Do You Really Need a Customized Pillow, or Is It a Waste of Money?

Falling asleep is simple: Give me 10 minutes and a half-decent mattress and I'm out. Staying asleep, on the other hand? Ugh. No matter what pillow I'm using, I inevitably wake up at least a dozen times and spend the night fidgeting and throwing blankets on the ground. In the morning, I always wake up face-down, with a sore neck and pain radiates down my back as the day goes on. I've tried dozens of pillows from Target and Ikea, but so far, nothing has made a major difference.

So when I heard about Pluto, a company that makes customized pillows based on your body type and sleeping habits, I was curious...and a little bit skeptical. What is an online quiz going to tell me that I don't already know? Am I going to end up having to spend hundreds of dollars on yet another pillow that ends up in my linen closet? Is the idea of a "custom" pillow just a big marketing ploy?

So I side-eyed my way through Pluto's extensive quiz, which asked me my height and weight, my feelings about my current pillow (meh), how I typically tend to sleep (on my side), whether I get hot at night (yep), and whether I prefer my pillow to feel "settled-in and supportive" or "plushy and melt-in" (supportive, please). Pluto then generates one of 25 different combinations to find the magical pillow match for me.

A week later, my custom pillow arrived in the mail. I opened the box and gave it a squeeze—not too hard, not too soft. Because I sleep hot and I don't like my head raised too high, my pillow had a cooling cover surface, and a lower inner core foam height and density. But I'd fallen in love with rogue pillows at the store before. I'd have to give it a test run to really find out the truth.

The first night, I had an amazing sleep (but that also could've been because I'd had a few glasses of wine at happy hour). But even after a week of sleeping on my new pillow, I found that I was still sleeping soundly through the night—yay, no more waking up every three hours. I've now had my Pluto pillow for a couple of weeks, and although I love the cooling outer cover of the pillow, it does cause my pillowcase to slip off sometimes. But I love how my head never gets sweaty anymore. Plus, I typically wake up on my back or side (way better for neck pain than on my stomach) and feel like I'm sleeping more deeply, with less tossing and turning.

I raved so much about my new pillow to my roommate, she insisted on trying it the other night to see what all the fuss was about. She hated the height and density of it, and felt it wasn’t thick enough for her taste. Guess she'll need to get her own.

At $89 per custom pillow, the Pluto is definitely the most expensive pillow I've tried. And sure, if I'd done some research (the National Sleep Foundation has some helpful tips), I could probably find something comparable at Bed Bath & Beyond. But if you've tried a bunch and still haven't found your pillow soulmate, the online quiz is a clever new way to find the right match.

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Feel Less Overwhelmed


Director, Branded Content + Cohost, Royally Obsessed Podcast

As Director of Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, Roberta helps oversee the ideation and execution of sponsored content and experiential campaigns across PureWow and ONE37pm...