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Running Accessories • April 19, 2019

Bedgear Performance Pillows

Thomas: When I first encountered Bedgear it was through an announcement that they were partnering up with the New York City Marathon as the official pillow and mattress partner.

There is a growing awareness that sleep is essential to reaching your physical and mental potential.

“Some research suggests that sleep deprivation increases levels of stress hormones, cortisol. … In short, less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy, and poor focus at game time. It may also slow recovery post-game.” –National Sleep Foundation

To hear more about the importance of sleep and performance listen to Nike Trained podcast on sleep.

Anyhow, I was intrigued by the NYC Marathon partnership. After some back and forth with Bedgear we were all set to get started on our pillow adventure. Bedgear has over a dozen pillows, to get the perfect match we had to answer the following questions:

    •  Do you prefer to sleep warm or cool?

    • Are you typically a small, medium, large or extra-large in clothing?

    • What is your current sleep surface? Hybrid, innerspring, latex, memory foam?

    • Would you consider your current mattress to be softer or firmer?

    • What is your preferred sleep position? (back, side, stomach)

After I answered the questions, Bedgear matched us with pillows. I received the Balance 1.0 ($99.99), Meaghan was shipped the Level 2.0 (119.99). I’ll admit it gets frustrating, Meaghan is always next level.

PS- I messed up the first question “Do you prefer to sleep warm or cool?’  In my excitement to get the pillows, I misread the question and answered HOT. SMH, I sleep HOT, but I prefer to be cool. This probably would have moved me to a different pillow – my bad.

We forged forward cause sleep needed to happen. The Balance 1.0 is a foam pillow that can be shaped to your preference of thickness. Since I sleep on my stomach, I like to be able to fluff up my pillow and get an arm under it. The Balance worked out fine. Even though I didn’t get a “cooling” pillow, the Balance has moisture wicking and air-flow properties, so I haven’t noticed a hot head. The sleep has been good lately, at least my Garmin’s sleep tracking says so. I’ll give some credit to the pillow and some credit to limiting my alcohol consumption.

One gripe I have with the Balance 1.0 is that is standard size and I live king size, so it has to hide behind some other pillows until it is time for ZZZZZs. Other than the size, I’d like to go up a level in both firmness and thickness. The quality of the pillow is evident in the materials used. Soft quilted DRI-Tec® fabric, BOOST fill, and Air-X® panels. This pillow has some high-tech features to help you get the most out of your sleep time.

I have a couple of items I irrationally go cheap on. Bedding is one of them. This experiment made me think that I need to splurge a little more on pillows and sheets. After all, I am spending 7-8 hours a day in my bed. For that matter, I should probably upgrade my office chair as well. So would I recommend the Bedgear pillow? Yeah, no doubt. You can even get a limited edition official NYC Marathon Zoom Series pillow that looks better than most of the limited edition NYC Marathon shoes.

Meaghan: Thomas summed up the Bedgear experience, so I’ll just chime-in on my ‘next level’ 2.0 pillow. (BTW, that “next level” is attributed to size so I’m really not sure why they gave Thomas a 1.0 and me a 2.0.)

Anyway, the Level 2.0 Performance Pillow has a crescent shape design (kinda fun, kinda weird) to support your head, neck and shoulders. It’s made out of a Dri-Tec® fabric with a hexagonal pattern to help wick away moisture. The inside is filled with a soft, breathable foam (yes, I’m still talking about a pillow) that adapts to your body, but does’t lose its shape. I thought it was going to be too dense for my liking, but I’ve actually been enjoying it quite a bit.

While I’m not sure I got the right pillow for my size and sleeping habits, I can without a doubt say that this is a quality pillow and totally worth the extra few dollars. ***Pro tip: don’t let Thomas fill out your sleep questionnaire. He has no idea what he’s doing.


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