For those not in the know, the ‘Purple Pillow’ is the latest offering from the company simply called Purple which gained online fame by launching a KickStarter in the fourth quarter of 2015 for the development of the Purple Bed which they called ‘The Most Comfortable Mattress You’ve Never Tried’. Out of their modest $25,000 goal they managed to raise $171,560 by November 2015 and are now back with their latest offering, the Purple Pillow. This has been even more successful and out of the initial $25,000 funding goal on KickStarter, they have reached $1,830,000 by 19th October 2016, three days before close. That’s right, they raised 10 times the amount of funding for a pillow compared to a mattress, due to the success and word of mouth of the Purple Bed.
So what is it that makes the Purple Bed and Purple Pillow so unique? And why do I use the word technology in the title? The reason for this is that the main selling point of both the Purple Bed and Purple Pillow is the use of new patented polymer structure that is hyper elastic and strong. In the case of the Purple Bed, the Polymer is arranged in a box grid shaped (imagine numerous office cubicles next to each other, plenty of empty space) and user reviews say that it feels that one is almost floating on top of the mattress. Purple advertises it as a No-Pressure Mattress. Thus far, general consensus on the mattress has been positive, however because the aforementioned patented polymer only makes up 2 inches of the mattress, the other 7 inches are regular polyurethane foam (memory foam), some ‘heavier’ (read: fat) users have complained that their weight easily compressed the 2 inches of the patented polymer structure and thus they felt like it was akin to just sleeping on a regular memory foam mattress.
The focus on technology is not surprising; the founders are two brothers, Tony and Terry Pearce with Tony having 13 years of experience in advanced aerospace materials, while Terry had extensive experience with manufacturing and project management. Obviously Tony brings the technological expertise while Terry handles the business and manufacturing parts of the company. Like many small companies nowadays, Purple is also an online only business, with no physical stores, however they guarantee that all their produces are made in the USA in their factory in Alpine, Utah. I wouldn’t be surprised if this company grows big in a few years and moves production to cheaper locations though.
Which brings us to the Purple Pillow. While the pillow also uses the same patented polymer material as the mattress, in this case it is arranged in a hollow triangular fashion, which the company claims gives the core of the pillow lateral strength so that it retains its supportive, head-cradling nature all night long. They claim that this gives it a distinct advantage over memory foam which can get a little too compressed (even though it bounces back after) throughout the night, leading to less than adequate neck support. They demonstrate this by using an empty glass jar that has been molded in the shape of human head and neck (seriously, it’s quite cool) to demonstrate how the Purple Pillow perfectly adjusts to fit the contour of the neck. The middle of the pillow has also been engineered to sink in a little more compared to the rest of the pillow in order to accommodate the sleeper’s skull. It looks like the Purple Pillow would make a good pillow for neck pain too if you have constant neck aches.
The Purple Pillow also comes with a built in air-booster, allowing you to increase its height, which is 3 inches without the booster. That’s a pretty neat feature. Oh, and one last thing, one of the company’s sayings in relation to this pillow is ‘heavy is quality’ which seems strange until you discover that the pillow weighs a whopping 10 pounds! By comparison a regular pillow weighs only 2 pounds on average. So the Purple Pillow could potentially turn harmless pillow fights into dangerous, concussion-inducing affairs. Fiery couples better stay away from this one!
My concluding thoughts. The Purple Pillow looks like an extremely interesting step forward in terms of pillow technology (which has largely been stagnant) and could be a potential game changer. Personally, I am highly interested in trying it out for myself and will probably do so once it becomes more commercially available. At the moment, the company has pledged to ship its first 1,000 units (for its pledged backers) by Christmas.