Review: Zeeq Smart Pillow
Every night I slept like a dream, at least that's what this connected sleeping device told me
UPDATE: On March 31, 2020, REM-Fit announced it was closing its doors once its remaining supply is sold, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The company says the closure may be "temporary," and will reassess when or if it can re-open after what it called a "new normal" returns.
Zeeq Smart Pillow falls into the smart sleeping cadre of devices — the side table, under-the-mattress products that watch over you as you slumber and reveal all the secrets of how you sleep. Zeeq adds a side promise: to stop someone from snoring as well, giving a vibration when it hears a certain decibel of sound coming from someone at night. We gave Zeeq a try for a week — on two different people —after the company sent us their $200 pillow.
Zeeq Smart Pillow: Getting Started
You don't need to do much to Zeeq to get started. The pillow needs a battery — but that's it — and each battery should last about two weeks, according to the company. Tucked into a washable pillow case, you can put it right on your bed from the box, or wash the cover if you choose.
The pillow is wired with a remote control, two vibrating sensors, and eight speakers. Yes, your pillow can play you a lullaby as you sleep. The speakers connect to an iOS or Android smartphone, Amazon Alexa and can play audio books, music — anything you want to stream as you fall asleep. You can set a time for the audio to shut off in the Zeeq app. You're going to want to download that app and connect to it before you put your head down for the night.
You can set up an alarm in the app. Each feature, snoring, music, data and alarm are either purple or black — the former means it's working, the later means it's not working. You start by clicking on the big Start Sleep button in the app, and then you're ready to nod off, if you can.
Do note that this is a heavy pillow — and that's likely because it's chock full of wired tech. But you're going to have a hard time finding all that connected technology. While the remote was apparent, tucked into a little pocket on one side of the pillow, we couldn't find the speakers easily, although we could hear them.
Zeeq Smart Pillow comes with extra filling to boost the firmness of the pillow.GearBrain
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Zeeq Smart Pillow: Snoring police
For the first few nights, Zeeq rested under the head of someone who had a tendency to snore a bit at night. The snoring feature on Zeeq was particularly appealing to tester one — who found that there were zero reports of snoring while using the pillow. That's not to say Zeeq didn't pick up on some audio in the middle of the night.
The app register noise levels in decibels, and during that first test these ranged from 54 to 56 decibels, peaking in upper 80s. But the pillow works by vibrating as hard as you want —gently or shaking you fairly decently — when it detects decibels that you pick. We did a test of the motor to make sure the sensors worked, which you can do through the app, and they did. While sleeping, we didn't know if the snoring just abated those nights or the sensor did its job.
Zeeq Smart Pillow: Data miner
Like other sleeping devices, Zeeq tracks how you snooze at night. Besides the decibel levels, the pillow also track how often you move, giving you a total of how many restful sleep minutes you have each night. Movements hit in the upper 20s for the first tester, resulting in a score of 90 to 92 every night.
Moving the pillow to the second tester is where we found some concerns. The second person is not a restful sleeper, nor a snorer. And yet data mirrored almost exactly to the first person. Decibel levels averaging 54, with a peak of 84. Zeeq also noted that this person had sleep movements also in the upper 20s, and nailed 6 hours and 40 minutes of restful sleep — when they had been out of bed with insomnia for more than a full hour of that.
Zeeq Smart Pillow lets you set alarms, play music for a set amount of time and put on a snore alarm to nudge you.GearBrain
Zeeq Smart Pillow: Lullaby
Zeeq can play music from your iTunes collection, Spotify, and some natural sound tracks already part of the app. This is not a smart speaker though. The sound is soft, so soft that you're not going to really hear it unless your head is on the pillow itself. That's actually ideal — and we found that part of the pillow's tech really relaxing. You could actually imagine it in a yoga studio or meditation room.
Zeeq Smart Pillow: To sleep or not to sleep
The pillow for all its smarts feels very soft, like a mix of down and foam. Fearful of sounding a bit like that famous fairy tale, both testers found it not too hard, not too soft. The pillow also comes with extra fill, so you can puff it up a bit if you choose. The issue of the pillow's comfort was never in question.
Still, $200 for a pillow that seems to give up data that doesn't mirror how you're sleeping is not ideal. Zeeq does have nice additions, including the ability to play music or sound effects for a set period of time while you drift off at night. But could you use a smart speaker or even your smartphone? Having all of these features rolled into one device is certainly a nice plus — as long as the data is not something you feel is crucial to your sleep.