In-depth Review (2022): Saybrook Adjustable Pillow
I tested 14 different pillows over the course of six months. I slept on each pillow for at least five nights each. I rated each pillow based on how comfortable it was to sleep on over an extended period of time, whether or not the construction seemed high quality to me, and my take on suitability for different body types and sleep positions. Here is my in-depth review of the Saybrook Adjustable Pillow.
Where Does the Saybrook Adjustable Pillow Rank?
#1. Saybrook Adjustable Pillow
Shredded Memory Foam and Polyfiber Mix
- Adjustable loft with removable filling
- High-quality fill material
- Firm enough to get support but soft enough to be comfortable
- Comes with storage tube for removed filling
- Gorgeous bamboo cover
- Foam is certified by CertiPUR-US
- Perfect for side-sleepers
- Hypoallergenic, no dust mites
- Premium price
The Saybrook Adjustable Pillow is by far the most comfortable pillow I've tried, and it's the only pillow that stops me from tossing and turning at night. I used to think that it was normal to wake up periodically to shift my weight, but because the Saybrook pillow can adjust to the exact loft (height level) I need to cradle my head in place, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night to move my pillow around. I'm amazed by how much deeper my sleep is with the Saybrook pillow, and I wake up more well-rested in the morning. It's also the perfect combination of softness and firmness. I'd describe the consistency as firm enough to support my head but also soft enough so that it doesn't hurt my ears or jaw. I'm obsessed with the Saybrook pillow, and I use it as my personal pillow now.
The Saybrook pillow is one of three adjustable pillows I tested that use a combination of shredded memory foam and polyester fiber in the filling. The shredded memory foam can be removed or added back in to adjust the loft, and the polyester fibers smooth out the fill material so that lumpiness isn't an issue. The pillows can be unzipped for easy access to the filling inside. For side-sleepers, the adjustable loft is a huge advantage. The key to finding a good pillow is finding the right loft and the right softness, and an adjustable loft takes care of one half the equation perfectly. I like these adjustable pillows in general, but I like the Saybrook pillow the most because of the high-quality fill material.
The Saybrook pillow distinguishes itself in the filling. Saybrook uses a blend called "Lion Down Alternative," and I find the pun pretty amusing. Compared to the other shredded memory foam and polyester fiber blends, Lion Down Alternative has a higher proportion of memory foam, and the overall feel of the pillow is more like a memory foam pillow. When I sleep on the other adjustable pillows in this review, I feel more like I'm sleeping on a polyester pillow. In addition, the Saybrook memory foam feels to me like it's the highest quality. Pieces of memory foam in the Wondersleep pillow feel hard and uncomfortable to me while the Coop memory foam feels more like regular foam in my opinion. The Coop foam reminds me of the foam used in Walkman over-the-ear headphones from the 80's (not necessarily uncomfortable, but it has a different, more mundane feel), while the Saybrook memory foam has the signature squish I've come to expect from memory foam. The high proportion of memory foam pieces combined with the slight amount of polyester fiber results in a medium softness / firmness. It cradles my head with ample support when I sleep on my side, and I don't find myself tossing and turning at night when I use it. At the same time, the pillow still feels soft enough to be comfortable when I squish it, and it isn't so firm that I feel pressure against my ears or jaw. I can still turn my head without feeling pushback while lying down if I want to, which isn't true for some of the firmer pillows.
In the past, I had tried low-cost shredded memory foam pillows off of Amazon that were in the $20 - $50 price range, and they almost made me give up on shredded memory foam pillows. The pieces of memory foam were hard and stiff, causing the pillows to feel lumpy. Many of them didn't have the polyester fibers mixed in, unlike the Saybrook, Coop, and Wondersleep pillows, and the lack of polyester fibers exacerbated the lumpiness. Some of the pieces of foam in these low-cost pillows were sticky or had a rind on them that made me suspect the foam was a byproduct of mattress production. The Saybrook pillow (and the Coop pillow) use all new foam, and these pillows don't feel lumpy. If you've tried $20 - $50 shredded memory foam pillows in the past and have been disappointed, I would give the Saybrook Adjustable Pillow a try. You'll probably be surprised how different the Saybrook pillow feels. If you haven't tried a shredded memory foam pillow before, I recommend avoiding the $20 - $50 pillows.
The Saybrook pillow comes in a zippered tube that acts as a measuring cup for removing filling. The tube instructs sleepers to take out enough to fill the tube in order to have a thinner pillow. I appreciate the rough guidance on how much filling to remove for people who want a lower loft, though obviously everyone should make their own micro-adjustments to get the right loft for them. I personally took out enough to fill the entire tube for side-sleeping. I also appreciate that there is a place for me to store the extra filling in case I need it later. The downside for the Saybrook is that it doesn't come with an additional bag of filling, while Coop provides an extra bag. However, this isn't a deal-breaker because I'd guess most people won't use all the filling. In addition, I measure 3.6 lbs of filling inside the standard-sized Saybrook pillow and 3.2 lbs of filling inside the standard-sized Coop pillow (Update: As of late 2021, Coop has discontinued their standard size according to their website. I would expect their larger sizes to have proportionally more filling). The extra bag of Coop filling brings its overall weight to 3.7 lbs, so the total amount of filling for both pillows turns out to be very similar based on my measurements.
For back-sleeping, I use the same amount of fill as side-sleeping with the Saybrook pillow. When I sleep on my back, I don't need the thickness to match my shoulder size, and instead, I care about giving my neck support while making sure my head doesn't get pushed too forward. The tolerance range for the loft is higher when I sleep on my back. The loft I use for side-sleeping works for back-sleeping on the Saybrook pillow as well.
The Saybrook pillow uses a removable cover made of bamboo fabric. The fabric has a slight sheen, and the texture sits halfway between silk and knit wool. Out of all the pillow covers, I enjoy the Saybrook and Tempur-Pedic covers the most. One of the only negative aspects for this pillow I've seen mentioned in reviews online is the zipper, but Saybrook's website indicates that they updated the zipper as of April 2021 (reviews that mention a zipper issue appear to date earlier). In the Saybrook pillow that I have, the zipper works smoothly and feels durable, so I would no longer consider the zipper a problem. In fact, the zipper stands out as one of the higher quality zippers among the pillows I've tested. The other pillows with zippers that stand out as easy-to-use for me include Tempur-Pedic, Casper, Coop, and Weekender.
Overall, the Saybrook pillow has really impressed me, and I've been obsessively recommending it to all my friends and anyone who will listen. I like the adjustability and the quality of the filling. I like the way the bamboo cover feels against my cheeks. Sleeping on this pillow, I feel refreshed in the morning without any jaw pain or neck pain. It's been a long journey, but I've finally found the perfect pillow.
Update (8 months later): I've been sleeping on the Saybrook Adjustable Pillow for a while now, and it still sleeps like new! I'm very happy with the quality and durability of this pillow. I fluff this pillow in the dryer on a no-heat, gentle setting once every 2 months like the instructions say, and the pillow stays at the loft I want. I attribute this to the high-quality memory foam material.
How Does The Saybrook Adjustable Pillow Compare?
Comparing pillows can be difficult because reviews out there are often written by people who've only tried one pillow. What does it mean for a pillow to be soft or firm if there's no point of comparison? How do you know if one pillow is truly better than another? Which pillow is right for your body type and sleep position?
My experience systematically trying each of 14 pillows provides some insight into how to compare the pillows. You can read my comparisons of each pair of pillows in the links below, or you can read the full review with all the pillows as well as my pick for the best pillow.
Compare Pillows: What are Saybrook Adjustable Pillow alternatives?
Picking the right pillow can be important. I did all the research here to make the process easier. I hope that this blog helps you as you make your decision.