Sound Asleep: the talking pillow

The Sound Asleep pillow is a neat idea. It’s a pillow – just say if I’m going too quickly for you – with a little wire attached, which in turn connects to a small speaker inside the stuffing. There’s another wire provided with which you connect to an MP3 player, computer or anything else with a standard earphone socket, and it plays music, talking books, whatever you want, very quietly. It has to be quietly so you don’t risk waking your partner up. There’s no need for batteries or to plug it in to an external power supply as it’s self-powered.

Sounds simple? It is, and at first glance I liked it very much indeed – practiced using it watching a bit of telly on the computer, and last night my wife had it plugged into the iPad and she didn’t disturb me at all – OK, there was a bit of a murmur from the speaker but cars driving past outside made more noise. And of course she didn’t get tangled up with wires as she might if she turned over wearing headphones.

So far, so excellent. Only…then my wife inspected it a bit more closely. She found the inscription on the care tab, “do not wash”. She also found the word “polyester”.

And here we enter the realm of “more information than you particularly wanted”. In summer when it’s hot I tend to perspire quite a bit. Even if I didn’t, I’m likely eventually to want to wash any pillow I use – the thought of declining completely to do so is frankly icky. I can’t, though, wash this.

One thing that helps, though, is if I have a good quality pillow – something whose cover is made of a good grade of cotton. It makes quite a difference. And of course it would push the costs up.

So I have mixed feelings about this little lifestyle gadget. The immediate benefit is great, I can attest that it performs its function perfectly. Now, if the manufacturer were to speak to P2i, who I mentioned in the waterproof boot blog last week (they treat things to be ultra waterproof and now look at electronics as well as garments so you could protect the speakers for washing) and make a premium version with better grades of breathable covering, you’d have something magical.

As it is, as long as you’re not a freak like me this is an excellent buy.

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