Consumerism Report: The $168 Pillow That Has Not Made Me More Beautiful

I bought it because I am afraid of being dead

Sleep Crown over-the-head pillow
Sleep Crown
sleep well

This is a recurring series about all my devices. I’d like to clarify that it is NOT a tech column — it’s about spending money to speed up self-transformation, and then buying more stuff when that doesn’t work. And so I have acquired an endless array of devices: from products that promise to make my face look more triangular and the skin around my eyes less purple to ones that shrink specific parts of my salt-logged body. Do any of them work? Read on.

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I purchased the Sleep Crown, an over-the-head pillow retailing for $168, because I am afraid of being dead. Since I was little, when my only devices were a ConAir Quick Twist and a Gameboy Advance, I’ve equated the act of falling asleep to the process of dying. In order to fall asleep, I have to be distracted so I don’t think so hard about what’s actually happening, how my heart rate is dropping off and my body temperature is lowering and my eyes are rolling backwards into their sockets. A good way to keep the mind busy after 11 pm is to assign yourself a task while you’re in bed. For example, demo-ing an exciting new product that’s just come to the online marketplace.

The Sleep Crown is a pillow that looks like a comedy-sized puffy sleep mask without the velcro strap, or like a flat ass in a pair of sagging cotton-lycra leggings, or like an uninspired cloud, shaped literally like a cloud rather than like two elephants kissing, or whatever. It is easy to use, a hallmark of many of my favorite devices: You lay it on top of your head when you sleep, like you might with a plain Jane rectangular pillow. The thing about the Sleep Crown, though, that really makes it worth $168, is that it has an arched opening to accommodate the bridge of your nose. Thus, the Sleep Crown stays stable resting over your face, instead of behaving like a pillow see-saw in which your head is the fulcrum.

Sleep Crown

The party line of the Sleep Crown corporation is that it “blocks natural and artificial light,” “muffles ambient sound,” and “gives gentle pressure to the head — very relaxing to the body.” I agree. It is smushy in a way most pillows aren’t, and while it is meant to lie over the face unsecured, it is highly adaptable. I like to wrap the Crown tightly around my head and neck so that I feel cradled like I would in the arms of an unlicensed chiropractor or one of those hair-washing sinks.

Even with the added comfort, I’m not sleeping any better than I was before, and as such, the Sleep Crown has yet to make me smarter, more beautiful, better-tempered, or a more vibrant member of my online and physical communities. But the part of my brain that tells me I can buy myself out from my self-hatred (using Klarna or Afterpay, if I must) is, unfortunately, the same spot where the torn and crumpled packaging of my old sense of optimism lives: could this be the best thing ever manufactured, and I’m the problem? Is this the best thing I’ve ever owned? I guess, yes, unequivocally the Sleep Crown is now my favorite of all my devices.

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(I would also love an item to accompany this sleep crown called the Noble Body Pillow. The Noble Body Pillow is $339. I have imposed a few limits for myself on that which I indulge, but I suppose this is one of them.

This body pillow does seem like a pretty good substitute for a lover, or even for a dog with an interior life so rich he won’t let you cuddle him. But I’ve had boyfriends before, and I never let them cradle me. Too warm. But that was then, and I’d like to be new now. I am not so young anymore; I don’t want to die alone, or die at all. I am waiting for someone to change my life for me. Until then, I will try to rest, if I can.)