I'm bad at picking out pillows. I can't count the number of times I've browsed Ikea's pillow zone, trying to imagine which pillow will make me happy when I climb into bed. And I'm usually wrong. But I might have found a better way. Pluto creates custom pillows to order and then, taking a page from mattress companies, gives you 100 nights to decide if you want to keep it forever. If not, you can get a full refund. Right now, Pluto is giving Cheapskate readers an exclusive 10% discount on a custom pillow when you use code CNET10 at checkout.
Pluto pillows cost $95, which is a lot of money for a pillow, but honestly, I've spent more than that accruing a stockpile of pillows I don't like. I was ready to try a sciencey pillow that might let me sleep peacefully once and for all. So I recently walked through the process of making a Pluto pillow, and it takes perhaps three minutes to complete. You'll need to tell Pluto your height and weight, along with information about how you sleep -- I start on my side, for example, but usually wake up on my back.
Pluto will also want to know about your current pillow, and what you think of it, which I was especially happy to answer. My pillow is very thin -- something I thought I would like -- but it turned out to be too soft. When you're done answering the 16-or-so questions about your body, sleep habits and pillow preferences, you get a text box in which you can tell the pillow engineers anything you want about what you want your pillow to be like.
Here's where you'll need to trust Pluto a little. When you complete the survey, the site displays the info it captured about your new pillow in the form of a narrative, like a game of pillow-themed mad libs. You don't get to see a photo or illustration of the pillow, or even any detailed stats about what it's planning to send you. Pluto wants you to trust its algorithm and the fact that it's crunching the numbers in the back somewhere.
Which is what I did -- I trusted. A few days later, my pillow arrived. I didn't know what to expect, but sleeping on it has been a remarkable improvement over my last Ikea pillow. As I requested, it's thicker, yet still soft and plushy. I had indicated that my head heats up at night, so it came with a temperature-regulating outer cover made with some sort of cooling fibers, which appear to genuinely work.
Pluto says that based on your answers to the survey, there are more than 35 pillow variations that include different foam cores, additional filling and covers, so you're unlikely to end up with the same pillow as me -- though there's no risk, given the 100-day trial.
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