According to a study by the National Library of Medicine 33% of the adult population are struggling with chronic insomnia. Let’s be honest – many of us struggling to fall asleep blame it on uncomfortable pillows that are either soft and supportless or simply tough. Product designers rush to rescue developing truly innovative pillows aiming to combat sleepless nights.
Developed by a team from TU Delft, Netherlands in partnership with sleep disorder experts and patients, Somnox is a soft robotic pillow that uses controlled breathing to improve people’s sleep. By cuddling up to the pillow the user can physically feel the calm breathing rhythm and subconsciously adopt it, which means Somnox literally soothes them to sleep.
The device is based around research that has suggested calm breathing influences the amygdala in the brain, which plays a role in emotional wellbeing. Sensors embedded into the pillow collect data to determine whether the user is awake or asleep. The device then uses an algorithm to interpret the data and changes its own breathing in response, helping the user induce a slow, regular rhythm of breathing. According to the team, this allows the user to relax, so they can drift off to sleep faster and stay asleep for longer.
Built-in Bluetooth speakers can be used to listen to relaxing music or a bedtime story, but the most exciting part about this sleep companion is that it can also be set to emit gradually increasing light to simulate a sunrise in the mornings.
Stack Pillow designed by California-based studio Shengxi Design provides the right amount of support, while boasting the comfort to be found in luxuriously soft hotel pillows. The pillow’s unique construction is comprised of a dual-layer system. While the upper vegan down layer is responsible for the softness and supreme breathability, the lower layer is made from bio memory foam that ensures the right position of the user’s head and spine.
In-between the two there is a breathable micromesh made using Nephrite, which increases the thermal conductivity of the mesh by 19x. This means the pillow can keep the user’s hands and neck cool at night. Besides, the empty space between the two layers acknowledges one of the most primitive sleeping patterns where you put your hand underneath your head as you sleep on your side.
As the pillow’s name suggest, the Stack Pillow comes with additional mini stacks for head or neck, designed to provide the kind of support that is needed based on the user’s body type. These slide into the pillow through the gap in the center, allowing for the pillow’s versatility.
The Tencel eucalyptus silk fabric is chosen for the pillow cover because of its natural antimicrobial qualities as well as the coolness and comfort it provides.
The extraordinary pillow designed by Paris-based Bina Baitel Studio in collaboration with textile designer Luce Couillet addresses the problems of reduced mobility from the angle of functional and visual comfort. Named Soufflet, the design comprises an adjustable remote-controlled pillow that allows the chest or legs to be raised with without any effort.
The fan-shaped structure is made of cotton fabric and includes an air pumping system, that can be changed by a simple touch on the switch. When folded, the pillow can be easily transported to be then used while reading, watching TV or sleeping in both indoor and outdoor environments.
The project has been funded under the DGCIS VATEX program”Valorization of textiles in furnishings and the living environment”, carried by the R3ilab and supported by VIA and FCBA, who brought their valuable expertise to this project.