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Pillow Ratings > Research Methodology

Pillow Research Sources and Methodology

Updated March 2016

Our research findings are based on over 40,000 reviews / comments of actual pillow owners collected from the following sources.


Retailers' Websites

Online retailers such as Amazon, Overstock.com, Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Macy's and others provide their customers with the ability to rate and review products, including pillows, purchased from them. We have generally found the reviews on these websites to be non-edited, credible and helpful.

Message / Discussion Boards

In some cases, owner experiences collected from many message / discussion boards make up a significant part of our research data. Message boards are generally the best source for getting unbiased and authentic product reviews from actual owners. This is mainly because they tend to exist in near obscurity (most don't rank high in the search engines), are made up of a tight-knit group of people, and often have safeguards against suspicious contributors, such as someone who appears from nowhere to contribute to a product-related discussion.

Message boards generally operate by someone posting a question and then others reply with answers. In this case, someone typically asks others what pillow they recommend or don’t recommend. People then reply with their opinions often based on their own pillow ownership experience.

Personal Interviews

On occasion, we include owner data from personal interviews that we conduct. While the number of these interviews is small, the amount and quality of owner information they provide is often excellent.

Research Safeguards to Ensure Accurate Findings

Sample Size

Sample size refers to the number of consumer experiences that our ratings are based on. A sample size of 50 or more gathered using our methodology is for most pillows large enough to provide accurate findings with a maximum margin of sampling error of ±4 percentage points.

Time Standards

Data is seldom collected from pillows owners who indicate that they have used a particular pillow for less than seven days as this is often not enough time to form an accurate opinion. In addition, outdated owner experience data (data older than five years) is usually not collected or is removed from our data set.


In cases when it is unclear if the reviewer owns or owned the pillow, the review contents are not included in the data. Owners are identified when they openly say they own or owned a particular pillow, refer to the pillow as “my pillow” or identify themselves as an owner in some other non-ambiguous way.

Review Quality

When gathering pillow-owner experience data from a retailer's website, such as Amazon, "verified reviews" are in almost all cases the only type of review from which data is collected.

Pillows Included in Our Research

Not all pillows on the market are evaluated by Sleep Like The Dead (including those that might advertise on Sleep Like The Dead). We evaluate only those pillows that rate highest in owner satisfaction (usually above 85%) based on a significant sample (usually at least 50) available from our research sources. Pillows that do not rate highest or do not have a significant sample do not appear on our website.

Up-To-Date Ratings and Product Information

Nearly all of our pillow ratings are current. The date near the top of most pages indicates when the page was updated with the latest ratings and product information. The date of a web page has a "fresh" designation to the left of it when the page has been updated within the past five months. Know, however, that even the most recently updated pages are not guaranteed to provide real-time information including current prices.

Unbiased, Truthful Content With Transparency and Disclosure

We receive no compensation of any kind from any company, organization or individual to affect in any way or degree the content of our website including our pillow research. Our mission is to help people make informed sleep-product buying decisions, and this can only be achieved by providing unbiased and truthful information.


We have advertising blocks and banners on our site to provide us with the financial resources needed to conduct our extensive pillow research. These ads are auto-generated and auto-selected by Google Adwords / Adsense based on several factors. Sleep Like The Dead does not select the advertisers nor the ads that appear.

Also, most pages include links to Amazon.com. On these pages, we state clearly at the bottom that "links to a product(s) offered for sale at Amazon appear on this page, and Sleep Like The Dead will earn revenue if any product(s) is purchased through previously mentioned links." The links do not provide Sleep Like The Dead with an incentive to be biased as we earn the same commission percentage (within broad product categories) regardless of what a person buys. In other words, we earn revenue from anything a person buys from Amazon, not merely a pillow we link to.


Given that our pillow ratings are almost entirely based on multiple online public sources, the truthfulness of our findings can be independently verified by anyone with a computer and internet connection, given that they are willing to invest enough time and effort.

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