Sleepopolis editors tested and tried out several new products and techniques that were popular on social media during Mental Health Awareness Month. This was done to find solutions for those people who have sleep issues that are clearly linked to their mental health. Please note that these methods are not intended to be interpreted as endorsements, or recommendations; our goal is simply to report on our own experience.
Let’s talk about pillows. Let’s talk pillows. There’s no item that is more subjective when it comes to bedding than the pillow we rest our head on for a third of our lives. When presented with so many options, we all become Goldilocks. Too squishy or too firm, the middle is always too small, and it’s always too sunk down. Or not enough. You get the picture.
I was adamantly aware of my condition in the early days of the pandemic and, as someone who works at a computer every day, this news was inevitable. I had a slipped disk in my lower spine. Physical therapy has helped me, so I decided to try a new pillow that was designed specifically as a home physical therapy product. Enter: the Kanuda piano air pillow (249, Amazon.com).
Yes, it is a high price for a single cushion. You get what you pay… but only if you are a certain type of person who has specific physical needs. If you are experiencing chronic pain or sleep problems, it’s always best to consult your doctor. If you are a back sleeper who suffers from neck or shoulder pain, this might be worth trying.
What is the Piano Air Pillow?
Kanuda claims to be the “maker” of the first pillow with built-in physiotherapy techniques. We can’t verify this, but if it’s true, it’s an impressive feat. The pillow is longer and thinner than a standard one, with a concave depression at the back of the head. It also comes with a thin, silk pad if you want a little more loft.
The physical therapy benefits are centered around Craniosacral Therapy. Kanuda claims that all of their pillows, including the Piano Air pillow, are designed to mimic two popular chiropractors’ exercise: Compression of fourth ventricle CV4 and Occipital Cranial base Release (OCBR).
This is not a purchase that focuses on sustainability. It’s made with “tensegrity” foam (polyurethane) and a liner of a polyester/rayon mix. It’s not a bad product, but it is worth mentioning.
Who is the Piano Air Pillow for?
This pillow is designed for those who have been diagnosed with back, neck or shoulder problems, or mild neck pain and suspect that their pillow may be the culprit. Kanuda recommends this pillow for side and back sleepers. I couldn’t imagine going to bed with my side feeling obstructed. Here’s the basic breakdown:
Who should try it:
- Back sleepers
- Anyone experiencing neck pain in the morning?
- Physical therapy patients who receive the OK from their practitioner
Who should not try it:
My Experience with the Piano Air
A representative for the brand suggested that I read a guide on the four different orthopedic pillows available from Kanuda before buying anything. A quick tip: Because the Piano Air is such a unique shape, you may want to grab its Modal pillowcase ($38).
I have a slipped disk that causes lower back pain and neck tension. My habit of working on my laptop on my couch isn’t helping, but no one is perfect, right? I’ve been doing physical therapy, and have a few little exercises to do. A turbo-charged cushion that could turbo-charge my PT sounded irresistible.
The Kanuda is a thin pillow, and the center portion is even lower than a standard pillow. I’m a combo sleeper who usually falls asleep on my side, and wakes up on my back. It was a little strange to drift off to sleep with a perfectly angled face-up position. After the first two nights, it was easy to change this habit.
After using the pillow for a week, I can say that I haven’t felt any neck pain. You know the urge we all feel to stretch our entire body, arms raised, when we wake up? After using the Kanuda pillow for a few weeks, I no longer felt the need to perform this dramatic ritual. My PT exercises have gotten a little easier, but I can’t entirely credit the pillow. After showing him photos of the Kanuda pillow, I asked my physical therapy for his unofficial opinion. His response was that any little bit helps. The Kanuda will help you to stay upright and avoid compromising positions (for your health!). positions. I was perfectly aligned all night.
Mental Health Benefits
Mental and physical health are closely linked, especially when it comes to back and neck pain. I agree with my PT that the Kanuda is a great option, especially if your sleep position is causing you physical problems. We all know that a good 7 to 8 hour sleep is essential for mental health. If you have some spare change, the Kanuda is a great way to soothe any loose disks to sleep.
We understand how important it is to choose a chiropractor that is right for you. It is our belief that educating our patients is a very important part of the success we see in our offices.