a hot sleeper, but I do like the cool and fresh feeling of the pillow during the night.

The Carbon Air Pillow is a great addition to my other Eight Sleep cooling products, such as the Pod Pro and Air Lite Comforter. I love pairing all of these cooling products together for better sleep, particularly during the summer. I like sleeping cool because it helps with falling asleep faster and deeper. A cool temperature reinforces your body’s natural instinct to sleep and increases melatonin production. Besides, sleeping cool increases metabolism, decreases the risk of diseases, and reduces insomnia. 

An important thing to note is that the Carbon Air Pillow does not have the same cooling features as the Pod. The Pod adjusts its temperature automatically through the night based on your sleep habits, while the Carbon Air Pillow uses phase-change cooling material to absorb and dissipate heat away from the body until you reach your tuned temperature (like explained earlier).

The best pillow for all sleep positions

I’m the type of person who sleeps in all positions: stomach, side (for the most part), and back. For me, this pillow has worked in all positions. That's all due to the foam construction. It has just the perfect amount of density so that the pillow doesn’t go too flat, but it doesn’t stay too high either. The foam adapts to the pressure of my body. The amount of pressure depends on whether I’m lying on my side, stomach, or back. So, no matter what position I sleep in, I’m never misaligned with my spine.

Who’s it for?

I would recommend the Carbon Air Pillow to people who sleep in multiple positions and are looking for a pillow that supports spine alignment in all circumstances. If you’re used to high or low pillows, then it might take you a short while to adjust to this pillow, but it will be worth it. I would also recommend the Carbon Air Pillow to people who either sleep really hot and/or who are looking for the ultimate cooling pillow.

Pillows are very personal, so I would always recommend checking whether the pillow is the right height and fit for you. Give it a try for a couple of nights to see what effects it has on your sleep quality, comfort, and spinal alignment. You can try the Carbon Air Pillow for a 30-night trial and if you end up not liking it, you can return it.

SHOP CARBON AIR PILLOW

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