My first impression upon receiving my Pillow Cubes was that I’d been sent a package directly from Saved by the Bell, since it had a distinct early ‘90s vibe. I liked the quirky, retro branding and watching them expand from relatively flat squares to voluminous and firm cubes. It was an enjoyable unboxing experience all around. Then came bedtime, which was a little less enjoyable.
I decided to try the Classic Ice Cube version first. (The company provided this cooling version, and the original cube pillow, called the Sidekick, to try out at no cost.) The shape and firmness were relatively identical to the original, with the addition of a cooling effect. It was one of those bizarrely warm New York days in early March where I resist turning on my air conditioner because I know it’s going to be frigid again in no time, but still need a bit of cooling power.
While it did feel cold to the touch with just the cover on, it didn’t necessarily feel any cooler against my head once I had popped it into the pillowcase. (I think a pillowcase should come with the OG Sidekick since it won’t fit into any standard case, but you do have to purchase them separately.)
It took some adjusting to find a comfortable position with the cube. My bottom arm felt like it was in the way, and I didn’t know where to put it. I fell asleep fairly quickly after I stopped fidgeting with said arm but woke up a few hours later when I went to switch sides and got frustrated with the cube once again. In my partially awake state, I lost sight of my journalistic goals and tossed the cube aside in favor of my usual plush rectangular pillow. A similar sequence of events occurred throughout the next two nights. I am unfortunately a creature of habit.
Some other things I noticed in my Pillow Cube journey that may be helpful to others: My head was angled slightly up, meaning that the standard height was likely too high for the width of my shoulders. However, this didn’t seem to cause me any significant neck strain. When I went to switch sides, I felt like my head might fall off the pillow since there isn’t much length to work with, which could be pertinent since most people don’t wake up in the exact position that they fall asleep in.
After testing out the original cube pillow and the cooling version, I went back to Pillow Cube’s website to dig a little deeper (probably something I should have done more before selecting the two cubes I tried) and found a quiz that you can take to determine the right size pillow for you.
It was not surprising that the standard cubed Sidekick was not the best choice for me. I’m a stomach sleeper hoping to train myself to be a side sleeper, and I frequently toss and turn in my sleep.
Instead, they suggested the Side Sleeper Pro, which measures 12 by 24 inches (clearly rectangular) in the 4-inch depth, the thinnest size.
When I clicked on the Side Sleeper Pro to learn more, it told me that the larger Side Sleeper Cube is actually the ideal pillow for beds while the Sidekick (actual cube) is best for couch naps and travel.
This was a bit confusing since the Sidekick is the attention-grabbing product that’s plastered across all of the advertisements, so my PSA is that it’s not the best option if you’re looking for a primary bed pillow.
My results also mean that the name of the company and the sizing guide are a bit counterintuitive. Having “cube” in the company name implies that the products are all indeed square-shaped, and my quiz told me that I should opt for the thin size (4 inches thick) while the standard size (5 inches thick) is actually what correlates to my height (they give a range of 5’4” to 6’3” and I am 5’6”).
In conclusion, after my testing and additional exploration, I can see the utility of the Pillow Cube but highly suggest doing your research and taking the quiz before purchasing one. Don’t get the standard Sidekick just because it’s your strongest visual association.
The Side Sleeper Pro is actually better if you plan to use it as your primary pillow, and no matter your height, the thin size may be best for those restless stomach and back sleepers hoping to transition into side sleeping. However, if you know you have broad shoulders, the standard or thick could still be the most comfortable angle for those worried about neck pain.
As someone with frequent digestive issues, acid reflux, and occasional neck pain, I am determined to train myself to be a side sleeper as opposed to flopping onto my stomach with one arm under a squishy pillow for extra support. My arm often falls asleep causing me to wake up and shake out the tingly sensation every few hours.
I believe that the Side Sleeper Pro could be an effective tool for that training, and also likely beneficial for spine and neck alignment for any consistent side sleepers. I would only recommend the Sidekick to 100% side sleepers who want something for couch naps or travel, as is suggested by Pillow Cube (granted, mostly in the fine print).
You can buy the Sidekick from Pillow Cube for around $70.
You can buy the Classic Ice Cube from Pillow Cube for around $160.
You can buy the Side Sleeper Pro from Pillow Cube for around $130.