Pillow Reviews: Bear vs.a Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex

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Latex foam is the name of the game when it comes to both the Bear pillow and the Z by Malouf 100% Natural Talalay Latex pillow. Not all latex fillings are the same, however – Bear’s solid foam core is a hybrid of latex and memory foam, while the Z by Malouf pillow is 100% natural Talalay latex. What else should is there to uncover and which is going to be the best fit for back, stomach and/or side sleepers? Read on for my full comparison.

Key Similarities

  • Traditional shape (will work with a pillowcase)
  • Filled with ventilated latex or latex-like foam
  • Both have a 5” height profile (options)
  • Both come in Queen and King sizes
  • Removable covers that are washable and dryer friendly
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Better fits for back and side sleepers over stomach sleepers

Key Differences

Bear

  • Made with Double Ice Fabric: a special fabric that feels cool to the touch (feels like athletic-wear material)
  • Core filling is made with LOFT-X FOAM: a hybrid foam that combines memory foam and latex foam to contour to one’s spine and neck (100% polyurethane)
  • Dual mesh side panels for continuous airflow throughout the period of sleep
  • King and Queen sizes available
  • Price: $95 for Queen, $115 for a King
  • 2-year warranty

Bear Pillow Review

Check out the complete Bear pillow review, here.

Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex (High loft, plush density option)

  • Pin-core design configured to cradle the head while providing one’s neck and shoulders with needed support
  • Firmer level of support is optimal for back and side sleepers
  • 100% pure natural Talalay Latex – No synthetic additives
  • Unique foam consistency and zoned technology provides zoned support and superior pressure relief
  • Soft, removable velour cover made from a rayon from a bamboo blend (75% polyester, 25% rayon from bamboo)
  • Comes in Queen ($136) and King ($156) sizes
  • Options: high and low profiles; and firm and plush densities
  • 5-year warranty

Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow Review

Read the full Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex pillow review, here. 

Who Might Choose…

Bear

  • Hot sleepers. Much of Bear’s cooling technology and innovation focus on its proprietary “Double Ice Fabric.” The company keeps the details on that material close to the chest but it feels cool – dare I say “icy” – to the touch and the mesh paneling on the side is an added bonus.
  • Those interested in a risk-free trial period. Just like the Bear mattress, the purchase of a pillow comes with a 100-night trial. Potential customers can try the pillow to see if it’s a good match and return with little hassle if it fails to meet an individual’s expectations or standards.

Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex

  • Those who prefer a soft pillow cover. The Z by Malouf pillow cover is a soft velour fabric and made from polyester and rayon from bamboo. It will feel subtle and pleasant against one’s face, suggesting perhaps the sleeper needs no pillowcase at all (though we would recommend one for sanitation purposes).
  • Shoppers who love options. This pillow comes in two sizes but also two loft levels – high and low – and two density levels – firm and plush. We would argue that density does not equate to firmness, so let’s consider these support level options. The low loft is 4″-5″ which matches the profile on the Bear pillow and the high loft is 6″-7″.  Sleepers can choose from the following combinations: High Loft Firm, High Loft Plush (my pillow), Low Loft Firm, and Low Loft Plush.

Either 

  • Looking for something less traditional. Because both of these pillows are either made of latex or a mixture of latex and another foam, they have a resilient and quick responsive feel. There’s no doubt the pillows will continue to cradle the head but it won’t offer that “quicksand” sinking feeling memory foam is notorious for.
  • Back or side sleepers. The loft on both of these pillows is appropriately high enough to make them excellent choices for side sleepers, who tend to need thicker pillows, and back sleepers over stomach sleepers. Based on my experience, the firmness levels in both – even the plush version of the Z pillow – may be too much for stomach sleepers.

Overall

Those in the market for a latex or latex-like pillow will enjoy both of these options. Hot sleepers may opt for the Bear, with its innovative cooling technology and 100-night trial offer. Meanwhile, people who want loft and firmness options should look at the Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex pillow.

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.