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I first discovered these magnificent micro-bead cushions a few years ago. Since then I have acquired multiple Softeeze cushions in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. Some I have purchased for myself, and others for envious family members who have been really impressed with how comfy and cosy they are to snuggle in to... It is quite possible that I am single-handedly keeping Softeeze in business!!
The external part of this cushion is made with a spandex-nylon fabric which makes it smooth to touch, and super stretchy yet durable. Inside is a vast quantity of polystyrene micro-beads that I love to give a good squish! The seams are double stitched which keeps the micro-beads securely inside the cushion. These small tube shaped cushions are most commonly available in black or blue. I have seen other colours advertised online but they appear to be constantly out of stock, though I did manage to get hold of a red one for my sister which fits in nicely with her home decor.
These Softeeze cushions are very versatile. Because of their size (34 cm x 18 cm) and the fact that they are lightweight they are good for travelling with, and due to their shape they are easy to wrap around your body for comfort and support wherever it is required. When I am in a sitting position I place the cushion behind my back and the micro-beads mold to fit the contours of my body. It feels soft and comfortable and helps me to relax. I have also found they offer good support while in a laying position. Sometimes I can be quite a restless sleeper and my arms and legs flail around all over the place as if I'm performing some weird night time acrobatics. Strangely, other times I can sleep like a log and end up lying in the same position throughout the night. It is on these occasions that I used to wake in the morning with terrible back pain. I sleep on my side, and since I started placing a Softeeze cushion between my knees at bed time it prevents my lower back and hips from twisting and I no longer wake up in a grumpy mood caused by back pain.
The cushions also come inside a carry bag which is convenient when I'm off on my travels because it provides somewhere to store the cushion while not in use and prevents it from getting grubby. I have taken the cushion on camping trips as it helps me to lounge and relax and makes our awful camping chairs more tolerable to sit on! I have also found they provide sufficient neck support while I am trying to have a little snooze in the passenger seat on long car journeys. I have tried the 'U' shaped neck supports before but I don't really like them.
I bought one of these tube shaped cushions for my sister when she was suffering from awful back pain and could not get comfortable during her pregnancy. She absolutely loved the cushion, and though it did not completely rid her of the pesky back pain, it certainly helped and she was able to get herself and the expanding baby bump into a more comfortable position! Furthermore, when my other sister spent quite some time in hospital last year I bought her a heart shaped Softeeze cushion which really cheered her up and was a great comfort to her as the one hospital pillow she had was not at all soft or pleasant to rest her head on.
The only problem that I have with these cushions is that over time the micro-beads do get squashed down a bit and the cushion loses its plumpness. The seams are all stitched up and I am therefore unable to replenish the micro-beads. Although the cushions are still effective in providing comfort and support, they have started looking a little baggy, like there is more space inside for micro-beads to fill!
When I had a bad back I had to bring a cushion into work so that I had more support in my chair. I could not find a cushion comfortable enough until someone gave me a Softeeze cushion such as this one. The microbeads moulded to the small of my back and it felt very supportive making life at the desk much more comfortable.
==Price and availability==
You can buy the softeze from Amazon and it costs £9.00. So far on Amazon you can buy it in black or pink; the one I was given is black. I am unsure if it comes in other colours.
The cushion measures 34 cm x 18 cm. The small Tube Cushion is perfect for travelling, cuddling, back support, stress relief or for just relaxing with. The cushion is very soft with the extra material being soft to the touch and slightly stretchy; it is almost like lycra but less pliable. The cushion is filled with thousands of microbeads which you can touch through the fabric. They are like bean bags but much smaller so they mould easier to the contours of your body. The cushion moulds, stretches and squidges into any shape you want. The cushion is machine washable so you can throw it in a machine; this is good as the cover cannot be removed. It would be rather unhygienic to have a cushion where the cushion cannot be washed. The cushion can also be tumble dried. The cushion comes with a carry case cover so you can take it travelling.
The cushion was perfect for my back troubles as it absorbed a lot of the pressure on my spine and it made sitting in the work chairs much more bearable. The cushion is designed for back stress and pressure and this is the reason why it was given to me. I really like the feel of it, it feels quite relaxing and it is not noisy to lay on like a bean bag is. You can compress it smaller into a backpack if you were going to take it travelling which is also a good point. What I like best through his that you do with it whatever you want, you can balance your meal on it, lay your arm on it, lean on it, and even lay your head on it. It is good for taking on a plane and using as a headrest. I am pleased with the cushion I managed to acquire, my friend said I could keep it once I had got over my back problems; bonus!
I'm always trying to find new solutions for my snoring problem, and my latest attempt at decibel reduction has been sleeping with a Softeeze micro-bead cushion.
First of all, what is a micro-bead cushion? Essentially, it is a cushion filled with tiny plastic beads. These beads make it very squishy and due to their small size, they tend to conform to your body more ably than something made of fibres or feathers will. These cushions are made by a company called Jagabon Trading, and come in many shapes and sizes. The original product is tube shaped, with a synthetic cover that's both stretchy as well as soft.
So, why did I buy this? When something conforms to your body, it also helps give those areas of your body support and I was looking to get something that would keep my neck well supported. That's why I thought that this cushion would help me with my window rattling. I figured, if my head is held in a straight line with my spine (via neck support), then my airways will be less constricted. With clearer breathing passages, I assumed I could reduce the offensive noises that come from them.
Alas and alack, this was not totally to be, and I feel that any lessened sound levels I've been able to achieve have probably been due to my losing almost 2 stone and my increased physical activities. However, all is not lost. While this cushion gives me the worst bed-head (meaning: how your hair looks when you wake up in the morning) I've ever experienced, I can't say that this is totally uncomfortable to sleep on. The beads really do support my neck and head nicely and while the synthetic cover is a tad on the slippery side, if I put it inside a case, that sliding sensation is greatly reduced. Of course, it is a great deal smaller than a normal pillow and so there's a good deal of the cover that is left over, but that's not too terrible. Had I a choice, I probably would have liked to have purchased one of these that is the same size as a standard bed cushion to see how that works. Still, I feel that I sleep well with this, but not a great deal better than with a conventional pillow.
I've also noticed that this feels warmer to the touch than regular cushions which make winter slumber more comfortable. The reason for this is that the filling is made out of recycled plastics - much like those thermal fleece jackets they make these days, so you're also being "green" when you buy one of these. Also, because I never remove the one pair of earrings I wear even at night, I find that this pillow actually keeps my jewellery from jabbing me while I sleep, so that's certainly something in its favour.
I bought mine through firebox.com and their price of £6.95 seems to be the going rate. I should mention that these are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. While they don't seem to sell them in a size for use inside a regular pillow case, they do have "U" shaped ones which are probably ideal for trying to sleep on planes. Even so, I'm convinced that my tube shaped one will still be a great travelling companion in the future, and I hope to test this very soon. All in all, while this hasn't solved my snoring problem, (and to be fair, that wasn't what this pillow was meant to do) I think I still got something pretty good and I'll recommend it but give it only four stars since I don't care much for the cover and how my hair looks like a rat's nest when I wake up.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © March, 2008
PS: Nar2 correctly asked about cleaning this. According to the label, it is 100% machine washable and dryable, in case you're interested (sorry, I couldn't find an appropriate place to put this inside my review above).
As mentioned above, I found these on firebox.com but I've also seen them as well as an imitation product called a "Cushtie" on for £9.95.
The site of company that makes these can be found at but they only sell from that site to retailers and not individuals. Their contact information is:
JAGABON Trading Limited
5 Elstree way
WD6 1SF, England
Company Reg No: 5497503
VAT No: 865324219
Telephone: +44 (0) 208 236 236 6
e-Fax: +44(0) 208 711 38 39
Cushion size: appx 40cm x 20cm