In Search of the Perfect Pillow

In Search of the Perfect Pillow

You would be horrified to see the pillow that I slept on for most of my life. 


As a dedicated stomach sleeper and occasional side sleeper, finding a thin enough, hard enough pillow that kept my neck in the right position was next to impossible. Everything I tried was always too tall, too puffy, too allergenic (no down please). The worst are the ones that look good until you lay your head down and it’s like the parting of the Red Sea, face down directly on the mattress with waves of fluff on either side. Not ideal.


So, I stuck with what I knew worked for me: the first pillow I was given upon graduating from crib to big boy bed. I don’t think it was new then, but it was just the right height. It fit perfectly between my arm and my ear. And it certainly didn’t part under the weight of my admittedly big cranium. Don’t get me started on trying to buy hats.


I took it to sleepovers. I carted it off to the university dorms. It followed me through nine apartments and into my thirties. Whenever I traveled, the thing I most looked forward to upon my return was my trusty old pillow. Under the pillowcase it was...yellow I guess? I don’t think it started out yellow. And I shudder to think about what was actually inside that pillow. Probably more Ryan than pillow by the end.


And the end did come. We bought a home just a few blocks from the Resthouse showroom, of which I was not aware just yet. I think the fresh, new abode awakened a realization in my lovely, intelligent, hygienic wife. Drawing a line in the sand, I was asked to find a new pillow to complement our new bedroom. Into the bin it went.


I tried every pillow in the house for weeks and months. Nothing worked. I bought other pillows claiming to be for stomach sleepers, all terrible. I purchased a memory foam pillow; all it did was trigger the memory of my old pillow. 


Eventually, I was introduced to the folks at Resthouse and began to work with them, and by necessity of my trade, learned plenty about their shredded latex pillow. And yet, I hesitated. Why would this pillow be any different than all the other pillows I had tried over the decades?


It took more than a year for me to finally bite the bullet, visit Chris at the shop, and take one home to try. And let me tell you, I’ve been a blind fool, but now I see the light.

Why it Works

When I got this pillow home, I immediately followed the directions and dumped out a whole bunch of the organic latex rubber fill into a bag. I dropped the pillow on the floor, put my head down, and said out loud, “That seems about right.” Overconfident, as always.


It was of course too thin, which I realized the following morning. It was still better than the pillow I had been using, but not exactly right. So I marched back out to the garage, put some of the fill back in, and prepared myself for a sleep worthy of the gods. Again, overconfident.


This time it was a little too high. Good, but not absolutely perfect. So the next morning, back out to the garage, I removed just a little and hoped for the best. 


Upon turning in that night, I was adjusting the pillow and was struck by a revelation: uniformity is my enemy. I had been expecting a consistent height to the entire pillow, but that ignores its true advantage. Because the fill is supportive regardless of thickness, and because it can be moved and shaped with my bare hands, I can create comfort zones that work with my fidgety, restless sleep style that my wife loves so much.


Now I have a thin corner for stomach sleeping; a higher spot for side sleeping that fits perfectly into the crook of my neck; a super thin spot for when I want to sleep with my arm under my head; I can fluff it all up if I want to read or noodle on my phone when I can’t sleep because the world is an upsetting place. It transforms like the Optimus Prime of pillows. Plus, if I ever figure out how not to sleep on my stomach, as recommended by every health professional I’ve ever spoken with, I have that bag of extra fill just waiting for me in the garage.


After years in search of the ideal pillow, all it took was three nights to get it right and I was hooked.

But Wait, There’s More

Amazingly, this pillow also offers some other benefits that I didn’t even realize I needed. The organic latex fill and the organic cotton shell and protector are all super breathable, which is a real boon for a sweatbag like myself. Side note: for those who need a little extra explanation like me, yes, this pillow comes with a zippered shell (which contains the latex fill) and an enveloped protector that serves as a barrier between your pillowcase and the shell—profoundly hygienic and as durable as the latex fill inside. This thing is truly built for a lifetime of great sleeps, or in my case, lots of great sleeps punctuated by staying up all night watching You Only Live Twice.


More personally, my family has adopted a more sustainable, plant-based lifestyle over the last couple years, so finding a pillow that is this great AND doesn’t contain any animal products is incredible. Plus, the ecologically-sourced latex fill is made as part of an efficient mattress manufacturing process that recovers usable materials, so very little goes to waste.

How to Decide

Realistically, you don’t need to decide. Just go get one. The customizability, high-quality, and hypoallergenic materials mean that the Kakun Organic Shredded Latex Pillow literally works for everyone. It has to be the only one-size-fits-all item that actually fits all, even squirmy, too hot, stresscase, front, back, and side sleeper me.