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Size: KingColor: high loft, firmChange
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on September 10, 2010
A. My Back Story.

I'm a stomach/side sleeper and had been doing research on how a pillow can affect morning back pain. I had been using inexpensive store bought pillows my entire life, but after doing extensive research, and reading every single Amazon review on this product, I decided to try the latex zoned pillow. Initially, I bought the plush version, but I loved it so much, a few weeks later I also bought the firm version, so this review applies to both.

B. The Smell.

First, let me address the top criticism I see in other reviews. True to the other reviews, this pillow does have an initial strong smell (I consider it akin to the new car smell). However, that smell was significantly reduced after just one day, and completely gone within 3 days. Personally, I didn't find the smell offensive enough to even wait a day before use. But, since each person is different, all it takes to get around the smell is to take the pillow out of the sealed plastic bag it comes in, and let it air out a few days before using. The smell will be completely gone forever, so don't let warnings of a strong smell stop you from experiencing this product.

C. The Product in Use.

I have experienced four unique benefits due to this pillow:

1) Spinal column alignment.

This pillow has all but eliminated my back pain. As a stomach sleeper, when my head sinks into the pillow, while my shoulders do not, my spine naturally straightens. I get the same benefit when I sleep on my side. This is a major change from before, where my head and shoulders stayed level, forcing my spine into a slight curve. I find that the slightly extra straightening of the spine has taken away the back pain almost completely.

2) Neck support.

Before I often woke up with a crook in my neck if I were in deep sleep. And if I weren't in deep sleep, I kept waking up to change positions. If you think about it, your head and neck or not flush so when you sleep that way, you're begging for neck pain. Most of us use multiple pillows to create the ideal setup, but whoa to those who fall into deep sleep without doing this, or who move out of the optimal position while sleeping. The way this pillow is designed, the edged of the pillow is firmer than the center, due to the larger size of the holes at the center (hence the term "zoned"). It's hardly noticeable until you lay on it, but because of that small difference, my neck doesn't sink into the pillow with my head, as it would with a regular pillow. My neck remains elevated above my head, and hence no abnormal pressure is applied to my neck while I sleep. The net result is that even when sleeping deeply, I don't wake up with the neck pain anymore.

3) No more hot pillow.

Body heat makes pillows hot. Warm breath makes pillows hot. And, we all know that you lose more heat through your head than any other part of the body. So you end up turning over your pillow or repositioning to avoid the heat. With this pillow, the heat dissipates, and the pillow stays cool, and I get a more relaxing night. I placed my hot laptop on the pillow for a few minutes just to experiment. When I removed it, the pillow was only slightly warm, and even then, only in the exact footprint of the laptop. The whole pillow was cool again within seconds.

4) Great for sitting up in bed.

An added benefit I found, especially after purchasing the firm pillow, was that these pillows are great for propping yourself up in bed. The conform so well, and hold that position, that I've actually dosed off sitting up in bed!

D. Firm vs. Plush.

There is a difference between the firm and plush versions. Preference is going to depend on the individual, but I'll at least share a few thoughts that you might find useful:

1) The plush version is softer than the firmer (I know, but it had to be said). As a result, it conforms better, so this is the version that I actually rest my head and neck on if using only one. This is also the version that will give you that "laying in the clouds" feeling.

2) The firm version is springier, making it significantly less conforming. As a result, it won't give you that perfect body alignment, by itself. However, it is more supportive, and thus it is better for propping up either a body part, or yourself entirely.

3) Neither version is memory foam, and so both return to shape as soon as pressure is released.

4) Both versions dissipate heat well.

All that said, if you are going to only buy one, I recommend going with the plush. However, I find them more useful together. Generally, I find it best to sleep with my arms sandwiched between the two pillows, with my arms actually resting atop the plush pillow. Although this is counter intuitive, I then place the firm pillow atop my arms and rest my head on the firm pillow. That's just the alignment that works best for me right now. It may be different for other people, and it may change for me at some point, but I think it's good to have both just to have options.

E. In Conclusion

I've had these pillows for about a couple of months now, and I still think they're great. They've helped me considerably with getting a better night's sleep, and with morning back and neck pain. I have since bought an additional plush pillow for a friend who was had been waking up with back pain, probably due to being forced to continuously sleep in an unnatural (for her) side position on a couch of relative, who has recently undergone major surgery, and whom she is staying with in order to assist in the recovery. According to her, the pillow has helped to alleviate the pain. So, I wholeheartedly recommend this product.
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VINE VOICEon December 6, 2010
There are already some great reviews on this page that give plenty of detail about how comfortable this pillow is, and indeed, it is a very comfortable pillow. But if you're like me when I was contemplating spending the bucks for this relatively expensive pillow, you're probably having the dilemma of which of the 8...count 'em...8 choices to make.

You can choose between King or Queen size, then you'll need to decide if you want the High Loft/Firm, High Loft/Plush, Low Loft/Firm or Low Loft/Plush. So let me see if with my review I can make this part of the buy easy.

First, unless you're looking for a really slim pillow, you can rule out the Low Lofts. The High Lofts are right where you'd expect a normal pillow's height should be. If you decide to try the Low Loft anyway, I'd recommend the Firm over the Plush; the Low Loft/Firm will keep your head slightly elevated from the mattress while your head basically melts right through to the mattress with the Low Loft/Plush.

The High Loft/Firm keeps your head elevated at "normal" pillow height with a soft give. It's very comfortable and this is the one that I settled on. With the High Loft/Plush your head will smoothly sink to about a quarter of the way into the pillow, and it was a little too much "mush" for me, but my wife was overwhelmingly pleased.

Regarding the "new smell" odor that some of the other reviews mention, I didn't think the "new smell" was at all overpowering and it was really not unpleasant. If when you take the pillow out of the packaging that it arrives in and you find this smell to be undesirable, take the advice that is given in some of the other reviews: let it sit outside of the packaging for a day and wash the pillow cover that comes with it. The new smell on our pillows completely dissipated after the first day.

Hope that helps. Sweet dreams!
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on March 28, 2010
I'm a petite woman who sleeps mostly on her side, and other plush latex pillows I've bought have had too much loft for me. I've experienced whiplash several times, so if my neck is crooked while I sleep, it hurts for days. The plush version of this pillow gives me just the right neck support. As you would expect with latex, it stays cool and never goes flat. The zones work just as I hoped - the outer zone always provides a little extra support under my neck while the middle zone lets my head fall so my neck is at its natural angle.
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on June 15, 2013
Alright, let me start off by saying that I bought both soft and firm high-loft pillows so I can compare. Both pillows are fantastic. But I'll tell you this, don't bother with low loft. The high-lot pillows are only about as tall as the length of your hand, and they compress a lot from there. In fact, the soft high-loft pillow compress to about 1" when you lay on it, which is great for stomach sleepers. But given the compression, low loft is completely unnecessary.

The soft pillow will give you a true floating in clouds feeling which is hard to describe yet extremely comfortable. The firm pillow still has that effect, with less sinking in.

But to be honest, I could quite easily mistake one for the other. I tend to like softer pillows but have found the firm pillow to still be very soft and comfortable.

My only caution is that side sleepers will likely not like the soft pillow. It just compresses too much. Go for the firmer pillow. In fact, if you aren't sure or like to sleep in different positions, go for the firm pillow.

There is a rubber like smell for the first couple of days (I didn't leave them outside to air out, the stench didn't bother me that much). It's permanently gone in both pillows now so in the long run it doesn't matter.

Bottom line is these are the best pillows I've ever bought and they compliment my latex mattress nicely. They really are extremely comfortable.
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on September 12, 2010
As stomach sleepers already know, it is amazingly difficult to find a pillow that provides adequate support without being too lofty and causing neck strain from the height. I have searched the world over trying to find a pillow that would meet my needs. For the last few years I have settled for cheap, flat pillows that needed to be replaced approximately every 6 months because I thought it was the best I could do.

While researching my options I happened upon the natural latex phenomenon and all of its properties so I decided to try this pillow and boy am I happy I did!

The pillow arrives in a nice half plastic, half fabric case with a zipper opening and handle. The pillow comes encased in a surprisingly high quality, luxuriously soft white velour cover with the letter "Z" all over. The cover has a side zipper that is hidden which is a very nice touch. When the cover is removed, there is what I refer to as a lining over the pillow which can be seen in the stock pictures. The pillow itself is somewhat dense and a little heavier than expected with a bit of a bounce to it. As shown in the pictures there is also uniform holes over the majority of the surface which comes from the Talalay manufacturing process. For grins and giggles you should google the Dunlop and Talalay processes. It is rather interesting. Overall, I am very impressed with the quality and construction.

Before I get into the sleep quality let me help quell your fears about previous negative remarks on the smell. I was rather apprehensive that I would have to let the pillow air out for days or even worse that it would be so noxious I wouldn't be able to tolerate it at all. Those fears were alleviated as soon as I opened the case. Don't be mistaken, there is a distinct odor to it. However, it was more oddly sweet and earthy than a sickeningly chemical off-gassing. I slept on it less than 12 hours out of the package and while I could smell it, it wasn't bothersome and I quickly fell into slumber. I suppose those who are super-sensitive to smells might dislike it but I've had other products like my mini trampoline engulf multiple rooms with its stench that didn't dissipate until it was removed from the house altogether.

Now, let me me discuss how this thing actually sleeps. To be honest I was rather giddy about receiving this product so as soon as I had washed the cover I threw my pillowcase on ( Spasilk 100% Pure Silk Facial Beauty Pillowcase ) and tried it out. The feel is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Your head sinks into this conforming uber-soft latex cloud, but there is an astonishing springiness to it which provides support. This juxtaposition of softness and support is hard for me to describe as I am unfamiliar with anything like it. The first night I made the mistake of trying to sleep on it as I would have my old pillows which is to sleep on the very edge where I had previously formed a little groove by moving the fill to either side. The next night I slept with my head in the middle and actually used the outer zone for neck support and it worked beautifully! One note about the zones: The manufacturer touts this as a zoned pillow with the center being slightly softer for your head to rest and the remaining outline of the pillow slightly more dense to provide neck support. If one were to use their hand to try and find these zones they would be sorely disappointed. I tried and could not tell any difference. However, when finding my sweet spot for sleeping, there is a very subtle change which my head and neck could very well notice. I also wanted to mention that not only is this pillow not hot to sleep on like memory foam and other synthetic-type materials, but I have actually woken up cooler every single morning than with my regular pillow. The high today in my city was 93 with humidity in the 70's so this aspect was very important to me.

I will never go back to sleeping on traditional pillows ever again and with a 5 yr manufacturer warranty on this pillow I think the company is betting on it as well but even if it only lasts half of that time it would be well worth the price I paid. I have even ordered NATURAL 2-inch Medium Latex Mattress Pad Topper Queen - PLUS $10 OFF for my brand new yet too-firm memory foam mattress because I am head over heels for the feeling latex provides. I liken it to a Bentley when you're used to a Hyundai. Just try it, you won't be disappointed.

TL;DR
Buy it and thank me later!
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on February 19, 2011
I LOVE these pillows! I purchased two queen high loft plush pillows for me and my hubby. We have used them for about a week now. I couldn't be more in love with mine! Hubby thinks the pillow is too hot for his head, but uses it to "cuddle" with or place between his knees and it works just great for that (he is always hot anyway). I do not think the pillow is hot at all. The plush is very plush and very squishy, which makes it great to use as a cuddler. They are extra long, so I had to purchase king size pillow cases for them and even those are almost too short. Cal King cases might fit the best. I love the extra length because I am a side sleeper. I lay the pillow length-wise and tuck the top half under my head and cuddle the bottom half. Perfect! The squishiness makes the pillow very moldable, so I can form it any way I like. But it is also soft and supportive and pops right back into shape. We have a great new mattress set with a 6" latex pillow top that we adore, so I was pretty sure that we'd like the latex pillows as well. There is a little bit of a latex smell if I bury my nose in the pillow. But then - it's a latex pillow - you can't expect it to smell like a cotton pillow or be completely odor free. I do not notice the smell at all unless, like I said, I bury my face in it. Some people may be simply be more sensitive to smells, but the bottom line is if you buy latex, it's going to smell like latex. But it's also going to feel literally like laying your head on a cloud! I plan on buying two more in firm because we watch tv in bed at night and I think the firm under the plush will give the perfect support for tv watching or reading. I have spent a crazy amount of money over the years looking for the perfect pillow. These pillows may not be the perfect solution for all people, but they are perfect for me!

2 1/2 months later... Best purchase I ever made. Every single night I think, "OMG I love these pillows!" I am so glad I made the investment! Absolutely no problems... and no more neck pains! The pillows have retained their shape, softness, and squishability. They are simply amazing.
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on December 2, 2010
I ordered two Z by Malouf 100% Talalay Latex zoned pillows, one queen high loft firm and one queen high loft plush. The Quality is 100% with both and they are pretty much exactly as said, plush and firm. The cover is also a very nice little bonus (but not cotton). The plush is very soft and cozy but at the same time not too soft, great neck support, and is a very nice sleeping pillow. The firm is hander or more dense, weighs more than the plush and doesn't bend in half as easy. In my opinion the firm is too thick of a pillow for sleeping on your back and gave me a bit of a sour neck even on my side. I LOVE the plush one and would buy again and again but I have a feeling it will last a long time. I ordered The queen plush for my self 5'5 female and the Queen Firm for my 6'3 boyfriend who said he liked a firm pillow. After a month he feels that the firm pillow is too thick for how firm it is and likes mine way more. The plush pillow has more give and your head sinks into the pillow more while the firm one is not as squishy. That being said, the firm makes a great reading in bed pillow or if you like to sit up in bed. I am going to order my BF a plush queen one so he doesn't end up stealing mine. SO, if you are looking for the best pillow ever order this pillow in the high loft plush... You will love it! If you already have the best pillow ever and need one for support, reading, watching TV or fun time, get the firm. I am not sure because I don't own it, but if you like a harder pillow maybe try the less loft pillow in the firm so its not so tall. I read a review that recommended buying both firm and plush if you could afford them because they go nice together on your bed. I hope this helps everyone with their shopping and avoids having to return things or disappointment.
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on June 1, 2012
I now own two flavors of this pillow: 1) Z by Malouf Zoned Talalay Latex Pillow, HIGH LOFT-PLUSH, and 2) Z by Malouf Zoned Talalay Latex Pillow, LOW LOFT-PLUSH. I prefer the low-loft, but it is entirely a matter of preference, and a decision that took actually having both pillows side-by-side to make.

I was fairly confident that I wanted plush as I know I prefer pillow-top beds and squishy pillows. The high loft had my neck at a slight angle, but I had to sleep the whole night before I knew it was uncomfortable. The low loft fit just right, but it looks really flat. In fact, it shipped in a box that looked like it should contain something like a mirror or picture frame, not a pillow.

Here's a dimension comparison according to my measurements. I put both pillows on a cement floor and measured the height at the thickest point with a level and tape measure. For the compressed measurements, I measured the difference in distance of my chin to the floor, with and without the pillow.
- Low-loft: uncompressed is 4.75", compressed is 1.25".
- High-loft: uncompressed is 6", compressed is 2.25".

Other comments:

I've never had a latex pillow before, and really like it compared to standard or down pillows. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night to find myself sleeping on the edge of a squished pillow -- it retains its shape. Squish it, let go, and it springs right back to its original form. I also no longer find myself flipping over my pillow to get the "cool side". I wasn't looking for a cool pillow per-say, but guess I do prefer pillows that don't retain body heat.

As far as the smell other reviewers were concerned about, there was initially some smell there but nothing offensive. The bag the pillows came in smelled, and the pillow smelled if I stuck my nose in it, but I didn't notice it at all while laying on it normally. And the smell has dissipated over time.

My toddler really likes the soft, velour covers that come on the pillows. It's kind of a shame they'll get covered by my Malouf SLEEP TITE Pillow Protector and sheets.
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on May 9, 2012
I have been searching for a side sleeper pillow for 20 years that actually supports my head and neck and reduces the pressure on my spine when I sleep (injured in combat during the first Gulf War). Nothing. After laying on an ISLEEP Mattress and feeling the relief and support of latex I set out to find a latex pillow that could compare. Having tested six different latex and memory foam pillows from Target, Macy's and Bed Bath & Beyond...nothing.

AND THEN....I found the 'Z by Malouf 100% Natural Talay Latex Zoned Pillow' on Amazon by chance and ordered it on faith alone. Suffering from sleep apnea, spinal injuries and alleged snoring (as well as being a hot sleeper too) I had my first cool solid night's sleep in 20 years!!!

The Z by Malouf "supports" the head making it feel as if it is FLOATING above the mattress, leaving the neck and spine in alignment. Using it as neck and back support while sitting up in bed the Z by Malouf supports my 244lb frame from my shoulders above, normal extra firm pillows doubled up failed at this. The Z by Malouf is the perfect width as it is thicker than a normal side sleeper pillow and not as high as two stacked (as I would normally need).

I bought the Z by Malouf as a side sleeper, but have discovered I am waking up after sleeping on my back restful and painfree. Even my 5 yo son has noticed Dad waking up with more energy and in a better mood. :)

I bought the Z by Malouf on Amazon for $69.99 on sale, but will gladly spend the MSRP of $139.99 when purchasing the matching King for our new bed this January.

THANK YOU!!!

Jason Mishak
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on January 12, 2012
I'm a stomach/side sleeper and I have been researching a pillow to replace my Tempur-Pedic Comfort Pillow. I loved my Tempur-Pedic when I first got it. It did have a horrible chemical smell when I first received it that took 2.5 weeks to get rid of! It was firm yet plush so I had the correct amount of support. The problem with the Tempur-Pedic pillow is that it retains a great amount of heat which can be uncomfortable and lost it's support only after 2 years. Since I have owned the pillow for 6 years and beaten it into the ground it was time for a new one.

I decided to purchase both the Queen High Loft Firm and the Queen High Loft Plush just so I have options when I sleep. As I mentioned I prefer a pillow that is on the firm side, but also plush so my neck isn't at an uncomfortable angle. I love both of these pillows! I do use the firm most often, but the plush is a nice alternative as well. The pillows are true to a "normal" pillow size in both height and length. The pillows did have a slight initial smell that wasn't a bad smell at all and only took a day to dissipate (I took them out of their case and "fluffed" them a little bit to help with this process). Speaking of the pillow case they came with, it is the softest material I have ever felt.

The plush lies flatter than the firm when lying on it, but does still offer support. The firm, of course, has more support that I prefer and I think someone who tends to prefer a plush pillow will still be pleased with this choice because it offers a good balance between firm and plush. I had tried a similar pillow (different company) that was too firm and my neck was at a hard angle so don't be afraid by the word "firm". Compared to the Tempur-Pedic, these pillows are not heavy and breathe very well (I have a cool side to a pillow once again!). I am very happy with this purchase and I know these pillows will last a long time.
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