It was time to replace my pillows. Since the beginning of this year, my extremely flattened and compressed one led to painful stiffness in my neck and shoulders… the quality of my rest decreased dramatically! After deliberating on which pillows to buy, I took a gamble on Buffy’s Cloud Pillow via an Instagram ad, and it turned out to be a great purchase. Read more for general background information on Buffy and my review of their Firm Cloud Pillow.
About the company
Buffy is a home goods company that aims to “[rediscover] the powers of combining plant-based materials and sustainable production innovations”. Their first products are bedding-related: first a comforter, and now the Cloud Pillow… These type of goods are usually made from either cotton or down, both of which are environmentally and/or ethically harmful (cotton is water-wasteful and then some; down being reliant on plucking geese for their feathers).
Buffy’s comforter and Cloud Pillow outright reject unethical materials for the more eco-friendly, sustainable option: eucalyptus!
I’m familiar with the tree’s blue gum variant because you see it everywhere in California, where it is a moderately invasive species. It was mistakenly planted as a timber substitute for building material during the Gold Rush, yet it proved not only unfit for that but extremely hard to get rid of, fast-growing, extremely thirsty, and most of all, an awful fire hazard. Having had one in my childhood home’s front yard, I held a mixed opinion for it—liking its ‘medicinal’ scent while wrinkling my nose to its’ constant shed of bark and leaves.
As thirsty as eucalyptus is it still rates lower in water and land usage as cotton—and is much faster to grow. Other perks include better air-circulation: the material stays cool so you’re less likely to overheat in the night.
Besides the naturally-derived eucalyptus, Buffy utilizes manmade materials too. They turned to one material most wouldn’t normally relate to bedding: plastic water bottles. I recently bought Rothy’s durable, flexible shoes also made out of plastic bottles… I didn’t think one could make a soft, fluffy fabric out of them, but here we are. Here’s what they say about it:
We use eucalyptus fiber, also known as lyocell, a sustainable form of rayon. It’s sourced from the wood pulp of renewable eucalyptus trees, which consume 10x less water than cotton to cultivate, and transformed into fiber using a closed-loop system which reuses 99% of solvents to create little-to-no waste.
We do not use virgin polyester in our fill. Instead, we use 100% recycled BPA-free, PET plastic water bottles. These bottles are diverted from oceans and landfills, transformed, and given a second life as a soft, fluffy fiber.
Buffy’s inventive use of eucalyptus fiber and recycled water bottles is a large part of what sold me on trying the Cloud Pillow. Likeminded individuals can rest well knowing their purchase does not fund animal cruelty or the conventional cotton industry.
As my partner and I suffered through our old pillows—which were on the more expensive side—I was hesitant to snatch up another so fast. My scant student budget didn’t allow me to buy similarly-priced replacements, yet I also didn’t want to settle on the cheapest pillows I could find… As a product I use every single night for hours at a time, quality is a very important factor! As far as household items to splurge on, it’s your mattress and your pillows.
The Cloud is priced somewhat competitively to the nicer down-alternative pillows found in department stores but more expensive than the super-affordable options. They were cheaper than the brand we were using (forgetting which one specifically but they were from Bed, Bath & Beyond if I remember correctly).
At the time of my purchase, Buffy offered a sweet deal: $70.00 USD for two pillows (originally priced at $90.00 USD for two, or $45.00 USD for one pillow). The original sticker price isn’t so bad but the deal made it even better! And if I really didn’t like the pillows, I could easily return it within the 7-day trial period.
I bought it directly from the Instagram ad through an easy, straightforward process. Within a few days, it arrived; I wrestled it into our pillow protectors and used it the same day it arrived. Here’s my honest review…
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
They’re pillows, alright. They do exactly what they’re supposed to: support my neck and head while I sleep. I don’t have any complaints, which is probably a good thing. It stays puffed and fluffed during the night.
I’ve had these for about a ~month and a half and noticed that the eucalyptus-fabric-and-special-polyester fill gets a tad lumpy if you don’t fluff it out each morning—doing so quickly fills it out nicely. Such a practice is something you should do each morning anyways to extend your pillow’s life to the fullest.
Buffy touts their comforter as a breathable, cooling option for those who overheat easily during their REM cycle. Over this summer, we’ve had a few hot days in the Bay Area and the pillow cooled me down efficiently by turning it over just once during the night as opposed to several times with my past pillows. My partner, who runs really hot and only sleeps under just a single blanket (in comparison, I sleep with three) has mentioned that his head doesn’t get as sweaty as it used to get with our old pillows. All in all, there is some small bit of truth regarding breathability and coolness to these pillows.
Purchasing them was seamless, they give accurate shipping updates over email and the process could not have been smoother. Yet, as beautiful as it is, their website leaves some room for the Cloud Pillow’s imagination when it comes to the FAQ page. They have care instructions for both their comforter and their eucalyptus sheets, but not the Cloud Pillow! Prospective buyers would probably want to know that the Cloud Pillow’s only recommended instructions is dry cleaning. But honestly, who takes their pillows to the dry cleaners?
Although you can easily find instructions on how to wash your pillows by machine, some company-endorsed washing machine instructions would be helpful as well. Can we treat the Cloud Pillow, with its unique PET-bottle fill, the same as you would a synthetic-down pillow? I can only assume they’re as delicate as down pillows and wash it accordingly.
As far as I’m concerned, these pillows get the job done while the customer service(?) leaves some to be desired. I wouldn’t say this is the only pillow brand I’d ever use, but it is a good pillow for what it’s worth and I like the eco-friendly alternative fabrics and fill they utilize. I expect that over time, other companies will develop and use eucalyptus fabric and other sustainable fibers for similar products… but perhaps I’d consider buying more Buffy’s products, especially if they keep up their innovative ideas.
Originally published on my old blog, The Plant That Never Blooms (on Blogspot)