After a few weeks with a tweaked neck I decided that my down pillows were letting me, well...down. So I began researching my pillow options. I was lured by the title of the store into Relax the Back on Van Ness. They carried Tempur-Pedic pillows. I tried out several on a bed. I asked various questions of the salesperson, who was helpful. But I failed to ask the most important question.
I purchased a medium Tempur-Pedic neck pillow. Like most pillows it was non-returnable, but very expensive, exceeding $100. Still, I was excited by the prospect of a good night's sleep. And then it hit me, the horrible smell I encountered upon unwrapping the pillow at home.
The chemical smell filled my small San Francisco apartment. I realized, horrified, my pillow was off-gassing. None of my online research on pillows had turned up off-gassing as a possible concern. But this stink was strong and I am not someone who has sensitivities. I don't even have allergies.
The smell of this pillow was so bad I haven't been able to actually use the pillow. I've washed the cover and have aired the pillow out next to an open window for going on three weeks now and still the pillow stinks.
Actually the whole deal stinks. I was pretty appalled that the store salesperson didn't mention the possibility. But from subsequent research it seems I'm not the only one who has discovered all this the hard way.
So what should you look for? Look for a certification by Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Global Organic Textile Standard cotton.