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Mediflow founder Maurice Bard dreamed up the idea for the water pillow after suffering injuries in a car collision more than 25 years ago. Bard placed a hot water bottle under his pillow and was inspired to design a pillow that offered the same comfort and responsive neck support.
With the help of specialists, Bard engineered a pillow with an internal envelope that can be filled with or drained of water to adjust the pillow loft and firmness. Today, the water pillow is available through Mediflow, it’s subsidiary Chiroflow, and a number of competitors. Read on to learn more about this innovative product with our guide to the best water pillows of 2020.
From the inventors of the original water pillow, the Water Pillow by Mediflow is our favorite model for 2020. The pillow features an upper layer filled with breathable, hypoallergenic Dacron Hollofil fiber over an insulated water pouch base.
As with other water pillows, the Water Pillow by Mediflow adjusts to head movement, contouring the head and neck as you shift positions. The whole pillow is wrapped in a 200 thread count pure cotton cover. The Water Pillow by Mediflow was a subject of clinical trial by John Hopkins University, which concluded the pillow offers superior pain relief — particularly for the neck — compared to other pillows.
The pillow is available in one size: jumbo, or 28 x 20 x 4.5 inches. The Water Pillow by Mediflow comes with free shipping within the U.S. and is backed by a 30-day sleep trial and a three-year warranty for manufacturing errors.
Our pick for Best Price, the Blissbury SpineRight Adjustable Water Pillow sets itself apart from other pillows with its low cost and adjustable upper layer. While all water pillows have an adjustable water base, the Blissbury SpineRight allows sleepers to add or remove filling from the upper layer of Dacron fiber.
The pillow ships with 100 grams of extra Dacron fiber for increasing the pillow’s loft and firmness as desired, in addition to a water-filling funnel and waterproof seal.
The Blissbury SpineRight Adjustable Water Pillow is wrapped in a soft, hypoallergenic bamboo material in a choice of Summer White or Dolphin Grey. The cover is removable and may be washed in a conventional machine.
The Blissbury SpineRight Adjustable Water Pillow comes in a Large or Queen size that measures 28 x 20 x 6 inches. Blissbury offers a 30-day “satisfaction guarantee” trial in addition to a one-year warranty against production defects.
To engineer the Mediflow Water Pillow: Memory Foam, manufacturers upgraded the original pillow’s Dacron fiberfill to European memory foam. The upper layer of memory foam contours the head and neck as the insulated water chamber below responds to movement.
The memory foam is ventilated with airflow pockets to prevent the overheating associated with traditional memory foam pillows. The whole pillow is covered in a hypoallergenic polycotton shell with a 300-thread count.
The Mediflow Memory Foam water pillow comes in a single size: 25 x 17.5 x 5.5 inches. The pillow ships free to 50 states and is backed by a 30-day return window and three-year warranty.
Another water pillow from Mediflow, the Floating Comfort model is stuffed with a hypoallergenic Micro Denier Fiberfill designed to mimic the feel of down.
The soft upper layer of down alternative filling is supported by an insulated water base that responds to head movement during the night, helping to prevent the down-like material from compressing or losing its shape. The Floating Comfort Down Alternative is wrapped in a poly cotton sateen shell with a 200 thread count.
Mediflow’s down alternative pillow comes in a single size: jumbo, or 28 x 20 x 6 inches. As with other Mediflow products, the pillow includes a 30-day trial and three-year warranty.
To help you identify the best water pillow brand and model for your needs, we discuss different water pillow designs, pros and cons, sizing, and more in the buying guide below.
Though the name suggests a simple pillow filled with water, the water pillow is comprised of a fairly sophisticated design.
Although specifics and materials may vary from model to model, the basic composition of every water pillow is the same: a layer of fiber or other material with a thin, fillable sac of water as the base. This internal water sac is made from a resilient, insulated material to prevent heat transfer and bacterial growth. The sac can be filled with tap water to achieve desired height and firmness through a funnel via a valve in the pillow.
Aside from their interior water pouch, water pillows look and function much the same as traditional pillows. Similar to conventional pillows, water pillows may be filled with a variety of materials. Different fillings within a water pillow may provide different levels of support, firmness, and feel while interacting with the water sac below.
The most common types of water pillow fill include:
Due to its unique construction, a water pillow is able to offer a number of benefits over traditional pillows. The water chamber base supports the upper layer of fiber, memory foam, down, or down alternative, preventing the pillow from compressing or losing its shape over time. The water chamber responds to head movement, supporting the weight and conforming to the shape of the head and neck as the sleeper shifts positions.
With the help of the firm water pouch, water pillows are able to maintain their shape without fluffing throughout the night.
Potential benefits associated with water pillows include:
Potential drawbacks associated with water pillows include:
Because of their conforming capabilities and adjustable height and firmness, water pillows are a good choice for many different types of sleepers.
Water pillows may be particularly suited for the following users:
Alternatively, water pillows may be less suitable for the following types of sleepers:
In addition, different water pillow fillings may be better suited for certain sleepers than others. Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when selecting a water pillow filling:
Water pillows are available in a variety of sizes, though exact specifications may vary by brand. The basic size ranges for water pillows include:
Beyond design, there are several other factors to take into account when purchasing a water pillow. Before making a buying decision, consider the following:
Cleaning: Review the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to determine whether your potential pillow has a removable cover that is machine washable, or if it is spot clean only. Note whether the pillow itself can be washed or if it requires special cleaning.
Mattress Encasement: Although water pillows from reputable brands have an excellent track record for avoiding leaks, you may want to use a waterproof mattress encasement to provide an additional layer of protection for your bed against fluids.
Shipping & Delivery: Note the shipping costs and delivery policies for the water pillow. Does the manufacturer offer free shipping to your location? In addition, if you are ordering through Amazon, look to see if the pillow is eligible for free, two-day delivery under Amazon Prime.
Warranty & Returns: If the manufacturer offers a refund policy, note the return window. Familiarize yourself with the warranty of your water pillow. Warranty length can show how much confidence the company puts behind the product. In addition, knowing the water pillow’s warranty may be useful in the event you find a defect after the return window has expired.