My brother and I used to stage boxing matches in our room, using our pillows as gloves. Sometimes our friend Brian would join, using his superior size and Bald Bull Charge to great advantage. More often than not, the cheap filling from the pillows would shift such that we were essentially engaged in a bare-knuckle brawl.
Then there was the time we were in the midst of a pitched battle that followed more conventional pillow fight parameters. Leaping from my bed, I brought my cottony cudgel down in what should have been a game-changing blow. And it was, just not in the same way I’d pictured it.
The plan had been to turn my opponents’ lights out, but I ended up getting a little more literal. No sooner had the deadly arc of my fury began than the room darkened appreciably and I heard the sound of breaking glass. One of the now-exposed lightbulbs was dim and the square glass shade was lying in shards on the floor. Only after seeing this did I feel the pinch in my hand and realize that I was bleeding.
That’s when my dad came in and delivered the somber news that Magic Johnson had just announced that he’d contracted HIV. It was a very strange scene.
I don’t do much boxing these days, but I managed to start a bit of an online pillow fight a little while back. Shortly after publishing the results of my trials of both the GhostPillow and MyPillow, I was contacted by Joe Alexander — who happens to be the great-nephew of Cubs great Grover Cleveland Alexander — of Nest Bedding. He was touting the virtues of their Easy Breather, which Men’s Journal had reviewed as the best all-around pillow out there.
After a little banter with the GhostBed folks, Alexander agreed to let me try out an Easy Breather to see how it stacked up. After finding out about his lineage, I figured it was the least I could do. He later provided me with the Buster Posey spoonerism “Bustey Poser,” which is nearly as valuable as the pillow itself.
When it comes to pillows, I can understand how it might be hard to justify dropping nearly $100 when you can pick up dozens of cheaper options at Target or Wal-Mart. For some folks, it might not matter. But while I have maintained my youthful habit of staying up way too late, my body isn’t capable of bouncing back as quickly in the morning. As such, I need to get the best sleep I can. Enter better pillows.
When the Easy Breather arrived, it was vacuum-sealed and didn’t look like much of anything. But, man, was it dense. As I opened the plastic wrap, the pillow expanded at what seemed like an exponential rate. It was obvious from the weight and thickness of the material that it was well-made (even the texture of outer shell had a luxurious look and feel), though I worried about the size. After all, it barely even fit in a standard pillowcase.
One of the features of the Easy Breather, though, is that the zipper on the side allows you to remove some of the fill for a more customized fit. I kept it as-is to start, which was a mistake. The pillow was so big that I had to sleep on a corner of it and shift around quite a lot. While watching Captain America: Civil War the following evening, I pulled out several handfuls — read: more than full plastic grocery bag — of the CertiPUR certified foam filling to cut things down to size. Muuuuuch better.
The strength of the EB is its customizable nature and the fact that it’s soft and firm at the same time. It’s got the support of a solid-state foam pillow but the comfort of down or other fill. And because it starts out so large, I have to think it’d be great for bigger individuals or those who prefer to sleep with two pillows. My kids love sleeping propped up on pillows or couch cushions, so they both enjoyed their nights with this bad boy.
I had really been enjoying the MyPillow, but the Nest offering is dangerously close to becoming my go-to. Truth be told, you can’t go wrong either way and I plan to employ them both moving forward to see if I can eventually determine a victor. Well, if I can keep the Easy Breather away from my kids.