In-depth Comparison (2022): Saybrook Adjustable Pillow vs. Casper Original 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 an in-depth comparison of the Saybrook Adjustable Pillow and Casper Original Pillow.
At a Glance
|Pillow Name||Adjustable Pillow||Original Pillow|
|Overall Rank||#1 out of 14||#4 out of 14|
|Fill Type||Shredded Memory Foam and Polyfiber Mix||Polyester Fiber (Down Alternative)|
|Firmness / Softness||Medium||Extra Soft|
|Starting Loft||Adjustable||10 inches|
|Sleep Positions||Side, Stomach, Back||Stomach, Back|
|Body Types||Petite, Average, Big-and-tall||Average, Big-and-tall|
|Score Out of 10||9.8||8.8|
#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 (15 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.
#4. Casper Original Pillow
Polyester Fiber (Down Alternative)
- High-quality construction
- Extra soft
- Sinks in when laying down
- Great for back-sleepers
- Not fully adjustable
- May be hard to fit into pillow case
- Premium price
- For side-sleepers, unlikely to get desired loft
The Casper Original Pillow uses a pillow-in-pillow design with two layers, both made of polyester fiber, at slightly different firmness levels. This creates a thick but soft pillow that is great for back-sleepers who want a polyester fiber pillow. However, I don't recommend this pillow for side-sleepers due to the lack of adjustability: the thickness combined with the softness results in an unpredictable loft.
The most noticeable aspect of the Casper pillow is the loft: I measure it at 10 inches thick, the highest loft of any pillow tested. This is because the pillow is actually made up of a regular sized pillow covered by another layer of pillow. The outer layer can be unzipped to reveal the inner pillow sandwiched inside. The outer layer is extremely soft and thin. It resembles a comforter or a thick blanket. In fact, the pillow does remind me of a regular pillow wrapped in a comforter. The outer layer sinks completely in when used.
Unzipping the outer pillow reveals an inner pillow also made with polyester filling. Keep in mind that though the pillow can be unzipped, the filling cannot be adjusted. Unzipping doesn't give access to the filling. It only gives access to the inner pillow. While you can technically have three different lofts by sleeping on the inside pillow by itself, the outside layer by itself, and both layers combined, I wouldn't consider the pillow to be adjustable. I suspect most people will be sleeping on the pillow with all the layers together because either layer by itself is too thin for my preferences. Like the outer layer, the inner pillow sinks all the way down when I lay my head on it by itself. Based on my experience, neither the inner pillow nor the outer pillow will provide enough support for side-sleepers or back-sleepers individually. Theoretically, the inner pillow could be used for stomach-sleeping, but there are other options on the market that don't involve discarding half the pillow.
When used together, the pillows start at the full 10-inch-high loft. Laying my head down makes the pillow significantly thinner since both parts of the pillow are so soft. The inner pillow and the outer pillow compress all the way down when slept on individually, but the combined pillow does leave some loft simply because there is so much material. Unfortunately, as a side-sleeper, the loft feels slightly off for me, leaving my head angled uncomfortably. It's possible that some side-sleepers will find the loft level perfect, but I recommend that side-sleepers stick with a fully adjustable pillow like the Saybrook or Coop.
The Casper pillow and Sleepgram pillow share a lot of similarities. From the outside, they even look almost the same except for the different logos. There are three main differences, though. First, the Sleepgram pillow comes with two inner pillows. Despite this, both the Casper and Sleepgram pillows have the same loft, so the Sleepgram inner pillows are individually thinner compared to the Casper inner pillow. Second, the zipper on the Casper pillow feels to me like it's easier to operate compared to the zipper on the Sleepgram pillow, which contributes to my perception that the Casper pillow has higher quality construction. Finally, I find the Sleepgram pillow to be even softer than the Casper pillow. My head sinks down even more with the Sleepgram pillow. This is because the Sleepgram polyester filling glides more easily, so some of the material moves out of the way when I lay my head on it. The Casper pillow polyester fill is also soft, but it stays underneath my head, so even though it compresses, the material stays there to provide some loft.
Unlike some of the other pillows reviewed, the Casper pillow doesn't come with a separate cover. Inserting this pillow into a pillow case can be difficult due to the thickness. Though the pillow compresses easily when sleeping on it, getting it to compress from 365 degrees to shove inside a pillow case is relatively frustrating. It is far from impossible, but it does take more energy than it should. I find that when pillows are difficult to insert into pillow cases, I subconsciously avoid wash cycles.
The lack of adjustability makes the Casper pillow a non-starter for side-sleepers since the angle of the head is so important and everyone has a different shoulder and head size. For back-sleepers looking for a polyester fiber pillow, the Casper pillow is a great choice. Because of the thickness, even though the pillow sinks significantly, it still provides some support.
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.